Walkies!

The choice of walking equipment can be overwhelming. Let’s get the legal bit out of the way first. I attach Jake and Truly’s identity tags to their collars to ensure we comply with legislation (The Control of Dogs Order 1992) which states that all dogs in public MUST have the name and address (including postcode) of their owner displayed on their collar, a tag or some other kind of material, that can be used for identification. As Jake and Truly have always been active dogs, I choose a style to fit flush with their collars and avoid the potential to catch or snag on anything. I buy mine here.

Harnesses

Jake and Truly both wear harnesses on walks. When Jake first joined me I was swept off my feet literally! Aside from my concern he’d slip his collar, I was very worried his collar would damage his neck and throat due to him pulling on the lead. NB – wearing a harness doesn’t stop the pulling, but it is more secure and provides control especially whilst you are training.

There are lots of harnesses available on the market, and if you have a mixed breed it can sometimes be difficult to buy ‘off the shelf’, especially online. I’ve taken Jake, Truly (and Leo) to be fitted for their harnesses at a pet shop in Bristol, then ordered any replacements online. The range they wear in winter is Julius-K9, a very popular product. I find Julius durable and easy to keep clean.

Truly has two harnesses, of course! When Truly sheds her undercoat she loses centimetres of fur at a time, and so her winter harness becomes too big. Her slimline harness is made by Ruffwear.

Leads

For lots of reasons, I don’t use retractable leads. My preferred option is a multi-length dog lead that has fitting loops at points along the lead. This allows me to use at a long length to give Jake and Truly extra space. But then I can shorten for pavement walking, or when they need to be close to me.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Truly has a long line for over the fields. This is actually a ‘lead’ made for horses so I am confident the connector is strong enough. The long line also has a handle at the other end providing an easy grab if needed. I’ll talk with you about the benefits of long line training for recall another time.

Visibility

During winter walks in the morning and at dusk it’s better to be visible over the fields or on the pavement. Jake’s harness is fluorescent yellow and light reflective, so helps with cyclists riding on the pavement as otherwise he blends into the dark. When we were on the camping circuit it could be very dark at night, with only torch lighting to navigate trips to use the facilities (yes they all came with me!). For ease I would slip on their handy night light collars too.

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Jen (Jake and Truly)

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