When The Dog Knowledge was first conceived, we stressed all those that helped us with logos, colors, themes, etc. that we did not want cartoons and whimsy. We wanted to stand apart from other dog related businesses by giving dogs the respect we feel that they have earned.
And while we do offer a handful of toys, products, food, collars and leashes; what you won’t find on our shelves or for that matter on our dogs are designer collars and leashes. Our collars and leashes are made by a gentleman in Texas who uses top grain leather with brass buckles and fasteners. The collars are unadorned and the leashes are thin but strong and reliable.
And that brings me to the subject of this blog. Whether you go for designer or basic, please consider collars with buckles rather than plastic fittings. I personally have experienced walking a puppy and having the plastic suddenly break freeing the puppy to rush across the street. I was lucky and the puppy was not harmed but it served as a valuable lesson. I recommend to all of our members that they select collars that are well made with buckle fasteners. I also strongly recommend identification on every collar.
As for leashes, the other day I had to laugh when a member came in with a leash that had a buckle on it that was so large we couldn’t fasten it to the tiny little ring on the collar. This is unnecessary weight for your dog to carry around and the lighter the leash and fastener, the more your dog will begin to rely on your body movement for direction rather than the weight he is carrying as a reminder.
And finally, NEVER, NEVER walk a dog with a retractable leash on a busy street allowing the dog to forge ahead. I know of several incidents where a dog managed to forge 10’-12’ ahead of the owner, spotted something of interest on the other side of the street and stepped into traffic before the owner could reel the dog in. Retractable leashes should only be used in situations where traffic is not an issue.
There are a lot of different collars and leashes out there. Halter type leashes look humane but only teach a dog to pull. Actually many of the collars available are only managing the situation rather than teaching your dog how to walk properly. Loose leash walking is not difficult, it just takes a little training and consistency on your part. Let us do the hard work and teach your dog how to walk properly on a leash and teach you how to generalize the skill into your daily walks.
-Debbie, Dog Knowledge Trainer