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Need relatively inexpensive specialty collar for medical service dog

Discussion in 'PDD-NOS, Social Anxiety and Others' started by crewlucaa_, Oct 19, 2021.

  1. crewlucaa_

    crewlucaa_ blissful soul, wild heart V.I.P Member

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    I posted a status about this, but figured it’d be much easier to make a thread because statuses have a limited amount of words and this requires further explanation. Wasn’t quite sure which section it would be appropriate to post this in, but since my medical issues include some that are more psychiatric, thought this was probably the best place to put this.
    I have a 3-year-old, very large, purebred, female Dogo Argentino who I’ve been working with a trainer to become a service dog in training. Technically she would be a medical service dog, but she helps with some mental disabilities as well.
    She currently has a harness but I’ve found it difficult to navigate crowded public spaces just using a harness and a leash (she needs to be really close to me and keep me at a safe distance from people in crowds. I also get exhausted from being on my feet for long periods of time and can lean on her for support. She’s very muscular). I did some research and found out that heavy-duty collars with a handle, that you can apply velcro service dog patches to, are a thing.
    I looked for these on Amazon and was a little disappointed with the quality of most of them. A lot of them were random off-brands that appeared to have been manufactured in large batches in China. I think I would either need to obtain one from a trusted dog specialty shop or have one custom made. I looked for hours at options on Etsy, and they were beautiful and looked to be great quality, but I couldn’t afford them :( I would need one that’s under $50 USD but would realistically need to be about $30-$40. I need to budget appropriately to my financial situation.
    Most of the available options had these weird quick-release buckles, which I don’t trust for a 100lb Pit-type dog who is made of muscle. She’s not particularly a puller but she could easily break a quick-release buckle by accident. She’s currently wearing a martingale. I could not find a martingale option with a handle anywhere :(

    So the specifications would need to be:
    - Thick handle, and a D-ring to attach a leash or a traffic lead
    - Durable buckle that won’t snap, preferably metal
    - At least 2” thick and up to 25” neck girth (XL to XXL, depending on the brand)
    - Velcro area to apply service dog identification patches.

    I hope this isn’t asking too much and I hope someone can point me in the direction of a shop that might have something… I’ve been researching this all night and all I can find are Amazon and Etsy.
    If there’s anyone else here with a service dog, I would really appreciate your help!!
    Any little bit of advice or suggestions would be so very appreciated!!
    Thank you to anyone who read this.
    - Luca
     
  2. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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  3. crewlucaa_

    crewlucaa_ blissful soul, wild heart V.I.P Member

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    Thank you so much!! A lot of those look great, I’m just having a lot of trouble finding one with a handle :( That’s definitely the right price range though so I’ll continue to look at the options that came up in your search. Idk why I didn’t originally just type in service dog collar lol… there are some nice faux leather ones with handles that came up on there but hopefully I can find a cheaper one of those.

    Kinda off-topic but I can’t believe how many people actually still try to pet her and interact with her and distract her when she clearly has service dog gear on that specifically identifies her as being in training to be one (she has a patch on her harness that very bluntly says do not pet). It’s illegal to do that!!
     
  4. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Dang! I would totally make you this collar if you supplied the materials. But shipping to and from Mexico sucks in service and price!
    Just a weirdo idea, but you could try a facebook group for leather worker hobbiests. Somebody out there would love the challenge and experience.
     
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  5. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    Ask at your local shops, starting with an upholsterer. They’d have powerful sewing capabilities and could simply attach the handle you provide to the harness or a collar.
    The dry-cleaners at my town has a repair person who has sewn a few things for me. She has a heavy duty machine.

    The other place that might attach a handle for you is a saddle and tack repair shop. I’m in Montana so they aren’t hard to find, but depends on where you live.
     
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  6. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Great ideas! Another place to try, shoe repair shops!
     
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  7. Gerontius

    Gerontius Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on the tack shop & harnessmaker. Those guys will appreciate business.
     
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  8. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Dogs are a natural magnet to anyone that likes/loves animals. And they are legion. Most probably are unaware of any law or even reason they that they should not interact. I wasn't.

    I am not sure how others feel but I am very pleased when someone interacts with my dogs. I know it makes the dogs day (or at least minute) to meet a new friend, and sometimes detect the same in other owners when I am very friendly and complimentary to their dog. Especially older people with a dog that may be their best friend. So I always look for opportunities to interact with strange dogs, for the dogs and owners sake as well as my own (dog lover). I do first look ask for permission of the owner and also watch body language of both owner and dog before I even approach them.

    So I think you are stuck with a unintended side effect of dog fan attention. But you may look on it as also an opportunity to work on social interactions with an established subject and predictable pattern.

    On the collar I looked on my go-to Chewy.com but nada. Watersprites and Suzette's ideas about trying sewing type shops is very good. If you can supply the collar/harness and perhaps even the handle it will help keep the price down. Maybe get the handle off an old suitcase, old mom's purse, gymbag etc.

    This was smallest service dog in the world. Owner (retired sheriff) and dog both died of natural causes on the same day

    6811030d-8252-414e-ac5e-f62903502981-AP21106713686378.jpg
     
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  9. crewlucaa_

    crewlucaa_ blissful soul, wild heart V.I.P Member

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    Thank you so, so much everyone for the super helpful replies!!!
    I’ll definitely look into finding someone who can sew one, or a saddle shop (we definitely have those around here because there are a lot of more rural towns in my area. I live in the Greater Boston area in Massachusetts, but across the harbor from Boston.)
    Thank you again!! It really means a lot to me that everyone has been so kind and helpful.

    @Tom , sorry if my comment sounded short sighted. I understand that everyone’s initial reaction to a dog is to pet or play with it. I’m like that too!
    My frustration is more that sometimes people don’t ask, and occasionally when I politely explain that she is doing her job, people get annoyed as if I said something offensive. I understand that not everyone is well-versed in service dog etiquette though because a lot of people probably haven’t encountered them often. So I will try to be more understanding!!
    And the picture and the story about the sheriff and his service dog was so touching. Thank you for sharing!
     
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  10. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    There are a couple people on the forums who are experienced leatherworkers. Maybe they can make something for you?
     
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  11. crewlucaa_

    crewlucaa_ blissful soul, wild heart V.I.P Member

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    Maybe! I just don’t want to ask too much of anyone
     
  12. crewlucaa_

    crewlucaa_ blissful soul, wild heart V.I.P Member

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    I think what I’m really looking for would be a martingale collar with a handle… I’ll ask around where I live and see if that would be workable for a saddle shop or someone who can sew one. Maybe someone could sew a handle and patch onto her current collar, idk why I didn’t think of that before lol. I’ll keep asking!
     
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  13. crewlucaa_

    crewlucaa_ blissful soul, wild heart V.I.P Member

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    Thank you so much for the help everyone!! Literally every single one of your replies was so thoughtful and helpful! :)
    I was able to find someone in Boston who can make me a custom martingale with all the specifications I am looking for, for under $30. I’m relieved that I don’t have to spend a fortune on a custom collar.
    I really liked the idea of a leather one @Yeshuasdaughter ! Although I think she would do better with a fabric martingale with a chain. If I ever need a nice leather collar I will ask someone you recommend, as long as it wouldn’t be a burden for them!
    @Suzette , that was so sweet of you to think of the idea of making me one… would never want you to have to pay for expensive shipping to and from Mexico though!! I understand why it would be too difficult to go through with it. But the thought was so nice!!
    You are all awesome people. So nice of all of you to help me and my dog out. <3
     
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