Basic Assistance Harness for service dogs by Bold Lead Designs on JOSS
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Basic Assistance Harness for service dogs, balance support

From: $365.00

  • Counterbalance support for stability
  • Pulling assistance for forward momentum
  • Secure support with no slipping or shifting
  • Communication between dog and partner
  • Proper fit and correct support
  • Lightweight, comfortable, flexible
  • Custom made to fit you & your dog perfectly
  • Guaranteed fit and quality
  • Excellent customer support
  • Choose from 3 different handle styles
  • Guide handle available

This harness is simply the best available!

If possible, please measure your dog before you order. Download detailed measuring instructions here: BAH Measuring and Pricing 2015.
Also, check out the ORANGE buttons below for video and downloads. You can provide the measurements and details via email, phone, or type the measurements and order details into the notes section when you check out. We’ll follow up directly with you to be sure we have all the info. Give us a call at 303-856-3012 if you need assistance or have questions–we’re here to help.

Keep scrolling! Detailed descriptions, sizing, options, etc. can be found below.
Allow 4 weeks for completion of a custom harness.

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Product Description

This is not your average service dog harness!

The BLD Basic Assistance Harness is unlike any “off the shelf” harness or vest that claims to be for “mobility” or support. This one is properly designed to offer the support and security you need, and is correctly designed to fit the dog’s body to distribute weight and minimize pressure points. This harness is extremely durable; we guarantee the quality and workmanship for life. This will be the only harness your dog will need throughout his working life.

Guided by a veterinary orthopedic surgeon, this harness design allows the dog to move, breathe, and work unencumbered by the equipment. Weight and pressure are properly distributed. User-friendly features make this harness truly accessible. Our harness does not wobble, shift, or pinch the dog.

Custom made by hand to order in our own workshop! Our craftspeople are experts in assuring you have the right equipment for your needs. Features, sizing, and lots of helpful information below. . .

Video: Measuring for your BLD Harness

Measuring for your harness video

Document: Pricing and Measuring Guide

Download BAH Pricing, Measuring, & Ordering PDF

Fill-in Harness Order Form (email it to

Fill-In Harness Order Form 

The BLD Basic Assistance Harness (BAH):

This harness is ideal for those who need counterbalance and/or pulling support, or who need to stay in close communication with their partner. Perfect for balance assist dogs, medical alert dogs, psychiatric service dogs, and those who need guiding or leading assistance. Also great for transferring to or from a seated position, climbing stairs, momentum, etc. Can be used as a part-time wheelchair pulling harness.

We have designed our harness with the dog’s physical structure and movement in mind, then added features to make it user-friendly. Special features make this harness truly accessible. Our harness does not slip or shift, making it most ergonomic and stable assistance dog harness available. The harness is flexible to allow the dog freedom to walk, breathe and lay down comfortably.

The harness is hand made from top quality solid black latigo leather and rust-free hardware. The saddle and breastplate are fully padded with layers of high-density neoprene and lined with thick natural shearling (real sheepskin) to prevent both chafing and slipping. This wool is comfortable, durable, breathable, and easy to clean. The girth strap has a shearling wool pad as well.

Need a guide dog harness with more support? This is it! Just choose the guide handle option. Unlike traditional guide dog harness that offer no support, this harness is properly designed for balance and stability. The guide handle is made from double layered leather. It is different than the traditional guide dog handle in order to maintain the integrity of the balance support of this harness. The leather handle mounts to the harness saddle with metal quick release buckles. The leather is soft but has just enough rigidness for a very good feel of the dog. Because it is flexible, you can grasp the balance handle without letting go of the guide handle. It also conforms to the angle of your grip. The guide handle also offers light duty pulling assistance and momentum.

Every strap is custom cut to assure a perfect fit. All straps are adjustable as well. Straps and parts can be replaced if needed. Replacement parts are available.

Easy to use! Quick release latches on the belly and girth straps make this harness easy to put on and take off the dog. No need to fumble with the adjustment buckles.

