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Dog Leash 101

dog leash 101

Eliminate the confusion with our Dog Leash 101!

In our Dog Leash 101, we aim to eliminate the confusion from the massive choice in our online store. If you still aren’t sure which lead you need. please contact us.

Long Training Lead

This lead is used for extending your dogs’ range, giving them more freedom. They come in lengths from 5 to 50 metres. Our leads come in a variety of colours, such as black, royal blue, red, navy blue, cerise, bottle green, chocolate brown, purple, orange, yellow, white, fluorescent yellow, electric blue, emerald, lilac, baby blue, baby pink and sky blue.

There are various options for example padded handle, brass or nickel fittings and width choice of 19 or 25mm.

Training Lead (Police Dog Style)

This lead is like the Halti Lead, with a trigger hook at each end, an O ring at one end the 2 O rings situated along the lead, making adjusting the length of this lead easy. Ideal for double leading a dog, such as attaching to a head collar and a dog collar.

Comes in the colours as above, brass or nickel fittings and either 19 or 25mm widths.

Carabiner Dog Lead

A carabiner is a loop usually made of steel or aluminium and can come with a load rating (ours are 450 kilograms), they have a spring loaded gate, used where safety is critical. Sometimes called D rings, they are widely used by professionals where a rope is used such as construction, sailing, caving, arboriculture (tree stuff!), and where you might be more familiar, climbing and mountaineering.

Fairly new o the UK is the swivel carabiner. They are similar to the trigger hook you are familiar with that one usually finds on a dog lead, but they are a carabiner, thus called a swivel carabiner.

The typical mountaineering carabiner is not the one used on our leads, but we do carry stock of them and can make any bespoke dog lead within our power.

Our swivel carabiners are protected against unintentional opening as you have to rotate and pull to releases the gate. These are called twist and push lock.

Moving on to their use with a dog lead, we make the Carabiner Dog Lead and The Carabiner Car Boot Lead. The carabiner dog lead is just a dog lead with a carabiner instead of a trigger hook. The Carabiner Car Boot Lead is a car lead that is suited to boot anchor points in a car that is too bulky for the trigger hook.

 

Carabiner Dog lead

Bungee Dog Lead

The bungee dog lead is an elasticated lead popular with owners of dogs who pull on the lead. When made, these leads have a piece of elastic stitched into a piece of tube nylon which then looks like a concertina.

Caravan Lead

This lead was a request by a customer some years ago and has been popular ever since. When used with caution, these dog leads can be used to tether a dog. Comes with some common sense safety instructions on the product page.

The lead is a long double ended adjustable lead, used to tether a dog. Not meant to be used without supervision.

Figure of 8 Lead

The figure of 8 lead refers to the direction of the lead as it sits on the dogs head. It goes over the nose, crosses under the dog’s chin, up the sides of the cheeks and over the top of the dogs head behind its’ ears. The lead goes through a ring with a handle at the handler end.

Popular with dogs that pull on the lead with the contact point being at the top of the dogs head, unlike our Simple Leader Head Collar.

Double Up Lead

This lead can be halved in length, so if you purchase the 4 metre double up lead, it can be halved to 2 metres. With a special ring-webbing action sewn into the dogs’ end of the lead, you can thread the lead through itself, making a shorter lead.

Slip Lead

This lead is one length of webbing with a ring at one end. When the handle is threaded through, it makes a noose and its popular with dogs that pull.

Super Dog Leash

A Meg Heath design protected product, the Super Leash is an adjustable lead with a padded handle. A lead that was designed to everything, or at least be adjustable and have a soft handle to hold.

Dog Walking Belt

The dog walking belt is a belt that goes around your waist with various attachment points for leads to be clipped. Used in conjunction with leads that have rings on the handles and popular with dogs that pull or owners of multiple dogs.

House Line or trailing lead

This is a 2-metre dog lead featuring a light rigger hook and no handle. This lead does not have a handle because it is designed to be left on the dog, makes it less likely to get caught under doors etc.

Used for non-confrontational dog handling for example for when wanting to remove a dog from a situation like a sofa!

Head Collar Safety Lead

Another design protected Meg Heath product. This lead feature 2 trigger hooks at the dogs head, designed to be clipped to a head collar and a collar. They can be modified to fit any 2 products, for example, a collar and harness or a head collar and harness.

