Leashes, Collars, and Dogs, Oh My!

Leashes, Collars, and Dogs, Oh My!

Hello there, it’s Tiberius again. Time to issue another royal address. It’s come to my awareness that not everyone might realize the full importance of dog collars and leashes. The simple truth, my dear subjects, is that dog collars and leashes can save your pup’s life. Many cities have leash laws, and good humans always walk their dogs on a leash. Even if your dog is extremely well behaved, well bred, and a complete prince among dogs, you can’t totally control your environment. Think about the leash and collar like the ‘defensive driving’ that prevents you from unexpected collisions, whether with a less well trained dog, a motorcycle, or a child with a treat.

In suburbs and rural areas, it’s more common to find dogs roaming off-leash, and though some dogs have impeccable manners and avoid busy streets and return to their owner’s side on command, it is still dangerous – even the most obedient dog can be tempted by a rabbit or a bicycle into harm’s way. Bottom line: the safe choice is to always walk your dog with a good leash and collar combo. Not only will the leash prevent your dog from chasing intriguing squirrels, it is also a courtesy to your neighbors, and helps prevent the pain and panic of a lost dog. You may imagine that your dog might prefer to feel free and unencumbered, but the truth is most dogs love their collars and leashes. Young pups can be easily trained to like their collars by introducing them before meals and removing them after. You can incrementally build up the amount of time your puppy wears her collar, and soon, it will become a friendly staple.

When it comes to choosing the perfect leash, you’ll have to take size into consideration. Smaller dogs require thinner leashes with smaller hardware while large dogs may need leashes of a thicker width. When using the leash, avoid pulling, yanking, or dragging your poor pup. If he’s not quite ready to leave the mail box, or fire hydrant, back up, and try to get his attention by calling his name. If your dog is a “puller,” try out a no-pull harness, or a slip collar. A slip collar can be a great tool for correcting misbehaviors. To get him back on track, give a quick, firm pull sideways on the leash. If you pull straight back, your buddy will pull against you; however, with a quick tug to the side, his balance will be challenged and his focus will shift from the bright shiny thing back to you. Now, if you’re rollerblading, or biking, and want your dog to pull you, invest in a good harness. A harness is also a safe option for dogs with pushed-in faces that hamper breathing, such as pugs, dogs with trachea or throat problems, such as Pomeranians, and dogs with long slim necks, such as greyhounds.

And finally, keep your leash in good shape. If it is fraying or the snap seems unstable, replace it immediately.

Got questions about collars and leashes? Have your people call my people, and we’ll get it figured out.


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