OneTigris is a tactical-style outdoor gear store, selling all kinds of products from airsoft gear to affordable military-style dog harnesses.
About the Gladiator Support Harness
The Gladiator Support Harness was created to provide mobility assistance for dogs with weak legs or injuries. The double handle on the back makes it very easy to lift the dog who needs help to get in and out of a car or to give a hand on steep hikes.
This Y-shaped harness is padded and is made from durable, rugged nylon material. It has chest straps along with a padded bottom panel under the chest.
All buckles are strong UTX Duraflex® Buckles, which were tested for 121 lb (55 kg) on the medium harness and 143 lb (65 kg) on the large size.
The inside of the harness has a mesh lining to protect the fur, and it's also supposed to help with breathability over the hot summer days.
Both sides of the harness have a large loop surface for adding patches, which is a characteristic of most OneTigris harnesses.
OneTigris emphasizes testing to ensure the safety of their products. The D-rings were strength tested at 264 lbs (120 kg) for the front and 330 lb (200 kg) at the back.
Gladiator Support Harness Review
While this harness covers a bigger than usual part of the dog's back, it isn't restrictive. The design provides more than enough room for the front legs to move back freely without rubbing against the chest straps. While it's harder to see from Mia's hair on some photos, the wide neck straps also avoid putting pressure on the shoulders.
This harness only comes in two sizes, and Mia needed their smaller (Medium) size. If they had a smaller size, we might have tried that since, as you see below, the neck strap is already fully tightened, but the harness did fit Mia well altogether.
If your dog ever fell into a lake or needed help on a steep section of a hike, you know how much it helps to have a harness with a good handle that's easy to grab. Having the double handle made it super easy to lift Mia, and this was a feature that we utilized many times during our hikes.
The photo below is an action shot of a few seconds while lifting Mia out from a stream with slippery rock walls. While the harness meant to help the dog, it is not suitable to be used as a repelling or carrying harness because you would want much better pressure distribution and safety straps for that.
Another great feature is that the length of the strap between the front legs is adjustable, which helps you fine-tune the fit. Unfortunately, this proved to be the weak point of the harness because the slider on our harness didn't stay in place and slid all the way out after 5 minutes of playing fetch. We repeated the test multiple times with the same results. We contacted OneTigris regarding this issue, and they are looking into it now. Since no one else mentioned this so far, this might just be a unique problem with this particular slider. We will update the review if we get more information.
An excellent detail is the fleece cover over the chest straps to prevent skin irritation or chafing for dogs with sensitive skin. The only downside of this is that they can easily slide over the buckles, and you always have to spend some time moving them back to access the buckles. This could also result in losing the covers if you remove the harness and carry it in your hand without fixing the buckles. If someone is annoyed with this problem, you can sew the opening of the cover a little tighter to prevent them from sliding over the buckle.
As expected, a harness with all this padding soaked in a fair amount of water when Mia went swimming; but it did not retain much after the first few minutes. We would say the harness stayed damp for a long time (might be hours - depending on the ventilation, temperature, etc.), but it wasn't dripping after the first 10 minutes.
You see the bottom part of the harness and the loop panel after a few hikes on the photos below. Both are prone to collect mud and dirt, but the harness is easy to clean with handwashing or just putting it in the washing machine for a cold cycle.
The harness stayed in place surprisingly well, even when it was wet. This results from the wide chest strap between the legs preventing it from sliding to the side too much. You see our problem with the slider on the photo below: it didn't hold and should be fastened again for the ideal fit.
Having the two buckles on the left cause the harness to slightly turn that way, but this wasn't as visible as it is for many other harnesses. You can notice on the photos that the chest piece is always closer to the right leg, but it never caused any chafing for Mia - even over long hikes.
An extra functionality of this harness is the two leash attachment point: one on the back close to the neck and one on the chest part.
The truth is that a harness providing enough room for the shoulders is usually not ideal for no-pull training because if the harness isn't restricting, it will have room to slide around or turn on the dog instead of turning the dog. The double chest-strap made this harness much more “stable” when using the front ring compared to other Y-harnesses with front rings, but the big cut out for the shoulders still provides room for the harness to slide up when using the front-ring. This harness's front ring is good enough to try it out or to use for some walks for a dog who was already trained with a no-pull harness, but that's not the field this harness excels in. In general, you cannot get a good harness for an active dog that also perfectly doubles as a no-pull harness for the reasons mentioned above, and this is true for this harness as well. We feel an additional ring on the end of the harness would fit the style and the use case of this harness better than the front-ring does, but this is only a subjective opinion.
Functionality Review of the harness
• No-pull correction: As discussed above, the no-pull ring is functional on this harness but not your best option if your main goal with the harness is to use as a no-pull training tool.
• Running/Biking: We wouldn't suggest using it for pulling sports because the weight distribution on the chest might not be ideal with the leash attached so close to the neck. It can be a good option if the dog is not pulling just running next to you since it isn't restrictive but keep in mind that the heat gets stuck under the harness, making your dog overheat easier on a warm day.
• Hiking: We used it a lot on hikes, and having a double handle was an excellent help on steep sections! We prefer a more visible harness for hiking, but that doesn't really fit the profile of OneTigris. As mentioned for running, keep in mind that a black harness with a big coverage like this will trap in the heat, so try to avoid it over the hottest months.
• City walk: Works well; the large panel for velcro patches is useful to display text for a service dog, reactive dogs, or just dogs in training. The ring closer to the neck gives you good steering power, which is handy in busy environments.
• Easy to put on/adjust: all the straps have plenty of room for adjustment. It will take some time to fit all those straps initially, and you might have to re-adjust it after the first walks. The neck strap doesn't have buckles on, so you have to pull it over the head, lift the right front leg and use the two buckles on the chest straps to secure the harness, so it isn't a fast process.
• Visibility: This harness doesn't mean to be visible; it doesn't have reflective parts either, but you can put reflective, fluorescent patches on it.
This harness proved to be perfect for our hikes and to walk Mia in busy places where we like to have a “No Dogs” text displayed on the harness to avoid people bringing over their dogs. Besides the slider on the chest piece, we haven't had any quality problems, although we used it for many hikes and swims. The color didn't fade, and there are no signs of tear anywhere so far. We especially liked the big shoulder opening and the double handle on the back. It would be great to have an additional leash attachment point at the end of the harness for hikes, but the D-ring close to the neck provides excellent control in the city.
Where to buy
You can buy all their products on their website, and most of them are also available on Amazon. You can find sizing information, videos, and detailed descriptions of each product on their website. Be sure to check their sizing chart because this harness is tailored for bigger dogs - Mia had the medium size, and the only other size they are currently selling is the Large.
Credit: Dog Gear Review