The Wacky Walk’r Dog Leash is a Serious Tool

You thought owning a dog was all fetching tennis balls and picking up cute girls in the park, didn’t you? Someone forgot to mention the constant walks, the frequent pulling, and the dog’s innate desire to jerk into traffic. Luckily, a tool has been invented to make your day a bit easier.

I know, I know, I fell for the same gimmick as you.  The cute dog, so well behaved behind the caged door, licking at your hand, warm eyes promising to always sit when you ask and help you win the heart of cute blonde joggers.  Of course, once Remington got home, he decided that going for a walk should be an all out onslaught of pulling, jerking, and chasing squirrels.

My first stop on the road of leashes was a fairly standard lead that was 5 feet long with a normal hand hold and an additional handhold right at the connection, for tighter control.  Unfortunately, there is no middle ground with the 50 pound Korean Jindo – Labrador mix either glued to my hip or five feet away trying to chew through a tin can of mini-hot dogs.  First – who throws away a whole can of mini-hot dogs and second – why didn’t I know you could buy hot dogs in a can?

Back to the situation at hand – dogs pulling on a leash.  As a manly man, I wasn’t ever worried about losing control of the dog as, if it came down to it, I would just toss him over a shoulder and march him home, maybe even stopping to bench press him in front of some single ladies.  But to make life easier on myself and others who would have to take turns walking this lean mean walking machine, I started searching for solutions.  While digging through tons of free coupons for doggie toothbrushes and the next stage in tennis ball evolution I came across a strange product with a silly name – The Wacky Walk’r.  The leash promised to take the jerking out of the walk, prevent the dog from chewing at the leash (one of Remington’s favorite past times), and make for a generally more relaxed walking experience.  Worth a shot, at any length.

Speaking of length (stop giggling), I opted to go with the Wacky Walk’r Urban, a shorter model that measures a bit longer than 18 inches and, due to the elastic tubing used in its construction, could stretch out closer to 3 feet.  Living in Los Angeles with lots of short side walks, other dogs, and heavy traffic, I wanted to maintain a short leash and total control of the dog.  To that end, the Walk’r provided help in two areas:  the short length of the leash overall and the short lead right at the connection.  This is just a loop of canvas material that allows you to take very close control of the dog for things like walking across the street or stop him from making sweet, unwelcomed love to a bichon frise.

Overall, the leash was a very welcome addition to my arsenal.  There are never any violent jerks – the elastic tubing takes the brunt of the force.  Remington, despite being rather strong for his size, also couldn’t keep the leash fully stretched out very long before the elastic band pulled him right back.  If you want to be a jerk about it, like I sometimes do, you could also give a slight pull and pop him off his front feet as the band retracts.  The addition of the short hand hold is welcomed for those times when you need to squeak through small areas.  Another positive benefit of the rubber tubing construction is cleaning – just wipe it down and no matter what gunk it got pulled through, it comes off quickly.

As for the claim of being a leash that discourages chewing, Remington is undecided.  He chews on this leash less than his other one, but he definitely hasn’t stopped biting it while jogging or when he randomly feels like sinking his teeth into something other than my hand.  The stretching aspect of the leash, which is its greatest asset, also provides one drawback – in eliminating the jerky motion of standard leads, you lose the ability to jerk the chain.  If you pull back quickly to stop the dog from trying to eat a cigarette butt on the ground, you may just stretch out the leash and the dog, having not been jerked around, will just continue eating garbage.  After following a short learning curve, you definitely get the hang of just how to move the leash and pull to guide the dog away from threats and other areas you don’t want him going, so its not too big of a deal.

