The BLD Mobility Support Harness™ (MSH)
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.
You may order online, call, email, or make an appointment to visit our workshop to order. Our friendly team is here to help with any questions you have before, during, and after placing your order. Our harness experts will review all the details to help you get the equipment you need and to ensure the best fit possible. And yes, we ship worldwide.
Please allow 4 weeks for completion. Rush options may be available for an additional charge.
Measuring Instructions and Videos:
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
Mobility Support Harness (MSH): rigid metal support handle
Who is it for?
The MSH can be a good option for people with balance impairment, disequilibrium, neurological conditions, MS, Parkinson’s, or other conditions where light to moderate contact, with a rigid vertical handle, can assist with orientation and/or balance support. This harness can provide light bracing while the dog is standing.
An additional handle can be added to allow the MSH to assist with momentum, gait stabilization, leading, and counterbalance support while in motion.
- Rigid metal Support Handle made from lightweight, high grade aluminum
- Provides vertical stability support and can be used for occasional light bracing
- Handle support is designed with low center of gravity to distribute pressure around the dog’s core
- Handle folds down to allow dogs into tight spaces, in vehicles, or under tables
- Support bars mounted to the harness saddle are permanent and will not loosen over time
- Padded handle grip is comfortable and easy to clean
- Reflective tape on sides of handlebar for night-time visibility
- Add a guide or pulling handle if additional functionality is desired
- The MSH is only for dogs over 60 pounds that are large and strong enough for this physically demanding task
NOTE: Rigid support handles are not meant to be leaned on for constant support, to pull on, or use for momentum while walking. Heavy pressure should not be applied to the metal handle, especially while the dog is in motion; not recommended for those with ataxia.
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 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
- 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
Choose harness size: select one
Standard MSH $475
For most dogs 60-95 pounds, with a girth size of 26-34 inches (best choice for most retrievers and doodles). NOT available for dogs under 60 pounds.
Extra Large MSH $500
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, Great Danes, Newfoundlands, etc.)
Giant size MSH $575
For dogs 140-200 pounds, with a girth size over 40 inches (best choice for larger Great Danes, Mastiffs, etc). Tall handle over 8” is not available.
- 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 Coming Soon! (add $20): Bridle leather color and shades will vary; each part of harness may be a different shade. Tan leather may show scuffs and wear over time; color may darken with use over time.
All straps are made to fit your dog’s actual measurements. Please be sure your dog is of appropriate age, size and soundness for the work you are asking him to perform*.
Need help with sizing? Don’t worry. Just ask. We‘ll take a look at your dog’s measurements/breed/weight to be sure you get a perfect fit.
Support Handle Height (rigid handle):
Height is the distance between the top of the harness saddle and the top of the handlebar. Support Handle adjustment range is approximate; exact dimensions depend on the harness size and dog’s width.
- 9-11″ TALL* (add $30)
- TALL option includes heavier gauge metal and upgraded support bars on saddle. *Applies more torque and pressure to dog than shorter handles. Not recommended for most users or for any dog smaller than our recommended size. Consider the BAH if tall handle is required.
Note: Handles 6″ or lower will be the most stable, lowest impact, and are ideal for mobility work.
Available Options for the BLD MSH:
Choose from these options to customize the harness to meet your needs. Must be selected when order is placed, as these options are built into the harness.
Support Handle Grip Style:
Standard handle grip is ambidextrous. Your hand and elbow will be poisoned directly over the dog’s body, with your palm facing back.
Ergonomic Grip (add $50) Highly recommended!
Z-shaped handle grip allows for more natural hand and arm position. Allows your arm and elbow to relax in toward your body, while your hand remains centered over the dog. Ergo grip is comfortable and balanced for most people, especially those with hand/wrist/shoulder mobility issues.
ALL support handles fold down!
Handle folding mechanism is engaged by pulling two small pegs—one on each side of the handlebar.
