Product Review: GoPro Fetch Dog Harness [Video]
What’s the perfect accessory for a dog on the go? A GoPro Fetch Dog Harness! That’s we gave it to Kevin Roberts, our resident over-active dog dad, to test it out. He and his pack are serious explorers – from canoeing Canadian rivers to escaping civilization in the wooded wildness, there’s no where they won’t go. Let’s see if the GoPro Fetch can keep up with them and give us an idea of what it’s like to bravely go where few dogs have gone before!
I was very excited to get my hands on the GoPro Fetch Dog Harness. I have tried the other models of camera-mounted harnesses before and even constructed a few of DIY contraptions to get the dog’s eye view I wanted. But this one is from the makers of GoPro, the people who understand how their camera works, and understand how people want to use them (usually on the move or trying something adventurous). So I had high hopes for the GoPro Fetch Dog Harness.
The idea behind the GoPro Fetch Dog Harness ($59.99) is that you can experience the point of view from your dog. Any images captured are what your dog would be seeing during your excursion – it’s a new way to look at the world and what’s going on around you.
Construction of Fetch Dog Harness
The harness features three wide, elastic straps that are connected to a wide back and chest plate. Both plates are made of a rigid yet flexible rubber, with a comfortable padding on the underside that sits on your dog, and a GoPro clip to mount your camera to on the outside. The straps are generous and hold in place with clips. The clips hook onto the harness, so it’s pretty easy to get on the dog. No snaps or buckles to mess around with means more time outdoors recording our adventures!
I was happy to see that the rubber plates are soft enough to form to any of the dogs backs, and yet sturdy enough to form a good base for attaching the camera.
Options For Mounting
Once the harness is fastened on your dog, you can mount the camera to the dog’s chest, or back. You can get creative with the settings on your GoPro and angle the attachments anyway you want. With the wide angle of the GoPro, I found I didn’t need to do too much adjusting to get some awesome shots from the dogs.
How Does It Fit?
The GoPro Fetch advertises that it fits small to large dogs. We had an assortment of dogs to try the GoPro Fetch on, because I wanted to see how it performed on dogs of all sizes. The smallest was Mighty Max, tipping the scales at 20 pounds, to 75-pound Burger. River and Belle filled in the middle ground, weighing in around the 50-pound mark.
We first tested the harness on Burger. He’s a big dog with a wide strong back and a strapping wide chest. The harness fit snugly on him, and after about 30 seconds and some treats, he accepted it with no problem.
There is nowhere to attach a leash to this harness, and I certainly would not recommend you try it. It’s designed to hold a camera in place, not restrain your dog.
After Burger took a turn wearing the harness, River and Belle got in on the action. I was worried that the harness stretch after being attached to the bigger dogs and wouldn’t fit on Max. After all, Max is smaller than Burger’s head!
Well, my fears were unfounded. The harness fit Max and the elastic straps were easily adjustable. If you have only one small dog, you could likely cut or hem the straps so they are not so long. With Max, I had to do some creative tucking in order for him to not trail the harness straps behind him.
How Did It Work?
The harness worked well (check out the video below to see for yourself). The GoPro Fetch worked extremely well when the dogs were walking around casually, such as in the backyard or the farmers’ market. I found the walking pace of the dogs made for some excellent filming!
Even when a dog is sitting still and the world is going by, the GoPro Fetch is able to capture some cool footage. I strapped it to Belle on a recent canoe trip, and the perspective of the river and surrounding sites were fun – you can see her ears in the shot, and the footage was pretty smooth.
When we stopped for lunch on this canoe trip, Belle wore the harness on her chest. She went crashing through the brush. Because she really isn’t that tall, most of the footage was not useable. We got a ton of crashing and bashing of plants and sticks into the camera. In fact, when Belle emerged from the brush, she had leaves caught between the camera and the harness.
We also put the camera on River when we went out biking. She loves to run along with the bikes and cruises at speeds of upwards of 19 miles/hour. We were on a relatively flat surface, but due to River’s speed, the video captured was a bit shaky!
With the camera mounted high up on the dogs’ backs, we did notice that the set-up had a tendency to slip down to the side a little. We only had trouble keeping the straps tight when they were wet. A biking trip with River in the rain and Burger on the beach meant that the harness needed to be adjusted. When Burger crashed through the water, his legs came up through the front straps, and the whole harness slid down his back. You’ll have to readjust when your dog comes out of the water, but it’s worth the underwater view.
We put this harness through its paces. It went where our dogs went, and we took it out in all sorts of conditions. After a few weeks of testing it, the harness was filthy. But the good news is, the GoPro Fetch harness is machine washable. We threw it in the wash with our muddy clothes, and hung it up to dry… and it was good as new!
Would I recommend it?
Yes! For $59.99 this harness is well worth it. You won’t be shooting all your footage from your dog’s back, but the perspective is going to make your videos and social media posts a lot more fun! You can also incorporate cool ideas to add to conventional videos (we mounted it on River backwards to get a shot of his tail and the bikers behind him).
For a dog who loves to have a job to do, such as pulling in harness and carrying a backpack, a camera is an easy transition. Your dog will enjoy it, and so you will you!
Now get out there and play with your dogs… and film some of it, too!
Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: "Get outside and play with your dogs!
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