Disclaimer: I received a @StuntPuppy Stunt Runner to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
I admit, I was won over just by the name. "Stunt Puppy" is a bit of brilliant marketing from this marketers perspective! But there's a lot more to love about the Stunt Puppy products than just the name:
While we were on the website, Rosie started building a wish list. (It may have been a mistake to include her in the process. ;-) Next on her list is the Stunt Puppy Buff—which just happens to come in orange to match mine... Granted, Stunt Puppy doesn't actually have a "wish list" feature on the website, but they could with the variety of products they offer!
The one thing I had hoped would be on the website wasn't there—tips for using a hands-free leash. Maybe if you've got a docile dog, it's a total non-issue? Perhaps it's just a small group of people like me with dogs that are pure muscle and determination that need to consider how to introduce a hands-free leash? While I don't want to scare anyone off from hands-free leashes, I do think they ought to come with a "heads-up".
So here's my heads-up: My previous experience with a hands-free leash left me laying flat on the ground; a possibility I hadn't considered.(!) My best guess is that Rosie a) felt more free on a hands-free leash and b) wasn't used to feeling free at running speed with a human attached, and then c) the chase instinct kicked in without the usual "checks" to reign it in. Between her weight & muscle, I'm pretty much along for the ride, so that was the end of that.(!)
Fast forward a couple of years, and Rosie and I have learned to be better partners, running and otherwise, and we've completed some agility training, so I felt comfortable volunteering to test the Stunt Runner. Only this time, we walked first. Based on previous experience, I figured she needed to learn to stay by my side while we were running. From agility class, we had learned the basic technique and just needed to practice. Here's what we've been working on in a tutorial by the late Dr. Sophia Yin, a well-respected trainer: "Running With Your Dog: How to Train Fido to Run by Your Side".
I'm happy to report Rosie is very happy with this training process as we haven't done treat-based training in awhile. And I'm very happy as well, as it hadn't occurred to me how handy a hands-free leash would be for dog training! Extra bonus! (It would have been a big help in agility class where juggling a leash, treat bag, and treating required three hands where only two were available. ;-) Rosie and I are slowly easing into a mix of walking and jogging with the Stunt Runner leash, and I have faith we'll soon be truly running hands-free. And that will be a day for both of us to celebrate!
P.S. Grab your own Stunt Runner before 3/15/17 and save 20% with the code "BIBRAVE217".