When I first got Victor, he had a bad habit of bolting out the door. This crazy terrier had three previous homes and behaviour issues stemming from a lack of exercise. So, he took every opportunity to run.
It was a dark night and I opened the back door to let him pee before bedtime. Sure enough, before I could grab the tether clip, he bolted into the night and down the street – a quiet rural road. Again.
I was tired and instead of yelling and running myself, I took my time, put on coat and boots over my pajamas and headed out. When I opened the front door, there he was – being chased by two 20-something guys in baseball hats. Victor flew into the house the moment the door opened.
“Oh, is that your dog?” they asked. “We saw him on the road.”
“Thanks,” I said and shut the door.
It wasn’t until the morning that I saw it: the truck skid marks on the road going up and over the grass in a distinctive swerving arch. I realized then how close I came to losing my all black crazy mutt in the darkness of night.
Fast-forward four years and Victor is older, thoroughly exercised and significantly (though not entirely) better controlled. The bolting has stopped.
But he’s still black, and we still live in the darkness of a quasi-rural town.
So, I’ve tried to make him ‘glow in the dark’ a few different ways:
- Small battery-powered plastic discs attached to his collar – these fell off along our walk on the second or third usage.
- A Silidog Tag that glows in the dark – the Silidog Tag (recently seen on T.V.’s Shark Tank) only glows in complete darkness, so it’s not really working as a reflector at night. It is, however, an excellent dog tag. Made of silicone, it doesn’t ding ding, which was driving me crazy, and the name, address and telephones numbers (all fit on the tag, both sides) don’t wear off. I love this tag for those reasons.
- Corky’s Reflective Wear Overcollar™ – So far, this product had been most successful for nighttime walks.
Here’s why Corky’s Reflective Wear works for me:
I was given this product in exchange for an honest review after meeting co-owner Steven Triedman at SuperZoo in Las Vegas last August. I approached him because the products looked innovated and functional. I wasn’t wrong.
The Doggone Red Overcollar™ I received is easy to slip on and off, fits over the existing collar, and has a slit that easily lets the collar’s D-ring slid through so I can clip on a leash. If I use a harness or a winter coat, the Overcollar doesn’t interfere.
Other colours available: Healer Blue, Hunter Green, Lab Black, Precious Pink and Oh My Orange. Pick one that contrasts with your dog’s fur.
What makes the collar work is a 3M Scotchlite™ grey strip that reflects light up to 1000 feet (30.5 metres), according to the company. It’s also waterproof, made from a soft fleece-like fabric, and is machine washable. That last one’s important to me – my dog runs, digs, slides through sewer tunnels (yup), and generally gets dirty easily.
Does it reflect light?
I’ll admit, because we live in such a quiet area I had to ‘test walk’ the product three times before a car with headlights actually passed us on the road (which is why the truck incident was such a surprise).
Light from car headlights reflected like a sudden flash, as though the collar was bursting or a bulb surged. This happened when we walk almost under streetlights too. Of course, I’m unable to measure exactly how many feet (or metres) away this could be seen, but it was dramatic and attention getting.
I’d prefer a vest for fall weather, though because it provides an extra strip of reflection and more visibility, especially on a black dog. Yet, the collar version is good for the winter when I have cold-sensitive Victor bundled up.
Corky’s Reflective Wear is available from www.k9reflective.com or CorkysReflectiveWear.com.
As for the guys who near-missed Victor, I never saw them again. It took months for the tire grooves in the grass near our house to fill in, which was constant reminder how much can happen in so few seconds.
Note: we received a Corky’s Reflective Wear collar in exchange for an fair and honest review.
[…] flashing tags on Victor’s collar by they have minimal impact. I’ve tried reflective gear (see my review here) which work if headlights hit us first. I’ve also tried attaching a u-shaped runners’ shoe […]
Wow! So glad Victor survived the scare with the truck. I’ve almost hit dogs on dark roads, so a reflective harness/collar is an excellent idea.
My worst fear is hitting animals – especially pets – on the road.
Wow, that must have scared the heck out of you! I always reinforce the wait command at every door with my dogs. Phoebe was a bit of a runner when we first got her but she’s terrific now. This sounds like a solid safety product, a very good idea.
Love & biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
He’s better at waiting now, but there’s still a few issues particularly since we’ve had a change in our lives
Oh I’m glad that they were able to avoid hitting Victor, how scary! This sounds like a great product, especially for dogs with a lot of fur. My dog Sophie has such long hair that a tag or regular collar can’t be seen. My sister has a black Pomeranian with the same issue. I think a light up leash would also be very helpful.
The jacket would be best for really furry dogs … apparently I’ll be reviewing that soon too
First, I’m so glad that Victor was safe! Second, I hate to admit that until reading this post and hearing about Victor’s near miss I really hadn’t given much thought to need for reflective gear for the crew. I think it’s time to do a little shopping! Thanks!!
Now that’s it gets dark earlier, we can’t help but do night walks. He still needs to go!
What a terrifying story! I really love how reflective the gear is! I also love that there’s human gear to match the dog gear
Looks like a great product for your situation. Kilo is a small black rescue who still occasionally likes to bolt out the door after people or dogs or imaginary threats. We live on a downtown but quite street and mainly walk on the sidewalk. I had a glowing tag and reflective tape I attached to his harness but didn’t really help with bolting as that was unexpected. Harnesses and vests would be great for walks.
Yes, it doesn’t do much for bolting (unless he’s wearing it all the time) but it’s helped for night time walks.
That looks nice for long-haired dogs. Right now we’re using a clip-on light but I think he might need some more gear.
What brand are you using? Victor runs like mad and I’ve found anything that ‘clips on’ has disappeared by the end of the walk.
It’s so important to have both identification and glow-able reflective wear when dogs are outside. The darker the dog, the more important the glow. Great post!
Thanks. I did not realize how dark solid black was until it was almost too late….
I can only imagine the fear of having a dog that bolts out a door and into what could lead to disastrous results! I’m glad you found a product that assists you so Victor is more illuminated at night bringing attention to car and truck drivers that might not otherwise see him.
What helped the bolting the most was eventually assuring him that yes, he would get out today. When I got him, he’d go weeks without a walk so he bolted to take advantage of an opportunity he assumed he might not get for weeks.
Wow! So scary. So glad everything was ok.
Thanks. The guys in the truck might have had a few too….
We have a reflective collar with flashing lights and a hi viz vest for night time. We want to make sure we’re all visible to anyone driving by. You never know!!
Good idea. Too often I’m out walking the realize I’m all in black too.
I am so glad your pup was not hurt and I am sure you are too. The lessons we learn early on as pet parents huh!? Glad those guys helped out too!
We have a reflective collar on our pup thank goodness!
Yes, I was I first startled as to why they were on my lawn, then I realized Victor led them there…
Reflective and light-up collars are fabulous if you walk your dog at night! We have a LED style one that we’ve tried.
What LED have you tried? That’s likely my next purchase.