Whole Dog Journal’s 2022 Dog Gear of The Year

The most exciting and useful dog products you can use in the new year.

dog gear


I was examining a nice-looking harness at a pet products show when the sales representative caught my attention – hook, line, and sinker – by demonstrating the most unique feature I’ve ever seen on a dog harness: buckles that you can fasten and release with just one hand (and your eyes closed!). What is this sorcery?

belka harness buckle details
The Belka harness straps uses magnets to strongly secure, and it’s easy to release when you’re ready to take it off.

Thanks to the magic of embedded magnets in the metal buckles of Curli’s Belka Comfort Harness, these buckles fasten themselves in a flash, lift off just as quickly by pulling a tab, and yet hold the harness on the dog super securely. While I like almost everything else about this harness, these quick-on, quick-off buckles make this a game-changer for anyone whose dog is difficult to dress, or who has difficulty manipulating regular metal or plastic quick-release buckles. (Here is a link to video of the buckles being fastened and unfastened so you can see the magic for yourself.)

The Belka provides two generously sized D-rings for attaching a leash: one at the back of the neck (better for guiding the dog) and one at the back of the harness (for use on a longer leash). It also features a large handle – great for lifting or just holding a dog closely in case of emergency.

back detail of belka harness
The Belka harness doesn’t adjust around the neck, so measure your dog before choosing the size.

This harness comes in five sizes (XS – XL). The Belka slips over the dog’s head and is not adjustable at the neck (to keep the harness light), but it’s tailored nicely; as long as you check both measurements (the dog’s head circumference as well as his girth) on Curli’s online sizing chart, you’ll find it fits beautifully.

My dogs have the same chest size (girth) but Woody’s head and neck are much thicker than Otto’s. While the Large fits Otto well, the XL would have been a better for Woody, whose head measurement almost exceeded the sizing for Large, resulting in a too-snug fit around his shoulders. – Nancy Kerns


  1. Do these harnesses control dogs who pull? I generally find harnesses that attach to the leash from the front give somewhat more and easier control than those that attach from the top and it is not clear to me how these harnesses attach to the leash. Thank you!!

    • The Baumutt In.Line Harness has a unique attachment point on the front of the harness, making it perfect to manage dogs who are still learning not to pull. If has an extra attachment point on the back of the harness for when they behaving better 🙂

  2. The Heyday beds look nice and practical. That said, for BIG dogs (mine is 100lbs) I’d like to recommend the Big Barker line of orthopedic beds specifically made for the needs of big/heavy dogs. WDJ please check them out!

    • I got both of my dogs Kopek’s orthopedic beds even though they are still young. I bought one for Ramses when he was 12 and should have bought one much sooner. Not only is the foam great but it has both an outer microfiber cover that washes beautifully and in inner waterproof liner that is also washable. I originally got Ramses a DogBeds4Less for the bedroom and that was also very good and fit quite well next to the bed. Also with both a cover and liner and good foam mattress. He had that in the bedroom and his Kopeks in the living room. When I got Freyja I bought her a round Kopek’s and this morning when I woke up she was sleeping in it. She hasn’t done that for months but I guess with the cold weather she wanted a bit of warmth and to be closer to me. Diana is still sleeping in the bed so she has an Olympic Queen Serta or Sealy or whatever it is with a memory foam topper. Her Kopek’s is in the living room.

  3. I think both Diana pawPrints and Freyja Grey are in Kurgo, Freyja inheriting the harness Diana grew out of. I bought both because they were so highly rated for the car. I can put them in any harness for walking but for the car I want a harness that is the best rated in case of accident. They don’t like being buckled in but who does? It’s for their own good and I don’t want them flying through a windshield because a quick release buckle broke. I research from time to time but every time, those quick release buckles no matter what the design fail in car accident tests. I believe Diana’s large Kurgo has an infinity loop to secure her. Freyja’s smaller harness has metal tabs that go through metal loops to secure her. Sure it’s more difficult as she is a spinner, but it is a small price to pay for their safety.

  4. It’s so nice to see Otto modeling again. I’ve been an Otto fan since first graced WDJ’s pages. I just adore him.
    About doggy seat-belt harnesses, traveling in a crate has been proven to be much safer. Having said that, I admit to using a harness more often because I’m an inconsistent human being. Rufus, too, is a spinner. We get around that problem by attaching the harness to the seatbelt with a rotating hook cut from an old leash.

  5. As a professional trainer that routinely utilizes harnesses and recommends that my clients do as well, I have observed a lack of choices when it comes to harness, including this one as described. Yes, there’s tons on the market, but when looking for correct sizing (almost impossible to find for dogs under 10 lbs), that ALSO have a neck adjustment and release and a front buckle attachment for the leash, the choices are very, very few. More harnesses need to have the neck adjustment and release because there’s many dogs that are fearful of equipment going over their head. I’m at the point where I think I need to design my own just to offer these options. Currently the 3 n 1 harness accomplishes this but is limited for use in smaller breeds.

  6. Vêtements de tailles pour petits et grands chiens dans une variété de styles et d’imprimés
    Ne vous contentez pas d’habiller votre chien, habillez-le avec style avec les vêtements et accessoires de Dog Love Design…