Canine Fashion: What Does Your Dog Wear?

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, and this just might be that one picture.  If you look closely and if you know your dog leashes, you’ll see part of what I know to be an elegant, leather dog collar-leash set over-lapping an Easy Walk harness.

Think of them both as tools because in the truest sense of the word, that’s what dog collars, leashes and harnesses are. And, if you’re an experienced dog person, you know something else.

You know that not every dog collar, leash and/or harness is created equal. Some of them work better than others and not every dog collar, leash and/or harness works for every dog.

Got a dog that pulls when you walk it? Aside from the obvious “get thee to an obedience class so that you can learn how to work with your dog,” there are several different types of harnesses that will make walking your dog easier.  For you and for your dog.

Up until that scary day when Tessa and I were trail-walking, I thought I knew everything that I needed to know about harnesses. I’m still not sure how she did it, but somehow, Tessa managed to get out of the harness she was (I thought) securely clipped into. And, I am talking a body-type harness that fit over and under the front part of her body.

This took place in the early days of having Tessa – when she and I had just enrolled in an obedience class. You could say that Tessa was still learning leash manners and how to focus on me and not on the ga-zillion other things that she could see and/or smell.

Out she popped and in a split second, she was three or feet away from me. Fortunately, she decided to squat and pee which gave me enough time to casually walk over to her and hook her collar to my leash.

So much for the harness I’d picked out for her shortly after bringing her home. It was time to come up with a safer alternative. Which I did and blogged about.

On the day that I had Debbie Wolf out at Orchard Kennels fit Tessa for an Easy Walk harness, I found out that there are even differences between the types of hardware that are part of a dog collar, leash and/or harness design. And, brass is better!

Debbie said:  “Dogs can pop out of leashes that have nickel-plated hardware much easier than they can with leashes that have brass hardware.”

She also said that it’s difficult to find leashes made with brass hardware, but that they are worth the time it takes to hunt them down. In the rather extensive dog collar, leash and harness collection that I’ve put together over years of living with dogs, I had one collar and one leash that were fitted with brass hardware.

Together they were a set,  part of which you can see in the photo and they came with Josephine, my 14-15 year old whippet. Whippet people have the most lovely accessories for their dogs.

The collar is completely unsuitable for Tessa. Despite her diminutive size (18 pounds), she pulls like an over-enthusiastic pit bull mix or a rambunctious, really-wanna-play German Shepherd.

But the leash is perfect. And, so far, the combination of the Easy Walk harness, this leash, lots of practice and dog treats, Tessa’s doing fine. And, I have started my hunt to find a supplier of leashes with brass fittings … because one such leash is only adequate. Two is better and three or four is dog-lover paradise!

It’s like this: if I can no longer enjoy the human perfection and status of wearing Ferragamo shoes, the very least I can do for all three of my dogs is to upgrade their canine wardrobe for my peace of mind, their safety, and our mutual enjoyment.

Because I can.  [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]



  1. Polly says

    We’ve fortunately had no problems with the hardware of our gear, but are so very pleased to have found out about these body harnesses – it really helps the dog learn not to pull, which makes “free walks” more enjoyable for all of us. I think it has also made them more responsive to the training leashes when we are using them, attached to the regular webbing collar.

    Greta’s harness is a lovely purple, clashing a bit with her rose pink leash (she is wearing “Kong”, in red-carpet-speak) but definitely giving people the hint of her gender (if her physical configuration, including remnants of motherhood, don’t register). Clifford is in dignified black, as the extra large came only in that color.

  2. says

    Albert James has a fashion statement for the month of April. It is autism awareness month, he has a collar with brightly colored puzzle pieces symbolizing autism. I use a very old leather leash that belonged to Rosie, his infamous predecessor that carries his TDI tags. There are many knots in this old leash helping people know where to hold the leash when walking Albert…

    • htkhp says

      What a wonderful way to remember Rosie. I remember that leash! Not sure how i missed Albert Jame’s autism collar … I’ll have to check it out the next time I see him, which will be soon!

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