Products of Interest
The following are products that our volunteers have tried and found helpful or fun. The Central Illinois German Shepherd Dog Rescue does not endorse or receive any monetary benefits from profiling these products. The Central Illinois German Shepherd Dog Rescue does not accept any liability for damage or injury resulting from the use of any products.
Dog(s) in Yard sign
This sign is a great way to remind the phone company, cable company, meter readers, and even neighbors, to close the gate behind them (or not to enter the yard without assistance). Forget those ugly "beware of dog" signs. This sign gets the message across without making others think of your dog as a big meanie! You can purchase yours at doginyard.com (as of Summer 2008)
This is a ramp for tight spaces (like in between vehicles) made by Dogramp.com. These ramps are the best we've found. The Sidekick is 42 inches long, and weighs only 7 pounds (so it is easy to pop back in your vehicle). It is wide for larger dogs with heavy-duty carpeting for traction.
These ramps are the best we've found.The Telescoping Ramp (works well for beds etc) made by Dogramp.com. goes from 42 to 70 inches long with a wide 18 inch base that can hold up to 200 pounds. These ramps don't sag like some others we've seen.
Springer (for biking with your dog)
Do you like to go biking with your dog but need to have him on a leash? Do you find it dangerous to hold a leash while biking? If not, you should. A number of accidents can happen while holding a dog's leash while riding a bike. It is hazardous to you, the dog, and anyone you pass by who might get hurt if you fell. However, biking is a great way to exercise your German Shepherd Dog if he's high energy. The Springer is a great solution for those looking for a safer alternative to riding a bike and holding a leash. The biker's weight is centered above the spring mechanism that holds the dog — so the dog doesn't have the ability to easily pull you over. There are a few other products that are similar in concept to the Springer, but after experience with Springer's major competition, we are still most impressed with this product.
BikerDog Harness (for biking with your dog)
This harness is light-weight and has 3 D-rings that allow you to bike with your dog on your left or right (or use the harness as a walking harness with the D-ring in the middle). This product is made by BikerDog.com and is highly adjustable. This company also produces a product that mounts to the bike, however the CIGSDR volunteers have only tested the harness itself.
If you have an older pet that loved running with you when you went on bike rides (safely, of course, using a Springer), but can no longer keep up, consider a DoggyRide carrier. This is the only carrier one of our volunteers was willing to purchase for her 100 pound German Shepherd. Why? Because of the features: lookout roof, square (not sloped) cabin, padded floor, and folding portability. As with a child carrier, it has a safety feature where it attaches to the bike so that if your bike tips over, the Doggyride likely won't. The new Doggyride even has stroller options if you want to push your dog instead of pulling him with your bike.
Dogleggs (soft coverage solution for sore elbows)
When your dog flops down on hard floors too often, they can develop a buildup of fluid in the elbow (a hygroma). Only a vet can diagnose a condition, however if this is the diagnosis, and extra cushioning is needed, one of our volunteers has found the padding of Dogleggs to be effective. Visit the Dogleggs website for more information and photos of canine customers wearing the Dogleggs product.
Rinse Ace Pet Shower Deluxe
The Rinse Ace Pet Shower Deluxe hooks onto your shower's downspout with a removable hose so that you only need to see it when you use it. It has a side button that allow you to turn off and on the water where you use it. Our volunteer testers have also found this button in such a location to easily allow a person to hold a finger over the water flow while depressing the button therefore allowing them to continually monitor the water temperature that is reaching their pet. Rinse Ace is sold by many major pet retailers.
Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Vest
This is the very best coat we've found for indoor doggies that need a little extra warmth on their outdoor walks. This coat is easy to put on and take off (no velcro). Just slip your best friend's fuzzy head and front legs through and away you go! This vest also has a large reflective band around it to keep your pet visible. Ask your local pet supply store if they carry this vest. Retailers can order for their store through the Canine Equipment website. Note: this vest is very warm and you'll want to wait until you are ready to walk out the door before you slip it on your furry friend.
Coupler (for walking more than one dog)
A coupler fits at the end of your leash and connects the collars of two dogs. Note: NOT TO BE USED WITH A HEADCOLLAR. A coupler can be purchased through most major pet retailers.
All Belt Flexi Lead
If you are walking one large dog, we've found that the All Belt Flexi Lead (all ribbon, all the way) is the best way to enjoy the freedom of a Flexi without the accompanying rope burn is your pet does a quick 180 past you to visit your local fleeing rabbit. (Our volunteers have received rope burns before—nothing can set a normally calm dog into action like a fast moving rabbit or squirrel!) Note: NOT TO BE USED WITH A HEADCOLLAR. All Belt Flexi Leads can be purchased through most major pet retailers.
The Halti works on the premise of a horse's halter. The idea is that where the head goes, the body will follow. Our volunteers have tested both the Halti and the Gentle Leader. Each has its advantages. The Halti fits the German Shepherd better due to the general slope of most German Shepherd muzzles. The Halti therefore avoids their eyes. However, an intelligent breed, like the German Shepherd is quick to learn how to remove the Halti under the supervision of an inexperienced Halti user. The Gentle Leader is much less likely to be removed due to its tightening clip, however, can be less comfortable for the dog when it pulls on its lips and can get very close to their eyes. The halti can be purchased through most major pet retailers.