Standard release pegs
Standard release pegs are a small metal knob (dime sized). Can be operated together or independently when locking mechanism is engaged.
Pull-Rings* (add $25) Highly recommended for weak hands or one-hand operation.
For people with limited dexterity who have trouble grasping a small peg, pull-rings can be added to make it easier to operate the handle folding mechanism. Includes nifty InfiniKey extenders for convenience.
*Must be ordered with harness if needed, cannot be added later.
MSH additional handle options: select one
Customize your MSH harness for pulling, leading, forward momentum, and guiding; several handle styles to choose from. Remember, the metal support handle is for vertical pressure and very light bracing only!
These additional handle options can be made to ANY height/length: longer, or shorter than the metal Support Handle. We recommend having it made 1 inch shorter than your metal Support Handle, unless you specify otherwise to meet your needs.
- NONE (rigid metal handle only, no pulling or leading is needed)
- Basic Pull-Strap (add $25) Perfect for getting up from a seated position. This simple single layered leather strap clips onto the standard d-rings on the back of the harness. Adjustable length, makes a 3-6” handle. (Not built into the harness, can be added anytime.)
Support Pull Handle: NEW option! Highly recommended! Allows for heavier pulling, momentum, and counterbalancing needs. Mounts lower on the harness for optimal pulling pressure distribution. Support D-Rings are added to the base of the handle support bar, handle attaches 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, but is best for those who need moderate gait stabilization or a sturdy momentum pull. Available as a flexible handle, or semi-rigid which is reinforced for a sturdier feel.
- Flexible Support Pull Handle (add $50)
- Semi-Rigid Support Pull Handle (add $80)
Leather Guide Handle: Allows for are for light-duty leading or momentum. This sturdy handle offers excellent communication and directional feedback. Attaches to the front edge of the harness, and angles back behind metal support handle for proper leading or momentum contact. Includes quick-release buckles mounted to the front portion of the harness saddle, and Velcro stabilizers (not easily removable). Available as a flexible handle, or semi-rigid which is reinforced for a sturdier feel.
- Flexible Leather Guide Handle (add $50)
- Semi-Rigid Leather Guide Handle (add $80)
- Guide Handle Mounts ONLY (add $15) Easily attach a Guide Handle in the future
A brace strap may be added to support pull or guide handles to stabilize the handle loop, depending on the height/length of your handle.
Accessories: click on links for details
- Extra set of bolts: $6 *Highly recommended!
Removable bolts hold the handle onto the harness. Keep a spare bolt handy at all times, just in case.
(Your harness will come with a full set of bolts that include a pair of round caps and a pair of wing caps.)
- Cape/Vest: specifically designed to be compatible with your harness! 3 pockets, and 3 Velcro panels to add patches (available separately).
ID Patches & Badges: these items may be ordered separately. Many designs to choose from.
- Banner Badge $27.50 *Highly recommended!
Our special 2-sided badge that spans the handlebar (fits handles over 4” tall, up to 10” wide)
- Velcro Patch for capes $6-$8, various designs
- Double Patch/Leash badges: $20.50
3” round 2-sided badges Velcro onto leash, strap, or side of handlebar
- Velcro Patch: $11.50
Hook Velcro-backed patch for cape, 2.5”x5”
MSH 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. You may order replacement parts any time you need them. Support handles are replaceable if the harness is built to accommodate the height you need.
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%
Shipping price includes insurance and tracking via USPS Priority Mail (2-3 days in USA). Yes, we ship WORLDWIDE! (via USPS or DHL)
Due to the custom nature of this special harness, returns and refunds are not available on this product.
Rigid and tall handles apply more pressure and torque to the dog than flexible or shorter handles, due to the laws of physics. A dog should never be expected to replace the heavy-weight-bearing capacity of a cane or crutch, or move under heavy torque/pressure/weight on the handle. Dogs should be at least 18-24 months of age before training in a harness.
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.