We Like: The Hound Bag

I’ve been looking for a good dog walking bag for a long, long time.  I wanted a bunch of things from it and nothing measured up, until I found the Hound Bag.  This bag was designed by a dog owner who wanted something better and she did a good job.

I wanted:

  • a bag that could hold a fair bit and still be organized & easy to access
  • a comfortable, adjustable shoulder strap
  • able to hold a water bottle
  • a bag that is longer than it is wide, so it sits still when we’re walking quickly
  • made of material that will stand up to wet, soggy weather & stay looking decent

The Hound Bag does all that and more.  It’s quite a cleverly designed bag.

  • the strap is wide enough to not dig into my shoulder & long enough you can loop it to carry the bag like a knapsack
  • the strap doubles as an extra leash, which is great if you’re like me & are constantly finding loose dogs
  • the strap has a very reflective stripe on it for safety (I wear the strap across my chest, so I’m visible front & back)
  • 1 little pocket on the front works as a poop bag dispenser
  • the other little pocket is perfect for training treats
  • there’s another pocket for your phone
  • a strap for your keys or clicker
  • the drink holder can be used to carry a compact umbrella—very handy in the winter here
  • there’s a loop to hold a Chuck-It
  • the bag has an interior, sealable pocket to hold a bag of dog poop so you don’t have to hold it in your hand  (This might work for some people, but I find I don’t use it.  The opening is a little small for a larger dog and I tend to forget things that are out of sight, which means I have left bags of poop in my Hound Bag.  That can be a rude surprise to find at a later date.)
  • the bag has 2 large pockets & a 1/2-size pocket with places for pens

I’m very happy with the bag.  It looks great, dirt just brushes off, and I have no problem using it when I run errands.  I can put a buttload of things in it, even though it’s not a huge bag—wallet, camera, phone, calendar, checkbook, poop bags, chapstick, kleenex, headlamp (for finding poop in the dark), gloves, sunglasses, keys, hand sanitizer, & gum.  It’s also nice to support a small company like Hound Bag. It’s great to deal with a real person who cares about their product and I received excellent customer service when I ordered my bag.  They come in a number of different colors and there’s even a smaller version available.  If you need a good dog walking bag, check them out!

We Like: The Easy Walk Harness

harness81.jpg Actually, we love the Easy Walk Harness by Premier and I have a lot to say about it! This is a great tool to get your dog to stop pulling on the leash. It’s made by the same people who make the Gentle Leader, and works in a similar way by turning your dog if she pulls on the leash. The D-ring (where the leash hooks) is on the chest, which makes it very different from harnesses where the D-ring is on the back. The D-ring on the Easy Walk Harness works like a steering wheel.

This harness is different from head halters like the Gentle Leader or the Halti. A head halter can work, but you need to be vigilant and never let your dog run or lunge to the end of the leash, which can be hard when there are squirrels or other distractions around. Lunging to the end of the leash in a head halter can really injure the dog’s neck. The Easy Walk Harness is a step above head halters and is by far better than choke, prong, or shock collars.

The Easy Walk Harness is one of the best things you can buy for you & your dog and I don’t say that lightly. Here’s why it rocks:

  • it can’t be mistaken for a muzzle—no matter how many friendly or submissive signals Saffron gave, we still had people ask if the Gentle Leader was a muzzle or if she was a biter
  • no risk of neck injury as there is with head halters
  • dogs can’t back out of the harness as can happen with regular collars
  • no risk of coughing, gagging, or injury to trachea as there is with regular collars
  • there’s no strap on the face or nose—if your dog is sensitive or pulls because she’s anxious, I think the nose strap on a head halter can actually exacerbate her anxiety
  • much easier, faster adjustment period than with head halter
  • doesn’t cause any pain like choke or prong collars

I think there are a few different types of leash pullers and this harness worksharness5-copy.jpg with all of them. There are the dogs who flap & fly around on the end of the leash, the sled dogs pulling you down the sidewalk, the lungers who go after squirrels or other things of interest, and there are the steady pullers who do it out of anxiety. Because this harness is controlling your dog’s chest, and therefore her whole body, your dog gets a clear, gentle signal about what you want from her. It worked the minute I put it on Saffron. It was such a startling change to have the leash slack and to have her relaxed, that at first I thought something was wrong. But, it was actually that something was right for the first time.

The Easy Walk Harness is indispensable for training sessions during walks orharnessdiagram.jpg in places with lots of distractions. Want your dog to learn to sit at the corner before crossing, but you’re having trouble getting through to her because she’s not paying attention to you? This harness can make all the difference. Trying to teach your dog to heel, but she’s just too anxious to focus? Well, first move to a less stressful place like your own backyard, but also try this harness. It really is much better at communicating what you want and that’s so much of what training is all about.

Don’t miss these superb videos on fitting the Easy Walk Harness (bottom of the page) and on the harness in action with a frisky Boxer (second from the bottom).

harness4.jpgTake the time to adjust the Easy Walk Harness for the proper fit. It’s supposed to be quite snug with the chest strap over the breast bone. Remember the D-ring goes on the chest. The harness has 2 buckles—one on the stomach strap and one on the back strap. And it has 4 places to adjust the fit, so you can get it just right. The stomach strap is a different color to make it easy for you to put the harness on correctly. And it comes in lots of sizes and colors.

(Please note: I am in no way affiliated with the Easy Walk Harness or any stores linked to above.)