Proper Use of a Slip Lead/Leash

October 6, 2021

Hi friends!  I want to take a minute to talk about slip leads/leashes.

Slip leads can be a great tool when walking a puller as well as a safety backup for a flight risk, newly adopted or fostered dog.  The only issue is that there is a right and wrong way to put on a slip leash.

The proper way to put on a slip depends on the side your dog walks on.  When walking on busy and narrow sidewalks, it is best to have your dog walk on your side, also called a working walk.  I train to walk dogs on your left so when talking about proper placement of the slip, the dog is walking on your left.

Hold the slip lead facing your dog.  The slip should look like a "P" prior to putting it on your dog.  Picture below.  This allows some give/slack when your dog is not pulling and part of how you teach a dog how to walk properly, the release of pressure.  If the slip is put on wrong/backwards, the slip will choke or put constant pressure on the dogs neck.  I don't know about you, but I would hate to feel like I'm constantly being choked.  


If you walk your dog on your right side, the shape of the slip, prior to putting it around their neck, is the opposite.  So the slip will look like a lower case "q."


Regarding placement of the slip leash.  Be sure the slip is as high on the dogs neck as possible.  It should be just under their ears.  If the dog starts pulling and/or choking/coughing, this means the slip has fallen down on the neck and needs to be placed higher. Be sure to use the leather safety tab to keep it in place.  It does not need to be tight around the neck, give the slip a little room but not too much that it constantly slips down the neck.


Hand placement is next.  When walking your dog on your left you should hold the loop with your right hand then with your left hand hold the leash like you're holding a handlebar of a bicycle.  Remember to relax your shoulders and arms.  Walk naturally with your arms at your sides.  Keep the leash short, not tight, but short so when the dog pulls it can't pull too far ahead of you and you can apply slight pressure/slight pull back to keep your dog at your side.  Reminder: Relax your arms! When first learning how to use a slip, most people pull up on the slip.  Do NOT pull up on the slip or you are choking your dog.  So when you're learning how to use a slip, stop and check your arm placement every 20 - 30 seconds to make sure you're not tense and pulling up on the leash.


Keep in mind with every tool there is a right and wrong way to use it.  You don't know what you don't know so please ask a professional if you have any questions.


I love Mendota's leashes.  High quality made in Saint Paul, Minnesota.They offer a large variety of colors and can buy directly on their website or through Chewy.

Happy training!!!

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