Being an owner of an aggressive dog is challenging but ultimately rewarding to those with the patience to give their dog a chance at a happy life. When you’re at home managing an aggressive dog is a lot easier as you’re able to manage all the variables. The biggest challenge is faced outside – specifically during a walk or a place where other dogs are.
Jeff (the resident Jug Dog) is not an aggressive dog in the slightest but we have still encountered many aggressive dogs during a walk, thankfully nothing terrible ever happened but it has given us some great insight into the challenges faced by owners of aggressive dogs.
If you know you have an aggressive dog and just want to skip to the best one we recommend then here you go. If you want to learn more about the benefits of aggressive dog vests then read on.
- Large Vest harness adjustable fits neck size upto 42cm (17inch), chest size 55-80cm (22-32inch)
Why should you get an aggressive dog warning vest
The greatest obstacle aggressive dog owners face in the outside world is unwanted attention from other dogs, dogs which are loose and untrained and inexperienced owners. It can be rare for owners to not face one of those things even on the shortest of walks. Therefore, to mitigate the dangers of other dogs giving your dog unwanted attention is by making it clear that they shouldn’t come near you and your dog.
The International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour summarise something most owners of intrusive dogs have heard which is “It’s fine! He/she just wants to be friends!”. It isn’t fine. You want to be left alone. How can you get the message across? You can’t tell dogs to stay away so you’re going to have to make it clear to the owners- one of these methods is an aggressive dog warning vest.
There are other things you can do and buy to help even more but this article will be focusing solely on the vests.
What is an aggressive dog warning vest?
An aggressive dog warning vest is structurally nothing different to normal vests or harnesses. The key difference is the coloring and words on it. Dog warning accessories use a traffic light colouring system – green, yellow and red and manufacturers apply this to their vests. The aim is for your dog’s vest to stand out from a distance and for owners of wandering dogs to pay attention and hopefully keep them away.
What colour should an aggressive dog warning vest be?
There is a charity called Yellow Dog UK which specialises in clothing and accessories for dogs who need space with an emphasis and anxious dogs or dogs who are in the middle of rehabilitation.
We respect this organisation but feel it’s not wholly appropriate for aggressive dogs and think of yellow as ‘caution’ and not ‘danger’. An aggressive dog warning vest we feel needs to make it clear that getting near your dog may result in a dangerous situation and they need to give you some space.
Therefore, we feel an aggressive dog warning vest should be orange or red to denote the high risk your dog could post to dogs giving unwanted attention up close. Science Focus suggests that red has historically meant danger as it stands out the most against green. In modern times, a green backdrop would be most common during a walk. Let’s remember – the vest needs to stand out to the owner and not the dog as dogs have a limited spectrum of colour.
Best Aggressive Dog Warning Vests
These vests don’t need to be anything fancy but we’ve curated a list of a few different kinds so you’re able to get the one which fits you and your dog the most.
Dexil NO DOGS orange harness vest
This vest is one of our favourites because it easily gets the message across with the ‘NO DOGS’ words and the orange colour as well as being a pretty decent harness. With four different sizes available there should be one for any breed.
In our experience, a harness is a much easier way to handle a dog (over a lead) which gives it a further benefit over a simple vest or a coat. If the worst happens and you need to get a hold of your dog quickly and with power then a harness will help you do that humanely as the pressure is all on the chest and not the neck.
The drawback, however, is that from a distance it’s perhaps not totally obvious.
Dexil CAUTION warning coat
If you want to make it obvious beyond reasonable doubt that you don’t want any dogs near your dog then get them this plain red coat. It’s plain and functional (doubles as a waterproof coat) and a coat that can be used all year rounds even during rainy days. You will of course need to ensure you have a harness or a collar underneath as it doesn’t have any O/D rings to attach a lead to.
Drawbacks of an aggressive warning vest
These vests are a sensible and recommended purchase but they’re not a magic bullet which will suddenly give you and your dog peace and quiet on a walk. At the end of the day, the most effective way of keeping dogs safe is for every owner to take training seriously and always be aware of their surroundings.
A dog warning vest is only useful if other dog owners who see it understand what it means, otherwise it is completely ineffective. Therefore, if you make a purchase today we strongly recommend continuing your research into other methods of walking with an aggressive dog and perhaps consider other accessories such as muzzles, whistles.
Lastly, a common cause of dog aggression is a lack of socialising – a dog warning vest is unlikely to improve that situation and could potentially make it worse. If dogs always stay away from your dog how will they ever learn to socialise properly?
A vest to warn others that your dog may be aggressive is a very sensible idea and can make the difference between an incident and not. However, alone it won’t do much and it’s hard to rely on other owners to accommodate you so the responsibility is mostly on your shoulders. As such, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your walks with aggressive dogs:
- Go for walks at off-peak times
- Have a dog muzzle
- Allow your dog to slowly get closer to other dogs or they will always fear them
- Always give your dog treats when they do good
- Get a red coloured leads
- Always scan the environment to predict potential problems
Last update on 2021-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API