Spiky armour helps protect pooches from larger animals

A small dog wearing a specialized harness called PredatorBwear. The harness was developed in North Vancouver and will be available for purchase next year. (PredatorBware photo)A small dog wearing a specialized harness called PredatorBwear. The harness was developed in North Vancouver and will be available for purchase next year. (PredatorBware photo)
(PredatorBware photo)(PredatorBware photo)
(PredatorBware photo)(PredatorBware photo)

A new B.C.-made product gives small dogs a better chance to fend for themselves against any attacks.

Veterinary professionals Alison Columbus and Janice Voth from North Vancouver have created PredatorBwear, a light-weight, water-resistant, spiked harness for small dogs.

The gear – which will be available for purchase in early January – comes with removable plastic spikes, adjustable straps and reflective strips. It is also washable and has a mesh ventilation system.

Columbus said she and Voth decided to create PredatorBwear after they noticed many smaller dogs being attacked in parks and wanted to create something that would give them some added protection.

“We have seen many dogs that have been attacked by other bigger dogs so we thought we could come up with something that would protect them a little bit,” Columbus said.

While the inspiration was to protect smaller dogs from bigger dogs, the harness is designed to prevent attacks from wild animals such as cougars, coyotes and birds.

“We researched where coyotes and birds of prey and other dogs actually attack a smaller dog. They go for the neck, they go for the back and they try to carry the dog away to a secondary location,” Columbus said. “We tried to make something that would prevent that from happening.”

Development of the PredatorBwear took about a year. Voth said one area of concern during the development phase was ensuring that the harness wouldn’t restrict the dog’s breathing or cause overheating.

“It has got mesh between the spikes as well so it is totally breathable,” she said. “That is one thing that we were focusing on because we know that other harnesses and jackets can get hot in the summer and the dogs can overheat.”

READ ALSO: Bertie the ‘Wonder Dog’ survives 11 days on B.C. mountain

Columbus and Voth also opted to limit product testing so as not to cause any harm.

“We cannot humanely test it because we wouldn’t want to hurt the smaller dogs,” Columbus said. “It would be very stressful to have a big dog come at them, but we have done a lot of research as to where these predators attack the dogs and we’ve placed the spikes in those spots, so the thinking behind it is that the coyotes, if they go to grab the dog, they are going to get a mouth of spikes instead of the dog and they will drop the dog.”

At the end of the day, Columbus said the harness won’t prevent an attack, particularly from large animals such as a bear, but it will give smaller dogs a chance to escape from bird, coyote and cougar attacks.

“It’s not going to prevent an attack because they are wild animals, so who knows what will happen, but it will keep them safer from an attack if it were to happen,” she said.

READ ALSO: Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

READ ALSO: Cougar attack on dog prompts warning

READ ALSO: Wolf attacks dog in Vancouver Island First Nation community







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

(Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: Town of Smithers lifts alert for high levels of chlorine in water

Residents are advised town water is now safe to use

Garry Merkel has been recognized for his work in culturally appropriate Indigenous education with an honourary doctorate from the University of British Columbia.
Tahltan educator recognized with honorary doctorate from UBC

Garry Merkel has dedicated his life to improving Indigenous educational outcomes

Gareth Manderson, general manager BC Works, and Bandstra’s Zach Runions and Steve Collins. Photo supplied
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada buys 65M Pfizer booster shots for protection against COVID-19 variants

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the deal with Pfizer includes options to add 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and an option for 60 million doses in 2024

A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)
#FireBenning movement gets off the ground in Metro Vancouver

Canucks fans raise enough money to fly banner over Metro Vancouver asking for team GM to be canned

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday February 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to announce travel restrictions today to limit COVID-19 spread

Mike Farnworth is expected to give details of what the government views as essential travel

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
UPDATED: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

Most Read