Are Slip Leads a Good Idea? (Solved & Explained!)

When it comes to dog leads, there are numerous types available in the market, each with a specific design and purpose. Slips leads are one such type. A slip lead is a flexible combination of a collar and a leash that can serve a wide variety of purposes.

Like all leads, slip leads also have their pros and cons. If your dog is having trouble walking on a leash then a slip lead can be an excellent training tool. But if your dog pulls a lot, then a slip lead may cause pain and discomfort.

What are slip leads used for?

Slip leads are commonly used for training purposes, to help your dog get accustomed to walking on a leash. Instead of having the usual buckle commonly found in other types of leads, they usually consist of a loop of rope/nylon with a ring to control the size of the loop. The loop tightens when the dog pulls and loosens when that tension is gone.

Advantages of using a slip lead

If used correctly, slip leads can be quite useful for training dogs to walk on a leash. Provided your dog doesn’t pull a lot, a slip lead can help it get accustomed to leashes by gently enforcing the correct posture. Once your dog is fully trained, a slip lead can even prove to be comfortable for it as it won’t tighten.

Slip leads are generally durable and need to be replaced less often than regular leads. Since a slip lead is a combination of a collar and a leash, you won’t need to pair it with an extra lead when you take your dog out.

The controversy surrounding slip leads

The use of slip leads is controversial and is hotly debated among dog users and animal welfare organizations alike. Although the advantages slip leads offer are acknowledged, some people consider them to be cruel and punishing and contend that they defeat the purpose of positive reinforcement. Some animal welfare organizations, such as the RSPCA, recommend using the slip lead only for short periods and not routinely.

Why slip leads can be bad for your dog

Slip leads can potentially be bad for your dog if they are used as a figure-eight loop, which can put pressure on the neck and trachea and cause bruising. Even worse, some scenarios can also cause choking. So, if your dog is untrained and tends to pull a lot, a slip lead can be bad for its health.

Does my dog need a slip lead?

This is one question that may be on your mind. A slip lead is a special kind of lead and cannot be put on just any dog.

You should only put a slip lead on your dog if it’s already accustomed to walking on leashes but needs to be trained to walk steadily and properly. If your dog isn’t trained to walk on a leash, it could end up hurting itself on a slip lead.

Looking at other types of training leads is also a good idea if you think a slip lead isn’t the best choice for your dog. Some of these include the harness, simple flat collar, and the extendable lead.

How to use a slip lead properly

Here are a few steps to follow when using a slip lead for the first time:

  1. Make a loop wide enough for your dog and add a few extra inches. The lead should form a “P” shape.
  2. Put it over your dog’s head slowly so as to not startle it. Generally, if a dog is accustomed to leashes, it won’t be agitated.
  3. Use the stop to tighten the loop a bit. Although there should be some slack, the loop shouldn’t be too loose. The loop should rest at the top of your dog’s neck.

How to wash a slip lead

Slip leads tend to become quite dirty with regular use. Not washing them regularly can lead to bacterial growth and skin infections on your dog’s neck. Since slip leads are usually made of nylon, rope, or leather, washing them shouldn’t be difficult.

To wash a slip lead, fully immerse it in a tub of hot water. Add soap or detergent to the water and leave it for 20-30 minutes. If the lead has a lot of dirt on it, you can use an old toothbrush to scrape it away. Then take the lead out, rinse it once and leave it to dry somewhere, preferably outdoors.

Converting a regular lead into a slip lead

If you need a slip lead but are not willing to buy one, you can make an improvised one from a regular leash. Here’s how:

  1. Hold the metal clip and the handle of the leash in each hand.
  2. Pass the metal clip through the handle of the leash and you’ll have a loop.
  3. Put the loop over your dog’s head. Now instead of the handle, you’ll have to hold on to the clip. You can try pulling the clip to adjust the size of the loop.

The lead can be removed by letting go of the clip gradually until the loop is big enough to let your dog’s head pass through.

What are some of the best slip leads?

Buying a new slip lead can be tough given the many choices out there. Here are some of the best ones: BAAPET 6 Feet Slip Lead Dog Leash, iYoShop Slip Dog Rope Leash, Dog Slip Lead by Mendota Pet, and the Wellbro Real Leather Slip Lead Dog Leash. When you’re ready to buy one, check out Amazon as it has a good variety of slip leads, including the best ones mentioned here.

Other types of dog leads

Besides slip leads, there are numerous other leads that you can get for your dog. Each one has a different purpose and design. Here are some of them:

  • Martingale dog lead
  • Head collar
  • Chain dog lead
  • Shock-absorbing dog lead
  • Cycling dog lead
  • Short dog lead
  • Retractable dog lead
  • Multiple dog lead
  • Dog seat belt safety lead