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THE "SPIDER-MANDA" LEASH
I expanded on the idea of a coupler leash and created a bigger system of leashes that allows the number of dogs connected to me to fluctuate between one and eight. Each leash has bungee inside of it that provides the dogs with a slight increase in resistance to warn them that they are reaching the end of their leash.
The leashes are each equipped with a steel ring on the end so they can be easily attached to the rings of other leashes with the use of a large carabeener (locking metal clip). Once all the dogs are connected to each other, I then connect them to myself using a rock climbing harness and a "leash" for myself. The rock climbing harness offers me more control over a group of dogs because it lowers my center of gravity and offers me more strength than simply using my arms.
The system allows me to be completely hands-free, and therefore able to carry the rest of our playdate equipment to the park, manage their behavior while we walk, clean up after their quick pit-stops, and occasionally untangle their feet from the leashes.
You can run a search on both Facebook and Instagram for the hashtag, #MandasDogWalkingHacks to see some videos I have posted of this system in use!
HOT WEATHER PRECAUTIONS
What better way to keep them cool in the summer, while also having fun!?
As soon as the temperature reaches over 70 degrees, I bring a small kiddie pool to the park for the dogs to cool off and play in. Since there is no reliable water source at the dog park, I come equipped with multiple gallons of water to fill the pool.
Dogs do not regulate their body temperature as effectively as humans do, so it is IMPERATIVE to keep them cool by giving them unlimited access to cold water, letting them put their feet in cold water, and getting their coats wet.
COLD WEATHER PRECAUTIONS
I keep multiple blankets, as well as extra dog-rain-jackets, in my car all year round. I've been known to wrap them up in a burrito of blankets after a chilly playdate!
AGGRESSION PREVENTION (AND TICK REMOVAL!)
I do everything I can to ensure that the dogs' play behavior stays safe and healthy for everyone involved.
I use a high pitched dog whistle to deescalate rough play.
If a scuffle happens, I use an air horn (at a decent range so that their eardrums don't rupture of course!) to surprise them out of there agitated or aggressive state. It works very well to stop them in their tracks, no matter what they're doing!
You will also see I have a tick "key" (that green thing) for yucky tick removals! Thankfully the dog park is all wood chips, so ticks are pretty rare!
WANT TO JOIN THE PACK?
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