Extra large harness on St. Bernard in a vehicle
Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 19 customer ratings
(19 customer reviews)


formerly known as the “Basic” the Balance Assistance Harness has a lot to offer!

  • 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
  • Variety of handle styles are available

This harness is simply the best available!

Measuring information can  be found here: BAH Measuring Instructions
Also, check out the buttons below for detailed information, measuring instructions,and FAQ’s.  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.

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Detailed descriptions, sizing, options, etc. can be found below.

Turnaround Time: Harnesses take 4 weeks to complete and are built to your specifications.

  • Contact us if you need it faster; subject to availability with a rush fee
  • 3 week RUSH: add 10%; 2 week RUSH:add 15%

Ordering now?

First, select harness size below, select balance handle style, enter measurements, select options, and finally “add to cart”.


Primary Assistance Handle *

Choose your primary handle option

Additional Handle

Select if desired

Measurement Details *


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. . .

 Balance Assistance Harnesses (BAH, leather handle)

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  Complete Information Booklet 

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Harness Measuring Instructions and Worksheet

Measuring Instructions and Video

Measuring Instructions and VIDEO

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

View FAQs


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 Detachable, Stabilized-Detachable or Semi-Rigid 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, $400
    For most dogs 40-90 pounds, with a girth size of 25-33 inches
  • Extra Large size, $430 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, $510 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

  • 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, with special Velcro wraps to eliminate wiggle. Although it’s not super easy to remove, it is replaceable if needed. Highly recommended. 
  • Semi-Rigid Stabilized Detachable Handle this handle is reinforced with a stiffener for firmer feel (add $35). It is removable, yet is stabilized to provide excellent feedback and communication with your dog. Mounted low on the saddle with quick-release buckles–looks just like the above option, but a bit stiffer. Note it is not a rigid brace handle–it will flex with direct downward pressure. It is designed to hold its form and remain more upright. Handle can lay flat by un-clipping the buckles, and allowing it to pivot back. Replaceable if needed. Great option for those who need a stiffer feel in their handle, or who need a longer handle. This is our newest option! Highly recommended–watch a quick video of this option here:

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–but our measuring instructions provide the most accurate information. 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: Optional padding on rear belly strap is recommended for short coated or sensitive dogs. Included in the harness price, please let us know if you’d rather not have sheepskin sewn onto the belly strap when you order.
  • 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.)
  • Semi-Rigid guide handle: $75  Like the above, but is reinforced with a stiffener for a firmer feel.
  • 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):

  • Cape/Vest : designed to be compatible with your BLD harness, has 3 pockets and 3 velcro panels for patches
  • Velcro patch for cape: rectangle patch Velcros onto cape
  • Double Patch: our 2-sided ID badges Velcro around any strap or leash

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.


Additional information

Weight 8 lbs
Dimensions 10 x 18 x 5 in
Harness Size

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19 reviews for Balance Assistance Harness™ for service dogs

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Caren Halliwell

    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!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Audra Parker

    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.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5


    Before I bought this harness, my service dogs had always used a basic service dog cape from SitStay.com. 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!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jenn M.

    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. Rated 5 out of 5

    V. V.G.

    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

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Zelma Lang (verified owner)

    This is a wonderful harness. Helps control your service dog as well as provide handler with proper support. Excellent design and quality. Easy to use, but take the time to adjust all the straps for the right fit. Worth the money.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mechelle Lech

    This harness is beautifully made. I’ve had my harness for exactly a year tomorrow. It has made my life so much easier, and Ganeva is very comfortable in it. It is by far our favorite piece of equipment. Thank you again for such an amazing product.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth S.

    I’ve had my basic assistance harness for over a year now and it’s the best investment I’ve ever made. It fits my dog perfectly and works wonderful for us!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jeanene (verified owner)

    This harness was the best thing to happen for my working dog and I ever. He likes it (and he’s notoriously picky) I like it because it sits well and doesn’t slide around causing us risk. The customer service with this company Rocks too. Not only did the harness get here super fast there was a minor issue in fit that was ironed out quickly and with a great deal of professionalism from the staff. All of my emails have always been answered promptly and any issue I have is listened to and dealt with in a timely manner. In this day and age I can’t rave enough about good customer service.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Meg Holsinger

    Wonderful craftsmanship! The harness is durable, fits my dog beautifully. We’ve had it over a year and it still looks new, and is great for my bad days! I feel good knowing that my service dog is comfortable and protected by a carefully designed harness.

