Tag Archives: muzzles

Selecting Your Dog’s Leash

There are many different styles, colors, lengths and materials to choose from. It is important that they be made of durable materials, have a length that allows for good control and keeps your dogs safe.

Leash materials can be made of nylon, chain or leather. Leather is often chosen over nylon because it softens and becomes more flexible with age. It is easy to grip and quite durable. However, some dogs find chewing on it to be more fun than a nylon leash.  Nylon is more elastic but not as soft and the collar can cause chafing. Chain leashes are the least desirable because they can injure your dog and aren’t good for training.

Dog leashes that are retractable give control but allow the dog to walk farther away from its owner.  Too much leash can be dangerous in terms of other animals, people and cars if it can’t be reeled in fast enough. For puppies, a closer leash is preferable to keep him in control and to protect him.

Whether or not to use a collar attached leash, head halter and leash or a harness and leash depends upon you and your dog’s needs. Head halters look like muzzles but are not. One strap goes around the back of the dog’s head and a separate strap goes around his snout. The leash snaps on below the chin. When the dog walks, this head halter arrangement will pull the dog’s head either down or to the side and keeps the dog from pulling you.

Harnesses go around the dog’s neck in front of the shoulders and behind the front legs. They do not put pressure on the throat like a typical collar and leash. The harness allows you to walk the dog safely without pressure to the trachea.  Harnesses must be fitted to your dog.  There are those that the dog steps into, ones that go over his head and ones that look like a figure 8. Most are adjustable.  The important thing to fit it to is the dog’s girth. Once on, it should look symmetrical. Be sure it doesn’t rub too hard on a puppie’s arms. Check the fit as your puppy grows.

For small breeds like chihuahuas, who have fragile windpipes, it is best to stay away from the collar and leash.  Additionally, dogs that pull too much or have any respiratory problems, the harness or head halter is preferable. The most important thing to remember is have your dog fitted well with a harness or head halter. This way he will stay safe, comfortable and secure. Enjoy your walks!


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