1. Harness A secure harness, such as the WebMaster by Ruff Wear¹ (shown above) is an important component of the Anti-Knuckling Device™ (AKD). The WebMaster has adjustable straps that go under both the chest and the belly of the dog and is effective in preventing slippage of the harness that occurs as a result of tension on the shock cord, especially when the device is being used on only one leg. It also has a handle that can be used for assisting the dog with stairs and other obstacles that might be encountered on walks. The Help ‘Em Up Harness is also an excellent choice. It has two handles, front and rear, and a patented Hip Lift feature. (See links below for ordering either the Webmaster or Help ‘Em Up harnesses.)
2. Shock Cord When the dog is standing in a neutral position, as shown above, there should be the slightest amount of tension on the shock cord. The purpose of the shock cord is to engage the foot when the dog walks and then return it to a neutral position. The shock cord can be adjusted by squeezing the ends of the cord lock together.
- Foot Harness The webbing of the toe loop portion of the foot harness fits over the middle two toes, crisscrosses over the top of the paw, and then wraps around the metatarsus (above the paw) and buckles in the back. The toe loop should slide easily over the two middle toes and there should be some space between the top of the dog’s paw (underneath the middle slide buckle and “D” ring) and the webbing where it crisscrosses. The foot harness is adjusted properly if there is sufficient room to slide your index finger in between the top of the dog’s paw and the underside of the slide buckle. If you can’t fit your index finger under the buckle, the foot harness is too tight, and can potentially cause chafing to the dog’s toes. The foot harness can be adjusted by sliding the slide buckle forward or backwards, and then adjusting the Velcro end of the strap accordingly.
4. Frequency of Use The AKD should be used for short walks initially, 10 to 15 minutes at a time, for the first week. Time with the device can be safely be added in increasing five-minute increments, as the dog becomes accustomed to it. The AKD should be removed immediately after use and should not be worn continuously.