Snoot Loop inspires leery glances
ABOVE: Somewhere in Maggie's nose hair lies a Snoot Loop, a type of headcollar or halter that has become popular in the United States as a gentler alternative to choke collars and body harnesses.
Does this dog look vicious to you?
Although Venetians often cry "Bellissimo!" or pat Maggie on the head when they encounter her on the street, a few glance at the Snoot Loop on her snout and step aside. In Venice, many dogs don't wear leashes, and "headcollars"--such as the Snoot Loop, Gentle Leader, and Halti--are practically unknown. As a consequence, a leashed dog with a headcollar or nose halter may appear to be muzzled, implying that the dog has been trained by the likes of Michael Vick.
Not to worry: Maggie's Snoot Loop is simply a type of collar that makes it easier to guide an exuberant dog through crowded streets without the need for punitive jerks (as with a choke collar), pulling (as with a traditional leather or nylon neck collar), or brute-force body hauling (as with the chest-and-shoulder harnesses that seem to be popular with Italian dog owners who use leashes).
If you see Maggie in the street, feel free to give her a pat or a rubdown. You may end up with dog hair on your clothes, but you needn't worry about being bitten unless you're wearing a Milk-Bone costume.
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