Measuring Instructions and Videos:
BLD’s Mobility Support Harness™ (MSH)
BLD’s world-famous 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 these harnesses with the dog’s physical structure and movement in mind, then added features to make it user-friendly and truly accessible. This is the most stable, ergonomic and functional service dog harness available! BLD’s innovative harness design has benefited thousands of people around the world since 2009.
Guided by canine sports medicine experts, canine physical therapists, and a veterinary orthopedic surgeon, 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 fit properly, it does not wobble, shift, pinch or rub the dog. It is lightweight, sturdy, and very comfortable.
Every harness is custom made by hand in our own Colorado workshop. 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..
- 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 inaccurate measurements were provided.) See details on p. 18
- 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
- Harness flexes with dog’s movement yet does not shift or wobble when fit and used properly
- Lightweight despite its sturdy nature!
- Complete harness weighs only 2.5 lb. (1 KG) for standard size, and around 3 pounds (1.3 KG) 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 requiring the same saddle size
- 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 (wool-free option available for true allergies—inquire for details if needed)
- 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)
- Premium quality top grain leather and durable hardware combined with fine workmanship offers 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.
- Choose the harness style based on the primary handle you need.
- Balance Assistance Harness with flexible leather handle, see the following page
- Mobility Support Harness with rigid metal handle, see pages 10-14
- 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. Magnetic latch option is available for those with low dexterity/hand strength.
- D-rings for attaching accessories, such as a cape, pouch, ID badges, pulling strap, etc. are included on all harnesses. There are 5 D-rings that come standard: three on the top of the saddle, and two lower D-rings (one on each side).
- Easy to clean and maintain, details available on our website and in Owner’s Manual.
- Simply apply leather conditioner regularly to clean and condition the leather, and the harness will remain supple and weather resistant for years to come
- Clean the wool lining with a brush and vacuum
- Can be hand-washed as needed
- Comprehensive Owner’s Manual is included with each harness.
- Harness will arrive with detailed instructions for fitting, use and care of the equipment, links to fit & cleaning videos, and warranty information for your reference.
Harness Size & Color:
- Standard MSH $500 – For most dogs 60-95 pounds, with a girth size of 28-34 inches (best choice for most retrievers and doodles). NOT available for dogs under 60 pounds.
- Extra Large MSH $525 – 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 $585 – For dogs 140-200 pounds, with a girth over 40 inches (best choice for larger/male Great Danes, St. Bernards, Mastiffs, etc). Sorry, not all options are available on this size. ONLY available with standard bars. No tall handles or pull-rings are available.
- Black: Latigo leather is our standard offering. Because the leather is solid black all the way through it does not fade, hides the appearance of scuffs, and wears beautifully over time.
- London Tan: (add $20) Gorgeous bridle leather. Tan shades may vary slightly; each part of harness may be a different shade but always coordinate beautifully. May darken and show some scuffs with use over time.
Choose Latch for girth and belly straps:
- Quick-Release Buckles – Default standard option: All metal buckles are easy to operate. Spring-loaded side release style requires little pressure to open.
- One-Hand latch operation (add $10) – D-rings placed near the quick-release make it easier to grasp the straps and fasten with one hand.
- Magnetic Latches (add $40) – Ideal for those with very limited strength or dexterity! – This amazing latch, designed for motorcycle helmets, is reliable and secure. These self-align and hook closed when fastening the straps; incredibly easy to release by pulling the red tabs. Includes D-ring on strap for one-handed use.
Rigid Support Handle height and grip style:
- 9-11” TALL* (add $35) Tall option includes heavier gauge metal and upgraded support bars on saddle.
*Tall handles apply more torque and pressure to the dog than shorter handles. Not recommended for most users or any dog smaller than stated minimum size. Consider the BAH if tall handle is required.
NOTE: Height is the distance between the top of the harness saddle and the top of the handlebar. Support Handle adjustment range listed is approximate; exact dimensions depend on the harness size and dog’s width. Measurements will determine the handle size you need. Handlebars can be replaced at any time with a similar height (Tall handles will ONLY fit on harnesses ordered with a TALL handlebar option).
- Straight Grip: Standard handle grip is ambidextrous. Your hand and elbow will be positioned 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. Arm and elbow are able to relax in toward your body while your hand remains centered over the dog. Ergonomic grip is comfortable and balanced for most people, especially those with hand/wrist/shoulder mobility or pain issues. (When necessary, ergonomic handle can be used with opposite hand; palm will face forward.)
Handle Folding: All Support Handles Fold Down!
- Standard release pegs – Standard release pegs are a small metal knob (dime sized) that pulls out to release the handle so it can fold back. Can be operated together or independently when the built-in locking mechanism is engaged.
- Pull-Rings (add $20) 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 Infini-Key extenders for convenience. (Not compatible with guide handle.)
MSH additional handle options: Customize your MSH harness for pulling, leading, forward momentum, and guiding; several handle styles to choose from.
- NONE – When pulling or leading is not needed.
- Basic Pull-Strap (add $25) This simple leather strap is adjustable and forms a 3-6” handle when clipped onto the standard D-rings. Good for getting up from a seated position, or occasional wheelchair pulling. (Not built into the harness, can be added anytime.)
- Support Pull Handle Highly recommended!
- The Support Pull Handle is designed for heavier momentum and pulling needs and can be made to any length. This handle is best used as the primary handle for those who need moderate gait stabilization, a sturdy momentum pull, or leading of any kind. Handle attaches to lower d-rings with spring snaps and angles back behind the metal support handle; harness will be made with “mouse ear” loops to provide optimal pulling pressure distribution. Available as a flexible handle, or semi-rigid which is reinforced for a sturdier feel and enhanced feedback. Custom made to desired length.
- Flexible Support Pull Handle (add $45)
- Semi-Rigid Support Pull Handle (add $65) Most popular!
- Leather Guide Handle
- Leather guide handle allows for are for light-duty leading or momentum. Attaches to the front edge of the harness with quick-release buckles, and angles back behind metal support handle for proper leading or momentum contact. Velcro stabilizers hold the handle in position (not easily removable). Available as a flexible handle, or semi-rigid which is reinforced for a sturdier feel. Custom made to desired length. (Not compatible with pull-rings as the handle interferes with and can damage the pull-rings.)
- Flexible Leather Guide Handle (add $45)
- Semi-Rigid Leather Guide Handle (add $65)
Accessories (available separately):
- 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: $50-60 – specifically designed to be compatible with your harness! 3 pockets and 3 Velcro panels to add patches (available separately). Only available with Quick-Release Buckle.
- Leather Accessory Pouch: $100-110 – handcrafted from the finest supple leather, this zippered pouch is an elegant, luxury accessory
- Fabric Accessory Pouch: $30 – roomy pouch with Velcro panel for a patch, assorted colors
ID Patches & Badges (available separately): Many designs to choose from.
- Banner Badge: $20 Highly recommended!
Our special 2-sided badge that spans the handlebar (fits handles over 4” tall, up to 10” wide)
- Stop Sign: double-sided badge $18
2-sided badges Velcro onto leash, strap, or on handlebar
- Leash Wrap double-sided badge: $15
2-sided badges Velcro onto leash, strap, or on handlebar
- Velcro Patch: for capes $6-$8, various designs
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.
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. 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.