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Under pressure
Date:1/2/2014

al experiences. The most comfortable harness relies on a hook-and-loop connection, which provides the least pressure on the dog, although for long-haired dogs a plastic clip version is favourable. Rigid metal links are the most stressful for the animals and one of the harnesses tested even restricted the movement of the spine and the front limbs. As Peham notes, "The importance of matching the dog to its owner is well known: the blind person should suit the dog not only in character but also in size. But it seems that the choice of harness is also vital. Flexible and adjustable harnesses, e.g. with telescopic handles, are ideal." Of course, the choice of harness is not always straightforward and Peham is quick to recognize the need to extend the group's research, "We should study guide dogs for a longer period of time to find out whether any of the harnesses are associated with long-term problems in the animals. We are still looking for partners and sponsors for the work".

The study "Evaluation of the pressure distribution under three different types of harnesses for guide dogs", by Christian Peham, Simone Limbeck, Kristin Galla and Barbara Bockstahler was recently published in the Veterinary Journal.


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Contact: Barbara Bockstahler
barbara.bockstahler@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-125-077-5320
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert  

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