The Berkshire Eagle

THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE          March 3, 2008

Good Deals
An easier way to walk your dog
By Charles Bonenti

Taking the dog for a walk more often than not means being walked by the dog — tugged, pulled and yanked in whatever direction his canine attention wanders.

But dogs that pull ahead on conventional collar leads are only doing what comes naturally, says Dan Merson of Lanesborough, who has developed a "harness with a difference that makes a difference."

His "Walk Your Dog With Love Harness" is designed with the leash attachment in front — on the chest — rather than in back, at the neck.

The configuration places the owner in the lead position, he said, the position from which humans have led horses, camels and cattle for thousands of years.

Pull back on a conventional collar, and the dog will pull ahead of you. Pull on the Walk Your Dog With Love Harness, and the dog will be pulled into a "heel" position, Merson says, right by your side.

He came up with the idea about a year ago, he said, when Pilot, his chocolate mongrel, was recovering from leg surgery. To get the dog to put his foot firmly on the ground, the vet suggested pulling gently on his leash.

"His natural instinct will cause him to pull in the opposite direction," Merson remembered the vet saying. "He'll push down with the leg he is favoring."

It was a eureka moment for Merson, whose other dog, Teddy, was an ordeal to walk. Through trial and error, he developed his front-lead harness concept, tried it out and hired seamstresses in the area to produce it in quantity.

He is selling it in two models through his Web site and retailers everywhere.

For more information, visit Merson's Web site or e-mail