I love to walk. I enjoy it. It makes me happy. If I’m not in a better mood after a walk then that poor mood better have a damn good reason. Walking is an important part of my life. Mental health and physical health. Walking makes me feel connected to space, myself, to life itself.
Because walking is such an important part of me, I want to share it with others. Alas it can be challenging to find other humans who love a good walk as much as I do. so I do as much as I can to help my dogs gain chances to love walking as much as I do. And knock in wood the various dogs that have been part of my life over the years all too love walking.
because I spend a lot of diligent time teaching my dogs to walk on leash without stress or pulling, I end up with dogs who overall walk nicely beside me in a loose general heel position as routine.
For some reason this has posed a problem with Zora. I mean she walks lovely beside me, loose leash, happy little trot trot. The problem is finding a means of attaching a leash to her that doesn’t end up causing her discomfort or physical harm.
She is short. Not even 11″ at the withers. She is a dwarf. And she is built like a tank. These have posed problems.
I usually use all nylon martingale or limited slip collars for my dogs. Those have worked well over the years and become my go tos. I feel safe with them. They are near impossible for me to break accidentally. They are easy to put in and take off injury free. I had been walking zora on one until I noticed the weight of the leash clip made the martingale strap hang down, and it made the leash bang against her shoulder and front legs, caused her to hold her neck funky, and she was getting lopsided neck muscle discomfort.
Zora wearing her blue “I am loved by a computer engineer” martingale collar in the snow 2 winters ago
Ok so how about a harness. Most dogs do well with those, right? Well put a harness on a dog who doesn’t pull and doesn’t walk in front of you. I.e. Put a harness on a trained dog. And who has a prominent sternum and chest with really short legs. It will end up lopsided. And no matter what design of harness I tried (I even ended up making my own), it would end up lopsided or it would some how restrict free movement of her body. Plus she hated having them put on. Which to me is a clear indicator that it wasn’t comfortable for her to wear.
So then I threw my hands up and cursed our land of cars and the necessity of a leash. Why don’t I live on hundreds of acres where she would never need a leash to be attached to her regularly?! Alas not at this time in my life.
Back to the drawing board.
Or more back to my bucket of miscellaneous dog gear I’ve accumulated over my life time.
What about a standard old buckle collar?
I usually shy away from those as I’ve slammed enough plastic buckles in enough doors and had them break enough times just when I need them most and have no useful backup to be wary of trusting my dogs safety to one. Also I find it way too easy for me to pinch a dog when clicking those buckles. Plus there is this whole thing of people being judgmental and telling you collars are evil and all dogs should be in a harness that while I don’t agree sometimes the idea that people will think I’m a horrible person despite that I’m making decisions in a very careful and thoughtful manner with my dogs well being as top priority motivates my decisions. But what the heck.
Darn it all it works.
It fits. The collar stays in place even once the leash is on. zora is happy to wear it. She walks like a normal dog on it. It doesn’t bang on her shoulder or cause her to hold her neck oddly. She can walk with freedom of movement. It works.
Ok then. Good old fashioned buckle collar it is.
Now to get a new name tag that doesn’t jingle…