Whenever he is guiding me Wiley is wearing his Guide Dog harness and his working collar and leash. I have also bought him extra gear which helps protect him when he is working in extreme temperatures or conditions.
Wiley’s harness is the standard one issued by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. It is made of two parts – the first part made of leather goes around his body – across chest and behind his front legs. The second part is a long rigid handle that is connected to the harness either side of his shoulder. It is through this special handle that I can feel his movements and how he guides me.
Putting Wiley’s harness on him is the signal that he is working and has to exhibit self control and perform the job he has been trained to do.
Working Collar and Lead
I have two different collar and leash sets for Wiley. One is used when he is working and the other on recreational and wee walks. His working collar is a 3/4 inch limited slip collar, his working leash is leather and can be adjusted to be short or long. It is kept short when he is working but is lengthened if he is given a toilet break while we are out and about.
His working harness, collar and leash were given to me free of charge by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT when I got Wiley.
Living in Canberra means I get to enjoy four seasons, autumn is my favourite as I love crisp early morning walks. Unfortunately it also means that I have to deal with wet and freezing cold winters, and very hot dry summers. This can make being outside unpleasant at certain times. To help make Wiley more comfortable in extreme conditions I have bought him a range of coats and some special doggy boots.
Wiley has a Winter Dog Jacket, which is water and wind proof and designed to help keep him warm. I bought this particular coat as the fit is designed to ensure maximum movement range and comfort. It is also easy to put on which is a bonus.
Wiley has a cool coat. I liked this particular coat as it is light weight even when wet. As it is silver it does a good job of reflecting heat off his black coat.
For days when it is warm but not overly hot Wiley has a cooling bandanna. I really like this as it is lightweight when it is dry and easily carried in my back pack. I keep it in my backpack throughout summer in case it gets hot while we are out and about.
Doggy shoes can be helpful in both winter and summer conditions. In summer pavements can get really hot, hot enough to blister feet. In winter the ground can be icy with limited traction.
I research long and hard to get Wiley the best possible shoes for both conditions. I ended up buying two sets of boots. They are designed for dog sports, are cushioned, anti slip and have great reviews. Wiley isn’t too keen on wearing them but it is better than burning his pads or slipping on icy surfaces.