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

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Nanaimo area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo councillors like new sustainable buying policy

Finance and audit committee recommends council approve new procurement policy

Action at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo sports organizations qualify for COVID-19 relief funding

Province announces support for curling, rowing, gymastics, softball, rugby, squash, football clubs

FOI records provided to the News Bulletin from the City of Nanaimo in 2018. (News Bulletin file photo)
Samra’s numerous FOI requests to City of Nanaimo aren’t ‘vexatious,’ privacy commissioner decides

Former CAO says records will assist her in a future B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read