January 6, 2011
Dog Product Reviews
First, this leash, which I bought at Pet Expertise. It's "hands-free" and a whole bunch of other cool and useful things including a traffic leash, and over-the-shoulder leash, a tether, and a nice 6.5 foot leash. So, for example, I'm walking to school with Katie, carrying stuff, and in a hurry. I tie the leash around my waist, my hands are free to carry things and/or treat Katie for keeping up with me. But later on the way home, there's no rush, so I convert the leash to its full 6.5 foot length and Katie has lots of slack to sniff stuff as we walk. Two kinds of walking situations, one leash. Another plus? This leash is affordable ($14.75-$19.75). Not as upscale as the more expensive leather Euroleads I've been coveting (and which I still want), but it does the same job. I haven't tried this leash out in a training class yet, but I imagine it will be really useful there too.
Next, for the first time this week I used a dog training food tube (also purchased at Pet Expertise @ $5.75, or $4.50 for 2 or more). This one (made by folks at The Well-Mannered Dog came recommended (on Facebook) by Casey Lomonaco at Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training. She mentioned it as a good option in cold weather--instead of juggling gloves and treats and then having cold slobbery fingers, just give your pup a lick from the tube. I'd read about using food tubes before, but Casey's point about the cold-weather convenience convinced me to give this a try. I don't mind the slobber, but I hate cold fingers. And after yesterday morning's walk, my fingers were much happier. Katie was too--this was a nice change from her usual treats, and because I'm not fumbling around in my pocket, my delivery time is much faster. :)
A couple days ago I also used the food tube in a training session with a client, and I really liked the results. For example, instead of cutting up treats which takes awhile, in no time at all I mixed up some cream cheese and canned chicken in the food processor. (Katie was kind enough to give this recipe a test-lick before I headed out. She gave it four paws up.) And of course because I wasn't doling out treats, my hands weren't all slimy (again, while this doesn't bother me, it might be a plus for some people). The tube is also handy for luring behaviors, should you need to. And--probably the biggest thing--the dog I was working with totally loved the cream-cheese-chicken combo. I could imagine testing all kinds of combos to keep a dog interested. Finally, this particular tube comes with good instructions and recipe ideas. I just bought two more so I can have one filled and a couple clean ones ready.
I hope everyone's new year is off to a good start and filled with many happy training adventures.