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Lani
7th November 2006, 04:15 PM
I wasn’t even sure if I should post because I feel so stupid but we had a REAL scare this weekend. I’m happy to report that Lucky is okay, BUT …

My sister was walking Lucky and her dog and she dropped Lucky’s leash and he got loose and ran into the street. He seriously was inches from getting hit by a car. The car had to brake to a screeching halt and my sister screamed at the top of her lungs. :yikes :yikes :yikes

Obviously we’re so grateful Lucky is okay and at the same time traumatized and playing it back trying to figure out how to absolutely positively prevent something like this in the future.

One thing that I know, that I suspected before and should have addressed – my sister likes to walk the dogs on their flexi-leashes. We have the kind that are all webbing, so they are secure enough in that respect, except the handle is hard to grasp and easy to drop. You can’t loop it around your wrist to securely hold it, and the plastic handle is heavy, and loud when it drops. I’m sure that is what scared Lucky and why he ran. And then when he was running he probably kept hearing it (because it was attached to him!) and then kept running because he was trying to escape that scary sound.

So no more flexi-leashes on the bathroom walks. We’re 100% agreed on that. My sister is even thinking of throwing them out. I’m thinking they may be okay for outings in the park – but first I’d need attach some webbing or something around that plastic handle first so I could secure it around my wrist and not have to worry about it dropping.

We’ve even thought of not walking the two dogs together – but in reality I’m not sure that will always be a viable option.

So, I wanted to post about this first to say how deliriously happy and grateful I am that Lucky escaped unscathed and warn about using flexi-leashes in populated areas.

I’d also value any advise and opinions on:

1) walking two dogs together – is a coupler the answer? How have you had success in getting them to behave and do their business? Lucky and Razz love to wrestle and play. We try to prevent it when they are outside, but I’m sure she must have been untangling the leashes from this spontaneous playtime when the leash dropped. Any advice would be appreciated

2) any other safety tips – we were lucky this time and I’m not sure a reflective jacket / collar would have made any difference since it all happened so fast – but I am thinking I really should get one of the new puppias with the reflective stripe. Just as an added safety measure.

My sister is still so upset and blaming herself. She says she doesn’t want to be responsible for “killing my dog” but we both walk the two dogs together when we are dog-sitting. I wouldn’t have blamed her, but I want to make sure we’re both taking every safety precaution possible.

Barbara Nixon
7th November 2006, 04:38 PM
I believe you have Pets at Home over there. Well , last month I bought a Halti brand lead. They come in different thickness/clasp combinatios and are multipurpose. They can be a double length lead for one dog, a single length for one dog (Double up the fabric), two leads on one handle, or one continuous lead . I used the latter while walking Teddy and Joly in woodland. You can slide your hand along the lead so one dog walks close, giving the other extra feedom, then swap over. It can also be use fastened over your shoulder or round your waste.

I also bought a training lead, again available in two very long lengths. Ideal for giving on e dog a lot of safe freedom. I won't consider letting off lead, if with multiple dogs, since Anne had her cavalier go missing not far away.

I'v enever liked Flexis. as the wire ones are dangerous and the plastic handles uncomfortable to hold.

BarbMazz
7th November 2006, 04:50 PM
Another option is a Euro lead, which is adjustable rather like the Halti leads. I like to hook it around my waist and then down to the dog. It's hands-free walking! I then use a coupler down near the dogs.

I have different length couplers, and now have to add a fourth to include Clancy when he's older.

Jackie
7th November 2006, 05:55 PM
I really like the Pet Walker Plus. You can get it online from various sources.

http://www.jbpet.com/Shopping/product.asp?catalog_name=JBWholesale&product_id=705-0102&category_name=CollarsSpecial

Lani
7th November 2006, 06:24 PM
These are ALL great ideas. :thnku: (so much!!)

Please keep them coming. I am feeling safer already!! :dgwlk:

Linda
7th November 2006, 07:12 PM
Lani

This is the one I got for my boys and it works great, I believe it is the same website that Jackie posted except I bought the leather chestnut one.

http://www.jbpet.com/Shopping/product.asp?catalog_name=JBWholesale&product_id=705-0107&category_name=CollarsLeather

I got the leather one at first it felt a bit heavy but it is strong.

