If you landed here because you're looking for an honest, tried and tested Rogz Explore Harness review, you've hit the jackpot! My dogs and I are going to share with you everything you need to know…
But first let me tell you, that you're not the only one wondering about harnesses…
Recently I received an email from a reader asking me an important question…
Collar or harness?
And not long after that email, I got another one asking…
Pinch collar or harness?
Personally, I'd never use a pinch collar on a dog. And hands down, my personal preference is a harness. Over the years, I've used a range of different harnesses for my crew.
Later in this article, I'll share the reasons why experts believe a harness is the best choice for dogs. But first, in this Rogz Explore Harness review, I'll share 7 reasons why my dogs and I love this harness.
Rogz Explore Harness Review: 7 Reasons to Love it!
The Explore is the latest harness offering from Rogz. I happened to come across them at the hydrotherapist who works with my dogs. And to be honest, I'm more than pleased with the harness.
#1 – The Rogz Explore Has a Beautiful & Simple Design
I Love the User-Friendly Design of the Rogz Explore Harness. It's has a simple design. And that's one of the features I totally love about this harness!
It's designed with two padded sections (chest and back) joined with webbing material. And a second piece of webbing material with buckles to secure it around your dog's girth.
#2 – The Rogz Explore Harness is Easy to Fit
The Rogz Explore harness is straightforward to fit. Forget about trying to get your dog to step into it. Or even helping them place their paws through the right opening. Nope!
Except I did have one small hurdle (that's not really a problem), but I'll get to that later…
If you've used harnesses before, you'll know that some designs are not all that user-friendly. Mostly because if you don't store them just right, they knot, flip and tangle.
This is one of the biggest gripes I have with the Step-in harness and even the H-harness. But that's for a different article, let's get back to the Explore harness…
The Rogz Explore harness has only two buckles, one on each side. They snap into each other, and that's all you need to secure the harness. Really simple, really easy – just what I like!
Just slip the harness over your dog's head and buckle to secure around their body. It's so easy you'll be done before your dog has finished munching on that treat!
I'll be honest here and admit that I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to fit a harness and I end up fitting it upsidedown. I know, facepalm, right!?
Anyway, with the Rogz Explore harness, this is a non-issue!
#3 – 4 Adjustable Points for Extra Comfort
The Explore harness from Rogz has four adjustment points. Two points target the chest area and two target the shoulder area.
The simple design means the four adjustment points are enough to fine-tune and ensure the perfect fit.
Speaking of the perfect fit…
Remember earlier when I mentioned these harnesses are an easy fit, except for one small thing? Well, here it is…
#4 – The Rogz Explore has Roomy Sizing (except for one small thing…)
Rogz offers the Explore in 4 sizes. The XL (LumberJack) fit my GSD Zeze like a glove.
But I experienced one small snag…
Lexi is a GSD and Border Collie mix. She's my “limited edition” dog, known unofficially as a Shollie.
She's athletic and stocky with a low center of gravity. And her “unique” build posed a problem with the Explore.
These are the Explore sizes broken down…
NiteLife: Small – 370 to 480 mm or 14.5 to 19 inches.
Snake: Medium – 430 to 590 mm or 17 to 23 inches.
Fanbelt: Large – 530 to 730 mm or 21 to 29 inches.
LumberJack: XL – 660 to 950 mm or 26 to 37.5 inches.
Here's the thing…
Lexi's girth is precisely 740mm. So technically she should fit comfortably into the “Lumberjack” or X-Large Rogz Explore harness. But she didn't…
With adjustments, it fit perfectly around her girth. But the issue I found was that the chest padding was too loose and moved around.
This might not sound like a big issue, but if Lexi is going to be wearing her harness for an entire day, you can bet there will be chaffing, with red, swollen armpits. Especially when you add water into the mix. That's the last thing she needs, or I want.
The “Fanbelt” or Large harness fit perfectly around her chest area but was too small around her girth.
So, to meet Lexi's specific needs, I went rogue…
I know the girth webbing of one of her old Rogz harnesses is a maximum of 750mm. So unpicked Lexi's old Rogz harness and saved the girth webbing.
Then I visited our local cobbler with the webbing and the Explore harness. I paid him a couple of bucks to replace the Explore's girth webbing with the longer piece I got from her old harness and reattach the buckles.
And from the picture below, you can see the modification I had made. Now the Explore “Fanbelt” harness fits Lexi perfectly!
You might be wondering why I'd go to all this trouble to find the perfect fit with this harness from Rogz…
I mean, why would I choose to modify a harness to fit my dog when I had a perfectly good harness already.
Well, the plain and simple truth is that I absolutely love this Explore harness from Rogz that much!
And to be fair, most folks won't need to go to these lengths to have the pleasure of using the Rogz Explore. But just so that you know it is possible to make an adjustment to fit a unique-shaped dog like my Lexi.