  11. Rated 5 out of 5


    My dog has had this harness since 2012. I couldn’t be more pleased with it. It fit our needs perfectly. My dog is comfortable in the harness, I am also thrilled with the customer service at BLD. Katrina and her staff are knowledgeable about their products and seem to genuinely care about their customers. I’ll never get a harness from anyone else.

  12. Rated 5 out of 5


    I have used a few different mobility harnesses over the years and I decided to try the Basic Harness with a longer mobility handle. Wow! If you are looking for a professionally made, detailed, well-designed harness, this is the one. I’ve even had a harness-maker stop me at a horse show to ask where I got such a fantastic harness. The leather is top grade, the fit is perfect, the fleece is top quality–not that cheap stuff that wears out–and the perfect stitching is just one of the attention to details that is hard to find anymore. This harness will last for years! This harness is worth every penny!

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Renae Byrd

    Tango, my service dog for balance and mobility has been wearing harness to work with me for 18 months. Daily I recieve compliments on his harness on how well it fits and sturdiness. We live in Alaska and see harsh winters of 40 to 60 below, I have had no issues with harness. We come to Denver couple times a year to visit family and BOLD lead customer service is amazing. They check fit every time. Although it was an expensive investment initially I would do it again! One of the best things I have done for my own health was buy mobility harness!!

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Vickie Capps

    Oh I was lucky enough to get a place to buy this harness for me and my dog. Omg it’s ment me getting out and about and staying home. Customer service was great as well as the harness. I love it thanks Katrina Best thing around for your service dog.

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Elita Baldridge

    I wanted more stability in a handle, but have a 42 # dog, Gypsy. Katrina at Bold Lead worked with me to find the right option for us. We ended up ordering the new stabilized detachable, and I can indeed recommend it very highly. Gypsy took to the harness right away, when I put it on her she started smiling and knew it was for her to do work with, and as a herding mix, she loves to have a job. It fits beautifully, the buckles are super easy to work, the handle is perfect, and we both love it to bits. It was especially good timing as I was having a major off day when it arrived, and so we’ve had a good chance for some solid initial road testing. On the handle specifically, the stiffness is great. I get fantastic feedback, and it doesn’t buckle a bit. I was getting a bit “sea sick” at first but after loosening up my grip a tad so my hand was more resting on it than gripping it, it all fell into place. The only thing that was a bit of a problem until I figured it out was the balance handle sticking up when not in use, because Gypsy likes to make herself invisible under desks and chairs, but I just unclipped the buckles on either side, and it lays right down and I can get it back up again easily. It makes it a lot easier for me to get around, which makes me happy, and Gypsy gets to help me out, which makes her happy. The harness is wonderfully designed, beautiful, and the construction is superb.

  16. Katrina

    We worked with Elita to develop a reinforced (semi-rigid) detachable handle for the BAH. The results were so wonderful, we will now offer it as an option! Thanks for trusting us to find the best solution for your needs. -KB

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    Janet Smith (verified owner)

    Beautifully made — really a quality product that is well designed for the dog and human team. Very comfortable for us both to use.

  18. Rated 5 out of 5


    I am absolutely in love with my MSH harness!! This harness has made a world of difference in how I am able to function when out at an dr appt or doing errands, I no longer stumble and fall when my dog is by my side in this harness. The harness is so well made and with regular cleaning looks brand new after now 4 yrs.
    The harness is so comfortable for my standard poodle that she sticks her head in the harness when we are ready to go out and has no problem with falling asleep in it when we are in the waiting room. Love it, Love it, Love it!!!

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sarah (verified owner)

    This harness is a blessing. My service dog in-trainging and I have just started mobility tasks and were looking into the right harness for us. This was our fourth or fifth, and we finally have a perfect match! This harness is so comfortable for my dog to wear, and she works confidently in it. This harness is very well-fitted and the function is phenomenal, and like the craftsmanship, just as expected (if not more).
    It’s been about 4 months and it’s still in perfect condition, despite not receiving any treatment other than brushing out the padded sheepskin. We have a three inch semi-rigid detachable handle, and an eight inch guide handle, both are perfect for the functions in hock they are needed (counterbalance, guide, and momentum pull). I’m so grateful to their customer service team for helping me over the phone and email to find the perfect handles for us, and answering any questions along the way <3
    I LOVE this harness.

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Patty Aguirre

    I’ve used a mobility service dog for over 5 years due to MS. I’m also a physical therapist. I’ve tried many harness. The BAH quality in my opinion ranks with human orthotics. The harness is made from great materials with excellent craftsmanship. The harness is custom fit. I’ve used BLD harnesses for 5 years. This BAH is the best harness I’ve found for stability, fit, esthetics, comfort, and function.

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