I am only using it more now that Darby is a bit bigger but it really is a good one.

It was $41.99 US $$$$ and worth every penny. :dogwlk: :dogwlk:

Cathy T
7th November 2006, 07:56 PM
That was a close call! The woman we've been training with is very anti-flexi for exactly those reasons. When the handle flies out of your hand it makes a noise right behind the dog and if they weren't going to scram before that...that noise will definitely startle them! I used them with Jake and Shelby originally until the one time this same thing happened with me. Jake bolted! :yikes Scared me to death!!

I have the pet walker plus that Jackie shows a link to. I absolutely love it! Jake and Shelby have plenty of freedom to walk separately but I am only holding one leash. If one takes off for any reason or if you drop the leash...they are hooked to each other. I've dropped the leash on accident and with them being connected to each other...they don't go anywhere. It has a swivel so they don't get tangled.

Tell your sister not to feel too bad...I've had the exact same thing happen to me....I was just lucky to grab Jake before he got to the street. Lesson learned.

Lucy's mum
7th November 2006, 08:41 PM
So glad that Lucky is Ok after the mishap.

I don't often walk my pups together on my own as Henry is only 4 months and tends to bounce/dance when near Lucy (9 months). Usually my husband is with me.

When I am on my own with the two, and am on pavement, I simple loop one basic lead handle through the other one so I end up with one long lead with a clip at each end and there is no way it can come apart. Then I only have to hold onto one thing. It's easy to run my hand down the two lengths to bring them closer and if I want I can let one dog have a longer length of lead than the other. This long lead could even be passed under my belt for extra security and then held and controlled with one hand or two.

On a field or woodland we use 8 m length flexis, unless it is very very safe when I can let them off lead. They need to run and have some measure of freedom, they are dogs after all. I think flexis are wonderful if used with care - shortening them near other people/dogs etc. but they are not as safe as short leads near roads.

Karlin
7th November 2006, 09:01 PM
For just the reasons you note, I'm anti Flexis for any street area near traffic -- they are fine for open parks though! I had mine pop out when I wasn't paying attention when Jaspar was just a puppy and that persuaded me not to even use one with a single dog, if a puppy could pull them loose. It is very difficult to walk two at a time on a Flexi.

I use normal leads, or couplers but I have always found couplers tangle. Those swivel ones are better. I just got a really deluxe handmade triple leash that comes apart into three separate leads, all with bungie-flexible leads to reduce pulling ability... Nicki has one and will probably remember the name. She said they are fantastic and I decided to go with a Rolls Royvce of leads as walking three is a pain and I have to walk mine four times a day or so. They shipped it to my parents the day before I left so I didn't get it... :( I will be back at the holidays and will collect it then, along with my TWO boxes of Greenies I left behind too... :sl*p:

Lani
7th November 2006, 09:06 PM
I cannot even express how relieved I am that Lucky is okay. But given how much we ALL love these little cavs, I'm sure everyone can imagine. I'm so thrilled he's okay and I just don't want anything like that to ever happen again. :dgwlk:

Those swivel leashes seem great to prevent the tangling!!!

There is a JB Wholesale not too far from me. I've never been there, but they have 3 of the chestnut leather one in stock. :) I will probably drive down there tonight or tomorrow to get it.

I'm also really interested in the bungee idea too to reduce pulling so if anyone remembers the named I'd really appreciate the info too.

:thnx: again

Linda
7th November 2006, 09:08 PM
I use normal leads, or couplers but I have always found couplers tangle. Those swivel ones are better.

Lani

The coupler website I posted is for a swivel coupler.

Lani
7th November 2006, 09:12 PM
Thanks Linda - I noticed that! I think that is the one I am going to get - it looks great and you certainly gave it a great review!!

