If you do one smart thing for you and your dog this year, replace that dangerous retractable leash with a safer option. We turned to the team at Pawsh Dog Boutique and Salon for suggestions on the types of leashes available for various needs.
Mike & Nancy Maida from Pawsh Dog Boutique & Salon (on Gloucester St. between Newbury & Commonwealth Ave. in the Back Bay) demonstrate a leather Euro cross body leash and a martingale collar.
Leash, Harness, and Collar Options
My choice of a round, rolled, leather leash and collar for my dogs was made for very practical reasons. The round collar does less damage to Westie fur and the round leash is easier on my hands if I grab it. What’s more, while leather may be an expensive initial purchase, these items last for years.
Friends with sighthounds have shown me the value of martingale collar that prevent these dogs with necks larger than their heads from slipping out of the collar. Nancy has one in the photo above.
Our Poppy's leash is connected to a strong sports harness with double clips and Velcro® closure because she is noise adverse and needs a strong connection to keep her from bolting when frightened.
“At Pawsh, we carry the soft Puppia harnesses and traditional ribbon step-in versions,” Nancy said. “Both styles are great for walking dogs who pull on the leash so that you do not irritate their necks. Harnesses are especially important to use on toy breeds, like Yorkies, who are prone to collapsed tracheas.”
Nancy also recommends front pull harnesses like the EasyWalk or Gentle Leader. These she says, “...not only help to avoid irritating a dog's neck, they also can be a game-changer for owners whose dogs pull hard on the leash.”
Last month, we stopped to admire the leash a young man had on an older Golden. It was a standard, six foot, woven lead with a second hand-loop near the collar for greater control in tight spaces. In addition to this two handle style, Pawsh also carries traffic leads that might only be one or two feet long and work well with larger breeds.
On the opposite end of the length scale, there are training leashes in 20 to 40 foot lengths. Nancy says these may be used, “... to work on coming back when called, or to allow a dog some freedom to roam, when appropriate, while still being leashed (like on hiking trails, the beach, etc.)”
From the days when we fostered rescue dogs, we have sturdy Marine Dog adjustable leashes. These are made of the same material used for hoisting sails on boats.
They can be configured for use as a cross-body, hands-free leash. They can be coupled as a two dog leash or just used as a sturdy single dog control system. We have lent these to friends with arm injuries. Pawsh carries an adjustable Euro Leash version of this style.
If you’ve only considered one style of leash and collar, look at what is available the next time you visit your favorite shop. Avoid styles that choke, pinch, shock, snap, or in some other way have the potential to hurt your dog or you. Have the shopkeeper show you how each works and how to find the proper size.
If You Are Local, Please Support Pawsh!
We have linked to some of these items on Amazon for our readers in other parts of the country. But if you are from Boston, stop by Pawsh. Mike, Nancy, and the staff were kind enough to add their expertise to this post and they will be able to help you find the perfect solution for you and your dog or dogs. Please support them with your local dollars.