Car Boot Lead

This car boot lead is adjustable, made to be short measuring 50-75 cm.

The Car Boot Lead can also be used to attach your dog to the headrest. A design protected Meg Heath product.

Carabiner Car Boot Lead

Same as above but the carabiner means you can fix to bulkier car boot anchor points. This car lead cannot be fitted to the headrest of your car.

Car Lead Lite

This car lead is a lighter budget alternative, made from lighter webbing with a trigger hook at each end. This car lead is adjustable, made to be short measuring 50-75 cm but is not suited for headrests.

More products being added regularly. New in July 2018, the Handy Holder and the Coupler.

If you loved our Dog Leash 101, like and share the page, we really appreciate it.

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Prototype Dog Apparel

We make prototype dog apparel, dog leads & collars here at Meg Heath. If you have a design that you would like making up and/or pricing for manufacturing then we are here to help.

It’s a great idea to try and make a positive impact on the well-being of dogs and helping to make their care easier for dog owners is something we encourage.

The top products people make are generally dog harnesses and head collars also called dog halters. Dog leads are also popular as people come up with fresh and innovative ideas.

We only use the best materials & never cut corners on quality, sourcing all of our materials from the UK.

If you are considering contacting us, make sure you have an NDA you can email us to sign or make sure that you already have your design protected.

What to do:

  1. Contact us for a chat via our contact page
  2. If your design is not protected yet, email us your non-disclosure agreement
  3. If your design is already protected, send us (in the post) the products you would like us to look at if they are already made up as a prototype or a drawing by email or post if it it hasnt been made yet. Our address is on our contact page. We do not post products back unless you are happy to pay for return postage (by courier).

Background

I have been in the dog leads and collars business since 2006 and do all my own web design and WordPress maintenance myself (since 2015). I have a strong background with dogs having owned them since I was 17. Prior to that, we were a cat family and so grew up with cats all around me in the family home.

I ran my own rescue from 1999 to 2008, ran a dog training school from 2006 n to 2010, boarding kennels from 2008 to the present and the dog leads business from 2006 to the present.

I test all my own prototypes on my dogs and have several unique designs registered to myself.

Please feel free to call for a chat to talk about your products.

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Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing – Pet/product blogging and social media sharing

We are looking for pet & dog product influencers to blog and share our products.

Do you have a good amount of followers on social media and love to try out new products for your own dog?

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest

Be prepared to share us a few times to make it work though, if you’ve ever been the company providing the products you will know that just one share is not enough, you need to be prepared to put some hard work in to make it pay for the store concerned – ME!

Are you in the business of blogging for pet-related companies, then we might be right up your street!

  1. Email us to let us know how you would like to collaborate.
  2. Have a look through our site and identify a product that suits you.
  3. Agree to our terms (done at email stage).
  4. Have a look at our Influencer blog to see what we can do for you.

We look forward to hearing from you and hopefully a mutually beneficial relationship.

~ Sarah

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11 year Anniversary

11 year anniversary

July 2017 sees our 11-year anniversary of making dog leads and collars for Sarah Gleave at Meg Heath. Inspired by a stall at Heckington Show in 2006, Sarah saw a product she could market to run alongside her dog training school at the time. Running dog training classes, private lessons and residential dog training at her boarding kennels, Sarah saw the niche for making and selling extra long dog training leads to compliment her training techniques.

The difference being these leads would offer a wide variety, various upgrades and up to 50 metres in length; something that wasn’t really seen back then in 2006.

In the beginning

Sarah says –

I bought the software to open an commerce shop, an industrial sewing machine from Ebay and set about learning the ropes. By 2017 the business is run alongside my kennels which make up a full time income supporting my home and 9 dogs.

She now makes a range of products including dog collars, webbing leads, training leads, double up leads, Kennel Evacuation Leads, the slip lead, the figure of 8 lead / head collar, the Car Boot Lead, the Simple Leader Head Collar, the Marty Harness, house lines, dog training leads, dog walking belt all with a range of upgrades to customise each product such as colour of webbing, width of webbing, fittings including size variations for different sized dogs in nickel and solid brass, length / size & padded handles for your comfort.

Have a browse around our site, if there is something you do not see, drop us an email and we may be able to work out a bespoke solution for you.

Some bespoke items we have made for people have been team colour sets for BBC Scotland, a prototype headcollar design for a well-known dog trainer, embroidered leads for dog training clubs, special leads for wheelchair use and collars with plastic fittings for those dogs whose coats discolour easily from nickel and brass.