Alison_Leighfield
7th November 2006, 09:24 PM
I HATE flexi's!!! ....they can be so dangerous. icon_whistling

There is nothing wrong with just a normal regular harness and a fixed lead for walking and also and most importantly...plenty of time spent on TRAINING so that your dog comes back on a recall when having free play in safe park/area. :D

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

Lani
7th November 2006, 09:49 PM
I am with you on the Flexis Alison ... !!! I cannot believe we ever used them. :sl*p:

I hope we do some work on the recall command in Lucky's kindergarten class. I was thinking of seeing if I can find some links to how to train on it online but I don't want to impact his learning by trying to teach him too much in one week (or teaching something different than the trainer would teach.) That said, for his own safety I really want to get started teaching him. I'll ask his trainer on Saturday if we're going to cover it in class and given our close call maybe she'll let us skip ahead and give me some instructions on how to work on it next week.

Remali
7th November 2006, 11:14 PM
I walk both my dogs togther at the same time, it can be interesting to say the least! I just use a regular normal leash, and for extra protection I put my hand thru the loop at the end of the leash and leave it around my wrist, and then grasp the leash in my hand too.

Barbara Nixon
7th November 2006, 11:15 PM
There have been some really nasty accidents with the wire flexis. I cut my hand on one borrowed at a class, years ago, but fairly recently, one of the Dogpages people's hounds got badly injured when one dog tangled in the wire causing it to slice the other dog's leg badly.

BarbMazz
7th November 2006, 11:28 PM
I am with you on the Flexis Alison ... !!! I cannot believe we ever used them. :sl*p:

I hope we do some work on the recall command in Lucky's kindergarten class. I was thinking of seeing if I can find some links to how to train on it online but I don't want to impact his learning by trying to teach him too much in one week (or teaching something different than the trainer would teach.) That said, for his own safety I really want to get started teaching him. I'll ask his trainer on Saturday if we're going to cover it in class and given our close call maybe she'll let us skip ahead and give me some instructions on how to work on it next week.

It's never too soon to start on recall....just keep in mind that you will not see a reliable recall until after Lucky passes through his "adolescence"! With my three adult dogs a lot of their training seemingly went out the window from about age 6mos until well after one year. They are almost like human teens; they just HAVE to test the limits! Try not to become discouraged though, and keep working through it even when he appears to be ignoring and defying you!! :roll: :roll: :roll:

One day, almost magically, he will show you that he really WAS paying attention even though it didn't appear so at the time. :thmbsup:

Lisa_T
7th November 2006, 11:34 PM
I do use a flexi and keep my finger on the button at all times. I find that prevents it from catching. For added security I loop one of the finer show leads around my waist/belt and then again through the plastic handle. That means that even if I was to fall or drop the flexi, it can't frighten the dog by clattering on the ground because there isn't enough reach for the ground. It's also useful if I'm paying for something as it means I can just let go of the handle knowing the dog is still secured to me and safe.

molly
7th November 2006, 11:35 PM
Lani, glad that Lucky is OK! We had a scare with one of ours a long time ago who slipped his collar and ran in the street and it is heart stopping. (It's also why we now use harnesses :lol: ).

We use couplers with a swivel like the ones posted and they work great.

Great advice Barb! Just when you think they are getting the training, they lose focus just like my kids did when they were teenagers. We run our crew (the dogs not the kids) through trained behaviors a few times a week even now to make sure they stay sharp.

Lani, is the trainer doing clicker style training methods?

BarbMazz
8th November 2006, 01:09 AM
Lani, glad that Lucky is OK! We had a scare with one of ours a long time ago who slipped his collar and ran in the street and it is heart stopping. (It's also why we now use harnesses :lol: ).

We use couplers with a swivel like the ones posted and they work great.

Great advice Barb! Just when you think they are getting the training, they lose focus just like my kids did when they were teenagers. We run our crew (the dogs not the kids) through trained behaviors a few times a week even now to make sure they stay sharp.

Lani, is the trainer doing clicker style training methods?

Thanks, Molly! I do the same with my crew, to keep the skills sharp. When my adult children visit home I run them through their trained behaviors, too! :yikes icon_whistling

Good to mention clickers, too! I LOVE clicker training and would swear by it anytime.

*Pauline*
8th November 2006, 01:15 AM
Didn't read all the posts so it may have been mentioned but, those flexi leads can come unlocked. My friend told me about two women talking in the street with their dogs on flexi leads. The leads unlocked and both dogs ran into the road and were killed. My vet also gave me the same warning. Only use flexi leads in the park etc, NEVER on roads! :shock:

Cathy T
8th November 2006, 02:27 AM
On using a regular lead...in our training class if we were caught without the loop around our wrist we had to bring cookies for everyone to the next class :D I've also used two leads hooked together like Lucy's mum.

