Background and a Warning
One of the main problems I had when I started walking again after breaking my ankle was a lack of stability and confidence. Although I had started physical therapy in early May, it wasn’t until the last week of June that I felt confident enough to take Nix out for walks.
However, I was still using crutches when I went out on my own, and I wasn’t comfortable using a normal leash for our walks. We were in a bit of a hurry to find a solution, and at our local pet store they only had the Trixie Waist Belt with Leash for Small and Medium-sized Dogs. As the name implies, this is a pack of waist belt and leash. The leash also has a handle, so you can hold the dog with both your body and your arm.
Note that this was a bit risky, since Nix is a large dog and she pulls. Be very careful when using this kind of equipment, where the dog is held by your whole body. There is a risk of falling. In my particular case, as I was still using a crutch, it made me feel safer as Nix didn’t “unbalance” me from one side if she pulled (which would have been the case using a normal leash).
The Waist Belt
The belt comes with padding on the back side, and has two adjustable straps to adapt it to your waist. It also comes with a buckle, which makes it very easy to put on and remove, and two rings where you attach the dog’s leash.
It is made of nylon and its length ranges from 60 to 130 cm and is 2.5 cm wide.
Like the belt, the leash is also made of nylon. However, it has a fixed length of 120 cm. One of its ends comes with a carabiner, which should be attached to both rings in the belt, and the other end should be attached to the dog’s collar or harness.
The leash also comes with a very useful feature: a buckle. This buckle can be used to set the leash free without having to detach the carabiner from the two rings in the belt, which can be a bit of a hassle. In this way you could, for example, hand the dog to another person.
As I mentioned earlier, there is another version of the belt + leash for medium and large dogs. The main differences are:
- The belt has a bigger area on the back side, also padded.
- There is a separation between the belt itself and the “area” of the belt where the leash is attached (see picture below). I guess this is to let more space between you and the dog.
- The leash comes with a shock absorber, so you won’t feel the dog’s pulls.
Which Version To Get
This may seem obvious: get the medium-large pack if you own a medium-to-large dog, get the other otherwise. However, for me, the choice is not so straightforward, as the shock absorber makes all the difference between the two. Let me explain.
Although I haven’t specifically tried this leash with the shock absorber, we own another leash which comes with one. We got it so Manel could take out Nix running with him. So, the shock absorber is great if you are running with your dog, as you won’t feel the pulls as much. However, for normal walks it’s terrible. I’ve used the “running” leash on standard walks, when the other leashes were washing, and it’s an experience I absolutely hate. Why? Because you lose control of the dog. If you want to bring the dog closer to you, the shock absorber works against you and it expands. So the dog remains in the same place.
Bearing this in mind, I would do the following:
- If you own a small dog, get the small to medium version.
- If you own a medium or large dog, I’d get the small to medium version if you intend to use it for walks, as you’ll be able to control your dog more easily. If, on the other hand, you intend to use it for running, then get the medium to large version.
How I Used It
As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, we got the belt and leash pack so that I could take Nix out for walks more confidently. It certainly served for this purpose. I used it once per day for two months, and I’m very happy we got it, since I felt much better with myself and the world for being able to go on walks with Nix.
Unfortunately, Nix pulls and is a strong dog, so she could have made me fall to the floor. Our solution was to use a no-pull harness. So we attached the leash to the harness, and the pulling was diminished considerably.