BAH Pricing Includes: 

  • Service/Assistance Dog harness with straps custom made to fit your dog
  • Flexible leather balance handle made to your desired height
  • Chose fixed or detachable style handle mount
  • Removable and adjustable pull-strap for momentum assistance
  • Three D-rings on the back of harness, two on the side for attaching accessories
  • Great Fit Guarantee: fit adjustment if necessary within 4 weeks of delivery
  • Lifetime warranty for materials & workmanship, excellent customer support

BAH Harness size:

  • Standard size, $365
    For most dogs 40-90 pounds, with a girth size of 25-33 inches
  • Extra Large size, $390 For dogs 90-150 pounds, with a girth size of 33-40 inches
    (also recommended for some breeds with deep chests weighing 85 pounds or more, such as GSD’s and Dobermans)
  • Giant size, $465 For dogs 140-200 pounds, with a girth over 40? (also fits miniature horses!)
  • All straps are made to fit your dog’s actual measurements
  • Need help with sizing? Don’t hesitate to ask! Contact us. We’ll take a look at your dog’s measurements to be sure you get a perfect fit.

BAH Handle style: Choose Balance Handle style (included) – see photos for examples of the variations

  • Fixed handle is permanently mounted and stands upright. This sturdy flexible leather handle offers excellent feedback and communication with your dog. It is flexible, so it bends if the dog goes under a table or into a tight space—it is not rigid. (This handle cannot be replaced or adjusted.)
  • Detachable handle clips onto special d-rings mounted to the harness. It lays down when you let go of the handle. Feels looser than the fixed handle, but this lower-profile option can be changed if you need a different handle size.
  • Stabilized Detachable Handle this handle is removable, yet is stabilized to provide excellent feedback and communication with your dog. Mounted low on the saddle with quick-release buckles, and stabilized with special Velcro wraps to eliminate wiggle. Although it’s not super easy to remove, it is replaceable if needed. This is our newest option! 

Whichever handle style you choose it will be made to your measurements (see measuring guide or video for instructions to measure for the handle). If you prefer a specific height/length, just let us know. Yes, it is possible to have the balance handle, guide handle, or pulling straps all made at different lengths to meet your needs. For example: Some people prefer a very short balance handle and a long guide handle. We’ll make it to meet your needs.

Custom Options:

  • Sheepskin padding on belly strap: $15 Optional padding on rear belly strap is recommended for short coated or sensitive dogs. (All other parts of the harness come standard with sheepskin.)
  • Guide Handle: $45 (replaces the standard pull-strap). Flexible leather handles for leading and pulling. This sturdy handle offers excellent communication and feedback. Angles back for proper leading or momentum contact. Mounts to harness with quick-release buckles, includes Velcro stabilizers. Made to your desired length. (Not easily removable. Not compatible with standard pull-strap.)
  • Other: please let us know if you need any special accommodations. Some requests require a quote.

Other options and accessories for your harness (available separately):

How to order:

You may order online, call to place your order by phone, or visit the workshop in person. Whichever method you choose, we will work with you directly to be sure we have all the details we need to make your harness.

Custom Made to your Measurements:

  • Every harness is made to order!
  • Please provide all the measurements and details outlined in the measuring guide (download PDF, see pages 3&4 for instructions)including the dog’s name, breed and weight, handle measurement, etc. Watch the video to see how to measure. It is helpful if we know the name of the person using the harness (if different than the name on the order).
  • You may provide the measurements and other details by phone, in an email, or type them into the “order notes” field when you check out online.
  • We’ll call or email to follow up with you so we can make your harness to specification. Don’t worry, we’ll review the details and let you know if we have any questions about your order.
  • Please note that we cannot start working on your harness until we have ALL the measurements and details outlined on the measuring guide.

Turnaround Time:

Harnesses take 4 weeks to complete and are built to your specifications. (Contact us if you need it faster. Rush fee applies, subject to availability.) Shipping price includes insurance and tracking via USPS Priority Mail (2-3 days in USA). Yes, we ship WORLDWIDE!