Lani
8th November 2006, 02:27 AM
Oh, Pauline, what a horrible story! Oh my. Yes, no more Flexi leashes on the road for us. Not on the street anyway. Certainly not on the street.

The worst part is there WAS a dog in my sister's neighborhood who was killed one afternoon last year - but that was just a freak accident - the dog did not get loose - the dog walker was apparently just not keeping the dog close enough and when crossing the street someone turned the corner fast and killed the dog. (can you imagine the owner when they got that phone call?? And I wonder if that dog walker is still in business...)

Anyway, so we are now the proud owners of a lovely chestnut leather Pet-Walker Plus double lead. It is lovely and feels soooo much safer!!! Thank you Linda and Jackie. I got it from JB Wholesale (which by the way is nothing inside the store like I thought it would be - it's actually quite small compared to Petco and Petsmart!!!).

BarbaraNixon - I agree completely on the wire Flexis. I don't have that kind for precisely that reason. Much too dangerous - that wire can cut like a knife - if you are going to use a flexi the all webbing variety is the only way to go. That Halti lead sounds really interesting too ...

BarbMazz - thanks for the head's up on the teenage years to come. :-) I'll have to keep that in mind when I feel like :bang:

Lisa_T - LOVE your work around with the leash around your waist - what a creative solution - it feels much safer than just using your hands and if you are out and about doing shopping or whatever is a great idea. (I love your new Avatar also by the way, so just needed to say that too!!)

Molly - yes, we are using Clicker training and Lucky is just doing sooo well in Kindergarten. He's making me proud. He volunteered to demonstrate the loose leash walking in class on Saturday and did such a nice job. The American Bulldog who went before him would barely budge, but Lucky knowing a treat was coming up was happy to play!! :D

Karlin & Nicki - I am still interested in finding out a little more about the Rolls Royce of Leashes - I'd love to know the brand name of that bungee lead!

Thanks everyone!! :thnku:

:dogwlk:

Lani
8th November 2006, 02:31 AM
Cathy, that story about the cookies is sooo funny. I'm glad your trainer is so careful to point that out. When we were practicing loose leash walking last weekend (in the store at Petsmart), I actually noticed the trainer did NOT have her hand through the loop. I wanted to call her on it and ask why but I didn't. I might do that next weekend. For me that is a given - 100% of the time. It's the only way to really be safe.

Cathy T
8th November 2006, 02:32 AM
I love that you've reacted so quickly to find a solution. Good for you!!

judy
8th November 2006, 06:45 AM
I'm so glad lucky is ok. that was a close one. :yikes

last weekend, i went to my daughter's home in another city to help out after she had surgery, and over three days, i walked Zack and her cavalier Belle numerous times, as they don't have a backyard. I rarely experience walking two because i only have one, and the only times i've walked two was when Belle visited here a couple of months ago. It is quite a challenge. I always use a 26 foot flexi leash with Zack, i use it because i can let him run and frolic, while still having control. If i used a non-flexi long leash (i have a 30 foot one for training) then it would be too hard because it would not retract when he got closer, or if i needed to control him when another person or dog approached. I've never had any trouble holding on to the handle, for me it's very well designed and comfortable and stable, easy to grip. For us, it's a wonderful invention. Strangely enough, when i've dropped it on occasion, Zack stops in place. He thinks if it's on the ground, that means he has to wait. But it rarely happens. Belle has a regular 6 foot leather leash, so i just tried to juggle them when we walked, it was a challenge and if i was doing it on a regular basis, i'd love to get one of those double leashes with the swivel. Where we were walking was on the grounds of a large apartment complex which is off and away from the street. It was just challenging because they'd change sides and i'd have to do all kinds of maneuvers to keep things from getting tangled.

The scary thing for me about the flexi leash is that it can break. The tape one which is less vulnerable does not come in the long length. I'm on my second one now. the first one suddenly broke without warning when we were out walking. I have a little pack with pockets that fits over the flexi leash handle for storing poop pickup bags, and i keep a regular leash in there now as a back up.