We try to help with designs that are not listed but for obvious reasons cannot copy any existing designs or pinch other peoples ideas.

Try us, we try to excel in customer care and ship worldwide.

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Dog Collars

Dog Collar

Dog Collars

A massive market for businesses nowadays as people jump on the bandwagon for apparent easy pickings to earn a living. Not so. It’s a hugely competitive marketplace, with businesses setting up monthly to compete with each other. Meg Heath Dog Leads have been trading for 12 years this July 2018 and have immense experience in this area along with designing my own website and the marketing and SEO etc that comes with this.

The dog collar in itself comes in many designs but is essentially a piece of material or leather that goes around the dogs’ neck mainly to be used for control, i.e. to attach a lead to, secondly to attach identification to in the form of a metal disc with the owners’ contact details on it. More so recently and with the popular uprising of e-Commerce, people have more and more choice of bespoke and designer collars. Collars adorned with charms and ribbon, collars with material covering them giving a vast amount of creativity. Collars specific to breeds are also popular, mainly for sighthounds whose heads are pretty much the same size as their necks so unless a collar is fitted correctly, they can come off.

Above all, collars are a jolly good idea where the safety of the dog is concerned, without it, there would be no means of control. We attach our dogs’ leads to the collar, we sometimes hold it directly for control, dogs look great with bespoke collars and of course it is somewhere to hang the identification tag, microchip tag and any other tag you wish.

Types of material

Collars can be made from a variety of materials, we have leather, probably the most expensive of them all, then polypropylene, which is what I use, then there is cotton – less popular, biothane, polyester, material & ribbon covered and embroidered collars with phone numbers and names on them. All providing a massive choice for the consumer.

Basic collars come in the form of buckle collars – that being plastic sometimes metal side release buckles also known as quick release buckles or nickel and brass buckles like you see on horses head collars; a bit like your belt buckle. Martingale collars are popular with sighthound owners, greyhounds and the like, but are not just for those breeds they can be fitted to any breed and the nice bespoke ones look great. Due to their safety, martingale, choke and half check collars are popular in kennels for reactive dogs and for dogs who have been known to slip their collars.

Martingale collar, half check or half choke collar

Collar
How to fit any collar that gets smaller when the lead is pulled.

The martingale collar is a bit like a choke or half check collar, but the loop is made from the material. The word martingale comes from the part of a horses tack called the martingale which pulls the horses head down when pressure is applied to the reins when slowing down or stopping, not quite the same action on the dog, but it does pull tight and I cannot stress enough how these collars more than any other should be fitted properly.

How to fit a martingale collar, a choke collar or half check collar – The 2 rings on the material part of the collar should ‘just about touch’. If they don’t touch then when pressure is applied to the leash ring, the collar will attempt to go smaller than the dogs’ actual neck size, obviously not good and this will strangle your dog, if they touch then the collar may be too loose, so just about touching is the best advice I can give. If you are not sure which loops I mean, see image above.

All collars come with a loop or a D ring made from metal sometimes plastic, we offer solid brass harness rings too. The loop is there for your dogs’ ID tag and to attach the lead to.

Fitting your dogs’ collar

The rule of thumb advice is can you insert 2 fingers? I say try and take the dogs’ collar off over its’ ears, that way you know if its safe and will not come off accidentally.

Collars also come as reflective, made from reflective material, they can be flashing that run on batteries, you can have a flashing attachment to clip to the O or D ring.

To summarise, there is a massive choice online and in-store these days, treat your dog to a nice collar from a local or online maker. Obviously, this blog is to promote Meg Heath Dog Leads and Collars, but I can’t make them all as much as I’d love to make more collars, so have a look around our store as I endeavour to provide a wider selection. Our service is second to none and you can actually speak to a real person if you call – me!

~ Sarah

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Pet Product Awards

Pet Product Awards

Entering a Pet Product Awards competition is something I’ve been thinking of for a while. I had a bit of time today so I thought I’d look into it. I did a bit of research and came up with PATS – PAT Show UK. However and here’s the catch, you can only enter if you exhibit at their show, the next one being September 2017. The cost for this would be £1760 (inc VAT), so basically the cost of and privilege to have your products considered for an award.

