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)
View and print
View and print
Measuring Instructions and Video
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
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.
- 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):
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.