What is The Best Dog Leash?
What is the best leash for your small dog? The standard leash, the retractable leash, or the halter leash? Compare bestselling brands and how each type of leash aids with training and obedience.
There are three types of dog leash covered here and the best one for your Shetland Sheepdog is variable - it all depends on your dog's needs. For example: are you leash training a puppy or adult dog? Do you trust your dog and want to give him more freedom? Do you have a dog who pulls constantly and needs correction?
The material of a dog leash is important too. For dogs who love to chew everything, a metal chain link leash will last longer (although they do rust if you get them wet). Meanwhile, nylon dog leashes are strong and cheap but can chafe on your skin. Many dog professionals choose leather leashes - although they cost more, they are soft, strong and flexible.
The Standard Dog Leash
The standard dog leash is ideal for everyday use and basic dog leash training.
These kinds of dog leashes typically come in 4, 5, 6 and 8 foot lengths, where the shorter variations are probably best for Shetland Sheepdogs. Make sure the attachment is made from metal and not plastic, as this will suffer wear and tear.
The standard leash clips on to your dog's collar and away you go. We use standard nylon leashes for Howard and Piper and they work great. With consistency, you can use them to leash-train a puppy or adult dog, remembering never to let the dog be the boss by pulling, dragging or walking in front of you.
The Retractable Dog Leash
The retractable dog leash is ideal for giving well-behaved dogs a longer range, or when teaching your dog the recall command.
Retractable leashes - aka extendable leashes - offer the dog a lot more freedom than any other kind of leash. This can be a very good or a very bad thing. They essentially allow your dog to roam as he pleases up to a range of 26 feet - although you can reel him in or lock the leash at a certain length with a button.
Although retractable leashes are very popular, beware that they really only give the illusion of control. If your dog is naughty and roams wherever he pleases without listening to you, it could be a very exhausting process pulling him back and reigning him in. And it takes more than a few precious seconds to reign the dog in if he goes charging into the road.
Having said that, retractable leashes are great for well-behaved dogs in a safe environment when you want to give them extra freedom to sniff about but can't let them off the leash altogether. They are also very useful for training the recall command: allow your dog the full length of the leash then call him (and offer a treat) while reigning him in.
The Halter Dog Leash
The halter leash is ideal for dogs who pull on the leash and need correction.
A dog who isn't leash trained has a tendency to pull hard on the leash, which creates tension on his neck via the collar. This is uncomfortable for the dog and blocks airflow through his windpipe. That's why strong dogs often hack when they pull too hard on the leash.
A halter leash redirects this tension to the area behind your dog's front legs. This is a sensitive area and so the dog is far less inclined to apply pressure through pulling. Instead he'll be more comfortable walking at your pace. They are recommended for dogs of all sizes including Shelties.
How to Care for a Shetland Sheepdog Puppy
All puppies are adorable. That's a scientific fact! But the Shetland Sheepdog puppy - with his big floppy ears, beautiful almond eyes, and silky soft fur - knows how to be deliberately cute on demand. Interestingly, sable Sheltie puppies usually have lighter fur when they're young, which deepens and intensifies as they age. In fact, it can take up to two years for the full adult double coat to grow, which is what gives this breed their distinctive look.
How to Clicker Train Your Dog
Clicker training is a gentle training method that uses only positive reinforcement to teach your dog new behaviors. All you need is a good clicker and an understanding about what makes this dog training method work so well, especially with intelligent dogs like Shelties. I'm going to help you get an overview of clicker training here, plus everything you need to get started.
How To Photograph Your Dog
One of the reasons I made Sheltie Planet is because I have an abundance of Sheltie photos I wanted to share. I love taking pictures of Howard and Piper and being able to capture them in a way that frames that moment forever. Today I'd like to share some general pet photography tips based on what I've learnt using my digital point-and-shoot camera. I hope this helps you get the most out of your pet photography and creates some great images that you will treasure forever.
The Top 10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds
Dogs can be smart in different ways: a breed with an acute and wellhoned ability to work will be quick to learn how to do its job. Other breeds may be so eager to please their people that they're attentive and highly trainable. But intelligence alone doesn't make a good pet. Owners need to be willing to put in the work to channel a dog's inherent intelligence - and a good owner will understand a dog's natural traits to bring out his natural smarts.