(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!

Print out a Complete Info BookletMeasuring information can be found here: BAH Measuring Instructions
You can provide the measurements and details via email, phone, or if you prefer to order online, enter the measurements in the fields below. We’ll follow with you directly to be sure we have all the information we need to make your harness. 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% (added to the cost of the harness and options ONLY)

Order Online Now:

First, select harness size , then choose the Primary Assistance Handle, enter measurements, select options, and finally “add to cart”.


Choose your primary handle option

Measurement Details


This is not your average service dog harness!

BLD’s specialty service dog harness is designed to provide balance and stability support for people with balance or mobility impairments, as well as for anyone needing good communication and contact with their service dog. We have designed this harness with the dog’s physical structure and movement in mind, and then added features to make it user-friendly and truly accessible. This is the most stable, ergonomic and functional service dog harness available!

Guided by a veterinary orthopedic surgeon, canine sports medicine experts, and canine physical therapists, BLD’s unique harness design allows the dog to move, breathe, and work with minimal impact from the equipment. Weight and pressure are properly distributed across the dog’s body for optimal performance of physical assistance tasks. Similar to a horse saddle, this harness sits just behind the withers (or shoulders), around the dog’s center of gravity. When fitted properly, this harness does not wobble, shift, pinch or rub the dog. It is lightweight, sturdy, and very comfortable.

BLD’s innovative harness design has benefited thousands of people around the world since 2009.

Every harness is custom made by hand in our own Colorado workshop. A variety of handle options are available. Crafting each harness to order is how we are able to provide the right fit for the dog, while meeting the user’s individual needs.

Proper fit is assured by our Great Fit Guarantee. Our famous Lifetime Warranty, plus BLD’s excellent customer support, is standard with everything we make in our workshop. See details on p.18 or on our website.

The BLD Balance Assistance Harness (BAH):

Who is it for? The BAH is a good choice for many people with conditions such as vertigo, balance impairment, disequilibrium, neurological conditions, brain injuries, ataxia, disassociation, other injuries, etc. where light to moderate contact with a flexible handle can assist with orientation and/or balance support.

This harness can assist balance by counterbalance or pulling. It offers stabilization while standing or walking, momentum pull, maintaining a regular gait, leading/guiding, and/or getting up from a seated position. Formerly known as the “Basic” Assistance Harness, this harness has a lot to offer!

  • Several styles of Assistance Handles are available, each made with sturdy, double-layered leather
  • Handles are custom made to any height/length you desire
  • Use one or a combination of Assistance Handle styles for specific tasks you’d like your dog to perform
  • Offers excellent communication and close-contact from nearly any angle
  • Handle and harness are designed to properly distribute pressure around the dog’s core with minimal impact on the dog’s range of motion
  • Only for dogs over 45 pounds
  • NOTE: This harness does NOT offer bracing; leather assistance handle is lower impact and generally safer for the dog than a rigid metal handle.

Dog-friendly features:

  • Harnesses are custom made to fit your dog’s measurements and conform to your dog’s anatomy
  • Great Fit Guarantee
    • Fit adjustment at no charge, if necessary, within 4 weeks of delivery (shipping charges may apply if incorrect measurements were provided)
    • Lifetime Warranty on materials and workmanship. See details on p. 18
  • Allows dog freedom of movement & distribution of weight/pressure around the core of the dog’s body
  • Flexes with movement yet does not shift or wobble when fitted properly
  • Lightweight despite its sturdy nature!
    • Complete harness weighs only 2.5 lb. (1 KG) for standard size, and around 3 pounds for giant size
  • Adjustable Straps
    • All straps have several inches of adjustment to fine-tune the fit
    • Straps are replaceable and can be re-fit to another dog of similar size (saddle size stays the same)
  • Layers of specialized padding for dog’s comfort
    • No hard edges or direct contact with irritating synthetic materials
    • Saddle is made with layers of neoprene padding inside to protect the spine and distribute pressure properly
  • Natural shearling wool (genuine sheepskin)
    • Sheepskin lining on saddle breastplate, girth, and belly straps provide proper cushion to prevent pinching or rubbing, as well as optimal structural support for the function of the harness
  • Suitable for all climates due to the natural material’s breathability, resilience, and durability
    • Does not get hot or retain heat like synthetic materials (not recommended for swimming)

