If you find yourself in a scenario where you need to secure a dog who is anxious, aggressive, or simply does not want to be caught, you may need to use a slip lead. If you do not have a slip lead on hand, it is simple to turn your regular dog leash into a slip lead for temporary use.
The rest of this article will explain just what a slip lead is, what scenarios you might need to use one in, how to make a slip lead out of a regular dog leash, and how to safely get a slip lead on and off of a dog.
Table of Contents
- What is a slip lead?
- When do I need a slip lead?
- Do slip leads choke dogs?
- How can I use a regular leash as a slip lead?
- What if I don’t have a regular leash?
- How do I put a slip lead on a dog?
- Can a dog get out of a slip lead?
- How do I take a slip lead off a dog?
- Can I use a slip lead as a regular leash?
- Can I use a slip lead as a training device?
What is a slip lead?
A slip lead is an all-in-one collar and leash. The leash loops around itself to create an automatically adjusting collar. This collar loop portion of the slip lead fits over the dog’s head, and pulling on the leash portion will cause the slip lead to tighten.
When do I need a slip lead?
Slip leads are used for easily and safely securing dogs in a variety of scenarios. If you are trying to capture a stray, if your dog has managed to slip out of his collar and escape, or if you are attempting to capture a dog who is frightened or aggressive, a slip lead can be very useful.
This is because slip leads can quickly and easily be slipped over a dog’s head and tightened. They do not require you to fiddle with a collar or separate leash attachment, and they also do not require you to get too close to the dog.
Do slip leads choke dogs?
As long as you use the slip lead responsibly, it should not harm the dog. However, these leads do carry a risk of injury with use, as the loop that forms the collar will not stop tightening when pulled.
If you pull too hard on the slip lead, or if the dog tries to run or lunge suddenly, choking or other injuries to the neck may be caused.
How can I use a regular leash as a slip lead?
If you are in a situation where you need to use a slip lead, but you do not have one with you, it is quite simple to make one out of a regular dog leash.
Just take the clip end of the leash (the side with the hardware made to attach to a collar) and slide it through the handle on the other end. You now have a loop that can be slipped over a dog’s head, while you hold the clip end of the leash.
What if I don’t have a regular leash?
Slip leads can also be fashioned out of a long strip of fabric or even a belt.
If using a piece of fabric, simply tie a loop at one end and then slide the other end through the loop. If using a belt, slide the end of the belt through the buckle and pull it to the end without securing it in any of the holes.
Keep in mind that these makeshift slip leads should only be used in emergency situations.
How do I put a slip lead on a dog?
To put a slip lead on a dog, start by pulling open the collar loop so that there is plenty of space to slide it over the dog’s head. You want it to be large enough that you do not have to get too close—think of a rope lasso.
Next, slowly and carefully slide the collar loop over the dog’s head. Position the collar loop at the top of the neck, just behind the ears. This will help minimize the potential for injury to the lower part of the neck.
Lastly, slowly tighten the collar loop by pulling on the loose end of the lead. Do not pull too hard or fast! You do not want to tighten the loop too much and risk injuring the dog.
Can a dog get out of a slip lead?
No, slip leads are pretty much escape proof. Since the loop will not stop tightening if pulled, if the dog tries to run or escape, he will not be able to get out of the collar loop.
However, if you are using a makeshift slip lead made out of a regular leash, be careful that the dog does not tug the leash out of your hand. Since there is no handle loop if you are holding the leash by the clip end, you want to make sure you have a secure grip on the lead.
How do I take a slip lead off a dog?
Removing a slip lead can be slightly more difficult than putting one on. If the dog is calm, you can simply reach in and loosen the collar loop by hand. If the dog is anxious or aggressive in some way, however, you may not be able to get close enough.
If this is the case, try attaching a string to the loop which slides up and down the leash to create the collar loop. (Keep in mind that you must attach this extra string before placing the slip lead on the dog!) This way, when you go to remove the slip lead, you can simply tug on the extra string to loosen the loop.
Can I use a slip lead as a regular leash?
No, you should never use a slip lead as a regular leash. Slip leads were invented to be used short-term. You should use them for your intended purpose and then promptly remove them.
Can I use a slip lead as a training device?
If you are thinking of using a slip lead to help train your dog not to pull on the leash, you may want to reconsider. Slip leads will not actually stop a dog from pulling on the leash, as dogs instinctively want to pull against pressure. For this reason, slip leads may actually make the pulling problem worse!
Instead, consider trying a front-clip harness such as an Easy Walk Harness, or a head collar like a Gentle Leader. These devices will help reduce pulling much more effectively than a slip lead.