Now yes, I could probably pay this and yes I’d get some publicity, but I can’t commit the time off from my dogs and kennels plus I’d have to make a lot of stock to exhibit, I’d have to buy stands and displays to show off my products and I’d actually not be making enough money to cover this.

I thought this was a real shame. If anyone is reading my blog and knows of a more easily accessible route then I’d love to hear from you.

Industry Awards

My other business, DevDogz web design won an award, Best Web Design company Lincolnshire 2018. However, you have to know that the people giving the awards are just using you for marketing. So although I was happy to be recognised, I also knew I was just part of their SEO and marketing strategy.

Are there any smaller organisations that run awards schemes?

Upon doing a bit of research, as you do, its all a bit of a money spinner for the people who run the awards and what makes them so good anyway, I mean $500 to submit 1 product to Hot Diggity Awards? Woah, now hang on a minute, we’re here to make money not hand it over as easy as that for mega bucks! So I’ve hit a brick wall, I can’t find anything in the UK that’s open to us normal folk. HELP!

If you are interested in collaborating with me on anything pet product awards related then please contact me 0on 01522 810150 or email sarah@megheathdogleads.co.uk

 

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Choosing The Best Lead or Collar

Dog Training Lead in Cerise with Nala

Have you ever wondered what would be the best lead or collar and not really known which one to buy? Well, I’ve written this handy guide which has been taken from both customer feedback and from my own inspiration for some of the designs to help you decide on the best lead or collar. Enjoy …

Arthritis

This one has been suggested by a couple of customer reviews. The webbing we use is soft while not compromising on strength and definitely not visual appearance! Our products are of course beautiful! Here’s why –

  • Padded handles – recently I decided that padded handles would be nice and it has been a total hit. Some recent feedback on a dog training lead – “Fantastic long training lead for my GSD girl. I have arthritis in my hands and this is just what I was looking for! I will be recommending to my dog owning friends. Great to find such a good product and service!” Thank you, Laura, this is the kind of feedback we love as it tells us we are making the right products. This upgrade can be found on our dog leads and training leads.

Reactive dogs / Rescue dogs

The Simple Leader Head Collar – wow what a revelation this was. I had already designed a head collar for dogs but wanted to redesign it. I wanted something simple to fit, comfortable for the dog to wear and above all something that worked with no flaws. I was mindful that the pet trade was full of designs but I was adamant that mine would be different, I was so confident this one would be a success that I registered its’ design with the Intellectual Property Office to make sure no one would copy my idea.

  • Safety Lead to compliment the head collar – any piece of equipment whether it be for dogs or anything else, is potentially going to be fitted wrong. I now send out best use notes with my head collars to try and prevent any fitting and use problems. The Simple Leader Head Collar Safety Lead is a lead I designed, also protected by the IPO. It attaches to both your head collar and dog collar so if one fails then the other is still firmly attached. I gave one to a customer FOC who hadn’t fitted their dogs’ head collar tightly enough so that it didn’t ever happen again.
  • Dog Training Lead (Police Dog Style) – this dog lead does the same as the Simple Leader Head Collar Safety Lead, but is a 6 foot lead with a trigger hook (clip or clasp) at each end with 2 O rings placed at strategic intervals along the lead to provide you with a means of making different lengths and therefore using in a variety of different situations.
  • Dog Training Lead 5-50 metres – the reason why I started Meg Heath Dog Leads back in 2006, to teach a recall and our best lead by far! Also incredibly useful for not only teaching your dog to come back when called but to –

allow extra freedom to dogs who would otherwise not be allowed to run around. Sarah says, the affect this has on a dogs’ wellbeing is noted. How many times have you seen dogs ‘swimming down the road’ because they are never allowed off the lead and are pulling like sled dogs?

Dogs who pull on the lead – … but won’t wear a head collar right? Try our padded simple leader head collar. Soft as a bunnies bum! Sits in just the right place on their face so as to make it nice to wear. Other owner and doggy benefits include –

  • The elderly – makes walking your dog a doddle, even with fingertip control.
  • Injuries – have you ever had a shoulder injury and had to stop walking your dog or swap to the other hand?
  • Hip and leg problems – as an owner if you have ever had injuries to your legs or a hip or knee operation, our Simple Leader makes walking a pulling dog a delight!
  • Dog injuries – a dog with an injury is not a happy dog if it is pulling on the lead.
  • Brachycephalic dogs – otherwise known as dogs with short faces like Pugs and Boxers. We only make our head collar in 19mm now and even the padded version is not that much wider so fit most dogs nicely. If you have a smaller dog like a Pug then we can make a smaller head collar for you to combat pulling on the lead.
  • A dog with lung problems – with our head collar there is less puffing and panting caused by pulling on the lead so less stress to your poorly doggy.

