Walking Dogs Safely, “The Belt of Power™”
Stop! Before you start screaming that I’ve joined the pack leader bandwagon, fear not. I can’t remember who dubbed my most powerful “tool” the Belt of Power™, but it’s a pun, a wisecrack, a raillery if you will. There’s nothing cruel about this and if you feel the least bit more empowered or confident on your walks, well… that’s where the power in the Belt of Power™ comes from. Hint: it’s you.
If you prefer to watch the video, head to the bottom of this post. If you prefer to read, here are some show notes.
What is it? Where did it come from?
Sometimes fans send me questions, and if I like them, I answer!
Rosemary says, “I’m working my way through the Cog-Dog Radio podcast, yesterday I listened to the podcast where Sarah interviewed Katie. First I’d like to say I wish Pets Crave Love was in our area, Clovis, New Mexico.” Aw, thank you. “As I would finally have someone I could trust to dog sit my dogs and provide them with enrichment, too. What a wonderful service you are providing.”
“Secondly, I wanted to ask if Katie can remember the name of the belt that she uses to hold her treats and supplies. She said she got it on Amazon. I know Katie said it was dorky, but to me it sounds like a great tool to have while I work with my dogs. If you could provide me with any information, I would really appreciate it.”
I get this question a lot, it’s kind of funny, I was looking for a belt that had different size pockets on it.
Side note… to the clothing designers of the world, for all that is holy, we need more pockets. Please. I bet of you, more pockets.
I tried a couple different bags, I know there’s a bunch out there already. A lot of them are really heavy, and obviously in Austin, it’s summer pretty much all the time except for two months where it snows. So I wanted a light belt and I needed a lot of different size pockets. So, I’ll kind of tell you a little bit about our belts!
Put That Phone Down
When a lot of people are out, they’re walking their dogs, they’re so distracted. So, right, you show up in a field and you’re charged by other dogs that people are on their phones on their dog park, they are checking their text messages, they’re looking at the weather.
In our company when we’re walking dogs, we’re walking dogs. We’re not checking our phones, occasionally we’ll take a picture or two if we feel that it’s safe.
Put phones in the pockets, hands should be honestly, hands-free, the only thing in your hands should be a leash if you’re leash walking your dog.
Personally, someone needs to be able to get a hold of me, so I solved this problem. I got myself, or actually, my husband, for my birthday, got me an Apple Watch. I know it’s a little bit hypocritical but the reason I wear an Apple Watch is I want to be able to call 911 immediately.
And if you’re someone who needs to know what time it is and you don’t want an Apple Watch, just wear a regular watch so you’re not on your phone wondering “what time is it?”
The Three Pockets
I’ve got three pockets on my belt.
I’ve got one big pocket and in this I keep my cellphone. It’s an iPhone, it’s pretty big, it can fit all the way in there. I also keep any kind of client keys or car keys, and I keep my low value cookies in this one. Mostly because there’s extra stuff in here, so if I need to grab high value cookies, I have them in a different pocket. So, low value cookies, keys, and my cellphone. They zip up if needed. I keep them unzipped because these flaps are awesome and I’ve had dogs try to snuffle in there and they can’t really get in there.
Medium pocket. This stuff is for safety. This is not pepper spray. This is called SprayShield. It’s made by PetSafe. This is dog away spray. It is not pepper spray. I don’t like pepper spray because when pepper spray goes off, it affects not only you, but also the dog that you’re walking and anybody else in the area. My dad used to work for a company that manufactured mace. I have sprayed pepper spray and I have experienced it, and it’s hard to breathe, it’s hard to talk, it’s hard to think.
Spray Away I’ve used on other dogs in an emergency, I’ve had much better luck using it. It’s not very expensive, you can get it on Amazon. I think it’s usually 10 bucks a bottle. But, again, made by PetSafe, it is not pepper spray.
I know some people carry tasers, depends where you live. I don’t like to carry that stuff, but it’s up to you. The SprayShield is great. I keep it in this unzipped pocket. It’s right on my bum, so I can just reach around, grab it out. It’s got a little red tab on there.
Do what works for you, what you feel comfortable with. I have used it, I’ve used it for two years now and I’m happy with it and it’s easy to carry.
The smallest pocket carries my high value dog cookies. The jackpot of pockets. Use these cookies to reward brilliant behavior by the dog you’re walking or to use as a cookie shield to grab yourself some getaway time in case you are charged by a loose dog.
Just throw them as hard as you can at the dog running up to you and then use that time to move away to safety. Cookie scatters also can have a calming effect on dogs, so it may buy you the time and energy shift you need to move to safety.
If You Need to Throw Something
If you do need to throw something at a dog that is charging you, you can throw keys (careful though, you might need them to get to your house or car), you can throw treats. I think Trish McConnell came up with that. She’s got a really good blog on it here. She literally just throws high value cookies in the face of the dog that is charging. It’s not always going to work but you should just try whatever you have in your hand at that moment. You can also throw a full bag of poop if you absolutely need to.
Poop Bags Hanging from Your Leash Handle
I hang poop bag dispensers on my belt. And I do this because I don’t want anything in my hands and I don’t want anything on my leash. So if I have a leash, the only thing I want on it is my hand in the handle! And Amazon also makes little poop bag holders, when you have a full one, that you can attach to your leash. I just carry the full bag in my hand on the way back.
I can always just drop the full bag in an emergency. But if you’ve got a bunch of stuff on your leash that’s dangling… well, I have cut my hand open badly on a metal poop bag holder attached to a leash.
I was charged by a dog, the metal clip was on the dog that I was walking’s leash handle, and it cut my hand open. And this is before I had the belt. I had no bandaids, and my hand was bleeding everywhere. The only thing I had was poop bags, so I kind of wrapped my hand in a poop bag and went home. Not very glamourous.
Okay, I want to see the belt now.
I think it’s time to tell you what the belt was original created for. This belt is meant for music festivals. It’s a fairy theme, so festive. And they would rather that you wear this on your front. I personally would not like to add anything more to my front, so I wear it on the back.
It’s a festival belt, and it’s not very expensive. I’m pretty sure they’re homemade but I’m not entirely sure.
Get what works for you, plan ahead what you’d like to bring on a walk, you found all the stuff here that I like to bring on a walk. Keep it really simple, keep your hands free, the only thing in your hand either needs to be a full poop bag, or a dog leash!
This way you’re paying attention to your dog, what they need, where they want to go, what they want to sniff. Then you’ll have a successful walk.
That’s it! Rosemary, I hope I answered your question, and thank you for writing in.
If you have a burning question, please feel free to send us an email at email@example.com and we might be able to help!
Watch the original video here:
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