At the end of the day, the Wacky Walk’r is definitely a great tool to use with your dog, especially if they tend to take off or pull hard at the leash.  The leashes come in a ton of different colors and there are three lengths – a regular 3 foot leash, the Urban 1.5 foot leash, and the ultra short Stubb’r leash.  Leashes are also available for all sizes of dogs, ranging from your tiny toys to your medium sized 50 pounders all the way up to the size of “Huge.”  Check out the Wacky Walk’r website to find out how to get one for yourself and take some of the physical pain out of walking the dog.  The emotional pain of watching your dog continue to pee on his own front legs and eat discarded napkins remains, however.  And if you take my recommendation to check out the Wacky Walk’r, make sure to have a look at some of their accessories.  Multiple-dog owners might want to invest in the Crazy Coupl’r, a rubber splitter that allows two dogs to be walked on one leash.  Thanks to its design, which I fumbled around with and used to clip objects to my dog (kidding), the Coupl’r can not become tangled like many models can, which is nice.  So quit reading things on the internet and go outside and walk your dog!

Robert Fure is a fitness, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in Los Angeles. He is also a certified Personal Trainer and the Creator/Editor of Fit and Furious, an online outlet dedicated to the pursuit of a fit lifestyle. His entertainment work can be viewed at Film School Rejects.

  • Rista

    Great article and the leash sounds like a great alternative to the regular ones.

  • Gina Biete

    I seen this wacky walker leash at the woofstock on sunday at the dog festival here in toronto,canada held on 2009 of June 13th and June 14th and I asked the guy if they sell correction collar he said you can use correction leash and I was surprise that they made a correction leash. wow!!! so, I bought one and try it. this wacky walker is better to use than than the correction collar. I am looking forward for the upcoming rubberize collar that will be making soon. I hope to see this wacky walker again at the festival on Nov.27th and nov.28th next year. I am planning to buy another leash and I need the longer one. I have no hardtime walking my dog anymore. I usually use the training leash but I believe this wacky walker leash is easy to use for the dog hat needs to train walking at the sidewalks. this is a good idea that they think about. great job…it is worthed the money that I spend for the cheaper leash.

  • Sue Donnelly

    Hi, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your quick wit and humor about this leash, as well as the beautiful pic of Remington. I thoroughly enjoyed the read!

  • http://www.hedyscoopsdogpoop.com hedy

    i have 9 dogs and love to walk 3 or 4 at a time..
    this just might be the very best product to let me do this..
    thanks for your review..
    better coming from you than the website selling them…

  • Lela T

    I have been using the wacky walker leash since I discovered it at a shop in Atlanta GA. I got it because my back hurt in the past. This took considerable strain off. I swear by it and have been using the product for over 2 years..

  • Dylan Watkins

    I don’t agree. Whilst I think this product has some good things going for it (length, rubber pull back etc) having the ends made from nylon just doesn’t work. My dog – a pup – sometimes manages to get the lead in her mouth and has chewed it (we have had it for three days). Already the nylon has ‘broke’ – it is just not suitable (even on the wackywalkr website it states the lead deters chewing: NOT TRUE).

    THEY SHOULD OF USED A STRONGER MATERIAL SUCH AS CANVAS. Nylon is cheap and susceptible to chewing.

  • http://www.primermagazine.com RobertFure

    Hey Dylan,

    Any leash is going to break if the dog gets a hold of it and chews on it, unless you’re using a chain. Remington actually did the same thing a few months after we got the wacky walkr and chewed through the lead – but I came up with a very simple and cheap solution.

    Go to PetSmart or PetCo or wherever and buy a clasping dog collar. I found an extra long (for very large dogs) and double woven one on clearance for $4.99. Remove the old, chewed lead, you may have to cut through the stitched area. Now you should have the handle and rubber as one piece and the clip as the other. Slip the dog collar through the loops of both the clip and the rubber lead and clasp it shut.

    You’re pretty much done at that point. You’ve replaced the old chewed lead with the dog collar loop. I used a zip tie to tidy it up and keep it secure.

    The last part of this fix is just to try to keep the dog from chewing on it. The double stitched dog collar is at least twice as thick as the part it replaced, so it can absorb more damage.

    Hope this helps and brings your wacky walkr back to life to save your investment.
    .-= RobertFure´s last blog ..Linkszomania for March 3, 2010 =-.

