Lets face it: because I like gadgets, I do own quite a few things that I definitely don’t need. But getting new toys, harnesses,leads, treats, blankets, bowls, toy boxes, drinking fountains, supplements, food dispensers and whatever novelty the producers tempt me with is actually quite pleasant.
But there are two things that, even if for other people they might be ‘extras’, I find really useful: my dog walking belt and my lead with ‘training’ on it.
The belt leaves my arms free, which matters because I use hand signals (alongside verbal ones), I can also control how many treats I use by simply putting the right number into the ‘treat compartment’. I don’t have to worry if I have poo bags as they are there, too. I can clip the leads onto the belt. And just picking the belt up gives my dogs the right signal: get ready.
The lead sends a clear signal to people, who would otherwise want to approach Brian (or any other dog I’m working with). It saves me explaining ‘he’s scared of people’ or ‘he’s fearful/aggressive’ or ‘he’s terrified of sudden movements’. As I don’t have to communicate verbally any issues my dog has, people don’t presume anything, either. They are not scared, they don’t feel sorry for Brian, they don’t stop to chat about some people’s cruelty and some countries appalling practices. They just don’t disturb us but behave in an ordinary way.