Thursday, 5 April 2012

Just Walking the Dog... (thanks Susi)

It's been a busy time here at Delphinus Dreams, but when the working day is over it's nice to unwind with a long leisurely walk with the dog...
Well, it should be, but little Grylls is a very spirited little soul! 
He's not so little any more either. 
Since the blog about him in August he has grown quite a bit and looks nothing like he did then.
Training him  has been fun, he is growing into a beautiful dog with a great character and a real love of, well everything really.
 Bear Grylls

He faces every challenge with pure enthusiasm and joy and with his fearless attitude he certainly lives up to his name
Walking him on a lead has never been a simple task, as he was originally found as a stray I often wonder if he had escaped in the past because no matter what I have tried,he would try to wriggle out of it.
Little Grylls
We've had lots of fun this last year, it started with a collar, but he would pull and struggle, so we tried a harness. As he grew and got stronger he would pull so much it was rubbing under his legs.
He would also jump up and bite to try and get me to let go of the lead.
I have holes in my jeans and jackets from past battles with this stubborn little pup who is determined to make a break for freedom!
We got through the biting phase thankfully!

We tried a Slip Lead for a while, but he would almost strangle himself trying to lead the way ahead.
Later on we tried  The Canny Collar for Dogs, I liked it because it had a secure buckle and the web strap over his nose to gently deter him from pulling looked like a great solution.
And it was!
For about a week!

He soon managed the art of sudden and random lunging to try and trick us into letting him go, this caused rubbing under his eyes and obvious soreness, so the Canny Collar has been placed in the cupboard with many other tried, tested and beaten by Grylls methods!
The Gentle Leader
Next I tried a  Gentle Leader This was great and worked very well, but putting it on correctly with his long fur getting in the way was difficult. 
Some time ago I considered trying a Susi Combi Lead from Pets Express, but way back then Grylls was too clever in his escape methods and I feared we might lose him.
However as time has gone on and Grylls has settled I know he wont run away now, nor am I so worried about him struggling to escape.
I bought one last week and can honestly say I am delighted with it.
The Susi Combi Lead and Head Collar all in one comes with simple instructions and is so easy to use, the material is soft on your hands too and must be so much more comfortable for the dog.

Gwen from Pets Express asked me for my honest opinion so I decided to really put it through the test.
On the Beach
First I took him for a small walk over the back.
He wasn't too happy with the lead at first but I was!
The change was instant, there was no riding up to his eyes, no scuffing and amazingly no pulling or lunging!

Grylls was walking at my side with an occasional tug on the lead that just gently turned his head in my direction. We saw a cat and Grylls did try to do his manic lunging thing, but I quickly gained control, with no force or effort and we happily carried on our walk.
Next we went to the beach, Grylls's favourite place!
After some joyful free running we met other dog walkers, Grylls's favourite thing!

I put his new Susi Combi Lead on him because not many dogs, or owners appreciate the whole happy Grylls experience. (for those that have already, I'm sorry)
Just wonderful! Grylls wanted to run, but the lead gently stops him, another huge bonus is there is no fiddling around trying to get sand out of sprung clips, the Susi lead has no metal parts and is just one long and soft lead.

It's easy to slip on and off, yet it holds your dog securely, even if he did try to wriggle out of it he wouldn't be able to.
If I'd have realised this it would have been the first and only training, no pull lead that I'd have bought.

Even yesterday, Grylls tried to fly after a Seagull but the Susi lead gives him a gentle reminder that I'm on the end of the lead and I have his (almost) full attention again.
Unlike other products I've tried, once we get home he has no flattened fur, no signs or rubbing or chaffing at all and the best thing of all is I have had moments of walking along with my dog at my side with a slack lead and a wagging tail.

It is without a doubt the best training lead or head collar I have ever tried, so a massive thank you to the beautiful Susi who inspired the design and to Gwen for supplying it.

I'm off now to enjoy a walk with my dog! :o) Have a wonderful long weekend!

Grylls today, 5 years later