OneTigris is a tactical outdoor gear store, selling products from airsoft gear to military style dog harnesses. Their dog products is more targeted towards IPO sports and training where visibility is less important. Their focus is on durability and having large velcro patch space.
About the Fire Watcher harness in general
The Fire Watcher harness is made of 1000D Nylon material which makes it water resistant. The harness is lightweight, more like a vest than a padded harness but the stitchings are strong and hold up well so far.
All the straps are adjustable and have plastic quick release buckles. The straps provide a wide range of adjustment, but this also means that you will end up with a lot of extra straps hanging from the harness if your dog is not on the higher end of that measurement range. I tried to tuck it back which made following adjustments a pain so I just have to face that the hanging straps are part of the design.
One of the biggest features of this harness is the large velcro patch space which can be important for service dogs or if you want to warn people that you have a reactive/ anxious dog. The M sized harness has an approximately 2” x 2” (5 x 5 cm) patch panel on the chest, 6” x 3” (14 x 7 cm) on the sides and 8” x 2” (20 x 5 cm) on the top.
The harness has a handle and one metal leash attachment ring on the back. It’s also equipped with X-bungee cords on the top for holding a water bottle or carrying other weight. The bungee cords are strong and they are sewed under parts of the harness so it seems that it would hold in the long run.
This harness comes in three sizes and four colors: black, ranger green, coyote brown and gray. It was definitely designed for bigger dogs with wider chest - Mia supposed to fit in their smallest harness by measurement but it ended up being just a bit too big for her.
You can see on the photo below how the chest part sits a little too low and that the front straps are slightly going across the shoulders instead of being around the neck. While it seems it sits a little low on other dogs as well, keep in mind that it would fit Mia better if we would have ordered a custom size for her that OneTigris also offers for smaller dogs.
Both the handle, and the leash attachment point are positioned on the front part on the back (close to the neck). After doing a questionnaire among 100+ people, it seems that many people feel that this provides them a better steering power and more precise control over the dog during training.
While this is probably true, I found that having the attachment point farther back is much better for hiking and to ensure that the harness distributes the weight of the dog evenly on the chest instead of behaving like an oversized collar and putting pressure on the lower neck. There are just different priorities for everyone so it’s usually a good idea to determine yours first before buying any harness.
I think it is better to think about this harness as a vest which can also be used as a harness and not the other way around. If I would have a service dog or for whatever reason I would need to display text on the dog - this harness is great for that. It probably also works well if you do IPO or other sports where you want to grab the dog easily which is I think the original motivation behind this harness.
While I find it useful that the harness is water resistant and light, this wouldn’t be my first pick for hiking. It’s not visible and would probably get stuck on bushes - especially the handle standing on the top. I wouldn’t suggest using it for daily walks with a dog who pulls because it’s just much harder to distribute the weight on the chest plate properly with attaching the leash closer to the neck. My experience is that the chest part of the harnesses with the same attachment points are usually sliding up when the dog pulls and they put too much pressure on the lower neck but this can be different on a wide chested, big dog.
Long story short, I would be interested to check out the same harness with leash attachment options closer to the neck and also on the far back of the top part.
There is always a tradeoff when the chest straps are sitting farther behind the dog’s front legs: while this ensures the free movement of the front legs and not rubbing the armpits, it will slide up when you are pulling the dog forward by the leash. This isn’t really an issue but can look weird if your dog is usually behind you or stops sniffing on every corner and you have to pull the leash to keep moving.
Functionality Review of the harness
No-pull correction: There isn’t a no-pull front ring on this harness.
Running/Biking: I wouldn’t use it for pulling sports. If the leash is attached to you or to a bike, it will pull the harness up in an angle which will probably move the chest plate part higher up and put too much pressure on the lower neck.
Hiking: I would use a more visible harness for hiking and would also prefer one with the leash attachment point farther back. It doesn’t really fit into the product line of OneTigris but maybe it would be nice to come out with a visible version of this harness for people who hike in hunting season or for people with service dogs.
City walk: Works well.
Easy to put on/adjust: all the straps are adjustable and all of them has buckles.
Visibility: This harness is the opposite of visible but that’s intentional.
Credit: Dog Gear Review