Dog Seatbelts: The Champion System

You can find a dog seat belt in any pet shop. You cannot, however, find a quality dog seat belt so easily. I spent a significant amount of time researching the performance statistics of various brands, and the best has, and probably always will be, Champion.

Why is a seatbelt necessary? A low speed collision can have a detrimental impact on your dog if they aren't properly restrained. Champion's safety system can actually withstand this impact, which is why they are so popular with dog lovers.

  • How strong is the harness? The large harnesses can withstand up to 2000 pounds of exerted force. That's a whole heck of a lot. The harness also has extra wide straps, to help distribute the impact evenly. They are 50% wider than the average walking harness. It also has a very strong swivel snap. It's smooth and rounded, so it won't pose a problem for your dog if he moves around and steps on it.

  • How do you connect it? Once the harness is on your dog, two metal rings will be accessible from their back. All you have to do is take the Restraint Strap and clip its swivel hook through those rings. You can shorten the swivel lead to whatever length you want. It's entirely possible to keep it at a length where your dog can sit, stand or turn around comfortably.

  • Can the halter be used for walking? Yes, absolutely. They might be a bit heavy for some dogs, but it's certainly possible. Just connect your leash through those two harness hoops and you're all set.

  • What size does it come in? There are 5 basic sizes available and their site has a guide to help you determine which one your dog needs. They tell you how to measure your dog's chest, and they also recommend by weight. If you have a dog over 100 pounds, they have a special system you may want to consider. Additionally, if your dog is a puppy, they have combination packages available to accommodate a growing dog.

  • It may be the law where you live. California requires dogs be tethered in moving vehicles. There are likely additional states requiring this, as pet distractions rank high on the list of causes of traffic accidents. If you're required to have one anyway, you might as well get one that can actually fulfill its purpose and save your dog's life.

  • How much do they cost? These are highly affordable and very durable. They average $35 dollars and are worth every single penny. They even come with a 30 day money back guarantee.

  • How do I order? You can order online at www.champk-9.com and pay by credit card or check. If you'd like to place an international order, you may do so via their EU partner site www.championswitzerland.com. I've been using this system for a year now, and I highly recommend it. They are durable and effective. Your dog deserves the same kind of protection you do - they're family, after all! xx Isabella

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Comments 14 comments

Abby the greyhoun 7 years ago

I like the Champion System. I have looked around and done some research. The Champion system is the best. Some people had bad experience in the past with slow customer service. I was a bit worried at first.

But the USAk9outfitter, who manufactures and sells the product has really made improvement in their customer service. I placed an order early feb 2009 and I got the product within 10 days. The customer service person is easy to reach and she has been very helpful. My exchange was easily made and it's already on the way.

I definitely recommend this system to dog lovers.


Rodrigo 8 years ago

Seat belts are great for dogs


Val 8 years ago

This does not pertain to the Champion system specifically, but there's another reason to restrain a dog besides the injury potential inside the vehicle in an accident. If dogs are secured to the vehicle's seat belt system, they cannot jump out when the doors are opened by the occupants or rescuers. The aftermath of an accident is a chaotic and frightening time for everyone. The accident victims may not be able to handle pets at that point and might not even be able to tell rescuers there are loose (or insufficiently restrained) pets in the vehicle.

My cousin's dog was killed after a fairly minor car accident when the back door was opened to remove the children. The dog was loose in the car and jumped out in terror, right into the path of oncoming traffic where he was hit and killed in front of his family. No matter whether you're driving 2 miles or 200, always restrain your pets.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 9 years ago Author

I agree, Astro!


Astro 9 years ago

Regarding Contrary's comment: "...So the dog is going to fly a few feet and then be stopped abruptly.", this is not true. Firstly the retsraint strap is not that long. Secondly, in an accident situation there are a number of factors which come into play which will absorb energy - the restraint strap (which is real seat belt material) as it stretches, the harness itself and the dog's body. If the harness is snug and the strap not too long, then it will do a very good job in protectig your dog and gradually (over some milliseconds) bring your dog to a halt.

If some owners want a long restraint strap so their dog has more freedom to move around, well, the point of using a seat belt system is gone. The dog does need to be restricted, there is no way around it when safety is the question.

Yes, I do have the Champion Canine Seat Belt System, and no, I don't think there is a better dog seat belt system on the market. It is an extremely well designed product. You can see that the first time you get it in your hands!


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 9 years ago Author

If you think having a dog unrestrained in a car is better for their safety than having them restrained with this system, that's certainly your prerogative. If you have evidence this system is low quality and is worse than another system, by all means, share your evidence. If you have evidence another system outperforms this one, or that another system "works" feel free to share that as well.


Contrary 9 years ago

I looked at the web site, and there's one thing I see really lacking - namely, any suggestion that this actually works in an accident.

Remember, it's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the bottom. A seat belt has to be SNUG to protect you, so you stop as the car is stopping, with the crumple zones absorbing the impact. That's why they're spring-loaded and auto-retracting. (Many seat belts have tensioners that actually yank you back at the beginning of a collision.)

If you fly for a distance and then a seat belt catches you, you'll have injuries. Not as much as if you hit something sharp, but just as much as if you hit something solid.

And I just don't see how it works on a dog. A dog, being lighter, can take higher Gs without breaking anything, but there's all that anchor strap floating around loose, and I don't see any shock-absorbing capacity. So the dog is going to fly a few feet and then be stopped abruptly.

Maybe the harness is better than a window, but internal injuries (the really dangerous ones) don't care.

For driver safety, the utility is obvious, but I don't see a single test result or testimonial backing up the claim that you echo that it's good for the dog's safety.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 9 years ago Author

Thank you! :)


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks Isabella, also, when there is an accident, this seat belt will protect them, they also deserve a belt, $35 is not bad great investment.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 9 years ago Author

Thanks, Tina! :)


Tina 9 years ago

Great idea, thanks for posting. It scary having them running around while you are driving - and most drivers just let it happen. Having them lose can cause them them to get hurt (and their owners too).


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 9 years ago Author

Thanks to both of you! :))


ChristineRitter profile image

ChristineRitter 9 years ago from Ohio

I think it's wise to have your dog seat-belted in. Good information !


Fretbuzz 9 years ago

Excellent piece, Isa. Most people don't think of this.

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