Losing Dog Tags all the time? – Enter the Double Tag Flat Dog Collar! A beautifully made adjustable dog collar with a spare O ring for extra name tags for your dog.

I’m scared my dog will jump out of the car! – Really, well don’t be. Our Car Boot Dog Safety Lead is your answer. A short, double-ended, adjustable (design protected) lead for attaching either to boot anchors in your car or the head restraint. Genius! One of the best lead designs from Meg Heath Dog Leads.

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Puppy Training Leads and Collars

Puppy Training puppies

With the increase of puppy farms, designer breed puppies and the general saturation of puppy and dog rehoming, the demand for puppy training and good dog leashes and dog leads for puppies is on the increase. There is an abundance of products out there on eBay and Amazon with most of the products these days being shipped from abroad mainly China. There is no shortage of online stores and more so now these days as people jump on the  bandwagon to dip in to the market of selling puppy leashes and puppy collars along with leads for older dogs and dog collars too along with some very pretty designer collars out there made from some very talented dog leash and dog collar designers. However the likes of myself who have been around for a while selling mainly leashes and dog collars, we have a lot of competition and the fight for a sale is getting harder as online shops pop up everywhere to compete for that top spot on Google.

11 years

Meg Heath has been around for 11 years this July 2017 and the brains behind my pet leashes and pet collars is more than just making them, we make dog leashes and dog collars with just a little bit more know-how and experience having lived with dogs for 31 years and worked with them since 1996.

In the main you will see me making dog training leashes, the extra long type used for puppy training and training older dogs to come back when called. People are crying out for dog leads and dog collars that last a bit longer than the cheap stuff you see in the big online stores we are all familiar with.

This year I have added or intend to add a wider range of products to include some new inventions that have or will be Design Protected. Some of our new products include leashes for dog groomers, a better and design protected head collar for dogs, the ever popular Car Boot Lead that I have been making since 2009, that is now in its MK11 stage. I have a dog head collar safety lead that is a godsend for people with flighty dogs or just that added extra bit of security and peace of mind. 2 harnesses have been made too, the K9 Body Collar – a stop-pull harness that is incredibly unique and actually works. In February I designed the martingale harness that is a cracker too.

So if you are considering pet and dog leashes and designer collars, you can look no further. Our turn around time is pretty fast for bespoke dog and pet products as long as the components are in stock – which they pretty much usually are. They are a great price, have an incredible guarantee, are made of durable and long lasting materials to rival any of the online giants and to be fair, some of the micro-stores online these days that may only trade on Facebook.

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Meg Heath supplies some very special dog leads to Linbee Dog Rehoming

Manchester Dog & Cats Home

Meg Heath Dog Leads owner Sarah Gleave often comes up with innovative creations and this time the dog rescue centre Linbee Dog Rehoming is going to benefit from 10 Kennel Evacuation Leads.

Sarah designed these dog leads in the aftermath of the Manchester Dogs Home fire in 2014. The fire shook a nation of dog lovers and being a kennel owner, Sarah re-evaluated her own evacuation procedure at Meg Heath Kennels. The lead was promptly covered against copying as nothing of its’ kind had ever been made before.

She thought “I need a dog lead that can be attached to anything and stored along the same principle as a fire extinguisher.” So the multi – length / multi – attachment KEL – Kennel Evacuation Lead was born.

Cost of materials

The cost of materials for this venture was very important to Sarah as the intention was to gift the dog leads 10 at a time to kennel based dog rescues who applied for help. Sarah says “I approached a UK supplier called Abbey England who very kindly donated a few 1000 metres of a yellow and black printed webbing and some 19mm nickel trigger hooks.” Meg Heath Dog Leads donated the rest of the fittings, the time & expertise to make the leads and the shipping for these very special & unique dog leads.

The Kennel Evacuation Lead is a lead that is designed to be attached anywhere and is essentially a long adjustable, double ended, double up dog lead made from a strong webbing with strong fittings. Its’ intended use is to be stored like a fire extinguisher to be available in an emergency evacuation of a kennel block to take dogs to a place of safety where they can be tethered safely (our advice under supervision where possible).

