There’s a dizzying array of equipment out there, so let’s demystify it.
Whether you’ve just purchased an adorable puppy from a reputable breeder, or given a loving rescue dog a forever home, you will need good walking equipment. The array of tools available can be dizzying and confusing, especially for a first-time dog owner. However, it’s essential that you have all the building blocks for a great walk.
Why? Regular walks are the best thing you can do for your dog. They provide more stimulation, more exercise, and more entertainment for your dog than just running around the backyard. Investigating new smells and practicing commands on walks are very engaging for your dog, helping to tire them out mentally as well as physically; this helps to assuage boredom, the primary cause of negative behaviors.
To set you up for success, let’s discuss the various equipment you may try.
The different collars you may use on a walk include:
- Flat collars, the type your dog probably wears on a regular basis;
- Prong collars, metal jointed collars with blunted tips around the circumference;
- Martingale collars, a flat collar with an added loop at the back;
- And chain training collars, a length of metal chain with a sliding loop that tightens when pulled.
Each of these has their advantages and disadvantages, providing varying levels of control. You will likely use different types along your training journey depending on your dog’s needs and your own comfort.
Flat collars, the basic nylon or leather collar your dog wears regularly, are only a good option for small dogs or medium/large dogs that are very good with loose-leash walking. If your dog usually pulls (particularly if your dog is large and muscular), you must use something other than a flat collar. Any dog with a tendency to pull can be severely injured by repeatedly straining against a flat collar. When they pull, all the pressure is concentrated at the front of their neck, directly against their larynx, which can cause damage to their windpipe. They may begin to wheeze or actively choke; if severe and repeated enough, they could actually pass…