Before we answer the question ‘how to use a slip leash correctly’ there may be other questions to answer first. For all the shapes and sizes there are for dogs, there are as many options for dog leads and leashes. A responsible dog owner will want to consider size, fit, material, function, and ease of use. 

Is it suitable for your dog’s shape and size? Does Fido require more restraint until he’s better trained? A proper leash and collar ensures safety for the dog, their owner, other dogs, and people around them. 

So, what’s the best leash for your dog?

In most cases, using a slip leash is the simplest for the owner, and the most comfortable for your dog. They’re available in leather, chain, nylon webbing, nylon rope, and polypropylene rope. Auburn Leathercrafters even carries a Cotton Rope Slip Leash with leather accents making it super soft and easy to manage.how to use a slip leash correctly is easier with auburn leathercrafters cotton rope slip leash When considering a favorite for both owners and their pooch, an easy-to-put-on leash the dog will wear comfortably but securely is the way to go. The slip leash features many of these advantages, so now we can answer the question of how to use a slip leash correctly.

How it Works and Using a Slip Leash Correctly

Just as the name suggests, a slip leash slides right over the dog’s head, and rests comfortably on the neck. It lacks a traditional buckle, but instead has a ring used to loop one end of the leash, creating a “collar” or “lasso” through which to put the dog’s head.

The ring rests on the back of the dog’s neck. Ideally you place the slip lead just at the top of the neck behind the ears. You should think of three positions on the dog’s neck. The base of the neck or near the shoulders. This is not recommended as it encourages the dog to pull as they have more leverage. The middle of the neck, where the trachea is located. You must avoid this as it may cause damage to the dog. In fact, people don’t realize that the anatomy of the dog’s neck is very similar to ours. So, it is important that when using a slip leash, it is used correctly and not in the middle of the neck. And finally the correct position is toward the top of the neck behind the ears.

infographic shows how to use a slip leash correctly and position on dogs neck

Some people suggest allowing the slip leash to be loose enough to place two fingers behind the collar. The collar should fit loosely but comfortably. A slip leash should come with a “stopper” to slide down the leash once it is set at the correct opening. This prevents it from opening wide and potentially falling off your dog. There are several points to keep in mind when learning how to use a slip leash correctly. 

First it should be tight enough that it’s not going to come off or slide down the dogs neck. Second it should be loose enough to not risk hurting your pet. And finally, if it is too tight your dog could possibly feel every little movement of your hand and misinterpret it as a sign. Think of it this way. If your arm is tense the dog will feel tense. Over time you will get a feel for what is right and what will work the best.

auburn leathercrafters logo includes several quality slip leashes

As we have pointed out, using the slip leash correctly starts with the dog at rest. As you begin to walk should your dog get excited and pull on the leash, the collar will tighten. Your tendency may be to pull back with strength to force your dog back to you. But using the slip leash correctly would be to give the leash a quick tug with an immediate release. Do not continue to pull the leash. This in turn allows your dog to know that you are in control. They feel the tightening momentarily but then a release.

Also when walking keep your arm relaxed and down by your side. It is a good idea to keep the leash short and have your dog walking next to you, and not in front of you.

How to Use a Slip Leash Correctly – Right Side or Left Side?

Did you know there is a right side or left side of the slip leash? There is indeed. What you should do is make the “long side” of the leash, or the part that goes through the hoop to come over the top of the dog’s neck to the side you are on. So if you have a reference on the side of the dog that you walk, then you want to be sure and put the slip leash on going the correct direction. If it isn’t then you should take it off, flip it around, and place it back on your dog in position.

infographic shows right and left side for how to use a slip leash correctly

Using a Slip Leash Correctly May Prevent Problems

A common problem we hear is how to keep the slip leash from sliding down on the dog’s neck. As mentioned before, you want to slip leash to be above the trachea, higher up just behind the ears. Usually the problem with the leash sliding down is because the dog is allowed to walk in front and pull from the get go. The best thing is when you use a slip leash correctly to lift slightly, straight up. The dog will feel this pressure and will lift up their head. Again, keeping the slip leash short in your hand will help matters.

For younger dogs without training, or bigger breeds, owners may consider starting them in secure harnesses.

Why a Slip Leash is Effective

Slip leashes are a great tool when leash training your dog. And of course, with all aspects of training, consistency and patience are key. Practice both, and the payoff of a well-behaved dog will be sweet. 

In addition, the use of a slip leash acts as a two-in-one, serving as both collar and leash. This is one less item the dog owner needs to purchase.

When Using a Slip Leash Might Not be Effective

Slip leashes are less effective for certain breeds. Sighthounds-which include Afghan Hounds, Azawakh, Greyhounds, Whippets, Borzoi, Bazenji, Ibizan Hound, Irish Wolfhound-are a group of dog breeds with slim, slender heads, of equal width to the neck. Slip leashes, as you might guess, can easily slip right off the dog’s head should they resist. This creates a safety issue; a harness is a better option for these breeds.

For peace of mind, safety, and a happy dog, what’s not to love? A slip leash is a great option for both training and everyday use, for almost all dogs. And knowing how to use a slip leash correctly is easy to learn. Why not pick up yours today from Auburn Leathercrafters? Or consider the reflective rope slip leash.

So, consider if the martingale dog collar is right for your best friend, and become familiar with Auburn Leathercrafters products. If you have questions about which product is best for your needs, feel free to message us on the contact us page or give us a call at 800-282-8761.