Welcome to my journey! This blog is about my adventures in dog training, pet therapy work, rescue work and life with my menagerie of animals. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Product Review!!

For Christmas last year I received the Mt Tam Belt and Leash from OllyDog. It is a hands free leash and belt system with a small pouch on the belt for pickup bags and small essentials like keys and phone (or treats!). I was very excited to try it out with Beanie! I have used it a couple times for walks on our road but yesterday I used it while we walked on a nature trail. First I have to say I LOVE IT!! It's really nice to have my hands free. I have jogged with it (I'm not really a runner) and it was really nice for that as well. The leash is adjustable so it can extend up to 8 feet or it can be shortened considerably. For jogging I found it easier to manage if it was on the shorter side, somewhere between 4-5 ft., unless of course you have a fast runner that likes to be in front! Beanie was not happy about having to run so he stayed pretty close to my side therefore a longer leash would have dragged and gotten caught under his legs.

For trail walking it's nice because I can give him a bit of a longer leash to explore but still have him under leash control. I really like the handle that is up close to the collar snap for those moments when you need close control! The bungee part of the leash is really nice too because it allows a bit of give so that if he decides to all of a sudden sniff a squirrel trail it's not an immediate jarring to my body!

The pouch is awesome! There is a poop bag holder with a little dispenser hole in front, which is super cool! Plus a clip inside to hold keys secure and the pouch itself (even with those things in there) is big enough for a phone or a small ziplock bag of treats! It can hold this stuff without feeling big and bulky like all those 80's style fanny packs! I had treats in mine because I am trying to work on his leash reactivity! Another reason it's good to have my hands off the leash is instead of my reacting by pulling on the leash when he pitches a fit at the sight of another dog, I can back up my body and use a more positive approach to gaining distance from the distraction and getting his attention too!

The belt itself is really comfortable. It's wide and stretchy with great adjustability and a nice solid clasp. The anchor straps on the belt, that the leash attaches to, are really well made and allow for a great amount of freedom for the dog to move around. My one and only complaint of this whole system is really based on how my dog generally walks when I am not requiring heeling position…side to side to side, etc. So because the anchor straps are on either side of the pouch it never fails that whatever side I anchor him to he inevitably will decide to walk on the other side, which causes the belt to twist around on my waist a bit. Not a HUGE deal but a slight annoyance and really it's Beanie's fault =) LOL

All in all I like this hands free leash system a lot. For the time being though, until his reactivity is under better control, I will likely only use it in instances where the likelihood of us seeing another dog is less. At this point with Beanie I wouldn't use it for a walk around town.

I highly recommend this leash for hikers, runners, walkers and for people with big or small dogs that have had a good amount of leash training and are well behaved on the leash for the most part. I don't recommend this for people with major back or knee issues as the lower half of your body is highly engaged with this leash, especially if your dog can be a bit of a puller.

OllyDog has a lot of neat products, go check them out!

Here is a picture of Beanie and I about to begin our walk!