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

The firefighters at the Mesachie Lake fire hall could soon be working out of a new retrofitted building if the Cowichan V alley Regional District is successful with its application for a $350,000 federal grant to fund the project. (File photo)
Major retrofit planned for Mesachie Lake fire hall

CVRD applies for $350,000 federal grant

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy requires emergency treatment 3 times after ingesting drugs from Chemainus parks

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

The Cowichan Valley School District is holding an online session to discuss the future of Koksilah Elementary School, closed since 2013. (File photo)
What’s the future of the old Koksilah Elementary School?

The district is hoping to collect feedback on options for the future of the school.

Jim Neiser of Neiser Sales, Service & Rentals Ltd. died suddenly on Jan. 4. after suffering an apparent cardiac event at work. (Submitted photo)
Prominent Lake Cowichan businessman Jim Neiser dead at 63

Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day said the long-time laker will be missed.

The Judy Hill Gallery took home top prize for its window display during the Christmas season from the Downtown Duncan BIA. (Submitted photo)
Business notes: Judy Hill Gallery wins festive window display contest

A look at what’s going on in the Cowichan business community

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

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

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Emergency crews were called to a semi-truck crash along the Trans-Canada Highway at Oyster Sto’Lo Road on Friday, Jan. 22. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Semi truck crashes off the side of the highway in Ladysmith

Driver taken to hospital as precaution after single-vehicle crash Friday

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

Most Read