How Do You Walk a Dog With a Slip Lead? (Solved & Explained!)

If you want to walk your dog with a slip lead, then there are a few tips that you will need to keep in mind in order to ensure that you are using it safely and correctly. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about using these leads:

  • Make sure that the slide on the slip collar is always locked before moving your dog
  • Practice fitting with a stuffed animal to get the proper hang of putting the lead on quickly and efficiently
  • Only use a slip lead if your dog already knows how to walk. It’s intended to help your dog to learn better, rather than to be used from the start.
  • When your dog pulls against the lead, stop immediately to adjust the leash so that it’s not uncomfortable for your dog
  • Best use of your slip lead is for transporting your dog, for handling them at the vet, for building on existing leash training, and as a way to tell your dog that a training session has begun.

For the remainder of this article, we’re going to tell you a little more about slip leads and answer questions trending this week from dog owners just like you. Let’s take a peek at those questions – important information is waiting for you below!

Can a dog slip out of a slip lead?

While it’s possible, in an emergency is pretty hard for your dog to slip out of their slip lead. If your dog makes a sudden movement in one direction, the lead is going to tighten on their throat, and the standard ‘backing away’ trick is not going to help a dog to wiggle out of a slip lead.

That said, a crafty dog can sometimes manage to get out of a slip lead if you don’t keep a close eye on them. Provided that you keep watch, however, and that your dog already has some walking experience, then they should be pretty secure on a slip lead.

Do slip leads stop dogs pulling?

Yes, slip leads will stop a dog from pulling, but not all dogs. As you well know, sometimes a dog gets fixated on something, and with larger dogs the deterrent of the lead tightening works but they will still push against it from time to time.

In cases like this, it is best to go to a harness and standard lead, as prolonged pressure on the trachea is not good and can harm your dog over time. If your dog develops a sudden snoring habit or starts coughing on occasion, this is one of the symptoms that the collar might be doing more than good.

Check with your vet to confirm it, but it might well be time for a new strategy for training your dog.

Can I use a slip lead on a puppy?

You can, but you probably shouldn’t. While training a pup in walking early is a good idea, you have a number of different ways to do it, and a collar that constricts their throat is not necessarily ideal. When your dog is just a pup, you’ve got an excellent opportunity to teach them as they will quickly learn.

Consider using a 4 or 6 foot lead along with a chest or back clip harness, preferably a padded one. This helps to control your dog comfortably without risking pressure to their fragile necks.

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At what age can you use a slip lead on a puppy?

If you are absolutely set on using a slip lead, you should wait until your pup is at least 10 weeks of age to do so. Their neck muscles will be a little more developed by this time but it’s still not a very good idea unless you deem it absolutely necessary.

Just remember that your puppy has a fragile neck and a harness is going to be a much more comfortable way to teach them, even if it’s a slower method.

What size slip lead should I get for my dog?

For dogs under 50 pounds, a slip lead that is 4 to 6 feet long and 3/8 of an inch thick should be just about perfect. With dogs over 50 to 250 pounds, go with a thicker ½ lead with a length of 4 to 6 feet as preferred.

How thick should a slip leash be?

That depends on the weight of your dog. For dogs that are 50 pounds and under, 3/8 of an inch should be thick enough to manage the dog without any issues. For dogs that range from 50 up to 250 pounds, however, you want a slip leash that is at least ½ an inch thick.

Is a slip lead better than a harness?

A slip lead is a better option at the vet’s office, when getting your dog to and from transport, or for teaching them to walk beside you once they’ve already mastered basic walking.

A harness is better overall and considered kinder, as no pressure is applied to your dog’s throat, but rather distributed across the back or the chest.

Is a slip lead better than a figure of 8 lead?

A figure of 8 lead is consider the kinder option, as rather than simply looping over your dogs throat, it divides up the pressure between the neck and on the nose. Think of it as a horse halter for dogs. This can come in handy if you have a dog that likes to fixate on a certain area.

With a figure of 8, you can gently tug the lead to get them to look elsewhere or simply towards you so that you can issue a command to get your dog focused again.

Are slip leads cruel according to the RSPCA?

According to the RSPCA, slip collars, as well as pronged, pinching, and ‘choke chain’ collars should not be used, because they restrain an animal by using distress and pain as their motivator. As such, they are considered undesirable for humane management of your dog.

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Are slip leads painful?

Slip leads can be painful if the owner tugs too tightly or if the dog has a tendency to keep bolting, even after they’ve gotten used to the collar.

Worse, over time, the prolonged pressure can actually damage the trachea, so if your dog persists in trying to run with a slip lead then it’s best to try another tact, such as a nylon lead and a chest or back clip harness.