An essential piece of equipment before getting a dog is getting a collar and a leash.
Before owning a dog, all we thought we needed was one leash. Boy, were we wrong. In the year we had QQ, we have amassed an arsenal of 10 leashes.
Actually, I’m still not quite sure why we have so many leashes! So in the post, I’m going to try and break down our leash collection and list all the purposes each leash serve.
And so, L is for Leash.
Here is a photo of some of our leashes. These are the ones we keep at home. There’s a few others that we keep in the car.
Let’s work from the top down.
The first leash is a 6 foot leather leash. This is the leash our trainer had us use with the prong collar for training QQ to walk well on the leash. According to our trainer, leather absorbs our smell. QQ will be more receptive to our commands when we use this leash as he associates it with us. Also, because it’s an extension of us, QQ should never be allowed to chew it.
I’m not sure how much of what he said is true, but QQ did learn to walk better when we used this leash in conjunction with the prong collar. He walks right next to our knee. It’s long enough that we can sling it around our necks when we walk QQ and be relatively hands free. It’s our usual go-to walking leash.
The second purple leash is QQ’s first leash! It’s only 4 foot, because we wanted a shorter leash for better control when he was a puppy. This leash is now handed down to Chyler. It’s pretty much a perfect length for her because she’s so small and gets tangled up easily with a longer leash.
The third short black leash is not really a leash per se, it’s a coupler. It’s also known as a Y-Leash. I use it with the purple leash when I want to walk QQ and Chyler together. Walking dogs on a coupler is supposed to help them learn to work together and strengthen their bond. QQ and Chyler actually do quite well on a coupler, except that QQ is reactive to passing dogs. So when he goes berserk, poor Chyler gets dragged all over the place. So I don’t do it very often. Here’s video of them walking on a Y-leash. They look so effing cute.
The fourth blue leash is a bonus leash. I bought it to have a spare when we only had the purple leash, for those just in case times when we need an extra leash when we foster dogs or if we happen to misplace the purple leash. It was part of a set of leash and collar, both bought for the same purpose. It’s a cheap leash from the dollar store and only cost a dollar fifty. We still have it around for the same reason.
The thin blue leash next to it is also bought from the dollar store. It’s a home leash. When we were talking to the trainer, he suggested that we have QQ drag around a home leash for the instances that he misbehaves at home. He gave examples such as when we don’t want him on the sofa or the bed, we can use it to tug him down. Or if he barks at home, we can use it to jerk him and have him quiet down. But to be honest, QQ is always allowed on the bed and sofa. And he is usually perfectly behaved. A simple “off”, and he listens to us. He almost never barks at home, unless there’s a stranger at the door. So we don’t really use that leash. Which is why it looks almost brand new.
The sixth grey and teal leash came with the no-pull Freedom harness we bought for QQ. There are two hooks on it, so it can be hooked to both the front and back of the harness. If used this way, it’s a 3.5 foot leash. It can also be lengthened when you only use one hook, then it’s a 5 foot leash. We like using this leash+harness combination when we are not using the leather leash+prong collar combo. In fact, we are starting to use this this combo more. The leash hook on the front of the harness helps to redirect QQ when faced with a possible reactive trigger. Here’s a photo of QQ wearing the harness with the leash
The last black leash with hooks on both ends is a hands free leash that came with a waist pouch. But you can also simply hook the leash to a belt hook, or I’ve tried hooking it to my cross body bag for Chyler, as she doesn’t pull at all. It’s about 4 foot long. This is great for long walks when I just don’t want to handle two leashes.
We have three other leashes that we usually keep in the car.
One is technically a car seat belt, not a leash. One end is a seat belt buckle that fits into the car seat belt buckle, the other end hooks onto the harness or the collar. We used to use this before QQ learnt to lie down calmly for the entire car trip. We still use it quite frequently. Chyler usually prefers to lie down on the back seat, so we never really found a need for her to use it. But we really should get another one for her.
The second leash we keep in the car is a 20 foot long leash. This is the leash we used before QQ could be trusted on his recall. We used it to also train his recall. The length of this leash allowed him to explore and run, but we can always pull him back if he doesn’t listen when we returned. We kept it in the car because we only used it on hikes or excursions to the beach. We haven’t used it in a long time now because QQ and Chyler both do well off leash. We use it primarily for foster dogs nowadays when we take them to off leash areas.
The last leash we keep in a car is a training leash. It’s actually more like a piece of rope we use to tie onto QQ’s collar or harness when we take him to dog parks. QQ is usually leash reactive, so he’s mostly good off leash. But sometimes he acts up at dog parks where he barks a lot. We make him drag around the training leash, so when he’s acting up, we can step on it and make him stop.
And that’s it! All 9 leashes, each with a purpose. Somewhat.
Do anyone else have so many leashes? What happened to just one is enough?