Sarah advises that the leads be used with care and for their intended use – for emergencies only. Check the trigger hooks periodically as damp will affect their use.

If you are a kennel based rescue and would like to benefit from the Kennel Evacuation Dog Lead then please contact Sarah by telephone on 01522 810150. You will be required to set up a link to Meg Heath Dog Leads from your centres’ website and share us on social media periodically.

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Head Collars for dogs

Simple Leader Head Collar

Head Collars for dogs.

Do Head Collars work? When & why you would use a head collar and how to help a dog get used to wearing a head collar.

Head collar worked wonders. Xeena resisted at first but it was so good that there was no pulling, recommended to everyone who has a pully dog … It’s amazing now she is not pulling … i dont hurt, i have problems with my hips and when she pulled it really hurt. [Sonia Oag, January 2017]

Bought two headcollars and have been out using them today both fine fitting well on my dogs faces no loose gaps works well when they swop sides on walking too. Seem very strong. Very happy. [Megan Oldfield, December 2016]

This headcollar is 100% PERFECT! Put it on Ollie this morning, he once rubbed his face but from then on he was very happy to wear it for the whole walk and, because he has it on (and he knows) he walked perfectly. Because of the fit unlike a ‘Halti’ it can stay on the whole time and doesn’t inhibit the dog at all. There are no loose bits to catch on anything so its perfectly safe. It is so simple and easy to use and it works very well indeed. I am a very happy lady thank you Sarah. [Wendy McDonald, November 2016]

Do Head Collars work?

Head collars do work, yes, however, there are some exceptions that with a little training could be overcome. Head collars for dogs work in the same way that head collars or halters (where the brand name ‘Halti’ comes from) work for horses. Horses are large powerful animals and the head collar is a way to control them (usually) with ease… although I have been known to be pulled around by a horse just in a head collar in my days working as a groom. Head Collars help when –

  • You have a shoulder injury and walking your dog is becoming a problem
  • You have a dog that strains on his dog collar or harness and walking is not enjoyable for him either
  • You simply cannot walk your dog due to his strength
  • You are incapacitated in any number of ways and a pulling dog makes walks a problem
  • You have simply stopped walking your dog because of any one of the above and you are both putting on weight!
  • Lack of exercise for your dog means he is not getting the socialisation he needs

When head collars can be a problem

Some people simply do not like head collars on their dogs, mainly because their dog will not wear one. There have been times when I have taken a head collar off a dog because they simply will not tolerate one, but I stress, this because I haven’t had time to train the dog. So how do you get a dog to accept a head collar?

How to help a dog to accept wearing a head collar

Prerequisites –

  • Time
  • Patience
  • You are not going on a walk
  • Motivators/rewards (food, verbal praise, toys/play, intrinsic rewards such as allowing forward movement or free time off lead)
  • A good dog head collar
  • A good dog lead

A few ideas to work on indoors –

  • Pop the head collar on, reward, take it off
  • If you are familiar with Clicker Training, do nose touches working up to putting the nose through the nosepiece, click, reward
  • Feed your dog with a head collar on, then take it straight off
  • Put the head collar on around the house (if dog paws to try to get it off, you have gone too far, try to get him to relax before you take it off otherwise he will think this behaviour leads to it coming off)
  • Put the head collar on and play your dogs favourite game or something he likes doing

When you have made progress indoors, go outside or in a large enough space indoors with time and patience –

  • Put head collar & lead on – reward (praise and/or treat)
  • Set off walking
  • The dog does one of the following –
    • Rubs head along the ground
    • Paws at face
    • Paws frantically at face
    • Pulls a ‘this head collar is killing me’ face
    • Any combination of the above
  • What you don’t do –
    • Don’t shout or get mad
    • Don’t reward
    • Don’t speak
    • Don’t panic
  • What you should do –
    • Stand still/calm
    • Hold lead firmly, raise hand upwards so lead is vertical (no tugging or yanking)
    • Wait for the dog to stop flapping
    • Release lead
    • REWARD
  • Then what you should do
    • REPEAT !!!!

Head Collars – was there really room for another in the pet trade?

With a pet market already saturated with head collars for dogs, was there really any room for another?

