We have a new puppy and can't wait to take him to TGO.

Since he's still growing he'll grow out of any harness that fits at the moment. I'm considering tying a harness out of webbing, but all instructions I've found so far require D rings, stitching and cutting.

But aside from my current needs I'd really like to know how to tie a makeshift hoist harness for my dog in case I ever need it.

How can I tie a one-piece harness out of webbing?

Some tidbits:

  • I don't really need/want a harness for everyday use or even a walking harness.
  • I want to be prepared for unforeseen situations (lowering him off a cliff comes to mind), so a rappelling/hoist harness is more like it.
  • I want to know how to tie one in case I need it.
  • For walking I prefer a simple collar over a chest harness (plus good education/training so he understands my commands) but a collar won't do if I ever need to lower him from a cliff.
  • Hopefully this will be a non-issue as soon as he stops growing and I can buy something that's safe and comfortable for him. However, further down the road I'd still like to know how to tie one in case we forget it, it breaks, or something similar.
  • 1
    what's wrong with stitching?
    – njzk2
    Sep 30, 2017 at 20:00
  • 1
    Whats the breed? for small breeds some harnesses can be regulated small enough for the puppy and at their maximum size could still fit the dog. If he Is a bigger dog then that wont work. One point is that with knots the harness will be extremely uncomfortable. As a small puppy you could get away with a figure 8 harness cut out of whatever material you have available. I know it can cost you a bit of money but did you think to buy an harness and once it wont fit anymore donate it to a shelter? Oct 1, 2017 at 20:14
  • A couple simple step in types for dogs are very similar to climbing rope harnesses. But they either put too much pressure on the sternum or they form a martigale that tightens around the chest too much, they all have poor control and dogs can slip out of them at rest. They arent that safe for the pet, even worse for a strong breed like yours, you would be better off with a collar at that point. A DIY D-style harness with padding and Drings will cover several sizes your pup will go through, its all about avoiding the knots hence the use of some hardware to bring them to size Oct 1, 2017 at 21:50
  • If you stand the dog butt-up you will see the rope harness but I dont mean lowering from cliffs, Im just talking about a walking harness. For climbing its all another game. Even some harnesses are bad if the dog is pulling back, some can pull out of anything that doesnt have a 3rd strap at the belly. On any harness you make or buy you will have to see if your dog can find a way out. I understand your position, been there... But a bad harness chafed our dog within a km, the result is that now I can sew a webbing+polar fleece X-back in a day and I always end having a spare as I made several... Oct 1, 2017 at 22:09
  • The edit makes things a lot clearer but you might want to specify that you are looking for a makeshift rappelling or hoist harness. At a minimum you will have to build a sort of "cargo net" with webbing that would work like hoist slings do... thats not something you put together in 5 minutes I saw pics of climbers using an harness without support for the rear half of the dog but I wouldnt trust my dog on something like that... K9 rescue units tend to go with full slings for safety reasons... Oct 4, 2017 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


Following these visual instructions you should be able to do this for your dog. The only caveat is you'll have to tuck in into their collar or hold the strap temporarily.

Source: http://www.animatedknots.com/harness/


Just to provide an alternative with rope, which does use cutting, multiple pieces and optional fastening, but is still rather simple and reusable.

How to make a slip knot

Without being there in person you may have to play around with this a bit to figure it out but it's not too difficult.

  1. Make a slip knot at both ends of 4 ropes or use straps with a looped fastening at both ends.
  2. While making the loop for last 2 ropes, thread the rope through the loops of one of the first two. This will connect 2 ropes at their loops, making a lens shape. Make sure to leave some slack rope on one of the loops to adjust.
  3. Using whichever knot you prefer, connect two of the lenses together at a point or use a ring/other type of fastening. Your pet will step through these two "holes" to get the harness on
  4. Part way up, using whichever knot you prefer, connect a rope running across the two inside parts of the lens, this will go across the front of your pet's chest.
  5. Finally place another knot, ring or other removal fastening of your choosing at the remaining tips of the 2 lens-shaped "rope rings". This will go behind your pet's back and is where you will attach a leash / rope / etc.

Combining these methods should be possible. If you try post a comment please!

Here is a one-piece version with webbing of my rope method. Note, all mention of right or left legs refers to their front legs. You could probably adapt this for a full body knot though.

  1. Lift the webbing between your dog's left armpit from behind, so that just enough is in front of them to wrap around toward the back of their neck with a bit extra. Hold the front end of the strap here. 1b. Alternatively, hold one end of the webbing behind the dog's neck, then guide the rest of the rolled up webbing around their neck, forward across their chest and under their left armpit. Same result.
  2. With the back end of the strap, wrap it over their back also and guide the roll in front of their chest, back behind their right armpit, and up to the back of the neck again.
  3. You now have two lengths of webbing running in along the front side of your dog's chest and one confused dog. Wrap the webbing around from back to chest behind their left leg and pull it through the front facing strap of their right leg.
  4. Keep wrapping back toward the spot behind their left leg and pull the strap across the under side of their chest, coming above their back on the right side and wrapping toward the front-facing side on the left side.
  5. Thread the strap through the front-facing left strap that is across their chest, wrapping toward the under side behind the right leg.
  6. Finally bring the strap up to the one you're holding at their back and wrap one more time around the underside back up to the back.
  7. Cinch it all together on top or hook both sides of the webbing to whatever. You're good to go.
  • 1
    you used this for your dog? Oct 31, 2017 at 11:47

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