About training for recall, I learned about a special class from a couple at the dog park, the class is called Come When Called and is very intensive and is only three sessions, making use of very high value treats and sound effects, some special techniques that i don't know, something to do with the particular way of calling them--when i met them, they had just had the second of three sessions and had come to the park to practice with distractions. They had a big goofy exuberant six month old mixed lab puppy who loved playing with the other dogs and was very involved in play. the owners allowed the dog to play for a while, he was playing with Zack and the owners were telling me about the class. Then, they wanted to practice so the man walked a long distance away from the pup who was engrossed in playing with several dogs, rolling around and play fighting, havign a ball. The man called the dog rather softly. I was amazed to see that dog's head shoot straight up from the gang of dogs, his ears were pricked high, and he turned his head this way and that, looking for the man, and then when he saw him, he ran to him. His reaction to being called one time was instantaneous. After only two sessions. I was like, WOW. Then they allowed him to play some more. And then the man practiced it again, same situation, same thing happened. I got the name of the training school, it's a local parks/nonprofit and not expensive ($35 for the whole course, i think). The couple could not speak highly enough of the trainer, how she knows dogs, how skillfully she interacts with them. They said that this method works best with dogs that are highy food motivated as their dog is. I'm afraid Zack is not highly food motivated, although he is moderately food motivated, he likes treats. But last night, I gave him a zucchini slice while i was cooking which he ate right up. Then, i came into the living room and brought him another slice. I tossed it onto the floor and rather than eating it, he brought it to me to throw again. :?

anyway, the couple said that the purpose of the Come When Called class is safety, it's all about the seriousness of the need for a dog to instantly come when called, it can save their life, and the trainer says that even though giving treats will be intermittent, for the sake of safety, they should probably be used most of the time, to insure the dog will take the command very seriously every time no matter what.

Here is a link to a description of the class.

http://www.wlaotc.com/comewhencalled.htm

I signed up but am waiting for them to schedule one. I guess they're waiting for enough people to sign up. If it doesn't happen soon, i will contact the trainer and see if she will do private lessons. It's such an urgent safety matter. Zack has been trained in recall, and for the past two or three months, he has consistently come when i've called him, both inside and outside (he used to be more resistent inside). so i was very confident in him.. When i arrived at Lisa's on Thursday, i wanted to show off how well Zack heels off lead so i foolishly unclipped his leash, and before i could say "heel," he had taken off running and when i called him, he acted like i didn't exist. as i said, it's on the grounds of a large complex that is far away from any street. Since he had come so consistently previously, i wasn't expecting it at all. He ran far away, right into the arms of a strange man who picked him up and carried him back to me. Poor little guy had just gotten out of the car after a two hour drive and needed to run and play. Dumb mommy.

It was a good wake up call, showing me that for one thing i need to practice more with the 30 foot leash using treats, and also, i want to take that class for sure. I spoke to Zack's trainer about the incident and he said partly it's because Zack is still a puppy mentally, and you can't always expect them to act mature at this age but that he will continue to get more reliable as he gets older--but that will be gradual. What i saw that puppy do at the park appeared very reliable, especially considering there had only been two sessions, and they are twice a week, so that is a very short time to learn such a good skill. With ongoing practice, i think a puppy trained with that method, whatever it is, will be reliable on recall. Maybe intensive come when called classes are available elsewhere as well.

Lucy's mum
8th November 2006, 04:15 PM
I think recall is THE most important command there is and I start teaching it in a simple way at 8 weeks - as soon as I bring a pup home. Then I brainwash them with it every day from then on, little sessions through the day. I love having mine off lead whenever we can so recall is vital. As they grow up I find that a whistle calls them in extremely effectively so it worth training to that too - just a whistle with the lips I mean, not a bought dog whistle. And always always always make the return to Mum wonderful! Treats, praise, hugs, toy, whatever. NEVER tell off when they return - whatever naughty doggy thing they may have done before coming to you.

I agree about the adolescent stage - one needs to very patient but insistent at times.

Re the flexis - I suppose my rule of thumb is to use them where a lead is not 100% vital, just desirable, so that if they slipped/broke/etc. it would not be totally disastrous. And I always carry plain leads in my bag too.