August 2019

Audience: Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers

Taking a walk with your best friend can be the best way to relieve stress and give new perspective to your life. The same is true for your new dog friend. Here are some basics that will help to be prepared for the best walks of your life.

The Basics


  • 4 to 6-foot leash; avoid chain/metal leashes
  • Avoid retractable leashes. They can result in serious injury to your fingers and hands.


  • A buckle collar
  • Consider using a Martingale collar, which is a limited slip collar. It helps prevent your new dog from slipping out of the collar when they're scared or excited.


  • A back clip harness may be a good option if the dog has a short snout, a delicate windpipe, and/or a flat face (known as 'brachycephalic').
  • Harnesses can also prevent dogs from escaping from their collars.

Specialized Supplies

  • For dogs who pull on a leash, a front clip "no pull" harness can make walks a lot easier. Easy Walk Harness® and Freedom Harness are two recommended brands.
  • A head halter can be helpful for dogs who are reactive or pull heavily on a leash. Similar to a lead on a horse, they provide more control than a standard collar. Gentle Leader® collars are recommended.
  • A long line (long leash) can help to safely give your dog a little more freedom or room, and help with training cues like 'come/recall.'

Training Supplies


  • The best part! Small moist treats work well. If your new dog needs more motivation, add small bits of hot dog or chicken to your bag of treats.

Treat bag

  • Keep treats on you while on walks or during training sessions so you can reward good behavior right when it occurs - a must for training!


Clicker or 'verbal marker'

Crates, gates, and/or playpens

  • Because we can't be with our dogs 24/7, and don't want them to get into trouble.
  • Teach your dog to be comfortable in a crate.