Animal Life

ANIMAL LIFE March 2008


Dan Merson believes his front-leading dog harness will save the lives of thousands of dogs by making it easier for people to train their pet canines. 

"Thousands of dogs end up at the pound because their owners find them too hard to handle," says Merson, founder of Walk Your Dog With Love. "It's a national tragedy that can be prevented easily." Behavioral issuesare the most common reasons that dogs wind up in shelters.
Merson's special harness gives owners an easy way to walk any dog, big or small -- no matter how much the dog pulls, tugs or resists.

Frustration was the Mother of Invention
Like most useful inventions, the harness was born of necessity. Frustrated by existing dog-walking gear, Merson wanted to make dog walking easier for everyone. The harness he invented makes dog walking simpler, safer, smarter and more fashionable. “You don't have to be a dog whisperer to have your dog walk like a champ," says Merson. 
The new harness is based on a simple principle — it's easier to lead your dog from the front, than from his neck or back. When you "lead" a dog with a standard harness or collar & leash setup, you're actually leading him from behind. Merson’s harness leads from the front, from the chest. “For thousands of years people have known you can't lead a horse, cow, or camel from behind and expect it to be obedient,” says Merson. “Yet, we do that with our dogs!” How can you lead from behind? 
“Its looks are deceptively simple,” says Marilyn Vieu, Walk Your Dog With Love’s head of production. “But it's the result of lots of engineering, testing and fine tuning.” The harnesses are made of Polypropylene webbing, chosen for its strength and durability. The all-important pull-points are double reinforced. The harness is designed so all the finished ends face away from the dog. The harness has half the buckles and rings of other harnesses, making an injury less likely. “This protects the dog's skin and eliminates chaffing and rubbing,” Vieu explains. 

The harness also has 3M Scotchlite reflective material at key points on its front and sides. “Many people walk their dog in the early morning or late at night, so we know that reflective material is an important safety feature.” 

Guaranteed to Work 

Each Walk Your Dog With Love dog harness comes with a 100% guarantee. “We want you walking your dog and loving your dog,” says Merson. The harnesses are each handmade in The Berkshires and come in a variety of colors and styles. You can contact Merson at Learn more about the harnesses at

Save-A-Life Free For Strays program 

For each harness sold, the Save-A-Life Free For Strays program aims to give a harness to a dog rescue facility. "Our goal is to make sure that adopted dogs stay adopted. By making dog walking and training easy and trouble free, we hope that fewer dogs will be returned to the pound," says Merson. For Save-A-Life information Walk Your Dog With Love is a non profit corporation.