People often say a tired dog is a good dog. I maintain a well-behaved dog is a good dog. If your pup can’t keep it together on a leash without resorting to bad behavior, how are they going to get tired enough to be good?
Case in point: My ten-year-old Goldendoodle Jessie is still energetic and (head) strong. Keeping her calm and disciplined on leash was more than months of training could achieve. I experimented with using a standard cloth collar and leash combo. I tried a harness, hoping if I could tame her mid-section, the rest of her body would follow. Running my dog off leash isn’t practical most days since I live in a densely-populated area, with smaller yards and constant traffic. If Jessie – and I – are to get any exercise, we’re walking with a leash.
Jessie’s sassy attitude creates tension as she’s offended that she has to be subjected to a leash at all. At 70 pounds, she’s a muscular gal, so often I’d be dragged behind her, desperately trying to assert my dominance on the food chain. All I’d get is a sidelong smirk, as if she was saying, ‘Dream on, sister.’ After months of passersby asking, ‘Who’s walking who?’ on our daily treks, I decided to further research the key to less stressful walks, whilst keeping my aching arms attached to my shoulders.
Salvation came in the form of a pink and brown-striped length of braided rope, called an infinity lead, or more specifically, The Perfect Pace no-pull halter leash. The Perfect Pace is in the same family as a gentle leader, or Halti, other options that allow pet parents to train your dog by redirecting her head towards you. That means attention goes to you, and not that plump and delicious-looking squirrel scurrying across the street.
Because you create a loop around your dog’s nose, whenshe pulls forward, her head will pull toward whoever is on the other end of the leash. This prevents pulling, lunging, jumping and barking. Okay, Jessie still barks. But she’s a sensitive creature who wants to express herself, and who am I to judge?
Once used exclusively by trainers, an infinity lead can help you train your dog to say, heel. Jessie’s infinity lead is deceptively skimpy-looking, but it keeps Jessie focused, and steady.
Infinity leads all-in-one convenient design means you can ditch the collar, unless it’s a really pretty one that sets off your dog’s lustrous mane. Adjust it to fit almost any size neck; however, it’s most appropriate for dogs that weigh 50 to 250 pounds. Although the lead wraps around your dog’s head and neck, there’s no pressure on her throat, and won’t pull her head to the side. Sounds counterintuitive but exerting pressure on Jessie’s neck causes a relaxation response as she tries to pull forward, and she generally leans back against the pressure. The Perfect Pace turns a resistant dog into a calm and attentive dog.
Bonus: Because this is not a muzzle, Jessie’s free to drink water, have a treat, or pick up one of her many tennis balls.
No leash works for every dog. An infinity lead is not meant for dogs who constantly pull. Any collar is dangerous if your pup pulls for prolonged periods of time. We’ve been using The Perfect Pace infinity lead for three years now, and it’s as sturdy as the day we bought it. See this highly-rated leash at boldleaddesigns.com There are similar models through other companies as well.
This video shows how to easily apply the lead.
Next time, we’ll look at the Gentle Leader versus Halti. In the meantime, be the person your dog thinks you are. And let her take you on a walk.