Baby got Back-Up

 

Oh the things we've learned the hard way... A few years ago we were running a Meetup group for Pit Bulls and their parents. Part of what we offered was group socialization walks and APBT specific training classes. We were very concerned with helping less social dogs get some exercise in a safe environment, meaning no dogs running amuck! Many of our group members used training gear like the prong collar, but no one seemed to know that this type of gear has a pretty high "failure rate." For our group events we simply required folks to "backup" their training gear.

Anyone who has put a prong collar on a dog knows how hard it can be to pinch those little prongs and get them into the little holes in the other link while your dog flails and jumps around excited to go on a walk, exactly our point! When prong collars are not put on correctly, when the links get older and become loose, or if they have a "French clip" style attachment on the chain - they can "pop open" and free your dog at the most inappropriate times (Murphy's Law). 

Nowadays the trend of "backing up" seems almost mainstream, for this reason we offer our popular Double Ended Leashes in various widths and lengths. There are other ways to back up your gear that are a little more DIY, check out our Gear Guide (scroll down to the bottom of the page) for a quick, safe, and effective way to backup your prong collar until your new double ended leash arrives!

Selecting/using a double-ended leash for backup:

When you double over a 6-foot leash you end up with a 3-foot leash, well, sort of. Notice in the middle picture above how the side of the leash that is attached to Sequoia's flat collar (for backup) has a nice amount of slack in it. You will need to learn how to hold your double-ended leash so that you always have this "slack" on the backup side, otherwise you are distributing force back onto the flat collar and away from the corrective collar, which will give your dog a "nagging" correction which won't help either one of you. We recommend grabbing your leash about 18-24 inches from the end that is attached to your training tool (prong collar, etc.) then wrapping your hand/wrist with the leash at leash once to create a handle type feeling. You will notice you have a loop of loose leash by your side - this is why you do not want your double-ended leash to be too long, it will drag the ground and drive you nuts. So as you can imagine, a 6-foot double-ended leash is perfect for most people.

Oh Snap! A Guide to Leash Snaps

 

There are dozens of leash snap/clip attachment styles out there but these two are our favorites. After years of testing we've found these two styles to be the easiest and most fool proof for general use. With this said, we love to do custom work, so if you would prefer another style of leash clip we can do it - just let us know what you're looking for. 

Why we love the Trigger Snap: We started using Trigger Snaps because we noticed that the small flat o-ring style attachment pieces on the Halti, Gentle Leader and prong style collars would actually wiggle through the opening on a Bolt Snap, causing the leash to release - yikes! With the Trigger style snap there is not chance of this happening. Trigger Snaps have a small pin that goes through the center to allow the two sides of the clip to move and stay put. Occasionally a Trigger Snap pin will get gunk in it and become stiff, this rarely happens but all gear should be checked and cleaned/lubricated if this occurs.

Why we love the Bolt Snap: Well, because this is what most people are used to and it is the easiest way to clip a leash on and off. Bolt Snaps have a tiny spring inside the shaft that creates the "spring" action when you pull down the bolt to open/close the clip. Over time this spring can weaken and start to allow the clip to open under very small amounts of pressure. Have you ever had a leash come of when your dog shakes their head? This is usually because the shaking action actually caused that little spring to push down and allow your leash clip to open - again, yikes! This can simply be because the leash is old, the clip was cheap to begin with, or the clip was defective, either way, if this happens it's time for a new leash.

Our favorite leash still remains the double ended leash with a combination of clips, one end with a Trigger Snap and one end with a Bolt Snap - simply the best of both worlds...