Qumox Fetch dog harness with camera mount

Qumox Fetch Dog Harness with GoPro Mount

It seems that nobody can make a cup of tea these days without filming it on a GoPro so the whole internet can re-live in first-person POV perspective. Recently though, both GoPro and a few other manufacturers have started to release harnesses so that the cameras can capture a dog’s perspective when mounted onto man’s best friend.

I do so much running with my border collie that I thought it would be fun, so A few weeks ago I bought a Qumox Fetch dog harness with a camera mount – there are a few on the market now but this is substantially cheaper than the ones from GoPro, and since it was just a bit of fun I ordered it from Amazon where you can pick one up for around €22.

A few weeks ago before the snow got really I bad I went for a run. You can see the results above but although the harness is good for a bit of fun, it’s not ideal for long periods of use.

Maybe I’m spoiled with the current (non-camera mountable) dog harness we use in general, the Ruffwear Web Master which has served well for a couple of years. The Qumox doesn’t fit very securely, despite me ordering the correct size, and is reliant on a loop of velcro over the front, which after running in the snow for an hour, gets clogged up and stops sticking meaning at the end I had to take the harness off  and run with it.

There is also a metal loop that sits behind the camera mount, which hits against the protective camera casing when the dog runs, creating an annoying noise which means if you’re not planning to overlay a soundtrack this could be a problem.

The main problem with a dog mounted camera is always going to be camera shake – as intelligent as Eric is, I couldn’t get him to frame shots correctly and hold still at all times – when he leaps into a gallop there’s really not much chance of seeing what’s going on – it is only when he’s trotting a steady pace that the captured footage becomes useable. I would expect this to be a problem on all harness however.

Finally, although the camera mounts fairly securely using the standard fixings you would expect after 5-10 minutes of running it is likely that the camera will have slipped forward in it’s mount, meaning it is more than likely capturing images of your dog’s back rather than the view ahead. This needed constant readjustment out on the trail.

Maybe the official GoPro version is much better – it does for instance have a raised mount which should in theory give a better view, but the extra leverage may exacerbate the camera shake.  However it is significantly more expensive so I think I will manage with what I’ve got for the time being.


Mad Dogs and Englishman

Well, it wasn’t quite the midday sun but it was definitely hot enough at 11am to make me think twice. Summer is definitely well underway in French Alps, the flies are out and the farmers are making hay while the sun shines.

I was out with our Border Collie, which are a notoriously heat intolerant breed so he struggled a bit despite me stopping at few cold streams along the way.

I need to get training for the heat in preparation for my upcoming ultras, but it might be a good idea to leave the poor old dog at home.

Running with a Dog

On Tuesday, we travelled over to Valence in the Rhône Valley and took ownership of a 12 month old Border Collie called Eric. His previous owner, an 84 year old man had recently died and he was being fostered. We’ve been on the lookout for a Border Collie for some time, checking on the puppies available on noticeboards at the vet, but Eric came through a friend of a friend and so we took the plunge.

Eric – ready for a run?

One of the attractions for me of a Border Collie was to have a dog that can come out into the mountains, and run for long periods over rough terrain, or hike all day. However, coming with a years worth of ‘baggage’, he’s got a lot to (un)learn so we’re keeping him on a leash for now.

I took him out yesterday for his first proper run. I did a short run up to the Mougious waterfall which he took in his stride. A couple of hundred metres shy of the waterfall, a deer shot out of the forest and across our path – Eric went crazy and tried to bolt after him, which pretty much vindicated my decision to keep him leashed.

Post-deer chasing Eric on his way home

The biggest problem I found was running with a short leash. I think the natural driving/herding instinct in a Border Collie means that he weaves from left to right a lot, and running with a short leash means I keep running into the back of him.

As usual, the internet is a helpful place and I’ve been given a lot of advice on running with dogs. I’m ordering a leash that will attach to a belt so I can run hand’s free and have a little more give when he stops or speeds up. I’ll review it on here when I’ve had chance to try it out.