My parent’s recently decided to gift me the black leather armchair they’ve had in their office for decades. I can remember as a child falling in love with that chair, sitting in it for hours reading book upon book and getting cozy in a blanket. So finally, after years of pining after it, they have gifted it to me and now I have leather on the brain. So today I’ve decided to round up some favorites for me, my home and my pup to share with you! —Stephanie
HUMAN – As of late, when I’m out shooting at different events and locations, I’ve begun to notice the wonderful camera accessories people are using. So I think it’s time I spice up my gear, starting with this lovely leather camera strap.
HARVEY – Believe it or not, I’ve never owned a matching collar and leash set for my dogs. Harvey has been working with hand-me-downs from my first pup, Winston, for a while now. So when thinking of investing in a nice set, this one definitely comes to mind.
I think one of the main reasons why I’ve yet to invest in a decent collar and leash for Harvey has a lot to do with the fact that he just wasn’t behaving properly on our walks. From pulling to wandering, I was having the hardest time settling him into a proper walking pattern, and I was not about to ruin a great leash and collar due to his untrained ways.
So I decided to final tackle the issue and implement some serious training methods to improve our walks. While we are still in progress (you never, truly, stop training), I am glad to report that by implementing just a few new strategies and techniques, our walks are 200% better and so much more enjoyable.
Here’s what we decided to do: (NOTE: Perfecting your walking habits with your dog is a personal experience. You truly have to find what works best for you and your pup, and not rely on one, fool-proof method. It takes time and practice, but the rewards are so satisfying!)
- Scheduled daily walks. I know it’s not easy for some to schedule their lives around a dog…who are we kidding…it’s nearly impossible at times. But I’ve found that when we stick to a consistent rhythm – one early a.m walk, a quick lunchtime walk, and one long evening walk – Harvey’s walking behavior remained much more consistent as well.
- A chest harness. For years, I’ve been testing out different collar/harnesses to use with Harvey, as he is a MAJOR puller on the leash. Everything I put on the vivacious fella proved useless (and in the end, probably made the walk more difficult altogether), until I found the EzyDog chest harness. Walk…saver! It hugs his chest as we walk, so should he begin to tug and pull, and easy pull back on the leash will halt his whole body, causing him to slow down and focus on the walk…and not the squirrel/dog/leaf on the sidewalk.
- Short leash. I’ll admit that I used to be a proponent of letting your dog lead the way when you go on your walks. I mean, he/she has to be attached to a leash, so might as well give them as much roaming freedom as possible. But since my walk training has kicked into high gear, I’ve noticed that a shorter leash and keeping Harvey nearby has truly improved our walking form. It’s all about maintaining a mutual control that keeps the walk working.
- Consistency. With anything in dog training, consistency is key. Even if you are having a bad day or are just not in the mood, you truly have to fake it until you make it because your pup will follow in your footsteps…literally. It’s one of the hardest parts of any training, but if you remain consistent in your methods and strategy, I promise you will notice the difference.
- Rewards. It brings me joy to bring joy to my pup, so when we’ve had a wonderful walk together, I always make sure to let him know how well he has done. So whether it’s a good game of fetch, a delicious treat or a snuggle on the couch, I make sure he knows I’m proud of him.