Sunday

How You Walk Your Dog Can Affect His Health

How you walk your dog can affect his or her health.Excessive pulling contributes to spinal compression.Spinal compression is exactly what it sounds like and a compressed spine can lead to pain and vet bills that could have been avoided.Not only that but excessive pulling can contribute to scar tissue building up along the trachea,how many dogs have you seen pulling on the leash and they are coughing and gagging?That is because the windpipe is being pressed on.Now imagine this happening a lot over a period of time....
This is my mom's Saluki companion, Jazz,photographed on a walk at the lake.Jazz is wearing a hound collar. Note that it is wider in front than in the back where the leash attaches.This design has been in style since the ancient Egyptians first took their Salukis into the desert to hunt. They knew that pulling on the leash would cut off the air supply and damage the hounds trachea. By widening the collar in the front they redistribute the pressure on the trachea by spreading it over a wider area, eliminating the coughing and gagging reflex.The wider collar also helps the spine because when a narrow collar is pulled on the dog flexes his neck and bows the spine into a less natural position.
Obedience exhibitors use these when excercising their dogs because it also helps the dog retain sensitvity to a regular training collar and a much lighter touch can be used in training.
If your dog pulls a lot go for a wider hound collar than Jazz is wearing.You can find all sizes, even toy dog sizes at dog shows and on eBay.
Of course your dog should be trained to walk quietly by your side but these days with leash laws in most citys, some dogs are never off the leash and they often are given free rein to excercise while on a leash.Having a dog walk in perfect heel each and every time you walk was great in the 1960's but these days it isn't always so practical in everyday life. If you use a flexi-lead then you need a martingale hound collar to prevent choking.I noticed recently that our local greyhound people use the martingale but dont use the hound (wide in front) martingale.By not doing so they are doing a disservice to their wonderful dogs. The best hound collars are padded like the one Jazz is wearing.Some even have sheepskin lining.They come in plain leather, tooled leather and cotton webbing, plain nylon and nylon or cotton webbing decorated with rich brocades.Some are so beautiful they are even showing up in the dog show ring.I watched a Chinese Crested class where every entry was wearing lovely decorated hound collars.
Till next post Happy Easter and don't let the dog catch any chocolate bunnies...