BAH Replacement Parts are available:

This harness has been designed with interchangeable straps for the greatest flexibility; perfect for adapting a harness to fit a new dog or user. (Except fixed balance handles. Rigid brace handle not compatible with this harness.) See replacement parts here.

Important note: dogs should be physically mature before beginning harness work. Dogs must be physically sound and of appropriate size and age for mobility work. Consult a veterinarian to determine your dog’s suitability for harness and/or mobility work.

Please note that due to the custom nature of this special harness, returns and refunds are not available on this product. But we are always here for support and promise to work with you if you have an issue. See our guarantee page for details.


Service Dog Customer Photo Gallery

Additional Information

Harness Size

Standard, XL, Giant

Balance handle style

Fixed, Detachable

Harness Options

Add sheepskin to belly strap (+$15), Standard belly strap

Other BAH options

Guide handle (add $45), Standard pulling strap

5 reviews for Basic Assistance Harness for service dogs, balance support

    5 out of 5


    It’s wonderful! The mobility handle isn’t required because my dog’s fairly tall. The harness is a bit too heavy for pups under 12 months old. My dog was very happy that it sits on her so well and it’s very comfortable for her. It doesn’t slide forward unlike other harnesses I’ve tried, it looks so good that we don’t get so many stray pattings, people understand the harness means she’s working!

    5 out of 5


    This harness rocks! Blizzard carries medications and this harness allows me to distribute the weight evenly. Maintenence is a breeze and it has only need a few adjustments since I purchased it. The quality is exceptional and Katrina’s customer service can’t be beat.

    5 out of 5


    Before I bought this harness, my service dogs had always used a basic service dog cape from This type of harness required me to hang on to my dog’s collar in order to use him for mobility. Now when we go up stairs, I can properly use my dog for assistance without choking him! :) He seems happy and comfortable in harness. I don’t notice him shaking himself any more than usual and he doesn’t scratch at the harness. It has really improved my ability to work with my dog, not to mention it looks AMAZING. I get so many compliments on how handsome Ryver looks, especially when he has his harness on. It was well worth the money. Thanks Katrina!

    5 out of 5


    Custom Modified Basic Assistance Harness:

    Hi Katrina! You made a special harness for my Lilly (blind and deaf Shar Pei / ACD cross) last year. We are now using this harness (now that we adjusted it, lol) for Lilly’s tall, lanky, blind foster brother, Aspen. Aspen is a 1 yr old Catahould Leopard Dog, who is able to hear, but is almost completely blind. He was a scared, anxious boy when we got him a week and a half ago. His confidence and vocabulary are steadily growing now, a big part of which I have to attribute to your harness. Aspen is extremely sound and light reactive; but from our first walk with Lilly’s special harness, he walked taller, was less tense, less reactive, and his tail started swinging behind him instead of being clamped under his belly. My theory is that the harness is so sturdy, soft, and secure that it triggers a sensation similar to a “Thundershirt”. Your wonderful products helped us get Lilly out in the world like a ‘real dog’, and now they are helping us show a scared boy the good things in life. Thank you so much!

    5 out of 5


    Your harness is beyond expectation ! Never seen anything like it !
    I was worried how it would fit and especially on Indra (the greyhound) because even sight hound gear and coats are difficult to fit him. But … it fits them both like a glove !
    I also had bad dreams about them not wanting to wear it (after all they are sight hounds), and most of all not being comfortable in it. Guess what, they both wear it with pride and joy ! It doesn’t seem to bother them at all.
    I don’t think that learning counterbalance and momentum pull will be very difficult as they already react differently wearing the harness, as if they know ???
    Another worry was that it would be a colossal eye-catcher, and yes, an eye-catcher it is, but a most elegant one. Solid leather and yet so beautifully and skillfully handcrafted.
    I think that I speak for the three of us when I express wholeheartedly thank you for this remarkable work of art.
    Though there is one down side: I have never seen so many heads turn when we pass by.
    The leads are fabulous as well, soft, lightweight and with a firm grip. I use them all the time!
    V. in Belgium

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