Leash is bond between master and dog
Question: While at the dog park, I noticed dogs with various types of leashes. Does the length and style of a leash matter?
Answer: Think of a leash as a communication line between you and your dog.
The ideal length is 4 to 6 feet, which provides enough slack for the dog to walk comfortably yet allows the dog walker to maintain control. In general, a small dog's leash need not be more than a half-inch wide, and a medium-size dog's should be five-eighths to three-quarters of an inch. Excess length should easily fold up in the palm of your hand.
Retractable leads are also popular. With leash lengths of 16 to 26 feet, they give your canine the freedom to explore and play without getting tangled around your feet. This range can be dangerous in crowded areas -- for example, bicyclists can run into the thin line -- so they are best used at parks where dogs are required to be leashed or in the safety of your back yard.
Q: How do I choose the right collar?
A: Base your choice on your dog's temperament, strength and level of training. A buckle (or fixed-circumference) collar is sufficient for a well-trained dog of any size. It should have a city-county identification tag with your current contact information.
For most dogs a traditional nylon or leather collar is adequate. A collar should ride high on the canine's neck, not loose near the top of his shoulder blades. It should be snug, with room to fit two fingers between your dog's neck and collar. Ensure that its breathing is not restricted by a too-tight fit.
A head halter, which looks like a muzzle but is not, is recommended for dogs that are aggressive with other dogs, overly shy or prone to chase smaller animals or objects that interest them. The premise is similar to the way humans are able to handle horses -- control the head and the body follows. In this type of collar, Fido is still able to eat, drink, pant, fetch and bark.
A harness, which fits around the neck and shoulders, is suggested for canines with upper respiratory disease or diseases of the throat or trachea.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.