Recently, I was approached by the nice folks behind the Instant Trainer Leash to test their product to see what I thought. They provided me with one leash – I wasn’t compensated in any other way. There are two sizes. One is for dogs 30 lbs and under and one is for dogs over 30 lbs. The larger size was used in the test.
Since the Official HoundsGood Hound seldom wears a leash, he elitely points out, due to his prior back problems and very few public appearances outside the apartment and farm, where he is allowed to walk along next to me “free range,” the duty naturally fell to one of his big fuzzy buddies. About 80 lbs of Fuzzy to be exact.
There is something to be said about the difference in speed and torque between a Weenie Dog and a Giant Schnauzer, especially when the latter spins and leaps.
At first, the product was met with a skeptical eye. As the walk went on, the results were surprising. The pulling absolutely stopped and there was no resistance to putting the leash on or to wearing it.
The leash works on the principle that by tightening around the belly, the dog naturally stops. It is more similar to the “application of pressure/release of pressure” used in horse training. However, the strap never chokes or tightens much. It is a gentle pressure. They feel something is there, but it doesn’t pinch or hurt. One side attaches to the dog’s regular collar. The leash is designed to loop around the belly or in front of the hind legs. A female model was used, but it does not interfere with the “bathroom duties” of boy dogs, nor does it compress the groin area.
After the initial walk, the next day’s walk did not include the Instant Trainer. The second walk did not come with the usual pulling, jumping and spinning as if there was some memory involved. After the third walk, everything was back to usual.
While using a special leash does not replace solid training, it can certainly help introduce the dog to what is required of them, as well as help a walker who is matched with a dog who is too strong or exuberant for them when the situation arises. The next test is if the leash is used consistently and then occasionally left behind, would the dog consistently follow the behavior that they display while using the leash on a more permanent basis? To be continued…
The only negative, which really isn’t a negative, but an observation, to the leash is you might be able to rig something like this up yourself if you are handy. However, the angle of the metal ring and other components are aligned in such a way that no part of the leash is twisted or pinched.
Do you have an excited jumper or puller despite training and are hoping they will “calm down when they are older,” even though they are already 10 years old? Are you eager to try something like this, or have you tried other types of leashes or collars in the past?