Often, our New Year's Resolutions are to spend more time with our loved ones, so this year I spoiled myself with A GoPro Fetch Dog Harness to document our adventures. This is our story.
My two Spaniels, Ozzy and Shay are like family. I love spending time with them, so getting the Fetch was a real treat (pun intended). This epic dog lover’s gadget fits them comfortably as it comes with fully adjustable straps to customise the fit. Don’t fret if you have smaller or larger dogs as it’s made for small, medium and large dog breeds weighing 7-54 kg.
Putting the Fetch on for the first time can be tricky if your dogs are as energetic as mine, but once it’s adjusted to size, slipping it on is effortless. My dogs hardly even notice it anymore.
Over weekends, I usually take Ozzy and Shay to the park for some exercise. They have no problem running around and diving into ponds, which makes for interesting point-of-view (POV) shots and is why I love recording them. The straps are made from water-friendly material that can take some punishment without deteriorating, and to wash a rinse under the tap does the trick, but you can also throw it into the wash.
The Fetch has two mounting options: one on the chest and another on the back.
Each mounting plate is made from rigid yet flexible rubber, with comfortable padding on the underside that sits to your dog. Since my dogs have relatively short legs, I find using the back mount more rewarding, particularly for wide-angle headshots. Better yet, their large fluffy ears make for epic slow-motion ear flaps. The chest mount is for more immersive shots from your dog’s POV, and you can even remove it for smaller breeds.
When the dogs are running around, I recommend using high frame rates (like 1080p/60fps) for best results.
Still, the footage is surprisingly smooth given the fact that the camera is attached to the back of a dog. The trick is to make sure that the elastic belts fit nice and snug, yet not too tight. If the Fetch is fitted too loose, it results in lots of side-to-side movement. I think that using the Karma grip (a wearable gimbal stabiliser) will work great to counteract this movement, but I’ve not tried it yet.
The Fetch is compatible with all GoPro cameras and comes with a tether that prevents you from losing the camera in case it gets kicked off or loose. I wouldn’t recommend it for extreme use like hunting, but it works well for taking your dog swimming, running or frisbee throwing.
By JK Zorgman