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 provide the right fit for the dog, while meeting each user’s individual needs.
We proudly offer good old-fashioned customer service and excellent customer support before and after you place your order. Because proper fit is essential, we offer a Great Fit Guarantee on all made-to-order harnesses. Our famous Lifetime Warranty is standard with everything we make in our workshop. Please read our important notes on dog size, fitness, and suitability at the bottom of this description, or in the Complete Information Booklet.
The Light Assistance Harness was developed alongside service dog training programs, experienced service dog users, canine sports medicine specialists, working dog experts and informed by research on canine movement and pressure points, we’ve addressed concerns of excess strain and stress on the dog while working.
BLD’s Light Assistance Harness is designed to minimize shoulder and spine strain. The LAH has a unique, contoured shape that follows the natural curves of your dog’s body. BLD’s exclusive wide, wave-shaped chest plate arches up over the dog’s shoulder and dips down over the breastbone so as not to restrict or pinch the dog’s shoulders or put pressure on the sensitive tissues in the neck. It is smooth against the dog and fits loosely to minimize friction and pressure.
The LAH is crafted with layers of specialized padding in the saddle area and lined with soft garment leather. The top of the harness body has a channel (gullet) to protect the dog’s spine. The chest plate has a unique Velcro attachment that eliminates bulky buckles and straps, yet adjusts to fit the dog’s unique shape. The girth strap has a wide shearling sheepskin lined pad.
Easy to put on and take off the dog with a single quick-release latch (or magnetic latch) on the adjustable girth strap. Also, the handle can be folded back by releasing the latches on the base of the handle and allowing it to pivot back. Five D-rings are included; center D-ring, two light D-rings for accessories, and two lower D-rings designed for attaching a flexible leading/light guiding handle, if desired.
This harness is intentionally made to fit loosely, and to ONLY permit light, gentle use to protect the dog from excess strain. Pressing or pulling hard on the handle will cause the harness to shift and/or come apart. (Assistance harnesses are never for controlling the dog, or replacing durable medical equipment.) If you require a strong, secure harness, consider our other harness options.
About the Handle:
The LAH comes standard with a Standing Handle, which is designed to provide light-contact balance assistance (touch for orientation and stability, or light counter-balance by pulling up). Made from double-layered leather, the LAH Standing Handle remains upright (vertical), yet is flexible to absorb and distribute pressure while providing reliable feedback to the user.
As with all BLD service dog harnesses, the entire harness is specifically designed to support the handle! Structural support is hidden inside the harness body and will provide a lifetime of reliable performance.
The Standing Handle is made in your choice of firmness. The handle is made to fit the handler’s hand measurement. It is removable with Quick-Release Latches and can fold back to permit the dog to fit under tables or into tight places.
- Semi-Rigid Standing Handle: U-shaped and reinforced to be a bit stiff, it flexes yet remains upright. This option is the most rugged and durable.
- Flex-Wire Standing Handle: Highly recommended! Ergonomic option!
- This handle is reinforced to hold its shape. Flex-wire can be bent and formed to fit the user’s hand. This handle has a firmer feel and more direct feedback. (Caution: to protect the dog, this handle will bend when too much pressure is used. Repeated bending will weaken the handle.)
A second, optional handle is available should you require leading or light guide-type work. This Clip-On Leather Handle attaches to the lower D-rings on the harness, it has a loose feel.
- Flexible leather Clip-On Leather Handle (add $45)
- Semi-Rigid leather, reinforced to be a bit stiff Clip-On Leather Handle (add $65)
LAH is available in four sizes to match your dog’s weight and girth measurement, and six breastplate collar sizes to fit your dog’s chest. The modular design allows each part of the harness to fit your dog’s shape and size. If in doubt, size down. The experts at BLD will review your measurements and will select the appropriate breast collar size for the best fit. Rest assured, we will let you know if any measurements need to be checked, and suggest the right harness size.
- 30-45 pounds (13.5-20.5 kg)
- 22-27” girth (55-69 cm)
- Petite retrievers, Springer Spaniel, Mini Aussie, Aus. Labradoodle
- 45-70 pounds (20.5-32 kg)
- 26-32” girth (66-76 cm)
- Smaller retriever, Malinois, Border Collie, Aussie, most Standard Poodles and doodle crosses
- 70-100 pounds (31.5-45.5 kg)
- 28-34” girth (71-86 cm)
- Larger Labrador, Golden Retriever, heavy/sturdy built doodles, small GSD, Collie, Small Swiss/Bernese Mountain Dog
Extra Large $400
- 100-140 pounds (45-63.5 kg)
- 35-42” Girth (87-107 cm)
- Doberman, Newfoundland, St. Bernard, Pyrenees, small Great Dane, larger Bernese
- If your dog is larger, please contact us about the possibilities.
Girth Latch/buckle style:
- Standard Quick-Release latch: metal side-release buckle is easy to use.
- Magnetic latch: (add $25) available for people with low dexterity
Reflector spot color choice:
- White (standard)
We advise using these approved accessories only to avoid interfering with the harness function. This minimal harness is not compatible with other accessories.
Leash Wrap / Double Patch:
- 2-sided patches can attach to the Standing Handle, or clip-onto the accessory D-rings
- Assorted service dog designs available separately.
Pouches: please know that the weight of objects in these pouches will cause the harness to slide off-center. Can be used as a hip/wait pack on your belt.
- Fabric Accessory Pouch: $30
features a roomy main pouch, front zipper pocket, reflective stripes, accessory D-rings, and a Velcro panel to attach a patch or badge. Assorted colors.
- Leather Harness Pouch: Standard (8” wide) $100; Large (10” wide) $110
- Made with designer handbag quality leather and detailing by Amish artisans in Ohio. Zippered pouch is half-moon shaped with a smaller zipper pocket on the top.
As with all BLD harnesses, the LAH is specifically designed around the handle for proper support and performance. The LAH will accommodate ONLY these handle options.
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. Dogs MUST be in our recommended weight/measurement range for the harness to fit and function properly.
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, mobility impairment, or other disability that requires specialty service dog gear. 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.
My SD Cruz owns both the Balance Assistance Harness and now the Light Assistance Harness. Both are lovely and well made. My current mobility requirements make the LAH the perfect choice for easy off and on, everyday use. Cruz got used to this harness very quickly. I love that it’s lightweight, and yet still gives exactly the sort of spatial orientation and balance feedback that I need. Thanks for another great product BLD!