  • Dylan Watkins

    Nahh – not after a couple of minutes it looks terrible.
    Really bad design.

    A colleague of mine had bought one from the same vet and she has noticed that it has started to split.

  • http://packlimated.com Gill Wagner

    This leash teaches your dog to pull.

    If you have no idea whatsoever how to control a dog, I suppose this will at least save your shoulder.

    That being said, any dog alive can be taught not to pull on a leash within one mile — I walk my two using 15lb fishing line (and the only reason they’re on a leash at all is the leash laws in my area).

    Learn how to lead and your dog will follow. And the ego boost you’ll get from walking a well-trained dog through your neighborhood is wonderful!
    .-= Gill Wagner´s last blog ..How To Own The Door- So Sparky Won’t Have To =-.

  • http://www.primermagazine.com/2010/train/100-days-of-fitness-an-introduction Robert Fure

    Hey Gill,

    I don’t think any leash teaches your dog to pull. As you know, it doesn’t matter if you have fishing line, canvas, or the finest Egyptian cotton attached to your dog, it’s how you walk the dog that matters.

    The wacky walk’r is just another kind of lead for you to use that offers some benefits to dogs that may be prone to excitement, but just because it does stretch doesn’t mean the owner should let the dog pull at it.

    I agree that a person should learn how to lead the dog and walk in a confident manner with the dog at their side, but I don’t think having a certain type of leash makes that any more or less possible.

    Best,

    R.
    .-= Robert Fure´s last blog ..The Lowdown on Stress Management Ten Strategies That Work =-.

  • http://packlimated.com Gill Wagner

    Robert,

    When a dog does something and gets what it wants, the dog learns to do that thing again. Period.

    Their entire learning system is built on a reinforcement model. Any leash that stretches or extends absolutely does teach the dog to pull.

    1. The dog pulls.

    2. The leash gives (stretches or extends) so the dog gets what it wants (instant distance from the person holding the leash).

    3. The dog pulls harder next time.

    The fact that you can pull the dog back within a second is irrelevant, because their brains learn in real time — instant feedback is all they get.

    The only benefit to this leash is the jerk will be less violent on the human holding the leash. If I wanted dogs that pulled me down the sidewalk I’d probably buy a leash like this.

    It’s just that I prefer dogs that follow.
    .-= Gill Wagner´s last blog ..How To Own The Door- So Sparky Won’t Have To =-.

  • Andrew

    Hey Gill,

    Thanks for the comments. I checked out your site and certainly defer to your experience, but I must say I use one of these leashes daily and have not had the problems you’re suggesting at all. Have you used a leash like this?

    Using your reinforcement model all one would need to do is properly lead the dog so it knows what it’s doing is unacceptable, just like anything else. The thing I like about it is it offers some flexibility of how far the dog can go, sniff, etc. without the extra length of a standard leash, which I find gets caught under the dog’s legs too easily.

    It seems if one can teach a dog to walk with fishing line, one can teach a dog to walk with a giant rubber band. :)

  • Dot Baxter

    Love this leash. I have a 71 lb border collie/ St Bernard mix (was supposed to be a 40 lb border/cocker mix) In spite of numerous training classes I just don’t have the physical strength to control this dog if he sees a distraction. He actually respects this leash. Even if I let him sniff at something with just the slightest of tugs I can get him to refocus on me and he returns instantly to my side. I can now walk him without being dragged down the street. With only a few uses he is also showing more respect on a regular 6 foot leash which I need to use for his rally work. It’s like he suddenly realizes he’s supposed to walk next to me. It’s both a comfortable leash for long walks and a great training tool to emphasize proper walking position to transition back to a regular lead.

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  • Amy

    I have just tried this leash with a stubborn 80 lb doberman puppy. I like what I see so far…what happens with this leash is, the harder he pulls, the more difficult it is to pull, because of the resistance offered by the leash – not me. He turns back on his own. While I agree that training is the key to having a dog walk quietly on a leash, sometimes I just need too get from point A to point B without involving a lesson. So far this leash seems like a great tool.