This week, I have some new clients — Hemi and Precious Spoodle. Their owners hoped I could work on some basic obedience with Hemi and to get him to not pull so hard on the leash. Hemi is actually their “grand dog” but their son, Hemi’s dad, is out of town this summer on an internship. Hemi’s about 11 months old of unknown breed. Precious Spoodle is about seven years old and has always walked on a flexi lead. Both owners have said that they don’t go for walks because the dogs stop and smell everything!
The first day I walked Hemi and Precious, I used their own leashes and I thought my shoulder was going to pop out of the joint! Hemi is a strong dog and quite a puller. He wears a regular web collar attached to a six foot lead. Precious wore a web collar attached to a 12 foot flexi which she often utilized to its full length. Once that flexi is fully extended, it is quite difficult to get her to keep moving!
The next day, I decided to test drive a new no pull harness I got at PetSmart. It is pink and a size medium. I told Hemi, named after a really big engine in a truck, that no one would see him in pink and he shouldn’t worry about it being an affront to his manhood. He has nothing to worry about, he doesn’t even lift a leg while peeing!
The harness was very easy to figure out and there are two clips for easy on and off although I kept the clip on the shoulder clipped and had the dog step into the arm holes. Then I fastened the strap around his under chest. Before attempting to put this on Hemi, I let him sniff it and gave him a treat. I also lengthened all the straps as I wasn’t sure this would fit him. He’s not yet fully developed but he is on the larger side. This particular harness was a size medium. It fit him but left no room for growth. If I were buying this for him, I would go with a size large.
Next was the leash situation. For my personal dogs, I use a Bergan EZ Steps stretch couplers I purchased from keepdoggiessafe.com. I purchased as a three-lead. I removed one of the leads and set it up for Hemi and Precious. What I love about this lead is the handle. It reminds me of a waterski rope handle but much more comfortable. The grip is a soft, rubber handle that really helps when the dogs are pulling. It gives you something smooshy to hold on to and keep your leverage.
Also, the couplers themselves are made with a reinforced core to prevent leash snapping — something I’ve been a victim of with flexis far too many times! The EZ stretch coupler also easily converts to a single lead or multiple leads. I have three leads on mine when I walk my dogs. The leads are long enough to let each dog do their own thing but the unique way they attach to the handle prevents tangling.
I was very pleased with both of these products and how the dogs reacted to them. We were able to go for a nice, long walk without too much stopping. Hemi did not pull wearing the Premier harness and even though Hemi is bigger than Precious, the EZ Steps stretch coupler let them do their own sniffing. Overall, I think it was a better experience for both the dogs.
For Premier Easy Walk, we give it 4 out 5 paws! My only criticism of the harness was that one of the clip buckles was hard to undo. For the Bergan EZ Steps Stretch Couplers, we give it 4 out 5 paws! Nearly perfect with exception of not having the option of putting your wrist through an additional loop. If you don’t have a good grip capacity with your hand, it may be hard to use this leash.