lolabeanHave a dog who needs some better manners walking on a leash? Overwhelmed at the pet store when trying to choose amongst all the leashes, collars, and harnesses? Need some assistance finding the best walking equipment for your pooch?

After almost 10 years of professional dog training, in addition to working daily as a professional dog walker, I’ve discovered a few favorite walking products through the years. Please note, they may not work for every dog, but I have consistently found these particular products to be helpful and humane.

Best Leash: Waist Leash
A leash that attaches like a belt, allowing hands-free walking. Enjoy a more care-free walk without the hassle of juggling the leash, along with a full poop bag and handful of training treats. A wonderful tool for multi-dog households because it allows you to walk 1+ dogs safely. Very helpful with large or strong pulling dogs, and the perfect tool for training!

I only recommend the “Dog-Safe Hands-Free Leash”, patented by Sarah Kalnajs (and her husband) of Blue Dog Training LLC. It’s extreme durability, safety features, and versatility make it a cut above the rest.

Best Collar: Martingale style
Also known as a “greyhound collar”, a martingale provides a humane and controlled tightening when needed. Prevents dogs from slipping out of a collar. Helpful for implementing subtle leash correction for a pulling dog. In my opinion, martingales more humane and effective than a slip/choke or prong collar, and safer and more durable than a flat buckle collar.

I only recommend this type of collar if the dog is responsive to the slight tightening within 1-2 applications. Otherwise, the dog habituates to the tightening and no longer responds readily to it, making training more forceful which is not what we want!

Best Harness: Easy-Walk Harness by Premier
A safe front-clip harness that reduces pulling, and increases compliance by re-directing the dog towards the owner. A more humane product to use, as it prevents choking, straining, and potential neck or throat injuries from a traditional collar. Based on it’s mechanics, a significant reduction in pulling is instantly noted by many clients who try this product.

I recommend this harness for all brachiocephalic breed (ie: smushy-nosed dogs like Pugs and English Bulldogs), dogs with collapsed trachea, resilient pullers who just choke themselves on a regular collar, and even shy dogs who put on the brakes.

Best Winter Products:
For Dogs — Musher’s Secret Paw Protection
For Humans — YakTrax
Everyone needs to be safe in cold weather! Apply the all-natural waxes of Musher’s Secret to your dog’s pads before a walk to add a layer of protection against harsh salt, snow, and ice. Wear YakTrax on your footwear to increase stability while walking on snowy and icy terrain.

Look into these products, and see what might work best for you and your pooch! Happy Trails to You!