How Do Dog Slip Leads Work? (Solved & Explained!)

A slip lead resembles a standard lead, except instead of a clip, it features a metal ring on one end of the loop. The leash loops back into itself and your dog’s head is then placed in the loop. This loop tightens when the lead is dragged tighter around the dog’s neck. Slip leads, when used correctly, can be an excellent method to train your dog to walk politely.

Continue reading to discover more about slip leads, including what they are, how they function, and how to use one properly.

What is a Slip Lead?

Slip leashes and collars are exactly what they sound like: they slip over your dog’s neck. They are wonderful training aids for teaching your dog how to walk on a leash.

Slip collars lack a traditional buckle closure. They are formed in the form of a loop. The other end of the collar’s ring is looped through one end of the collar. When using a slip lead, the collar and leash are combined, eliminating the need for a separate lead.

With a slip collar and lead, all it takes is a slight tug of the leash to tighten the collar and provide pressure to the dog’s neck when they try to pull or strain against the leash. Slip collars are used for aversion training, which teaches dogs that their behaviour is inappropriate.

Are Slip Leads Safe for Dogs to Wear?

A slip lead isn’t always harsh when used in the correct situation. On the other hand, slip leads might be dangerous if used on an inexperienced dog. When you put a slip collar on your dog, and they continue to tug, the slip lead effectively becomes a choke chain, which can cause neck, throat, and spine injuries.

Why Is There So Much Controversy Around Slip Leads?

A slip lead might be perceived as careless because, when tightened, it can compress the neck and inflict a considerable lot of agony and anguish for a dog. If they pull away for any reason, they are instantly punished with a choke, implying that positive reinforcement may be ineffective.

Dogs with a proclivity for lunging unexpectedly can inflict catastrophic injury to their trachea, lymph nodes, and spine. It can compress their windpipe, which can be deadly in rare situations. A dog who pulls and lunges on a daily basis might create serious issues, to the point where they may avoid walking at all.

How to Safely Use a Slip Lead?

To use a slip leash and collar appropriately, make a loop large enough to slide comfortably over your dog’s head on the slip lead. Ascertain that the dog is aware that you are attempting to slide a slip lead over him. Otherwise, they may become alarmed and withdraw.

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Form the number “6” with the leash, hold the loop that will be passed over your dog’s head with your dominant hand. With your non-dominant hand, hold the lead’s end. Pass the lead over the dog’s head quickly and grip the leash with your dominant hand. Then slide the loop down till it’s slack but not so loose that your dog may slip his head through.

How To Adjust a Slip Lead?

When correctly fitted, a slip lead should sit behind the mouth at the very top of the neck.

When using a slip lead, the leash slide should make contact with the dog’s neck to keep him from slipping out, but it should still be loose enough to allow two fingers to pass between the slip lead and the dog’s neck. The goal is to make it tight enough so that your dog cannot slide through but slack sufficient so that he is not uncomfortable or chokes.

Never attach a slip lead to the centre of the throat or neck. If your dog suddenly pulls away or pulls while out on a walk, this might result in damage.

How To Release a Slip Lead?

Simply relax the slip lead by sliding it towards the leash’s handle to release the slip lead. Before you let go of the leash, be sure your dog understands your intentions. This aids in the development of trust between the handler and the dog. The easier it is to move the slide with the slip lead, the more you utilize it.

How are Slip Leads Effective?

Slip collars work since when your dog pulls, they become uncomfortable from the pressure as the slip lead or collar tightens. Fortunately, it is not harmful if utilized correctly. This pressure makes the dog less likely to yank on the leash. Your dog will learn to walk gently beside you with enough continuous training.

Slip collars and leads are convenient, effective, and comfortable training and everyday usage devices.

What Are Some Alternative Dog Restraints to the Slip Lead?


Harnesses are designed to be worn over the chest and abdomen of a dog, crossing over the back with a leash being added to the harness’s top. Harnesses are preferred over collars by some dog owners, especially for dogs who pull. Harnesses do not exert strain on the neck.

For dogs with pushed-in faces that impede breathing, such as pugs, dogs with trachea or throat difficulties, such as Pomeranians, and dogs with lengthened, too slender necks, such as Greyhounds, this is also a safe alternative.

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Head Collars or Halti’s

Headcollars or halters resemble muzzles in appearance, but they serve a completely different purpose. These halters function more like head harnesses and are designed to assist in training a dog to walk on a leash and heel. The halter causes the dog’s head to pivot as he pulls on the leash, teaching it to discontinue the behaviour.

Headcollars, when used correctly, may effectively prevent tugging and complement other training. Head halters should not be left on unsupervised dogs or dogs on a very long lead since some head collars can be backed out of. The Gentle Leader is only one of the numerous brands of dog head collars on the market.