Inventor Sarah Gleave says yes,

“I had already made one head collar before the Simple Leader, but I wanted to improve it. I wanted a simpler to use halter for dogs, a head collar that could not be put on upside down or inside out and one that would stay on the dog when fitted correctly of course (tight enough).  Above all, it (obviously) had to work and not be yet another gadget or (waste of ) money”.

Inspiration

Part of the inspiration for this was seeing customers being brought in by their dogs, yes BY their dogs into my boarding kennels. Being an ex-dog trainer too, this really irritated me. Teaching a dog to walk to heel is not easy. With more and more people owning dogs, more and more people were failing to teach their dogs to walk to heel. Stopping them from pulling on the lead wasn’t something they had really planned ahead for.

Design

The Simple Leader is a relatively simple figure of 8 design, nothing new here, but having searched current patents and protected designs, the one nearest to me hadn’t had its patent renewed, but it wasn’t the same design anyway, just close.

My head collar has a loose O ring under the chin which is important as this is the most effective place for you to lead from, it is adjustable, but also comes in 3 sizes, it has a full range of 18 colours (you need to ask for the random colours like orange, pink etc), which NO other head collar has. It can be upgraded to be fully padded which is nice because it is soft over your dogs face so they wear it more willingly and you can choose a solid brass harness ring instead of a nickel O ring for your trigger hook to attach to.

What are other head collars there on the market?

Head collars are plenty out there in the internet world, some good, some bad, some made by amateurs that have not been tested and some popular patented designs. The head collars I am aware of are – Halti, Gencon, Black Dog & the Gentle Leader. Each one has their fans, I have used 3 out of 4 of these myself but now just use my own Simple Leader. My Simple Leader comes with the Simple Leader Safety lead which is essentially a lead that attaches to the head collar and collar and if one breaks you are still attached to the other. (IPO Design Protection currently being applied for).

Head Collar reviews –

The Halti – nice head collar, renowned for interfering with the dogs’ eyes when badly fitted, established company, patented design

Black Dog – no personal experience off, looks exactly like a horses head collar

Gentle Leader – My favourite

Gencon – the only one out of these 4 whose ‘contact point’ is not under the chin, obviously has its fans, a dog may still pull with the contact point at the side or above the head

Why are head collars different?

  • Made from different fabrics, some good, some poor or too thin
  • Some new designs are full of faults in an effort to design something for the sake of a new product
  • The contact point is different
    • Under the chin (my Simple Leader), best IMO as it seems to be the most effective design (Halti and Gentle Leader too)
    • Back of the head – martingale types like the Indi Dog
    • The side of the head – Gencon and other non-patented designs

SUMMARY

  • Be aware of the choice, choose what is most comfortable for your dog and what he is the happiest wearing
  • Do not ever use with long training leads because of the risk of jarring your dog’s neck
  • Make sure the head collar is well made and from a respected company
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Dog Training Leads use and care

Dog Training Leads

…are our top selling product and for good reason. In this blog I will talk you through the dog training leads uses, in which situations you might want to use them, how to chose which custom elements you might need and why and what to expect from any one of our products, not just the dog training lead.

What are the unique qualities of one of Meg Heath’s Dog Training Leads and why should you buy one of our dog leads over a cheaper dog tracking lead?

  • 11 Years experience making dog leads
  • I use a Yamata Industrial sewing machine (not a household machine)
  • …which means i can use very strong industrial thread
  • …which means i can sew with precision
  • The joints are what i call Z stitched which is similar to a box stitch
  • The stitch is exactly the same as a machine that will make 100’s of leads per minute
  • Your dog lead is made by a human that has an intimate knowledge of your order, rather than in an factory
  • You can chose from 18 different colours (not all will be in stock, but we can usually get them in 2 days)
  • You have the choice of 3 widths
    • Small – 16mm, for mini, toy and small breeds (not always in stock)
    • Standard – 19mm, most popular
    • Large – 25mm, a choice for larger dogs
  • You have a choice of small and standard trigger hooks made from brass plate, nickel or solid brass (this is why some of the dog leads with solid brass fittings work out expensive, for example the Police Dog Style Dog Lead which has 2 solid brass trigger hooks and 3 solid brass harness rings – not inferior welded rings)
  • We based in Lincolnshire UK – we do not buy from abroad
  • …but above all, do you know why you should be proud to support Meg Heath Dog Leads? Because since setting up in 2006, you have helped me be a stay at home doggy mum. Self sufficient along with my boarding kennels looking after my rescue dogs. In 2006 when I stopped LESSR (Springer Spaniel Rescue), I had 26 dogs, all that needed vaccinating, feeding and vets bills which was not easy as a single mum (mum to the dogs not kids). Im currently dog-mom to 10 dogs; 5 acquired in the last 14 months.

