Leads

22 Feb

When it comes to leads, there are fewer different types to choose from. Again i think what you choose is important in making you feel comfortable and in control when out and about with your dog.

Clip lead: I’m not sure if these have a specific name, but you know the ones i’m talking about. A simple nylon or rope lead with a metal clip that attaches to your dog’s collar. They come in lots of colours and often match your dogs collar which is nice. As long as the clip is sturdy and the collar is fitted correctly you shouldn’t have any problems with your dog getting away from you. This is what i currently use with Maya, and to be honest, i’m not always 100% comfortable with it. This is for a few reasons: the rope or nylon often cuts into my hands when she pulls as i find it difficult to get a good grip (in the cold weather this is more of a problem), just using a lead and collar doesn’t help with her pulling problem, the lead i use feels too long for me (but that’s a different issue really).  There isnt really much you can go wrong with these leads, unless you have a problem with your dog pulling and need something extra that is.

lead

Slip lead: I personally prefer these. Essentially they are just a piece of rope. You just slip them over your dogs head and away you go. This is something usually used by working dogs such as gun dogs, and the type of lead i have always tended to use with my own dogs (except for recently). The best way to use these is to position the lead high up around the dogs neck so that it is just behind its ears. Because of the position you have more control of the dogs head and therefore more control of where your dog is going. This makes them good for a dog that pulls (i noticed a difference with Maya). My only issue here is that despite often having a little leather stopper, the lead often falls down to lower on the neck, and then, pulling ensues. In theory, these should be low cost, however i find that they cost just as much as the colorful more “fancy” leads. You could just get a piece of rope and have the same thing.

slip lead

Flexi leads: For this i am going to try my best to keep a neutral opinion, but anyone who knows me will know that i have developed a sort of vendetta against these leads. These flexi or retractable leads were developed to allow the owner to have more control over their dog, whilst allowing it to have room to roam and be “free”.

First i will start by saying why i do not like them, at all. I feel as though they provide the owner with no control. Under no circumstances should a medium or big dog be put on these leads as they simply have too much power. My mum said that when we had a golden retriever they once tried a flexi lead and he broke it because he just kept running. I have seen people with huge german shepherds on these things, and i just don’t understand it. A powerful dog should be on a short, strong lead where you have control. When i went to visit the staffie cross at the rescue center  we were given a flexi lead to walk him with. He was so powerful i found that even with the lead drawn in, i had little control. Little dogs, i can understand more. However, i still get annoyed by the flexi leads. You end up with a little dog in complete control of the walk, up in front of you, running around all over the place. The lead gets tangled or another dog comes along and gets tangled.

The positive, they can come in very handy. For example if you are walking your little dog and you live in an area where letting it off the lead isn’t safe but you want to give it more room to roam, they can be great. Personally, if i was in this situation i would keep the lead short whilst walking and then let the lead out when i come to a stand still, and just let the dog roam around for a few minutes before carrying on again.

flexi

 

 

 

Training line: These are something else that i personally do not like seeing dogs being walked on. These are basically really long nylon leads. I think they are often used indoors but also in open areas as a method of recall training. It is a way of keeping hold of your dog but also allowing it to have distance in order to teach recall. That is all good and well, but i don’t think you should use it to walk your dog. I know somebody with a young working breed dog who uses this type of lead as an all purpose dog lead. The trouble with this is that when the lead is long it gets tangled up and dragged through all sorts of mess. The main concern however is that a powerful dog on a long lead isn’t going to be easy to control.

training lead

 

 

 

As i mentioned with the collars, the key is to find what suits both you and your dog. It is no point in walking your dog and using something that you feel like you have no control with. For example, i would never feel in control using a flexi lead and therefore, that would not be suitable for me or my dog. However, somebody else might feel uncomfortable using a slip lead, and therefore they should look towards something else, such as the flexi lead. Although you do have to take into account the type of dog you own, their personality and their strength, in my opinion the main thing you have to consider is what you, as the owner feel most comfortable in using.

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