About Harnesses and Leashes

Your Ferret is going to need a harness and leash. It is so important to find the correct fitting for your animal. It is also important to have the proper equipment for pulling if your Ferret inters into weight pulling training or competition.

There are many types and colors and even fabrics with prints of harnesses on the market today for Ferrets and other small animals. What do they all have in common? Ferrets need, that is need, a neck band and a belly band that are in some way hooked together, give a snug fit, and clasp independently.

A Ferrets leash, as with other small animals, needs to be light weight and have a small clasp. A very secure clasp. You do not want to use the average dog leash. The clasp, that will rest on the Ferret's back, is too heavy.

Before heading out with your Ferret, put your harness on your pet and walk it on the leash indoors. Make sure, double check, that your pet's harness is snug and comfortable at both the neck and the waist.

There is a difference between a Walking Harness and a Pulling Harness. If you are going to have your Ferret Weight Pull or enter the event called "Strongest Ferret", you need the proper equipment.

more information and photos to come






Walking Harnesses

Walking harnesses are the harnesses a person would use on their Ferret to take it out for a walk or to contain it when in out and about. This type of harness should really not be used for pulling weight. Now some would argue that the, and I have heard this sooo many times, "the (fill in species) pulls when I walk it so it can not be hurting it to pull weight without padding." No true. When your animal pulls on your leash it is a different angle then when it is pulling weight. When pulling on the leash you are holding the angle of the leash and or weight is felt differently on the animals chest. Also, when pulling on the leash being held, the animal is not being coaxed forward.


STRAPS WITH BUCKLES

These were (probably) first made for cats. They are made with thin webbing and have a metal buckle or the newer plastic slide buckle on each of the two loops of webbing that are held together by another short piece of webbing. You place the shorter loop around the animal's neck and the wider webbing loop around the animal's body just behind it's front legs.


FABRIC OUTFITS

If you know me, or if you have looked around our many animal websites (sister sites under the Navigation box) you will probably guess that these are my favorite type of walking harness. Yes. If they are a proper fit and made so that they secure correctly, these cute little harnesses are my favorite of the harnesses to use for a small pet.

Make sure if you use this type of harness that it closes securely. Make sure it fits correct and that the animal can not get out of this harness before hooking a leash to it and going outdoors.


THE DOUBLE VELCRO DOUBLE SNAP

This might be the most secure harness on the market. This harness has long straps on both the neck and waist area that have a long piece of velcro to hook around your pet. It also has a webbing strip on both areas that is not only also adjustable, but snaps closed with a side release buckle. Again, make sure you have a snug fit on your animal before hooking a leash to it and heading out.


THE "D" HARNESS

The "D" harness is a harness that was made years ago for dogs. This type of harness will NOT HOLD your Ferret. The front strap is non adjustable and the ferret will walk right out of this type of harness.

photos coming


THE COLLAR

Ask 25 Ferret Owners what they think about collars on Ferrets and you might get 25 different answers. You will for sure get stories on how the Ferret took the collar off. I have even heard stories of Ferrets taking the collars off and hiding them. It is recommended, by many Ferret Owners, that a Ferret wear a collar with a bell so that you know where it is, or you can find it when it is hiding. A collar must fit a Ferret snuggly. The Ferret's neck and head are made to go through holes and tunnels. If the Ferret's head can get through a hole, so can the body. Now stop and look at a buckled collar circle. See that space in the middle? That empty space inside the area around the collar is called a hole, just like a doughnut hole. So to be very safe when you want to take your Ferret out for a walk, always use a well fitted Harness.






Pulling Harnesses

I have worked with and trained all sorts of animals since I was a kid of about 5 years old. I have passed the half century mark so I have a bit of experience. For over 17 years I trained, bred and raced sled dogs, I have trained and owned dogs with weight pulling competition titles and I have been a harness maker for over 20 years. I have trained dogs, goats, a pony, llamas and a donkey to drive. One thing is for sure, to safety train an animal to pull a person needs to use the proper equipment.

Proper equipment is well fitting, well padded, safe and checked each time before it is put onto the animal for the job intended.

I have worked with and trained all sorts of animals since I was a kid of about 5 years old. I have passed the half century mark so I have a bit of experience. I used to train, breed and race sled dogs, I have trained and competed with dogs that earned weight pulling competition titles. I have been a harness maker for over 20 years. I have trained dogs, goats, a pony, llamas and a donkey to drive. One thing is for sure, you need the proper equipment.

Proper equipment is well fitting, well padded, safe and checked each time before it is put onto the animal for the job intended.

I wish I had a nickle for each time I have heard "the (fill in species) pulls when I walk it so it can not be hurting it to pull weight without padding." This is not true. When your animal pulls on your leash it is a different angle then when it is pulling weight hooked to it's harness. When pulling on the leash you are holding the angle of the leash and or weight is felt differently on the animals chest. Also, when pulling on the leash being held, the animal is not being coaxed forward as it is when it is pulling a cart with weight.


The contents of this page for About Harnesses and Leashes is still under construction. Please check back later!

-- The Ferret Agility Team

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