You might have noticed I don’t review much gear, myself, lately. I got into this thing where I just like to keep the good gear to myself so I look trendy and on point and everyone’s asking me where I get my stuff but I never tell them because I like being the only person to have [thing]. Since I got the Noxgear LightHound harnesses because someone else I know has them, I guess it’s only fair that I share (my knowledge. I will not share my harnesses).
I have a lot of dogs with all kinds of dog jobs. From search and rescue to narcotics detection to competitive obedience, I’m always doing something with my dogs. When we aren’t competing or working, we’re traveling or having fun outside. Because it’s deep dark winter and I live in the deep dark woods, this means a lot of, well, darkness. I’m one of the (apparently quite rare) dog owners who needs to know exactly where my dog is AT. ALL. TIMES. When I let them outside into the woods, I need to know where they are. I don’t just let them roam out of my sight. EVER. Which none of you should be doing either! For real! Keep your eyes on your dog. No one else wants to deal with them. It is your job to make sure you know where they are and what they are doing ALWAYS. Get it?
OK, um, so, anyway. When I let them out and it’s pitch black I want to know where they are. When I’m working search and rescue I want to be able to see where my dog is for so many reasons of quite fundamental self evidence that I won’t even bother to painfully spell it all out. When I’m leash walking my dogs (remember leashes, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) I would like passers-by, vehicular and pedestrian, to see us coming. In the past I’ve used glow collars, lights on collars, strobe lights on collars, light sticks, even a flashlight clipped to the collar in a pinch – but nothing has held a candle to the LightHound.
These harnesses ensure that your dog is visible from all four sides. Rechargeable LEDs of eight different selectable colors (I take this as permission I can have eight dogs) create a halo of light around the pooch. I have each harness programmed to a different color so I can tell at a glance which dog is which in the dark. The harnesses also allow the user to program strobe, flashing, psychedelic, and slowly morphing color changes, as well as a few pre-programmed color change modes that are a little too cutesy for me: Disco Dog, Rainbow, Rescue, Independence Day, etc. Those are a little, um, too much for me though once I did have fun turning all the harnesses to psychedelic strobe and letting the dogs run around in the dark. Then I had to go lie down for a while.
They run for a good long while in between charges; the company line is “up to twelve hours” and that’s fair. I charge mine every week or so.
The one hiccup is the sizing. The sizing is weird. My dogs are all about fifty pounds. They wear size medium, but my stoutest dog at 53 lbs is on the VERY edge of being able to wear the medium because the chest strap is as long as it can go (yet there’s still room to move on the neck strap). My most slender dog, my 16 month old pup, is also 53 lbs and has plenty of slack in both straps in the Medium. I’m betting the Large would have WAY too much slack in the neck strap, which is a problem because the retention system meant to keep the slack from flapping is inadequate (and made of Velcro – blech).
Despite those flaws, I don’t think I can live without these harnesses. They are on amazing super sale right now (which might mean they are about to either be discontinued or massively improved/changed) for $39.99 with free shipping which is about 40% off. I just bought a few new ones on that sale so I am OK with sharing the info. This is one of the rare items I will review that I didn’t receive as a sample specifically for review. I just really like them.