Our Favorite Walking GearJan 10, 2022
Is getting exercise part of your dog's New Year's resolution? If you are planning on getting out on more walks, hikes, and adventures with your dog, you might be thinking about purchasing some new walking gear. In this week's video, our team members review some of their favorite products. Here are some of the highlights:
What Harnesses Do We Like?
We reviewed three different harnesses, each with a different appeal:
- Freedom harness: The Freedom harness is a no-pull harness with soft fabric behind the legs. It must go over the head and can rub up close to the dog's front legs, but can adjust easily to fit most dogs.
- Ruffwear flagline: This harness is very secure and lightweight with a helpful handle on the back. It isn't a no-pull harness and the straps aren't padded, but it can stay on tripawds or other dogs that might slip out of other harnesses.
- Coastal small dog harness: This harness is a lightweight and adjustable fit for small dogs that doesn't require any handling of the paws or legs to put on. It isn't padded and does need to go over the head, but adjusts easily over sweaters or other walking gear.
What Are Our Favorite Leashes?
We picked three different leashes to mix and match with our harness choices:
- Biothane long lines: Palomine brand long lines are soft, lightweight biothane leashes that don't hold odors or water. They don't knot or grip as easily as cotton long lines, but are less prone to snagging or picking up vegetation.
- Traffic handle leash: This heavy-duty cotton leash features a second looped handle closer to the dog for additional grip.
- Double-ended leash: This flexible leash has two clips, allowing you to either clip to two places on the harness or make a handle as needed. The extra clips can be annoying if not clipped to something, and you can't make a handle if using both clips, but it can function as a tether easily.
What Collars Do We Like?
Up next, we have a selection of collars and collar-mounted accessories to help with your walk:
- Martingale collar: These collars have an extra loop to let them tighten enough to stay on, but not enough to choke or hurt the dog. They can be a good backup to a harness, but martingales made with chain links can be noisy. Slip-on martingales (those without a buckle) can also be difficult to remove in an emergency.
- Personalized tag-free collar: These collars have the owner's contact information without noisy, jingling tags. The noise reduction might help reduce other dogs' reactions to your dog.
- GPS collar: The Garmin Astro GPS collar can be used for off-leash hiking and can locate dogs over miles. They can be expensive, bulky, and require batteries for the tracker, but can be a useful tool for long hikes.
- Collar bells: These bells can let people and wildlife know that your dog is coming and can help you locate your dog if you can't see them nearby. The noise might bother some people or dogs (possibly causing other dogs to react), but multiple bell types are available.
What Are Some Helpful Dog Clothes?
If your dog tends to get cold on walks or needs padding under a harness, here are some of our favorite dog clothing items:
- Fleece: Both the Goldpaw and Gooby fleeces can fit many dogs (including tiny dogs) and are machine washable. They do require a bit of handling to put on but are easy to fit under a harness.
- Hoodie: The Darren and Phillip hoodie fits dogs with broader shoulders and chests and can be purchased with matching people clothes. They can be a bit expensive and the zipper could be difficult for long-haired dogs but are high-quality and comfortable.
- Jacket: The Kuoser jacket is reversible with one water-resistant side. It isn't especially tight-fitting and has velcro, which bothers some dogs. It can be put on without putting anything over your dog's head, and without handling their legs.
I hope you enjoy this week's product review as you plan some fun adventures with your dog. If you find any products that you enjoy, let us know. We're always happy to use and review more walking gear.
If you're looking for more one-on-one guidance with your fearful dog, check out our online training membership, the Reactive Dog Academy. For a more personalized plan, sign up for private training.
If you are trying any new gear for your walks, we want to hear what you liked or what you wouldn't use again. Join our Facebook group and post your questions or comments there, or email us at [email protected].