#5 – I Love the Two-Point Steering and Control
The Rogz Explore harness has a lot going for it. And the two-point steering is one of those features I just can't do without.
You see, when Zeze and Lexi are together, they compete and pull to be in “first place.” That's 145 lbs pulling me along like a rag doll. But, get them alone, and each one is calm as a clam.
And this is where the Rogz Explore really shines for me…
With the dual D-ring attachments at the chest and below the shoulders, and the Rogz Multi-Lead, I can easily walk my two highly competitive dogs with ease.
From the image above, you can see how the Multi-Lead and harness work together. Making this a match made in heaven.
The dual connections mean more comfortable steering on hikes and walks that require fine maneuvering. But if your dog is a lunger or puller, this is the ideal way to manage this while training to walk loose-leash.
And the soft neoprene handle is an excellent way to assist your dog over obstacles, in and out of the car and gives easy-access control in high traffic areas.
#6 – The Rogz Explore is Über Comfortable
Considering comfort when it comes to a dog harness is essential. And I think the uncomplicated design of the Explore harness meets this need to a T.
Both the chest and shoulder sections are padded for extra comfort. And they are lined with a breathable diamond mesh material. The amount of padding is just right to promote comfort and keep your dog cool at the same time.
Some folks believe that a harness restricts a dog's movement. And to be fair, a poorly designed harness will do just that.
My dogs will happily wear their harnesses for hours while playing a high-energy game, working, and just being dogs. I've observed, and even video recorded their movement while wearing their harnesses during play.
And I feel confident that these harnesses don't restrict their movement. I do recommend taking some time to fit your dog's harness just right.
The easiest way is to gauge the size, fit the harness, and then make small adjustments while your dog is wearing it.
#7 – Additional Things I Love About the Rogz Explore Harness
If you like your dogs to wear tags, you'll be happy to know that Rogz has added a little attachment for ID-tags.
And of course, no Rogz harness would be complete without the reflective yarn that's woven into the webbing and piping. Yes, wearing the Explore harness, your dog will be visible even at night!
Should You Buy the Rogz Explore Harness?
My answer is a simple and resounding, yes!
It's got a high-end design, it's comfortable, light and breathable. All the things that are important when choosing a harness for your dog.
But as I mentioned before, the harness really shines for me when it comes to curbing erratic pulling. I'm thrilled with the investment I made in these harnesses for my dogs.
And so, this Rogz Explore Harness review would not be complete without talking about the Rogz Utility Multi-Purpose Leash…
Rogz Utility Multi-Purpose Leash
This leash is made with double nylon, so it's strong enough to handle the biggest dogs. And although it's strong, the nylon is soft enough to be kind to your hands.
It comes with two tough-as-nails chrome trigger hooks. As well as two D-rings and an O-ring.
Rogz market this leash as a 6-in-1 product. But actually, it's a 7-in-1 leash because of the no-pull function (well, in my opinion anyway). It looks like a regular leash, but the strategically placed rings offer you multiple uses…
The No-Pull Steering Leash
The no-pull function (or two-point steering) of the Explore harness and the Multi-Purpose leash combo makes me really happy.
And using this option couldn't be easier. It's merely a matter of clipping one chrome trigger onto the chest clip and the other onto the shoulder clip of the Explore harness.
And voila! You have the perfect no-pull harness!
Using the leash, you have ample steering control because you can easily guide and redirect your dog's head without the dangers of a collar.
And I've found this combo works like a charm to eliminate pulling. And I couldn't be happier about this!
The Long Leash
Clipping the trigger hook through the nearest D-ring will give you the longest leash option and offers a 1.6 meter or 5-foot leash length.
The Medium Leash
To reduce the length of the leash to 1.3 meters or 4-feet, simply hook the chrome trigger into the second nearest D-ring.
The Short Leash
If you need to keep your dog close, like in high traffic areas. Or you have a reactive dog, you can shorten the leash to only 3-feet or 1 meter. This is quickly done by clipping the trigger into the D-ring closest to your dog's shoulder attachment.
The Shoulder Leash
Personally, I've never used this option, but I can totally see the value in it because a shoulder leash allows you to go hands-free!
To do this sling the leash over your shoulder and under your opposite arm. Then clip the trigger hook into the big O-ring. Yes, it's that simple!
This way you can manage your phone and enjoy your on-the-go coffee, while out with your dog.
The Double Leash
If you're walking two dogs and you're tired of tangled leashes, the double leash function of the Rogz Utility Multi-Purpose leash could be your answer.
I mean what's more simple than clipping a trigger hook onto your dog's harnesses. And that's all you need to do for the double leash option.
Temporary tie-outs are super useful. I like to use them often in various situations like:
- Potty training a new puppy or dog.
- To promote calmness in a specific situation like in the waiting room at the vet.
