“Do you wanna go for a…?”
You’ve said the magic words. From somewhere in the house, the beast awakens. He clambers upright, crashing down the stairs to find you. Within mere seconds, he stands in front of you. Half covered by the blanket he’s brought with him, the hound yawns, wagging his tail. Did someone say a walk…?
Every dog owner knows that you can’t just leave the house for a walk without supplies. Here’s some of our essentials:
1. A warm jumper
You’ve got the hound in front of you, ready to go. You move towards the door and suddenly you receive the look. Him? Go outside? But it’s darn cold. This is the same dog who recently refused to have a wee because it was snowing and ended up accidentally locking himself in the bathroom looking for somewhere to have one.
When owning a sighthound, it’s important you wrap them up warm when going out in the cold. Sighthounds have a just one coat of fine fur so can get cold very easily.
I make and sell Ziggy’s jumpers at StarDogDesigns, as I couldn’t find a lightweight, affordable option the would fit a skinny deep chested dog like Zig.
2. A comfy collar or harness
Now you’ve clothed the hound, what are you going to do next? You can’t let him go out looking like that. He’s giving you that look again. You need a collar or a harness to walk him in!
We walk Ziggy on a Perfect Harness, a great harness made up of three different pieces that can be sized appropriately for funny shaped dogs like sighthounds. It also comes in a range of colours and is lined with nice soft fleece for comfort.
3. A suitable lead
C’mon now! He’s waaiitttinng! You said it was time for a walk! Time to get his lead on and get going!
Since Ziggy was a puppy we’ve used the same lead. Actually, that’s a lie- it was once taken home by somebody else after Ziggy had spent the day at a day care. We use a Halti training lead*, a longer lead with a clip at both ends. It has multiple rings so the lead can be used in a variety of ways and at different lengths, perfect for all occasions.
4. Lots of treats and poo bags (and somewhere to keep them!)
Quick, he’s pulling you out the door! You said walk dammit! It’s a good job you keep the treats and poo bags in a handy dog walking bag isn’t it!
I see every walk as a training opportunity so it’s important to take some good high value treats with us. We tend to use small nibbles such as these* and these* for things like loose lead walking and basic obedience. We then take super high value treats for recall like bits of chicken or chopped up hotdog. We’ve also just bought a tube of Arden Grange Tasty Liver Paste*, something that’s come highly recommended as an easy to handle high value treat on Instagram.
For poobags, these ones* are leakproof and oxo-biodegradable (plastic that degrades into very small pieces in the presence of oxygen). Supposedly better for the environment than normal biodegradable ones but if anyone knows of any truely compostable ones that are a good quality, please let us know below!
As for somewhere to keep them, we like to use a bumbag for easy treat access when training. We bought a Karen Pryor Clicker Training pouch* at a puppy training lesson when Ziggy was a baby and we’ve used it ever since. There’s a big pouch for treats, a small one for poo bags and the bigger pouch automatically snaps shut when a pointy nose tries to sneak a secret nibble!
5. An ID Tag
Now you’re out the door and you’re being marched down the street to the park! Best make sure everything else is in check, quick! UK law states that your dog needs to wear an ID tag in public with their owners name and address on it (including postcode). It’s also very important to have your phone number on it in case your pooch decides to go on an adventure of their very own (more on that below!)
I make a lot of Ziggy’s tags myself at StarDogDesigns, including hand engraved wooden tags. Another fantastic small buisness that makes hand stamped metal tags is Lady and the Hound Studio. They have a gorgeous range of choices.
5 and a bit! A GPS Tracker
You reach the park and stop. The hound looks at you. When he sits quietly, you say the magic word – “Okay!” – and he flies! Off he bounds onto the field, skipping around, sniffing interrupted only by happy little zooms.
Five and a half things is a cheat I know but I wanted to mention GPS trackers. Whilst not one of the first things you think of when taking your dog for a walk, I’m so so grateful for our Tractive GPS Tracker*. Though Ziggy has never been one to run off, we bought the first generation Tractive tracker* when he was a puppy and the peace of mind it gives when he’s off lead somewhere new is immense. We’ve now upgraded to the newer second generation which also has a built in activity tracker. I’d fully recommend having one.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, Emily and the Whippet will earn a small commission but your purchase won’t cost you anything extra.