A friend of mine asked what she needed to get for her first puppy, a question I have answered a lot over the years.
I found that as I was talking to a friend and not a client I wanted to respond slightly differently and tell her what not to get, or in other words the items I would put in the dog training Room 101!
Or I may just be growing into a grumpy old woman, or hang on, I am one!
Ball chuckers (whats is wrong with people’s arms and backs that they can’t bend to pick up a ball?
Puppy toileting pads!
Plastic pooh bag carriers that attach to the lead
Leads with plastic handles
Dog harnesses for adult dogs that connect the lead behind the shoulders only
Play mats and any scatter feeding tools or just scatter feeding in general
Leads that double over and have numerous clips and options on length
Tit bits in tupper ware pots
Dog owners that go to parks and other dog areas to meet up with a crowd of people with dogs and then let the dogs run amok!
And in case you are interested this is why!
Most people buy them because they are the most expensive lead in the pet shop and kept behind plastic, therefore you are just falling for the marketing!
Secondly they have hard plastic handles! Just not nice to hold, let alone if you catch hold of the thin rope as your dog pulls, perfect for rope burn!
Having a dog on one maybe okay unless you come into contact with anyone else or another dog or the dog catches sight of a bird/rabbit/cat/ deer and lunges suddenly to the end of 5 or even better 10 metres, fastest way to be pole axed by a dog!
Walking a dog on one by a road! Why? Why would that be a good safe plan, even if short how easy it is to hit the unlock button, let alone having it extended by a road, it doesn’t matter how well behaved the dog is it takes little to distract them or you and they can be under a car!
The best reason in the world not to use one is they actually teach dogs to pull! There is tension in the lead and every time they pull away they get to go further! That is the fastest way to teach a dog to pull!
2. Ball chucker
The only legitimate excuse for carrying one of these is to fend off strange dogs whose owners can’t recall them or are on their phones and haven’t noticed the dog is bothering you or even better hope you and your dog will entertain their dog and wear it out for them (because the only reason they walk their dog is to tire them)!
Whats is wrong with people’s arms and backs that they can’t bend to pick up a ball? Why is it good to make your dog run hard and fast over and over, why don’t people want the dog near them playing, where it is safe and you are in communication having fun together!
3. Puppy toileting pads!
If you want to teach your puppy to toilet indoors use them!
4.Plastic pooh bag carriers that attach to the lead
You should be holding the lead handle and adding weight to the dogs lead makes the dog more aware of the lead and therefore hinders off lead training.
5. Leads with plastic handles
hurt my hand and ditto number 4
6. Dog harnesses for adult dogs that connect the lead behind the shoulders
With puppies this is fine, we want them to feel safe and secure, we may have to lift them in the air to keep them safe and attaching the lead at the back is the best place. However adult dogs, if we want them to walk with us and not tow us, the lead should be attached at the front of the harness, by being at the front of the dog you can turn them faster and keep attention more.
7. Play mats and any scatter feeding tools or just scatter feeding
Why would this be called dog enrichment? I get that kids need iPhones and iPads but dogs do not and anything that encourages people to entertain their dogs rather than spend quality time with them!
8. Leads that double over and have numerous clips and options on length simply create problems. People generally spend way too much time extracting the lead from under the dogs legs, a job the dog is totally capable of doing for himself, but they cannot with a double lead! On top of that they twist and bend all out of shape! Please just buy a nice 4 foot lead!
9. Tit bits in tupper ware pots. If you are training your dog, by the time you get the titbit out of the pot, the dog won’t know what he is getting the treat for! Or the owner doesn’t get the lid back on and spills the lot on the floor. If you are truly training your dog properly you need much easier access to tit bits!
10. Dog owners that go to parks and other dog areas to meet up with a crowd of people with dogs and then let the dogs run amok (oh and that’s because they want to wear the dog out again!)! The dogs become a pack and terrorise anyone who wants to walk their own dog on their own without company.
Remind me why do people get a dog?
Milo Golden Retriever!