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

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

It costs as little as $7 to charge an EV at home. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Electric Vehicles a rare sight (in the Kootenays), but change on the way

Electric pickups will increase the appeal of zero-emission vehicles in years to come according to Blair Qualey of the New Car Dealers Association

Linda Krawczyk and her dad Doug Finney enjoyed a ride around beautiful Fernie on Friday thanks to Melanie Wrigglesworth and the local chapter of Cycling Without Age. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Cycling Without Age goes for its first spin

Doug Finney (86) got to enjoy a ride around Fernie

The Cranbrook Community Forest is good to go for mountain biking. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Snow’s done, time to hit the trails

South Country trails are good to go

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

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

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Most Read