The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

The Walk: Tools and Tips

The Walk: Tools and Tips

The Walk: Tools and Tips

Written by Jessica Purvis, adopter of Tobuscus

Jessica and Tobuscus, now Serge, Adopted 2013
Jessica and Tobuscus, now Serge, Adopted 2013

If walking your dog leaves you frustrated, stressed – and your dog still bouncing off the walls, you probably want to read this article.

Being in control of your dog doesn’t mean that you need to keep your dog on a rigid tight leash yanking them every two seconds with military precision. In an ideal walk your dog should be walking next to you with a loose leash, and be obviously aware of you. This means if you stop, your dog should be stopping or slowing with you, if you offer a physical or verbal correction your pet should show some response. Below are some tools that should help you improve your walk, take back control, and let you walk together without major incidents.


Tools: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly 

The creation of complex tools and their use is what makes us human, and these tools can either help make, or break your walk. Each dog is different, so make sure you find that tool that works best for your dog (you may have to try all of them before you get to the best choice).

Retractable Leashes 

Though an appealing idea for a walk, retractable leashes should only be used when your dog needs room to run (such as an open field) and are under 30 lbs. Because they lead to a lack of control over your pet, your pet is less likely to listen to you, more likely to pull, and is in danger of getting hit by a car, bike or other vehicle if you can’t retract fast enough or they break the leash (my 20 lb Westie can break the most durable of them).


Harnesses through out history have been put on dogs to pull small carts, wagons or sleds. A Harness allows a dog to efficiently use their full strength to do these jobs, and used with a leash, will let your dog easily drag you up and down the road.  Harnesses are best used for small teacup dogs who’s necks you might strain with the smallest jerk, or dogs who walk like perfect angels and their owners are just reading this for pure entertainment.

Choke Chains 

Now Choke Chains get a bad rap, mostly from their name. However, the use of a choke chain can cause an immediate difference in the walk. Two or three sharp well timed tugs can cause your dog to instantly stop chasing that squirrel. However, If your dog continues to pull regardless of the amount of strain on their neck, and is unresponsive to corrections, try something else.

Note: When purchasing a choke collar, be sure that the collar you select is not too long.

The Prong Collar

The Prong Collar is the more aggressive version of the choke chain. This tool is best used on a dog that outweighs you, is grossly stronger, has a thick neck, and is unresponsive to the choke chain. This tool works similar to the choke, but this should be your final option since it is the most painful for your dog.

Tools that Work Magic

These are personal favorites that I use with my own dogs. When used together, they can wear out and keep control of even the most high energy dogs.

The Gentle Leader / Haltie

There are no words to describe how awesome the gentle leader is. It keeps most determined cat chasers under control, and dogs that would normally be pulling you down the street are manageable. I would strongly recommend this for any dog owner. (Note: this will be less effective on dogs with short muzzles due to it’s design, e.g. pugs, shi tzus).

The Backpack

This is absolutely key for a dog that has more energy than you or is not tired for long (or at all) when you return from a walk. No matter if the dog is big or small (I use it on both my Westie and 90 lb Border Collie mix and they both love it), the backpack is a lifesaver on the walk. It not only wears the dog down, but the pups obviously get enjoyment out of having a “job” to do.

When weighting the backpack make sure that it is strapped securely but you can fit two fingers in each strap. If you put weight in the backpack, put no more than 10% of the dog’s body weight, any more and you can injure the dog. Finally, make sure to never to put a backpack on a dog younger than a year, or on one that has any muscular, bone, or intestinal issues.

How to Use the Tools

This is a great video that explains the proper use of the Choke Chain, the Prong Collar and the Gentle Leader.

Here is a link for the best of the two dog backpacks that I use. The way the front chest strap is set up makes it very comfortable for the dog and helps keep the weight more evenly distributed.


So now that you have the tools, grab some doggie bags, your canine, and get outside!


Added Note:

The Easy Walk Harness

The easy walk harness is another tool that you can use with your dog, below is a video on how to fit it and it’s intended purpose. This will probably be best used for a dog that only pulls a little or is on the smaller side, because it will give you little control over a dog that really drags you around. Remember that if your dog doesn’t respond, try something else!

We would like to thank Jessica for researching helpful topics for dog-lovers like us!  Understand that any product, especially collars, when used improperly, can cause harm.  It is very important that you research products like these, and take the time to learn how to use them properly.  ~ Gisele


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