- When we're out on a hike or camping trip, and I need to keep my dogs close by but still give them room to roam.
And using the temporary tie-out option with this leash is as easy as looping the leash around a post and clipping the trigger hook into any one of the rings.
Should You Buy the Rogz Multi-Purpose Leash?
If you're using the Rogz Explore harness and you're looking for extra control, steering and a no-pull option they absolutely yes!
But even if you're not using the Explore harness, you can still benefit from the 6 different leash options including the temporary tie-out the leash has to offer.
And besides its robust design and multiple options, it's also reflective and beautifully made. I think this leash is well worth the investment.
Remember when I mentioned earlier, I'd be sharing reasons why I think a harness is the healthier alternative to a collar?
Well, now that my Rogz Explore harness review is said and done, let's look at those reasons.
And don't take my word for it, below I've reshared the opinions on the subject from well-known vets and universities…
6 Reasons Why You Should Ditch the Collar and Use a Harness for Your Dog
All it Takes is One “Jerk”
One jerk from a dog wearing a collar is all that it takes to cause severe damage to the delicate neck and throat area. That's according to Dr. Peter Dobias in his article “One Jerk can Cause a lot of Damage.”
If you have time, you should really check out the article. Dr. Dobias walks you through a few eye-watering experiments to give you some idea of how detrimental, uncomfortable and potentially damaging a dog collar can be.
He goes on to discuss 3 main reasons why he's anti-collar…
Reason #1 – Collar Injuries can Cause Hypothyroidism
Dr. Dobias cautions that a collar places pressure on the area where your dog's thyroid gland sits. And the gland can inadvertently be traumatized. Especially with a puller or lunging dog.
Over time the thyroid becomes inflamed and the body tries to remove the inflamed cells through the immune system. The problem is, this causes the destruction of the thyroid and has a cascading effect on thyroid hormones and the body.
Reason #2 – Collars can Cause Eye and Ear Injuries
In his article, Dr. Dobias notes that pressure from a collar can disturb the lymphatic flow to your dog's head. And this can, in turn, lead to eye and ear problems.
Reason #3 – Collar Injuries can Lead to Paw Licking and Lameness
Yes, you read that, right! Collars can cause excessive paw licking and lameness. Dr. Dobias explains that pulling against a collar causes odd sensations like pins and needles in a dog's paws.
Naturally, dogs will lick to soothe this sensation. In fact, Dr. Dobias says;
“I have seen many so-called allergic dogs or chronically lame dogs healing after they were put on a special harness.”
Not only that, but he also makes an excellent point about whiplash…
“Some dogs may get such severe whiplash injuries from being jerked around that they suffer severe neck misalignment. A neck injury can pretty much affect any part of the body, and if the energy flow deficit is severe, this can even predispose the individual to cancer.”
Reason #4 – Collar Injuries can Result in Laryngeal Paralysis
In an article on her site, Dr. Karen Becker echos Dr. Dobias' sentiments and says in her experience, if Laryngeal Paralysis is acquired and not genetic it can usually be traced back to “an acute leash accident involving the neck.”
And even a single traumatic accident to the neck can cause Laryngeal Paralysis years later.
Reason #5 – Collar Pressure Dangerously Increases Intraocular Pressure
A bunch of brilliant vets at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found during their study that eye pressure (Intraocular Pressure) is significantly increased when force is applied to the neck of dogs via a collar.
However, the same increase in eye pressure does not occur when force was applied to a harness-wearing dog.
This comment in the conclusion section of the study says it all…
“Intraocular pressure was significantly increased from baseline values when a force was applied to the neck via a leash to a collar, but not to a harness, in the dogs of this study.”
Reason #6 – Collar Trauma can Cause Neck Defects
Dr. Anders Hallgren was one of the world's first canine psychologists and is well-known for his gentle training approach.
In his 1991 research report on the connection between back problems and behavior issues in dogs, Dr. Hallgren notes that 91% of the dogs who had neck injuries were pulled, or allowed to pull for extended periods.
I've linked to the PDF of this study I managed to find here. And here's a quote from the study…
“…one of the clearest correlations in the whole study was
between cervical (neck) damages and ‘jerk and pull.' 91% of the dogs who had neck injuries had also been exposed to jerking on the leash by the owner or been allowed to pull hard on the leash for long periods.”
Back then, it was thanks to this research report that many dog clubs and trainers moved away from collars and choke chains in favor of the harness!
If these 6 reasons from top experts around the world are not reason enough to ditch the collar and start using a harness, I don't know what is!
The Conclusion to My Rogz Explore Harness Review
This article has helped you decide to make the switch to a harness. And if you're already using a harness, I hope my Rogz Explore harness review has shown you what an excellent investment it is.
But whether you decide to go with the Explore or a different harness, here's to wishing you happy trails and wagging tails!