My name is Andrea Wilson, I’m the Webmaster for Balance & Dizziness Canada and I have vestibular issues. Recently we asked our members and website visitors to send us their stories about their own experiences with imbalance and dizziness. So, to get the ball rolling, I thought I would share my story about how I safely walk two dogs without falling over them!
When I only had one dog, it wasn’t too bad; I managed not to trip over her on walks, albeit with many close calls. When I added a second dog, I realized I needed to up my game!
Both dogs wear a flat buckle collar but the dogs don’t respond to them without a lot of tugging and pulling. We’ve all seen those YouTube videos of a dog dragging its owner down the street on a flat buckle collar. Nope, I needed a better tool than that to keep me from tripping over the dogs when I drift into their space or start to tip in their direction.
A harness wouldn’t help as it wouldn’t give the dogs enough information fast enough to move out of my way. And harnesses actually encourage pulling, think dog sledding! Nope, that wasn’t the answer, for sure.
Through my research of many dog trainers’ websites and Facebook pages, I heard the term “steering wheel for dogs.” When I realized they were talking about the vicious-looking prong collars often seen on pitbulls and other intimidating breeds, I didn’t think that was the right choice. However, not one to take anything at face value, I read a lot of information and discovered that prong collars are one of the most humane tools on the market, as long as you choose the right manufacturer and learn how to put them on your dog properly. So, I ordered two Hermsprenger collars.
When the collars arrived, I put them on my dogs as directed and we headed out. Wow, what a difference… a steering wheel is right! The dogs responded immediately to the slightest pressure on the prong collars. So, since that day forward, I have been 100% confident walking two dogs, knowing that, if I start to drift or tip in their direction, I can quickly steer them out of my path. Indeed, I have successfully used the prong collars to move my dogs out of my way on countless occasions. I hold both leashes in one hand so I can steer the dogs simultaneously, like a team of mini-horses! I can also use the prong collar to correct my female who takes a disliking to another dog occasionally. Works like a charm for that, too!
Yes, my dogs look like mini-pitbulls now, but who cares? We're all safe and that’s what counts! - Andrea Wilson, Port Coquitlam, BC
In this photo, Banner and Lucy are not wearing their prong collars because we weren't walking that day; they had been running beside my trike on their special Bike Tow Leash, another great tool.