We recently introduced three new products to the High Tail Hikes shop shelves: Traffic Handles, Safety Straps, and Long Line Keepers! Here’s a bit more information about each product and some tips for choosing the product(s) and sizes that will work best for you. Enjoy!
A traffic handle is a loop that attaches to your dog’s collar or harness and can be used to secure your dog close to you as needed. A traffic handle is most commonly used as as a safety or management tool - for maneuvering in tight spaces like a busy sidewalk or crossing a street, working with a reactive dog, or in any scenario where you need to secure your dog close to you.
Choosing Your Traffic Handle
We offer stand alone traffic handles in two widths - Medium (½” width) and Large (¾” width), and in three lengths - 10”, 12”, and 14” (length is measured from the base of the snap gate opening to the end of the loop - see photo). Width is personal preference - both widths have a very high break strength. BioThane has a tested break strength of 1000 pounds per inch of width - meaning that the ½” width material has a 500 lb break strength and the ¾” material has a 750 lb break strength. You may want to choose a width that matches the rest of your gear or that feels good in your hand. In terms of length, it’s important to remember that traffic handles are intended to be used sparingly and only when necessary. The rest of the time, the handle will be hanging from your dog’s harness. Given that, I recommend choosing the shortest handle that you will still be able to reach - and this length will vary depending on your height, your dog’s height, and where on their body the traffic handle clips to your dog. We also offer the option of a floating O-Ring attached to your Traffic Handle - you'll see this as an add-on option when purchasing your Traffic Handle. The O Ring can be used to clip your leash or long line to the traffic handle, so that your traffic handle is then attached to the base of your leash or long line. This can add some extra length and versatility to your Leash or Long Line.
Finally, we now offer a built in traffic handle as an optional add-on to all standard Leashes and Long Lines - you will see this as an option when you are purchasing your leash or long line. Built in Traffic Handles measure approximately 12” from the base of the clasp to the end of the loop.
Stand Alone vs. Built In Traffic Handle
The advantage to a stand alone handle is that it can be used interchangeably with all of your leashes and long lines, and can even be clipped to the base of your leashes and lines as described above. The advantage to a built in traffic handle is that you never have to worry about forgetting or losing it, since it’s built in. The built-in traffic handle also reduces the amount that the handle may drag on the ground or impede your dog’s movement, since you will be holding the leash.
If you need further help in selecting your Traffic Handle, or would like further customization, please contact us.
A safety strap is a length of BioThane with clasps on both ends. It is intended to be used as a secondary point of attachment as a safety back up in case of equipment failure, to make sure your dog stays secured. It can be used in several ways, most commonly one of these two ways:
1) One end clipped to collar and the other end clipped to the base of the leash (the eye opening at the bottom that is fixed/not able to open); so that if the leash clip opens, your dog is still secured via the safety strap (see photo below); or
2) One end clipped to collar and the other end clipped to harness; so that if either the collar or harness comes off, the dog is still secured to the other piece of equipment via the safety strap.
Since our safety straps are only intended to be used as a back up, we make them from our thinnest, lightest ⅜” width material, which is still incredibly strong with a break strength of approximately 400 pounds. The goal is to provide security while keep extra equipment as lightweight as possible for your dog.
To choose the appropriate length, determine which purpose you’ll use the strap for (leash to collar or collar to harness), measure the length between these two points of attachment, then add at least two inches to allow for freedom of movement for your dog. If you have any questions about how to size your dog for a safety strap; or would like to order a custom size not offered on the site, contact us.
Those of us who use long lines are probably all too familiar with how they can be difficult to keep organized; they typically end up coiled in a heap at the bottom of your backpack or car, and it can be annoying to transport them and hard to access and untangle them quickly. The Long Line Keeper is a loop of BioThane with a BioThane slider tab affixed to it that can slide up and down. To use the Keeper, move the slider tab to one end of the loop, then lay the loop flat. Place the coiled long line across the loop, pull the end of the loop that has the tab on it through the other end of the loop, and then push the slider tab down to keep the long line taut. When purchasing your Keeper, you have the option to add on a lightweight aluminum alloy carabiner so that you can clip the Keeper to your waist belt, fanny pack, or backpack (we left this as optional, as some may already have a carabiner that they can use).
Our Keepers are made from Medium (½” width) BioThane in your choice of colors for both the Keeper and the slider tab. The Keeper loop measures approximately 12” in length and can comfortably fit up to two long lines.
I hope this is helpful! As always, contact us with any questions, suggestions, or ideas for new products. We love hearing from you!