Saturday, May 25, 2013

Safe Walks For You and Your Dog - The Importance of a Short Leash

Walking dogs on a leash can be as dangerous as letting them run free.  It can also be dangerous for the walker at the other end of the leash. Using the proper type and length of leash is the first step to ensuring a fun and safe walk for all.

Traditional leashes keep your pup safely by your side and out of harms way. Retractable leashes that allow your dog to wander while you walk are extremely dangerous. Especially when walking on sidewalks or in the street.

  • If the dog were to unexpectedly run to chase a squirrel, bird, or other distraction the leash will not prevent them from running into the path of a car.  
  • The extra long length of the retractable leash gives the pup freedom to wander back and forth in front of the walker, causing a potential tripping hazard.
  • If the dog is walking far ahead of the walker, and wiggles out of their collar or harness, they would be too far away to potentially catch them if they decide to run.
  • Without the walker's knowledge, the pup may find and eat toxic or dangerous things off the street or the grass that they find along the way. 
Retractable leashes could be beneficial when used for freedom in a controlled environment, like a  park or beach, where there is room for your pup to safely run at a distance. If used during a walk, it is best to lock the leash at a length that will keep your dog close by your side.

For safe walking on any type of leash:
  • Teach no pull walking by stopping and giving a firm "no" whenever the dog pulls.
  • Prevent dog from weaving back and forth in front of the walker by keeping the pup firmly on either the right or left side.
  • Be aware of, and steer away from, hazards on the road like broken glass to prevent injury to dog's paws.
  • Use the proper weight (width) leash for the size of the dog - small, medium, or large - and extra light leashes for small puppies.

1 comment:

  1. I'm in the process of training my dog to walk with a loose leash. I just switched his harness and it seems to be helping when it comes to him pulling me.