People friendly features:

  • Premium quality top grain leather and durable hardware combined with fine workmanship for a lifetime of reliable performance
  • Our harnesses are designed to offer optimal balance support and stability
  • A variety of handle options are available to meet your needs. Handles are made to your desired height, are well-balanced and properly supported for maximum stability assistance.
  • Additional handles, such as pulling and guide, are available on all harnesses to add more functionality
  • Quick-Release buckles make it easy to put on and take off the dog—simply click together two easy-to-use latches; harness remains adjusted when removed
  • NEW! Magnetic latches are now available for those with very limited dexterity. See a video of the magnetic latch option here!
  • D-rings for attaching accessories, such as a cape, pouch, ID badges, pulling strap, etc.
  • Easy to clean and maintain, details available on our website and in Owner’s Manual
    • Simply apply leather conditioner regularly to keep harness supple and weather resistant
    • Clean the wool lining with a brush and vacuum
    • Can be hand washed as needed
  • Excellent customer support
    • We are equipment experts and are happy to help you through this process
    • We are here should you encounter an issue in the future
  • Lifetime Warranty on materials & workmanship, see details at https://boldleaddesigns.com/company-info/our-guarantee/
  • Comprehensive Owner’s Manual is included with each harness
    • Harness will arrive with detailed instructions for fitting, use and care of the equipment, and warranty information for your reference
  • Have questions? Call or email! We’re available to help you find the right solutions for you.

BAH Harness size: 

Standard BAH $400
For most dogs 45-95 pounds, with a girth size of 26-34 inches (best choice for most retrievers and doodles)

Extra Large BAH $430
For most dogs 90-150 pounds, with a girth size of 33-40 inches (also recommended for deep-chested breeds such as GSD’s and Dobermans weighing 85 pounds or more, and any dog over 100 pounds such as Rottweilers, smaller Great Danes, Newfoundlands, etc.)

Giant BAH $510
For dogs 140-200 pounds, with a girth over 40 inches (best choice for larger Great Danes, Mastiffs, etc).

  • 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 the right size.

Choose Color:

  • Black: Solid black latigo leather is our default standard offering. This leather wears beautifully over time, does not fade, and hides the appearance of scuffs and scratches
  • London Tan (add $20): Gorgeous vegetable-tanned Bridle leather! Color and shades will vary; each part of harness may be a different shade. Tan leather naturally appears rustic and may show scuffs and wear over time; color may darken with use over time.

Primary Assistance Handle: Select one

A) Flexible Balance Handle (vertical)     Default standard option
This leather handle is positioned vertically on the harness.  It is stabilized to provide excellent feedback and communication with your dog. Mounts low on the harness saddle with quick-release buckles, and is kept upright with heavy-duty O-rings. Folds flat by unclipping the quick release buckles and pivoting back. (A brace strap may be added to stabilize the handle loop, depending on the height of your handle, shown at right.) This flexible handle will soften and slump over time. Good for counterbalance, and light momentum while walking.

B) Semi-Rigid Balance Handle (add $30)     Highly recommended!
Same looks and features as the above option, but a bit stiffer.  Reinforced with for firmer feel and increased feedback. This handle is designed to hold its form and stand upright, making it accessible for grasping without bending over which assists with orientation. The handle will form to the angle of your hand grip over time. This is the firmest, most vertical handle option for the BAH. Good for counterbalance and stability contact for orientation. (Not a brace handle–it will flex with direct pressure to diffuse movement and minimize torque on the dog.)

