Equipment for less reactive, more relaxing walks?

I recently wrote about my favorite harnesses and leashes.  Honestly, whether or not your dog is reactive, those are two solid pieces of equipment to have so be sure to check out that post.  Walking your dog on a longer leash might be a new and different concept for you, but I encourage you to try it out.  

Today, I want to review some other equipment options for you and your reactive dogs.  These pieces of equipment can help you feel safer, which is a key component to feeling more relaxed and calm on walks.  As an added bonus, both of the pieces of equipment I’m going to talk to you about today can help reduce tension in the leash.   

Sounds pretty good, right? 

One note…

Hopefully, you read my previous post on equipment and either felt relieved because you already were using a front-back clip harness for your dog OR you were so inspired you got a new front-back clip harness.  The 2 pieces of equipment I’m covering today require a body harness with a front and a back clip.  

Ttouch Connector

If you are frustrated by your dog’s pulling or you are just a little nervous about having only one point of contact on your dog, the Ttouch Connector is something worth checking into.

That’s not a typo, by the way. Ttouch is short-hand for Tellington Touch.

It looks like a “V” with two clips at each point and a metal ring at the base.  Attach your leash to the metal ring and then attach the 2 clips on the Connector to your dog’s harness.   

Why I love it:

  • Can use it with any leash and it’s very quick and easy to attach
  • Two points of contact can provide additional peace of mind for the guardian
  • Helps the dog stay in balance (weight evenly distributed over all paws)
  • Gives the dog a little extra length (freedom) which is a nice option particularly in urban settings where a long leash isn’t ideal
  • Requires absolutely no new leash handling skills to learn
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Can help deter leash pulling (compared to a back-clip harness or standard collar)
  • Surprise bonus:  the leash got caught under my dog’s front leg way less often compared to using the front-clip alone

Ttouch Harmony Handle (formerly called the Freedom Handle)

The Harmony Handle is really nice if you have a tendency to tense up and hold the leash tight when you see one of your dog’s triggers.  It’s ok if you’ve done this – it’s human.  This tool uses a swivel to help the leash stay loose, even if you get tense.

The Harmony Handle requires a leash that attaches to both the front and back clips of your dog’s harness.  Then a handle slides around the leash on a metal clip and swivel.  

The handle attaches to the leash with a metal clip and swivel
The Harmony Handle requires a special leash that attaches to both clips on the harness

Much like the Connector, the Harmony Handle helps keep the dog in balance, reducing tension on the leash.  And you get the two points of contact. 

Honestly, the Harmony Handle has many of the same pros as the Connector.  However, you will likely need to purchase a special leash as well and that makes it a little bit more expensive.  You can see the whole set here.

Why does “getting the dog in balance” matter?

Think of it as good posture.  You want to see your dog with weight evenly distributed between all paws and joints in alignment.  The dog should not be leaning forward, rounding the spine, or hunching over.  Staying in balance reduces stress on joints and prevents injury.  It also makes for more enjoyable walks with your dog!

One more note… 

There is no single piece of equipment that is going to resolve all the behavior issues for your dog.  But the right piece of equipment can be an important part of the equation and make dog walks less stressful.

Have you used either the Connector or Harmony Handle?  Will you be trying them after reading this?  Let me know how it goes and what your experience is!

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