CUSTOM ELEMENTS

Custom elements / variables or options are the names given to the custom choices you add to a dog training lead when you ‘make’ your lead during the order process.

They include length, colour, width, fittings, handle to include the padded handle and the double up. I will explain why you might want to choose from any or none of these custom elements.

  1. Length – Unique to you and your dog. We make dog training leads from 5 to 50 metres (actually 49.5 metres). The shorter leads 5-20 metres are ideal for recall training (teaching / training your dog to come back when called). You can read my recall notes to help you with this. Make sure you can hold your dog if it wizzes t the end of the lead!
  2. All lengths can help when your dog is not allowed off the lead for what ever reason (see safety notes below). Never use any head collar with a long line, harnesses are better). The longer leads are best used in large areas where there is no risk of tangling around other things including other dogs and your legs!
  3. Colour – personal choice, red gets grubby quickly and obviously the darker colours stay nicer for longer.
  4. Width – no strength benefits buying 25mm but owners of larger dogs prefer the wider choice but be aware that the with 25mm, when you choose a longer lead it will be more bulky.
  5. Fittings – brass will last longer and will stand up to abuse especially getting wet / damp as they will not sieze up.
  6. Handles – most people choose the handle option but the no handle option is sometimes preferred. Be aware that when you choose the double up option, whether it be with a handle or padded handle, the handle will be at the dogs head end when the double option is being used.
  7. Double up – our unique double up element means that you will be able to work your chosen length at half length too. (See handle notes above). At the trigger hook end, an extra O ring is sewn in plus an O ring on the handle means that when you feed the webbing throught the O ring at the trigger hook end and it comes to a stop at the O ring on the handle it means you can use your lead at half length, the handle that would have been at the end of the lead is now at the ‘dog end’.

USES FOR THE DOG TRAINING OR ‘TRACKING’ LEAD

As stated in points 1 & 2 above, uses for the dog training lead are varied but essentially the lead gives you peace of mind and a bit of extra freedom for your dog.

  • Training the recall also known as ‘coming when called’, most popular use for this dog training lead
  • Beach exercise
  • Open spaces where there are no distractions
  • May help with socialisation training
  • Allowing extra freedom with aggressive dogs (always remember to use your muzzle too if necessary)
  • Rescue dogs where recall is none existent, unreliable or unknown
  • New owners who have learnt the hard way or have no / limited knowledge of training dogs

FITTINGS – and why one (or more than one) option might help you

  • Brass fittings – ideal if you abuse your lead, hang it outdoors or use it in the wet. Will never rust or sieze up
  • Nickel fittings – ideal if you are able to take more care of your lead and keep it dry / cheaper option
  • Small trigger hooks – ideal for smaller dogs as they are lighter around the dogs neck and they will not kick it when they walk or run.
  • Double up, ideal at any length but obviously the longer the lead the more skill you need for lead management
  • Handle – the no handle option might help if you let the lead trail around, especially for the house line as the handle will not get stuck under doors for example, the handle option is obvious, it means you can hold the end easier
  • Widths – wider not necessarily stronger but a choice for owners of larger breeds
  • Padded handle – ideal for comfort but will obviously get wet so would need drying out when it does

SAFETY

Use of our dog training leads are obviously the responsability of the user, but please read some of our suggestions below to help with risk mitigation.

  1. Never ever use with any type of head collar
  2. Best used with harnesses that are properly fitted
  3. Do not leave to trail on a dog with no or unreliable recall because if they run off, they only have to go around an object once and they are stuck. Does not bear thinking about
  4. Dont let the lead run through your hand, it will burn
  5. Check trigger hooks each time you use them, it is not unknown for trigger hooks to fail
  6. Be aware of tangle risks when dogs are playing together

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OUR DOG TRAINING LEADS

  • Life time stitching guarantee
  • A well made functional dog training lead
  • Made with love not in a factory
  • Second to none customer service
  • You can speak to a real person in the UK to make order enquiries

You can call me on 01522 810150 for any questions about any of our leads.