Let me begin by saying that to my knowledge, there is no piece of equipment that will stop pulling or lunging or solve your walking or lead-related issues.

The equipment is there to SUPPORT you and your TRAINING but will not be able to solve the issue on its own. There are some pieces of equipment that make these behaviours easier to manage or more difficult for the dog to get away with but again, it is very unlikely the equipment will stop it in the first instance.

That’s why we train our dog’s lead skills and how to walk on a loose lead.

Remember, walking equipment has two main purposes; safety and communication. For everything else, there’s training.

Lead basics

When looking for a lead to use when walking your dog, here are my top tips:

1. Aim for a length between 1.5 – 1.8 metres (allows extra lead length for sniffing time).

2. Avoid fabric leads where possible as these can hurt your hands if pulled quickly and they are easy for dogs to chew or damage. My preferred option is biothane as this is smooth but not slippery (easy to grip) and is very durable.

3. Avoid plastic or overly padded handles. These make holding on more challenging in general but make it impossible to use secure lead holds.

4. Look for high-quality hardware that is sturdy and operates smoothly.

5. Check the connection points are sturdy and well attached. If you cannot see how the clip is attached (i.e. covered by a plastic covering) avoid this too as you won’t see if the join is deteriorating.

6. Avoid plastic clips as these are easy to snap or break.

As a general rule, I also advise against retractable leads. The handles are too bulky, the lead can snap and they are generally difficult to manage.

Slip lead

If in doubt, get a slip lead.

This is probably the one piece of equipment that comes close to being the perfect solution for almost all dogs.

It’s a collar and lead all in one.

It’s safe and secure.

It gives the handler control and is a very effective way of communicating with a dog.

A slip lead is a wonderful tool to teach loose lead walking and can be used on dogs of all sizes. The collar portion is intended to sit high on the dogs neck up behind the ears and is adjustable to ensure the perfect fit.

Only minimal pressure is required to communicate with the dog which reduces the amount of force or pressure making it less aversive for the dog.

The main downside of the equipment is that it needs to be fitted properly otherwise it won’t work correctly. If the lead is put on the wrong way around the slip won’t relax and can remain in a tight position. This is why these types of leads have been incorrectly labelled as choke collars or choke leads.

With slip leads the handler needs to understand lead pressure and how to use this to teach the dog to walk on a loose lead. This is not a piece of equipment you can simply put on your dog to stop pulling.

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