Do Slip Leads Stop Pulling? (Solved & Explained!)

Slip leads are not typically recommended for pull training for a number of reasons. In fact, it is preferable to only use one with a dog who is fully trained to walk on the lead without pulling. Slip leads have do have some benefits for fully trained dogs yet they can also be harmful and are even considered cruel by some for use with dogs. It is vital that they are used correctly and safely. 

In this article, we will look at how to use a slip lead correctly, discuss whether they are a safe option for dogs and consider the benefits and disadvantages of slip leads.

Do slip leads stop pulling?

Slip leads are not generally recommended for preventing pulling during walking. Typically, they are thought to be better for use with dogs who are already trained to not pull on the lead, meaning they are not necessarily helpful for training. In fact, a slip lead is unlikely to be beneficial to most dogs training not to pull and can even have adverse effects such as behavioural issues and aggression.

What is the purpose of a slip lead?

Slip leads are designed to discourage dogs from pulling while walking. They use a loop closure which tightens on the dog’s neck when they pull, tugging them back and preventing them from pulling. They are considered training leads, usually made of a thick rope, and combining the lead and collar into one.

Are slip leads safe?

Slip leads can be extremely dangerous to dogs and so it is vital that they are used correctly in order to prevent harm. It is very easy to cause harm to your dog, however unintentional, if a slip lead is used incorrectly. The lead works by tightening on the dog’s throat when they pull, which can damage the dog’s neck and throat and can even choke the dog if it tightens too much, which is highly possible for a slip lead to do. As well as increasing the chance of the dog choking, this can also cause other problems for dogs. The pressure of the rope on the dog’s neck can place increased pressure on the dog’s eyes and can cause damage to other areas such as the trachea and spine.

When should I start using a slip lead?

Some will recommend that a slip lead should never be used, however if you decide to use one, there are things to consider. The best time to introduce a slip lead is when the dog has already been trained to walk without pulling, as it is the act of pulling on the lead that can cause serious harm to the dog and makes slip leads dangerous. It is generally recommended that dogs should be completely pull trained to avoid harm. There are also some circumstances in which a slip lead should not be used at all, as we will discuss next.

Can I use a slip lead on my puppy?

Slip leads are not recommended for use with puppies in particular, especially for pull training on puppies under six months of age. The way the lead works means that they tug on the dog’s neck, which can be particularly dangerous to small and sensitive puppies. Instead, there are other options which may be less harmful for puppies and can be used safely to train puppies. Some safer options for pulling training a puppy is a harness and leash combination or a fitted collar, which are considered typically safer.

How do you use a slip lead correctly?

Using a slip lead correctly is vitally important to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort. The loop should be the right size to fit over the dog’s head comfortably and fit around their neck, the lower the better so the pressure is not on the most vulnerable part of the neck. Most slip leads come with either a ring or slider to adjust the tightness of the loop, which should be loose enough for you to fit two fingers down the side. Although the pressure may be uncomfortable for the dog, at no point should it be harmful, which can be prevented by using the lead correctly.

What are the benefits of slip leads?

For dogs who are fully trained to walk without pulling on the lead, slip leads can be useful. If used correctly, they are comfortable and typically loose around the neck, which many dogs may find preferable to a tighter collar or harness. They are also typically durable and stronger than a lot of other leads, making them ecologically friendly for owners. Slip leads are also often used in vets or shelters, where quick and easy tethering is necessary for dogs who are not house trained or likely to make a run for it. 

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Are there any disadvantages to slip leads?

Aside from safety issues, there are other disadvantages to slip leads. Even when dogs are trained to walk without pulling, slip leads can still pose a risk for dogs. Even highly trained dogs are prone to lunging at something they see while on a walk, whether a squirrel or another dog, which can be dangerous if a slip lead is being used.

What is the best way to stop pulling?

Pull training is an important aspect of walking a dog and there are many safe and harmless tools to assist you in training your dog. Generally, harnesses are thought to be the best option for pull training, as they are typically safe and do not put unnecessary pressure on the dog’s throat or neck.

Is a slip lead the right option for me and my dog?

Whether a slip lead is the right option for you will depend on your situation with your dog. Generally, slip leads are not recommended for most dogs and most situations, however you may decide that it is the right option for you if your dog is fully pull trained or you need a quick, easy option for house training.