Oz Working Dogs - Assistance & Working Dog Equipment

For assistance/service dog equipment, as well as guide, therapy, detection, search & rescue, police and dogs in training equipment check out my website http://www.ozworkingdogs.com.au - I make and sell vests, capes, belly bands, harnesses, handles and more... and will post to the world!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My first prototype - an assistance dog vest/belly band

Well, Knightley got to play fashion dog model last night. After starting two days ago and with a few hiccups I have produced my first prototype. I wanted to start with something easy to sew, so chose a small vest/belly band. It is padded, has two layers of 1000 denier Cordura, adjustable two ways - and has a single D ring for a leash attachment and an optional handle (note, not for mobility reasons, only for holding your dog!). Earlier yesterday I finished the main part of it, and had Knightley show off that and took a bunch of photos, then later last night I added the D ring and nearly finished the handle too.

Padded assistance dog belly band/small vest, with D ring and handle. Best of all
for all you fellow Aussies.... made in Australia with Australian fabric too!
Click on the image to enlarge it and see the vest in more detail.
For a first effort I am very happy with it! I wasn't sure which side to put the male/female quick release plastic fasteners, so stuck to what Knightley's ActiveDogs vest already had. Now I think I would rather it the other way. Any input?

Knightley seemed very happy in it with no restriction of movement.

I was trying to get a photo where you could actually see the chest
strap, but really couldn't because of his growing fur! So I resorted
to the following pic...

Knightley in his 'relax' position. This way we can see the construction
of the vest as he lies on the ground. He seems to find all positions
very comfortable with it on. I would be happy to make Y chest versions
although I don't see the need with this one. If you notice, I have placed
the chest straps fairly high up so they shouldn't interfere with shoulder
movement, and this isn't a mobility type vest anyway and the straps
shouldn't need to be fastened tightly.
This version would come in blue or red. Or black if you wanted. And I am considering optional mesh pockets on the side, and if you wanted a black vest I would give it blue pockets to give it some colour. At the moment I would only be taking Australian customers until I get set up a bit more. So if anyone is interested in this, and any more designs to come, let me know either here or by emailing downunder (dot) assistance (dot) dog (at) gmail (dot) com !

Any comments on the design please do tell me. This is just a prototype as I said so is open to improvement!


  1. Wow Lyssa great job. I would definately be interested in a red one. Its so hard to get these and while I do have a few I do like having a few choices for my girl especially since she is wearing them everyday.

    How much would you be selling them for?? Also wondering if they would be able to be worn over a harness. My girl wears a sensible harness when on duty. with her vest over it.

    1. What type of harness does she wear under her vests? As long as it fits fairly close to her body I imagine it would likely be fine. As I said, this one is designed to fit fairly loosely anyway, as it isn't meant to be used for mobility purposes, more for marking the dog as an assistance dog. It's quite a small vest too so is even less likely to interfere with a harness.

      I have some sketches of my other plans which I could re-do better as they are a little rough at the moment, and could scan them in so you could see if you like one of the other designs more.

      I'd be selling what you see in the photo for AU$30. With pockets AU$35. That is my preliminary pricing. That's without postage obviously, but you could pick it up if you wanted. If people wanted it for a very large dog like a great dane or newfie, I'd be adding another AU$3 on. For reference to those non Australians, AU$ and US$ are very similar at the moment.

    2. Hi Alyssa
      Wow i am very impressed with your sewing skills, i am interested to know how long it takes to make a belly band /vest from start to finish.
      You have a very good model in knighley to show it off,
      i have a new name for him " top dog ".
      The price you quote is very reasonable,i am sure the orders will come flooding in.

    3. Thanks for the vote of confidence! (btw, who are you??) Well, I've only made one and I was experimenting as I went and getting to know the sewing machine. The one above when I have it all formalised in sizes and all, and have pre-cut straps, I am guessing it will take maybe 30-45 minutes when I'm a bit more experienced depending upon size. At the moment I am slow! It took me several hours the first time around. The one I am making now is going much quicker but it is easier too.

  2. Happy for you. they are awesome and so nice to see something like this here. might share this if you don't mind. Also happy for my girl to be a model if you need another dog but she is alot smaller than knightley

    1. Please do share with as many people as you know! The only way this will be a success is if I can tap into the Australian market, which is what I will really be targeting.