Christine Hibbard, CTC, CPDT-KA
I chose to devote my career to working with anxious, fearful and aggressive dogs. If you read the articles I post here and in our newsletter that include Why Dogs Bite, What Is a Reactive Rover, Dogs Biting Children, well, you get the idea. I know many wonderful trainers who also work with fearful dogs and when we get together, we bemoan how clueless people can be when approaching a dog they don’t know. We spend an unbelievable amount of time coaching owners of fearful dogs on how to protect their dogs on walks. Some of our suggestions have included body blocking, using the crossing guard ‘STOP’ hand signal, crossing the street and telling strangers that their dog has a contagious skin disease (thanks Nicole Wilde). So when I saw a post on Facebook about a new product called the CAUTIONWALKER Safety Leash, I was on that web site in a matter of seconds to check it out. When I emailed the CAUTIONWALKER Safety Leash company, Matt Cunningham replied back to me and he sent me one so that I could try it for myself.
The first thing that impressed me about this leash is the quality:
- It’s made of really thick nylon. Their web site says “Same sturdy construction as truck cargo straps” and they are not exaggerating.
- The stitching is well done.
- It has a sturdy handle and swivel clip that attaches to the dog’s collar.
- The CAUTION tape look is completely authentic. It’s large enough and bright enough to be seen at a distance.
Their web site is clear, easy to read and addresses the issue of child safety. Do you really want strangers approaching your kids if they’re walking the dog?
My only minor criticism of this new product is that the leash is just over two feet long. I understand why they made the decision to keep the leash short. My owners are so nervous that they’re clutching the leash and reigning the dog in as close to them as possible but that’s part of what we try to get them over: “relax”, “nice loose J in the leash please”. That being said though, there’s no reason you couldn’t buy a splitter or extender if you really want the additional length.
I was a Senior Quality Assurance Manager before changing careers to dog training and animal behavior which means it takes a lot to impress me with any new product and the CAUTIONWALKER Safety Leash impresses me.
This is an awesome product. I cannot remember how many different methods and one-liners I have tried to stop people with their dogs from approaching Viva. Surely this gets the message across.