Our first slip lead.

Our first slip lead.

I was sceptical at first as to whether I should invest in a slip lead for our working cocker spaniel. There are mixed reviews online and you don’t really know who or what to believe. We sought the advice of our local dog trainer who has handled working dogs all his life. We won’t go into detail in this post about what he told us as his advice was bespoke, taking into account Roma’s age, size, breed and current obedience level. However, what we did learn is that the slip lead is an effective and comfortable training tool and is completely safe IF you use it in the correct way. We personally chose to use a harness until Roma was 8 months old and then made the switch to a slip lead and haven’t looked back since.  

Now, one thing to note is that Roma never really pulled badly in the first place. I personally feel that for dogs who lunge and pull very badly then the slip lead is not the correct lead to start with until your dog is better trained. Roma did however get overly excited and distracted on shoots which meant that we had much less control when trying to get her to walk nicely beside us. It is also a convenient lead to slip on and off whenever needed. If you have a working dog you will know that you are constantly sending them out to work and popping the lead on and off. It is also easy to wrap up in your pocket, tie around your waste or hang around your neck leaving you hands free.

The slip lead needs to be positioned over the dog’s head with the sliding ring nearest your leg. If it’s on the correct way the ring will slide up and down the lead freely. This means when the lead is slack, as it should be at all times, the ring will drop freely down the lead under the dog’s head.

We would always highly recommend getting your vet or dog trainer to show you how to fit the lead properly. It gave us so much confidence seeking support for the first time we used it. I’ve seen people who have the lead on the wrong way and have the ring pulled too tightly which will just mean discomfort for your dog. There are some great videos online that will show you how to use the slip lead properly too if you choose not to seek advice from a professional.

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have about using a slip lead so do get in touch.

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