Sunday, January 13, 2008

Walking Belts

A few years ago during a rainstorm, a leash slipped out of our hands and we spent several frantic minutes (that seemed like hours) chasing down a very happy, playful, running siberian husky puppy who kept looping closer and closer to a busy highway at the end of our street.

Happy ending, we finally tricked the happy puppy into running toward us, she was nabbed and we shook for about 2 hours afterwards thinking what could have happened.

This was the beginning of the perfect (hopefully) anti-husky escape walking device.

As previously reviewed, our huskies all don the Champion K-9 Seat belt harness system with the bullsnap leash, so the next logical step would be to connect them to us in some way where a leash couldn’t be dropped, jerked out of a hand, etc..

On someone’s recommendation, we checked out the White Pine Outfitters High Sierra Walk-A-Belt, which seemed to stock exactly what we were looking for, and we purchased 2 of them. Immediately upon receiving them, we determined that the caribineers that came with the belt were puny and not husky-proof. We purchased some high end climbing caribineers that came with a twist lock mechanism and used those instead.

The walking belts are very comfortable, come in different sizes, and are very adjustable so that in the summer you can snug them up, or let them out in winter to go over a coat. You simple attach the leash loop to the caribineer and your husky is safely attached to you. No more worrying about dropped leashes or losing grip on the leash, you will be dragged along with your husky if they make an escape attempt.

Multiple dogs

You may be wondering how the belt would hold up to multiple huskies attached to it. I (unfortunately) had the occasion to test out the multiple husky theory when my neighbor’s house caught on fire. As our houses are relatively close together, I got all three of mine into their harnesses (in record time) and hooked up by three leashes to the White Pine Walking belt and out we went. The belt held beautifully to three huskies all straining to go in three separate directions and all hooked into the heavy duty caribineer. The belt also held wonderfully as I was dragged down the street on my butt by three huskies who wanted to go play with the firemen. Its very durable, strong and can hold its own with multiple huskies... if you can.

Care

The walking belts are machine washable, which comes in very handy when used for other purposes (see below). I put ours in a pillow case and toss it into the washer and then dryer. The reason for the pillow case is to dull the clanking of the attachments on the washer and dryer. Even after multiple washings, everything holds up very well, with only minimal shrinkage in some areas that doesn’t detract from the whole belt purpose.

Other Uses

The Walking Belt makes a WONDERFUL sling for a dog recovering from spine surgery. We found this out after our husky ruptured a disc and had surgery. We had to sling his back end to steady him during his recovery, and the slings in the stores were pretty much worthless.

Easy to get around the dog, you just clip it together and have a sturdy and strong loop to hold the dog up while it walks and does its business. The width of the sling also is handy for male dogs, as its small enough to fit behind the penis so it isn’t being peed on, and even if it is, just toss it in the washer and dryer. The walking belt was a lifesaving for us during our dog’s recovery period, making it easier for us to sling him, easy for him to walk supported and do what he needed to do without constant shifting.

Rating

We would not recommend the White Pine High Sierra as a belt to use for skijoring or other athletic types of exercise. While strong and secure, the skijoring belts and other types of sports belts are better developed for those sports and are made to cushion the human during those events. Use the proper belt for the proper activity.

We do highly recommend the White Pine High Sierra (with heavy duty caribineer) for every day walking and for use as a sling for recovering dogs.

We give it:



1 comment:

Candice Brister said...

Where do you attach the dogs? To the D-rings on each side of the belt?