C) Clip-on handle
Minimal, low profile option clips onto heavy-duty d-rings toward the top of the harness saddle. Handle lays down when you let go of it. Feels looser than the other options. Easily replaceable, if needed. Ideal for a short grab-handle. Good for counterbalance, getting up from a seated position, or for occasional momentum assistance.

D) Flexible Leather Support Pull Handle
E) Semi-Rigid Leather Support Pull (add $30)
The NEW Support Pull Handle is designed for heavier momentum and pulling needs. Provides optimal pulling pressure distribution. Handle attaches to heavy-duty d-rings with spring snap clips. “Mouse ear” loops keep the handle in position at a slight angle back. This handle drops a bit when you let go of it, has a looser feel than A or B, but is best for those who need moderate gait stabilization or a sturdy momentum pull. Available flexible or semi-rigid. We recommend a clip-on balance handle as an additional option.A brace strap may be added to options C-G to stabilize the handle loop, depending on the height of your handle.

Additional BAH handle options: Select if desired

Same as described above, an additional handle can be longer, or shorter, than the primary handle to allow the dog to assist with additional tasks. For example, you might choose primary option B) Semi-Rigid Balance Handle for walking and additional option 1) Basic Pull-Strap for getting up from a chair.

Strap Buckle Options:

  • Regular metal Quick-Release latches are standard on the girth and belly straps, they are very easy to use and effective.
  • One-Hand latch operation (add $8) D-rings placed near the quick release latches on the girth and belly straps make it easier to grasp the straps and fasten with one hand. Good for people who primarily use one hand. (Not recommended for most users.)
  • NEW! Magnetic Latches (add $36) Magnetic Latches on the girth and belly straps. These special are very easy to use and are secure. Ideal for those with very limited strength or dexterity and for one-hand operation. Magnets automatically align and close the latch. Pull-tab releases the latch. Includes D-rings for easy grasp when fastening the straps on your dog.

Optional Accessories:

  • Cape/Vest : designed to be compatible with your BLD harness, has 3 pockets and 3 Velcro panels for patches
  • Accessory Pouch: roomy pouch with Velcro panel for a patch
  • Leather Accessory Pouch: handcrafted from the finest supple leather, this zippered pouch is an elegant accessory

ID Patches & Badges (available separately)

Turnaround Time:

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

Due to the custom nature of this special harness, returns and refunds are not available on this product.

Dogs must be physically mature and of appropriate size, fitness and soundness for the work you would like them to perform.

Mobility, stability, and balance assistance work is physically demanding; a service dog must be in prime physical condition. The dog’s growth plates must be closed before beginning harness work (recommended minimum of 18-24 months of age). Please allow your dog time to grow and mature.

Consulting a qualified veterinarian (orthopedic specialist or canine sports medicine physical therapist) is highly recommended for all service/assistance dogs that perform physical tasks. Fit and performance of the equipment can only be assured if the dog meets the minimum recommended standards, the user and trainer have reasonable expectations, and when the equipment is used responsibly for the purpose it was designed. Likewise, harness users should consult a physician and physical therapist to determine what medical equipment is appropriate for their mobility needs.

Our equipment is designed to allow an appropriately selected and trained service dog to reasonably assist a person with a balance or mobility impairment. BLD cannot assess a dog’s suitability or appropriateness. BLD harnesses are not intended to serve as, or to replace, a durable medical device such as a cane, walker, or crutch. User assumes all responsibility for the safety, health, and care of the animal and human alike.

Watch more videos!

Additional information

Weight9 lbs
Dimensions10 × 18 × 5 in
Harness Size

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19 reviews for Balance Assistance Harness™ for service dogs

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. ladyrltr

    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!!!

  4. 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.

  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.

    • 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!!

  8. K.T.

    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!

  9. Beth

    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.

  10. 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. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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!

  17. vfranklin429

    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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

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