Tools & Equipment

When out walking, a new rescue may be easily spooked by loud sounds or sudden movements. To prevent an escape, always have your dog double clipped or double leashed. Additionally, have an ID tag with your current phone number attached to your dog’s secure (martingale) collar.

In this image, you will see a martingale collar; this is half nylon or fabric and half chain. This collar is designed to prevent slipping over a dog’s ears/head as it tightens with leash pressure. 

Often used for Greyhounds and other sighthounds who have slim heads, they are also requirements for rescue dogs to prevent escape in those early days. 

The D-Ring is for ID tags only. The O-ring is where we clip the leash so that it can tighten and prevent slippage over the head. 

In this next image, you will see the proper fit – the two rings attached to the material of the collar should not meet when the leash is tightened. If they do, the collar is too loose and there is a greater chance of the dog slipping it over their head as they back out. 

This collar is not meant for corrections despite popular belief.

Caryn Liles' German Shepherd dog, Salinger, wearing a harness.

How to condition a flat collar or martingale collar:

This setup shows a front-clip harness plus a martingale collar and a flat leash double-clipped. 

Ensure that the leash is attached to the O-ring, not the D-ring of the martingale collar. The D-ring is only for ID tags. The O-ring is for security.

Caryn Liles' German Shepherd dog, Salinger, wearing a martingale dog collar and a harness.

Many front-clip harnesses will have a back-clip as well. You can clip the leash to the ring that suits you (front or back, depending on whether or not you have a puller) and the other leash can be clipped to the collar’s O-Ring. 

If you drop one leash, you have the other, perhaps attached around your waist as a hands-free leash. 

How to condition a body harness: COMING SOON!

Caryn Liles' German Shepherd dog, Salinger, wearing a martingale dog collar and a head harness.

Lastly, if you have a freight-train of a dog or a dog who is simply stronger than you are, a head halter like the Halti brand is a great option, but must be worn with a backup as well. 

The same concept applies here – the Halti is properly fitted behind the ears with only two fingers’ width room under the strap. The leash connects to the Halti’s O-Ring and the Halti backup strap links directly to the martingale collar’s O-Ring. 

The Halti (or any head halter) must be well-conditioned first, or your dog will spend their walks scratching at their face or rubbing it into your legs to try to get it off. Take your time and do the work.

How to condition a head halter (Halti or Gentle Leader):