If you are a pet parent with a dog who loves to pull on his leash, you have probably thought about using a slip lead to help train him to stop. However, slip leads do not actually help your dog stop pulling. In fact, they can actually make the issue worse, and they can even cause injury to your dog’s sensitive neck in the process.
The rest of this article will detail what exactly a slip lead is, why it will not help teach your dog to stop pulling on the leash, and what you can do instead to resolve the leash pulling issue with your dog.
Table of Contents
- What is a slip lead?
- Why won’t a slip lead stop my dog from pulling?
- Are slip leads cruel for dogs?
- Can a slip lead hurt my dog?
- What should I use instead of a slip lead?
- How do I get my dog to stop pulling on the leash?
- How do I train my dog not to pull on the leash?
- Should I punish my dog for pulling on the leash?
- What if my dog still won’t stop pulling on the leash?
- What are alternative training aids?
- How do I use alternative training aids?
What is a slip lead?
A slip lead is a combined collar and leash. It is one long lead with a ring at the end which loops around itself, creating an adjustable collar that fits around your dog’s neck. When pressure is applied to the slip lead, it automatically tightens, functioning similarly to a choke chain.
You might assume that the tightening pressure on your dog’s neck would stop him from wanting to pull on the leash, but this is actually not true.
Why won’t a slip lead stop my dog from pulling?
There are many reasons why a dog may pull on his leash, but one of the most common reasons is actually a natural instinct. Due to an opposition reflex, your dog has the instinctual desire to automatically pull against pressure. Thus, when he feels pressure on his neck from the collar and leash, he naturally wants to pull away. A slip lead may only make this desire stronger.
Are slip leads cruel for dogs?
Although slip leads are not inherently cruel, they can be dangerous when used outside of their intended purposes. Slip leads were never meant to be used as a walking device for dogs. Instead, they are used by veterinarians and other professionals to quickly and safely secure aggressive or anxious dogs.
Can a slip lead hurt my dog?
Yes, a slip lead can hurt your dog, especially if your dog has a habit of pulling on the leash. If he pulls too hard, injury or asphyxiation could be caused.
What should I use instead of a slip lead?
Instead of a slip lead, you can use a regular collar and detachable leash. Ensure that the collar is well-fitted and is not uncomfortable for your dog. If you wish, you could also use alternative devices such as body harnesses or head collars.
How do I get my dog to stop pulling on the leash?
To effectively get your dog to stop pulling on the leash, you will need time, patience, and a whole lot of training. Although training your dog to stop pulling on the leash is a simple process, you are not likely to see immediate results. Leash pulling is not only an instinctive behavior, but it is also a behavior that dog owners often inadvertently reward their dogs for doing!
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For example, if your dog drags you all the way to the dog park, only for you to allow him to then play off leash, he thinks that pulling is what earned him the reward. In order to get your dog to stop pulling for good, you must teach him that not pulling is more rewarding than pulling is.
How do I train my dog not to pull on the leash?
To get started on training your dog not to pull on the leash, you will need to place your dog on a leash and prepare yourself with his favorite food treats. Begin by luring your dog to stand at your side with slack in the leash. When he successfully does this, reward him with a treat.
Gradually progress to moving forward and maintaining the slack in the leash, getting your dog to walk at your side. Every time he successfully does so, even if the slack is only maintained for a few steps, make sure to reward him with a treat. This will begin to build positive associations with not pulling.
Should I punish my dog for pulling on the leash?
No, you should never punish your dog. Instead, you should simply make sure that pulling on the leash is as non-rewarding as possible. The moment your dog begins to pull, immediately stop walking and stand with your hands at your sides. Do not move again until there is slack in the leash once more.
The goal here is to remove the reward that your dog is gaining from pulling. If he is trying to get to the dog park faster by pulling, make sure he does not succeed!
What if my dog still won’t stop pulling on the leash?
Consistency is key when it comes to training your dog to stop pulling on the leash. Unfortunately, as we mentioned before, you are unlikely to see instant results once you begin training your pup to stop pulling. It may take quite a while of working on it before it begins to click in his mind.
The important thing is to keep at it! Do not let your dog get away with pulling, even every once in a while. Eventually, you will begin to see results. If your dog is particularly difficult, you may try alternative training aids to assist you.
What are alternative training aids?
Alternative training aids are devices such as head collars, body harnesses, or Easy Walk Harnesses. These devices work in such a way as to reduce the leverage that your dog has to pull on the leash.
How do I use alternative training aids?
To use one of these alternative training devices, simply select the one that you would like to try and ensure that it is properly fitted to your dog. Next, continue to proceed with the training methods outlined above.
Although these devices may help to reduce the leverage your dog has to pull, they are unlikely to stop your dog from pulling altogether. Thus, it is important that you continue to work on training your dog. Your efforts will be rewarded in the end!