The retractable Leash Saddle (designed to fit Flexi Leads) is the perfect way to carry those bulky, enormous, poo-bags necessary for long walks with a German Shepherd! Our volunteers often get stopped on the street and asked about our nifty bag that attaches to our Flexi leads. The Leash Saddle can be purchased through most major pet retailers.
PetWalker Plus Two-Dog Leash
If you are up to the challenge of walking two large dogs, the PetWalker Plus Two-Dog Leash may be your answer. Another option is to buy a coupler that fits at the end of your leash and connects the collars of two dogs. Note: NOT TO BE USED WITH A HEADCOLLAR. The PetWalker Plus can be purchased through select pet retailers.
Premier Martingale Collars
This a a wonderful tool to keep the human from being walked by the dog. It is easier on your dog than the pinch collars that we don't ever recommend. Just slip the Premier on over your doggie's head and away you go! This is not to be used for your dog's usual collar. As we tell our adopters, "the Premier comes off with the leash." The Premier Martingale Collar can be purchased through most major pet retailers.
RuffWear Web Master™ Harness
This harness was designed for dog handlers to "lift and assist" their canine coworkers, but if you are just looking for a walking or hiking harness for your dog, this is a lightweight and easy to put on alternative to the harnesses you see in most stores. Our volunteer who tested this product, noticed that the fabric frayed a bit after extented use, but showed no signs of losing its strength. See the RuffWear website for more information or to order this product.
RuffWear The Roamer™ Leash
A 10 foot leash in half the space. This leash stretches out as your pet sniffs a nearby shrub and then retracts as your pet moves closer to you to complete his walk. See the RuffWear website for more information or to order this product.
RuffWear Hover Craft™
This toy is made of very strong material, yet is flexible and easy for your puppy (of any age) to pick up and carry around. It is available in 2 sizes. See the RuffWear website for more information or to order this product. See the RuffWear website for more information or to order this product.
Hartman's Hip Helper
This harness is great for older dogs, dogs with back/knee problems with mild or fluctuating severity, or dogs recovering from surgery. It is often difficult for a deep chested dog to make use of the traditional lift aids that go around the belly (since they roll rather than lay flat), but the Hartman's Hip Helper was obviously designed with the deep chested German Shepherd body in mind. This product was created out of necessity when Betsi Hartman's own German Shepherd experienced a need for support after surgery. The harness can be purchased online at HartmanHarness.com.
Carpeted Pet Steps
These are the sturdiest and easiest steps we know of for Shepherds to maneuver. Each step has a lip on it that gives extra room for large feet without increasing the slope of the stairs. They are extra sturdy. We purchased ours from Dogbedworks.com. You can view this item on their site through this link. Note that the company that makes these steps may use slightly different grades of carpeting. In other words, if you order a set of steps one year and then order another set the next year, they may have a different carpet loft, softness, or fiber density. These steps are manufactured by C&D pets.
Orvis Auto Back Seat Saver
Thick and cushy. Best sling seat cover we've come across. The dogs like it too. The beige color and texture tend to hide the look black and tan fur (that shows up far to well on most dark and light colors. Plus it isn't slippery for your pet like some seat cover fabrics. Available online only at Orvis.
Chuckit Flying Squirrel
For high flying fun, try this toy. Our dogs love to shake it so stand back! Easy to pick up for K9 mouths and easy to throw for the humans, this is a fun toy that has a long life, but doesn't last forever. We've liked them so much that we've found it worth buying another one when this toy has worn out. The Chuckit Flying Squirrel is manufactured by Canine Hardware.
Tough toys for tough chewers. There are different Kongs for different levels of chewers. You can even stuff your Kong with yummy treats! Kong Toys are make by Kong.
For those dogs that don't care for the Gentle Leader or the Halti is a product that leads your dog (much like you lead a horse), but without the pull on the doggie nose. This harness has a ring for the leash to attach to on the front of the harness (chest of the dog) as opposed to being attached to the back/top of the harness. We have found that a dog that might pull with a traditional harness may be more likely to be "led" by this harness. This harness, like the Halti or Gentle Leader, is not to be used with a Flexi lead. We have found a 4 foot lead with lightweight hardware to be most comfortable for our dogs since a front hooking harness is more likely to allow a longer leash to fall under the dog's feet. The SENSE-ible Harness is manufactured by SoftTouch Concepts. Another company, well known for its headcollars, has come out with a similar product. We've tried both, but still prefer the original SENSE-ible Harness.
The Snapback is excellent for helping you with a headstrong dog they may not necessarily need a head collar but still has a little pull in him. This is really just a bungi that you hook between your leash and your dog's collar. Note: NOT TO BE USED WITH A HEADCOLLAR. The snap-back can be purchased online from Sitstay.com