My Favorite Things
all by Patricia McConnell
by Pat Miller
If you've ever had a dog slip out of a collar, you'll appreciate the Martingale. It's a nylon collar that can be worn all day at a relaxed fit, but it tightens just enough when the dog pulls on leash to keep the pup safely with you. (I like this kind that has a buckle, rather than the kind that slips over the head. Those are too hard to get off.)
I see so many poorly designed, ill-fitting harnesses that well-meaning owners keep on their puppies all day long. Ugh. Not only are they bulky, uncomfortable, and actually easy to slip out of, but they have the clip on the back -- which only makes it super comfy for your dog to pull like a sled dog! Instead, use the Easy-Walk harness for your walks. Because it clips in the front, it'll help your pup stick by your side instead of forging ahead. (Click above to see my video demo.) You can make it extra safe by clipping the ring to your pup's regular collar if you're worried about an escapee. Then give your pup a break and take the harness off when you're not out walking.
I've used a thousand leashes. I, too, succumb to the marketing! But the best leash for basic walks and training is this simple standard. The thinner ones can hurt your hand, the thicker ones are too bulky. (See article on this page on why retractable leashes are evil.)
Don't walk your dog with out a treat pouch! You need to be ready to encourage the behavior you want to see, and to help keep pup's attention on you rather than on every exciting thing in the environment. Practice lots of sits and stays and downs and spins on your walks -- and reward with yummies from that treat pouch.
I hate to see pups trying to eat or drink while there's this super annoying noise of his tag clinking against the steel bowl. Dogs have amazing hearing. Can you imagine how annoying it is to have tags clinking 24/7? Ugh.