Monday, March 10, 2014

How to silence dog tags

Answer:  To stop dog tags from jingling, use two criss-crossed strips of double-sided half-inch hook-and-loop (trade name Velcro) to bundle them to each other.

The Velcro has a minor disadvantage of getting a bit of dog hair tangled up in it, but that's a small price to pay for not having your dog constantly sounding like the Salvation Army bell ringer.
It won't win an award for attractiveness, but it gets the job done and, in four years of dog ownership, it's the only solution I've come up with that actually works for more than a short duration of time. Our dog managed to rip every other silencing device off her collar.  I can't even speculate how she accomplished this, but it happened.

It's essential that your Velcro be double-sided across its entire length so that each piece will bind both to itself and to the other piece which overlaps (this keeps it from slipping).  Some products are either hook or loop but not one of each on each side.

Make sure you put the loop side of the Velcro on the outside.  If you attach the Velcro with the hook side out, it will accumulate more dog hair.  
I am not the first one to call attention to this exasperating problem, which is especially relevant to us because I jog with our dog.  Without something to quiet her tags, she literally sets every other dog in Centerpointe to barking.  Whether they are inside dogs or yard dogs, they can all hear her as we go by.
Others have tackled this problem, but they haven't necessarily succeeded.

Screengrabbed from this eHow page.  
I tried a couple of the solutions listed in that eHow piece, but they did not work.  This Velcro idea works.

And given that only a few inches of narrow-diameter Velcro are required, this idea costs only pennies to execute, not the few bucks that you'd pay for commercial silencers (if you can even find them to buy, and if they'll even stay on your dog's tags, which mine did not).
This is very similar to the product I used, although I certainly didn't buy 25 yards of it.  You can get smaller rolls at the hardware store.

Screengrabbed from the Zoro Tools website.  
If anyone needs to read your dog's tags, they can just peel open the Velcro.  Piece of cake.

This is what happened on one of my earlier trials when I made the mistake of putting the hook side of the Velcro facing out.  The hooks caught more dog hair.  Putting the loop side out eliminates most of this issue.

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