“ Brand: Ancol / Type: Dog Collars, Leads & ID „
I have got four dogs, which sounds a lot to a majority of people but I would honestly get a couple more if I didn't have a baby to focus my attention on! My dogs are almost like my 'first babies' if that makes sense, obviously I have a different, much stronger love for my daughter, but my dogs will always be special to me. Because I love them so much, I am always buying them random bits and bobs, and I purchased this nylon double lead around five months ago now. Before I went to university and prior to having my baby, I would walk them daily, however now-a-days it is too much of an effort and if i'm honest, if I did attempt to walk them all at once, it'd probably be a health and safety hazzard! Any new, tired mum will know what I mean; that sicky feeling deep down from lack of sleep, the dizzniess.. it's not nice. As a result I now make my boyfriend Marc walk them, as he pops round after work every night before heading off to our new place to make it perfect before I move into it with him - bless.
The only thing is that Marc used to frighten me to death when he first started walking my dogs for me, as he would have all four leads in one hand and his phone in the other. He's a strong guy but if my dogs saw a cat and went for it, I really doubt that the weight of four dogs pulling on one of his arms would do it much good - if he could hold on to all four leads, and I really didn't want any accidents (eg squashed dogs). This is why the double lead appealed to me. I have seen them before, as my friend who I used to walk with has two labradors and she walks them on a double lead, they always seemed happy to have their lead put on when we would go walking together, and she always had control of the dogs. I didn't immedietly go and buy one as the double lead that my friend had was a metal chain and it would make a horrible clanging noise when she took it off the dogs and put it onto a surface, plus I thought that a metal chain might rust and weaken, which isn't good when it's got two four stone dogs on the end of it.
I ended up getting the nylon double lead, as although nylon never used to strike me as a strong material, after owning several long-lasting nylon dog leads I know how durable the material is. The nylon version appealed to me much more than the chain version, one of the reasons being that I expected it to be lightweight and therefor not put any pressure on my dogs collars when they were walking normally, however due to the three metal pieces it is actually quite hefty; not hugely, but more than I expected. I purchased the double lead from Amazon, as I had some vouchers to use up and I paid £4.52 for each lead which in my opinion is a bargain. The lead is made by Ancol, who sell a variety of other pet products and the lead can be purchased from a variety of shops, both online and in-store, and apparently the RRP is around the six pounds mark which I think is a reasonable price. I bought the lead in black, and as far as I know this is the only colour available. I think black is a good colour as this way dirt doesn't show up as prominently as it would on a lighter coloured one.
The double lead has a simple design really. There is a metal hoop where you attatch your normal (single) lead and then two 12 inch long pieces of strong, durable fabric with hooks on each end, which clips onto each dogs collar. As the material bits (leads) are quite versatile it is relatively easy fitting it onto my dogs collars. It can be a bit of a pain getting them to stand next to eachother so I just grab the most easy going one, clip the lead onto the collar, grab the other dog and if the dog won't co-operate/stand closer to the other dog I will just stretch the lead over to the dog rather than bringing the dog to the lead, which is easy as each of the leads is a decent length.
I then repeat with the other two dogs and attatch each lead to the double lead and they're ready to go. I like that the leads are made of a soft material as that way, when the dogs are walking closely to eachother and there's a bit of a droop in the material leading to it swinging slightly as the dogs walk, it doesn't bash against their sides and is not painful, however a chain one might be.
Although my boyfriend is the one who mainly uses the double leads, I have used them a number of times and they honestly make a difference. It is so much better having just two leads instead of four, and when me and my boyfriend walk them together we can have one lead each which is much less effort. It also seems to slow them down and they almost have to learn to co-operate, else one will end up getting dragged along. I would also say that in general, when there are no cats, other dogs, animals etc, and they are only pulling a little bit that the lead takes some of the strain off of the normal lead, if that makes sense, and it therefor is easier and more comfortable to hold. When they pull like mad, it is like having one huge dog on the end of the lead, but I think that due to the dogs having to walk in sync it reduces the amount they pull - slightly, anyway!
I have, however, got a few quite major niggles, one of which is when one dog gets the urge to sniff and goes one way, and the other dog goes the other way, the lead pulls them back together with quite a lot of force. It does not seem to cause any of my dogs serious/noticeable discomfort though and they adapted to the lead quickly, and since have got into the routine of being joined together. Last year though, we were walking the dogs down the beach and we had one of my boyfriends dogs on the double lead with one of my dogs, Pip. Pip has slowed down a lot and is not the playful pup she once was, whereas my boyfriends dog is still a pup. Anyway, Rosie (bfs dog) spotted another dog in the distance. Pip wanted to lay down. In a tug of wills, Pip ended up pulling her head straight out of the collar as she refused to move, while Rosie was pulling forwards - and Rosie ran off into the distance, double lead still attatched - a massive choking hazzard as the lead could of got stuck on something.
It all happened so fast, and we were really annoyed, so I guess it is worth mentioning to make sure that you have your dogs collars on as tight as possible when using the lead in case of a similar incident happening. Since this incident, Pip has picked up on the 'slipping head out of collar trick'. She's a stubborn dog and will lay down, hoping that the other dog or I will pull on the lead hard enough for her collar to come off. Also, if one dog slows down and the other continues to pull, it causes the collar on the slower dog to tighten and it could cause discomfort to the slower dog - so if you have a puppy and an elderly dog, I would not reccomend joining them together on a double lead. Another incident was quite recent - my boyfriend was walking the dogs and climbed over the style in our local field and let the dogs through.
The field when you step over the style is steep, with a seven foot (ish) drop, meaning you have to go left. The dogs were on their leads and Harvey went crazy as he saw a rabbit, and headed straight down the steep slope meaning my boyfriend lost grip, and the dog legged it while still attatched to the other dog (Talia) - who, according to Marc, was stood there quite happily sniffing - so it must of been a shock and painful for her been dragged down a hill when she least expected it. I wasn't there, but my boyfriend admitted it was pretty scary and he was concerned about Talias neck due to the force she was pulled down the hill at and he was also worried about the lead becoming entangled in something and strangling both dogs, however he luckily caught them within a couple of minutes, and luckily both were fine. Apart from those incidents though, the leads have been durable and handy. They are affordable and with the right dogs will work a treat.
They do have a few downsides though, which is mainly down to the behavouir of the dogs rather than the quality of the leads. We have had the leads for a few months now and they are in reasonable conditon, although the hooks that attatch to the dog collars are a little rusty and get stuck quite easily. Overall, 3/5 - reccomended if you think your dogs would be okay with it - probably best suited to very well trained dogs, or small/elderly dogs. I personally will be either giving mine away or throwing them away, as unfortunetly they seem like a bit of an accident waiting to happen.