DOG COLLARS and LEADSThere are so many different types of collars and leads for your dog - your choice will depend on the type of dog you have. A big dog will require a strong, durable leather leash, or a chain kind with a leather handle.
A nylon lead will be light to carry and easier to wash,and easier to carry in your pocket - but this type of lead is really for smaller dogs.
With so many different designs of dog collars and leads available - it can be very confusing as to which type of leash is more suitable for your dog.
A thin narrow 'designer type' collar or lead is OK for the smaller dog - it may be 'fashionable' - but is it really suitable or practical for your dog?
A plastic or nylon lead might look great! - but if you're out on your walk with your dog, and it's cold and wet - then you may find that this type of lead may cut into your hand, or even slip when it's wet - giving you no real control over your dog!
So, although it may appear to 'look nice' - the reality is that it's not really that serviceable.
Leather leashes might not look as good as 'designer label' type leads - but for me - I would recommend a versatile, strong leather dog lead every time - it will last for years and if you use a little 'shoe polish' on it once a year - it will keep it looking really nice and keep it 'supple'. note: if you live it hot conditions then you will need to do this more often to stop the leather 'cracking' and keep it flexible and in good condition.
If you have a dog that is prone to chew its lead, then the chain variety will be better, get one with a leather handle.
An expanding leash on a rewinding spool is compact to hold and lets the dog explore but you can still retain control- but I would not recommend its use for a German Shepherd Dog!
For training German Shepherd Dogs, especially puppies, a longer leash is more desirable - also for ease of handling you can hold the end of the leash in your right hand, and for more control - hold the remainder of the leash (about 1/2 way down) in your left hand. ( a six foot long leash is ideal)
This is ideal for solving the problem of controlling a big dog by a smaller person - who may not be strong enough to hold a big dog with just one hand if the dog has a tendency to pull.
The best solution for a large dog is a short leather (or chain) leash which enables close control at all times.
Most dog collars are leather which is most practical, but nylon or chain varieties are also available. Again, the size of collar depends on the size of your dog - it must not be too tight, or too loose. The leather variety is preferable because it can normally be adjustable - so as your dog gets bigger - you can adjust the collar accordingly.
For training your German Shepherd Dog, you can use a choke chain collar - it's very helpful when training your dog to walk on the lead, and if your dog has behavior problems.
Note: it's very important to make sure you have the collar on the right way- when you pull on the choke chain - it should tighten i.e. check your dog - and when released, the chain should loosen the loop of the chain after the collar has checked the dog.
A quick 'tug' of the lead- issued with a command to your dog such as 'heel' / 'no' / or 'leave' together with the sound of the chain tightening around your dogs neck - will normally result in your dog either stopping what it is doing - e.g. 'pulling' and getting your dogs immediate attention
This is why a choke chain is so good for training your German Shepherd Dog, and used sensibly, will cause no harm. So my advice for training German shepherd dogs is to use a check chain to stop your dog pulling on the lead. It's important to remember that your contact with your dog is by the use of the dog collar and leash - so it's vital that you use this wisely to make certain that your dog is in the right place and you are firmly in control of his movements at all times - especially at the puppy stage of training.
But remember - when your German Shepherd Dog is fully trained and always well behaved - then choose a wide adjustable leather collar and put the chain collar away (and save it for your next dog!).
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DOG IDENTITY DISK tagsIt is most advisable to get an identity disk tag made up for your dog or puppy just in case of any unforeseeable event happening, they are usually made of thin metal with a small hole in it so you can attach it to your dogs collar - it should have your dogs name inscribed on it, together with your telephone number (or if registered with your local vets - then you can put their phone number on it if you have a security issue) - then in the event of say your dog running off, or heaven forbid - being involved in a traffic incident - or whatever other unforeseen reason, your dog can be reunited with you fairly simply and quickly.
Believe me - it will save you a lot of time - and a lot of heartache should your dog go missing.
The American Humane Society say that just 15% of dogs in shelters ever find their way home again because they had ID tags .... 85% of dogs arriving at animal shelters have no ID and have been picked up as 'strays' so without any dog ID the chances are you will never see your dog again - what an alarming prospect and if you have children - how are you going to explain this to your kids when their favorit pooch has gone for ever - never to be seen again?
Microchips are another way to ensure that your dog has a good chance of recovery should he go missing or indeed - be stolen!
These miniscule electronic chips are embedded under your dogs skin and Animal Shelters, the Police, Veterinarians and other official bodies have scanners to read the information on the chip which can immediately identify your dog.But ordinary people do not have access to these scanners - so a Dog Identity disk tag is essential in order that anyone can read it and get in touch with you to let you know they have found your stray dog.
Your dog's ID tag are not expensive to buy and can come in many shapes, sizes and different colors, and the tags can be metal or plastic - some people even have their own dog ID tag made especially for them out of crystal or expensive jewellery!
You can even get the latest technology and have a GPS collar and tag to keep track of your dog.
2 way wireless technology for those that take their dog's safety and security seriously, whatever the cost.
So at the very least make sure that you dog has an Identity Disk tag so anyone can read it in the event of your dog being lost - Get one today!
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