Collars, harnesses & leashes, oh my!
You might have noticed from my pictures all the harnesses and leashes I have.
First question is, why do I wear a harness?
Well, when Mom went through volunteer training at the shelter all the dogs wore harnesses to allow for more control, including me, so it just became a habit. Mom did try leads but I went beserk, so back to the harness it was, plus, I like it! Whenever Mom and Dad pull it out I know it's time to go so I just walk right up and slip my head in so they can get it on me faster.
People say it's a safer and gentler way to train leash walking and keep control. I will say, it does come in handy particularly when I dive for food or see cows, goats, horses, because when I do pull, I pull HARD, and with the harness I'll never choke - it makes fur-parents feel better.
Mom prefers the Easy Walk Harness from PetSafe. Surprisingly, I wear a size M/L and not a L, since the sizing is based on girth, and not neck (and I happen to be quite fit even though it looks like I have rolls from the top, heehee).
In all my photos my leash is hooked to both my harness and collar - that's for extra security, another thing my Mom learned at the shelter.
It also keeps the leash stable: I don't like it when the leash is only hooked to the harness because then it keeps swinging around and hitting my legs. I'm actually really picky!
Leashes - kind of a big deal
Blue harness + blue collar = blue leash, so Mom just bought a standard, 6' durable leash with a comfortable handle. The PetsLovers leash is great because it's exactly what it looks like, a basic tough leash but soft to the touch.
But as Mom did more activities with me she added a carabiner to the handle because she realized she needed some added functionality, which led to buying different types of leashes depending on the activity.
The EzyDog Vario 6 Multi-Functional Dog Leash with Carabineer is the leash of all leashes - if you're small like my Mom.
It has 3 different loops to convert a basic 5' leash into a 3' leash, a double leash (if you have 2 dogs), or a hands free leash. The loops also make it great when you need to tie your furry buddy while you eat, shop, etc. since there's also a swivel caribiner (with a lock), which is Mom's favorite thing about the leash.
My leash has been dragged, pulled, washed, chewed and it's still completely intact. I can't destroy this thing!
Now here's the thing about the hands-free feature: Mom is just over 5'3" and my ears are about the height of her hips, so this works for Mom because, well, I'm big and she's small. She likes the hands free leash (on her shoulders like a messenger bag) when she brings me into shops or walking in busy parts of the city when I have to stay close, since there's isn't a whole lot of slack. But sometimes I'll pull really hard and that makes her angry because it hurts her shoulders.
=( .... sowee....
But when it comes to running, this leash doesn't cut it because I don't run right next to her and I like to move from one side to another. Mom tried using the middle clasp to make it fit around her waist, but she's not skinny enough! heehee... Your waist needs to be about 24" or smaller...Needless to say, none of the loops works as a hands free leash for Dad.
When it comes to running Mom likes to use a light leash (the EzyDog is actually pretty heavy because it's so thick and durable, plus the carabiner) that is easily adjustable regardless of height and weight.
The Spindrift Cozy Leash is great! It has a neoprene lined handle, which is an added bonus when you want to wrap the leash around your waist, a light plastic buckle and a traffic handle, when you want a tight lead (for bigger dogs - the traffic lead isn't adjustable).
But what makes this leash ideal for running (or other hands free activities) is that the leash is actually just one big piece with an adjustable buckle so this leash can be as big or small as you want it to be, making it one size fits all.
I have two collars: 1 blue and 1 red, cuz you know, I gotta look good!!! Now, I've actually chewed through a few collars with standard plastic buckles so these are proving to stand up to my inner monster.
Mom and Dad aren't fond of the clinking noise ID tags make so they found this one that is customizable from GoTags. Mine lets people know I'm microchipped and where to reach Mom, but um, she photoshopped that out.
The fabric is soft to the touch, but for those of you who like to chew through everything, this may not hold up very long, except the buckle. If you can chew through the buckle then you're not a dog, you're a garbage disposal!
My other collar is a flat buckle since Mom and Dad like how easy they are to snap on and off. The OmniPet Kwik Klip is tough all around, with thick fabric and a nearly unbreakable metal buckle (and it's CHEAP!). Even when you hold it you can feel the weight and sturdiness. Plus, it's rust resistant, but Mom still makes me wear my red collar whenever we go to the beach or anywhere else I can get wet, just in case.
Whew! I think that covers everything!
I also have a red argyle bowtie collar, but I only have to wear that on special occasions - thank goodness!