How to use a slip lead correctly

How to use a slip lead correctly

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Why use a Slip Lead?

A Slip Lead is simply a running noose with a handle. It is the lead of choice for many working dogs and also makes a great choice for many other applications.

Due to the risk of getting caught up, dogs involved in activities ranging from sporting purposes, to rescue work, are exempted from the requirement to wear a collar in a public place - so for them the choice is pretty straightforward.

Reasons to use a slip lead

However, there are many other good reasons to choose a slip lead. Unlike a collar, which can be pulled over the dog’s head if not fitted correctly, the slip lead adjusts to any size when under load. It’s easy to put on and take off, even if the dog is moving around. There are also less potential points of failure, as it doesn’t rely on the integrity of the collar, D ring and clip.

Will a slip lead stop my dog from pulling?

What it won’t do is stop your dog pulling, at best it may help slightly, being uncomfortable for the dog when it’s straining against you. At the other end of the spectrum is the harness, which I would only ever use if I was actively encouraging a dog to pull, for canicross or sledding for example.

There is no avoiding it, unless you are very lucky, walking at heel requires a bit of training. Use whatever method you’re most comfortable with, and persist, until your dog walks at heel with a slack lead.
The lead is there as an essential safety net, in traffic, in the event of a startling noise, or that irresistible squirrel - it’s not there to hold your dog in place.

Using a Slip Lead Correctly


  • If you are right handed and carrying a gun, your dog walks on your left, and vice versa; everyone else can do what they fancy, the main thing is to decide, and then be consistent.

  • Slip the lead over the dogs head so that the loop is self opening when slack, and then adjust the stopper, so the loop can’t open up enough, to get over the dog’s head.

  • It’s easy to put the lead on the wrong way round, in which case it won’t really work properly. If the dog is on your left, form the number ‘9’ with the loop at the top, and place over the dog’s head. If the dog in on your right form the letter ‘P’.

This is a case of a picture being worth a thousand words...


Once you’ve done it a couple of times it will become second nature.

Why our Slip Lead?

The Red Dog Company Slip Lead is handmade, by a Master Rigger, in his workshop on the shores of the Solent. It's made from a Technora or Kevlar blend rope, that has had its core carefully removed, to improve pocketability. It is properly spliced for incredible strength, it's reassuring to know that it has been tested to a 500kg breaking strain.

Which length of Slip Lead?

We do two lengths of Slip Lead.
The Standard Slip Lead’s useful length is about 100cm, and is suitable for most applications, where the dog is under control and at your side.
The Extra Long Slip Lead’s useful length is about 150cm. I use an Extra Long when the dog is going to be on the lead for extended periods of time, such as waiting to compete at a field trial, so the dog has more freedom to lie down, sniff, or move about a little, whist still ultimately being connected to me.
Another application for an Extra Long Slip, is when walking two dogs, because the ‘outside’ dog will be further away from you.


What is a Jaeger Lead?

The Jaeger Lead is a German Hunting lead that has many useful applications. It is worn over the shoulder as a hands free lead, so you can have a walking stick in one hand, and a control your gun with the other - it’s also useful when carrying the shopping or exercising!


The Jaeger Lead can also be used as a ‘brace’ lead, for two dogs, or as a longer line or tie out.

What about Clip Leads?

All of our Leads are also available with traditionally cast brass trigger hooks, for those who prefer a clip lead.

As always don’t take my word for it - check out our Lead reviews….

When Nick is not gallivanting around the country working his dogs, he is helping to design the very best dog beds and accessories for The Red Dog Company.