Finding a collar for Bobby
I was so excited to buy a collar for Bobby. We adopted Bobby from an animal shelter abroad which meant that he first had to travel to the Netherlands before we could actually see him for the first time. We decided that, if it would click between us, we would take him with us the very same day. Therefore, we had to bring a collar and a leash.
Visiting our local pet store, I struggled to find a nice collar. They were all quite expensive and posh (think of little diamonds and colorful stitchings). I just wanted a plain but robust collar.
Beforehand I have read some tips on the internet on buying a collar however there was so much information (often even contradictory) that I got confused. Not being sure whether I bought the “right” collar in the right size I ordered a simple brown leather collar. I have read that colored leather can lose its color resulting in discolored fur but I hoped that this natural brown color should be okay. (And the collar didn’t lose its color).
After a few months we had to add more holes so that the collar would fit again. Leather gets softer and more flexible after usage so the collar was getting too loose. Additionally Bobby got thinner through being on a diet (being a shelter dog apparently isn’t good for your figure).
I think that Bobby never really learned how to walk on a leash but I have to say that he learned fast. Of course he isn’t walking by my side at command but we have nice walks without him pulling the leash. With the exception of cats crossing our way. The moment Bobby sees or smells a cat he goes crazy. He starts chasing the cat, pulling the leash in all directions, leaving me with the struggle to control and calm him down again. Luckily he isn’t that big so I can manage to hold him but still it isn’t nice for either of us. I had a look in the internet and found that a harness may be a good try. I thought by using a harness his power gets divided and he would feel less pressure around his neck and trachea. One of the teachers at our dog school recommended the K9 harnesses. And that’s what I bought. A few months and a few grams later Bobby needed a smaller harness. The current harness couldn’t be adjusted sufficiently so I had to buy one in a smaller size.
I don’t know about Bobby but for me, walking him with a harness was very different than compared to a collar. The leash always was positioned in the middle of his back and didn’t wrapped itself around his neck. And indeed I could hold him back more easily when he wanted to chase a cat again. Compared to the collar I had to wash the harness more often because it got greasy very easily. Also, it is quite difficult to find a K9 harness that fits 100%. In the end, we stopped using the K9 harness because Bobby managed to open it during walks. He didn’t do this on purpose but sometimes, his upper leg/elbow would push against the clip which than opened the harness. The first time it happened I didn’t realize that it was Bobby who opened the clip. I thought that I didn’t close the clip well, until I saw it happening. We were in the woods and about 15 minutes away from home so I called my boyfriend to bring the collar because I didn’t dare to walk anymore with the harness.
Fun fact People would look at us when wearing the K9 harness and guessing what kind of rescue or police dog he could be. Little did they know…
Currently, Bobby is wearing this fabric collar. Compared to the leather collar it is easier to adjust the size if gets too loose. However, I have to wash this one more often because it gets stinky after a while.
For now I am pretty happy with the two collars but maybe I will try different one in the future!