Home Grooming & Care Choosing the Right Lead for Your Dog

Choosing the Right Lead for Your Dog

Choosing the right lead and collar for your dog can make walking even a difficult dog easy and fun. Read on for types of dog leads and tips on dog leash training.

There are a variety of leads available for walking your dog, and some are helpful to use as training aids. Here is a brief comparison of 5 lead types.

Choker Chains

While some people still use these, they are not as prevalent as they once were, in light of better, more effective products becoming available. The purpose of these collars was as a check-and-release mechanism, allowing the owner to correct a dog’s incorrect behaviour.

They are not comfortable and many dogs dislike the sound the chain makes. Training with this type of collar is less effective then using positive reinforcement techniques, and if fitted incorrectly, it wont release and causes a choking effect for your dog.

Slip Leads and Check Collars

Slip leads and check collars work on the same principle as the choker (check-and-release) but are less unpleasant as they are usually made from nylon or rope. Again, these collars aren’t as effective as training using positive reinforcement, and if not fitted correctly, are very unpleasant for your dog.

Regular Collars and Leads

Regular collars and leads are the kind where the lead clicks onto a link on the collar when it is walk time. Made from a variety of materials, including nylon, suede and leather, these are ideal, particularly for smaller breeds and dogs that have learnt the heel command.

Walking Harness

Harnesses are available in a variety of sizes, to fit small or large dogs. They are great for dogs that are a bit difficult to walk, as it gives the owner more control. They prevent your dog from pulling, without causing any pain or discomfort. Some varieties adjust for use in the car as a doggie seatbelt.

Head Collars

These are fitted to your dogs’ snout and are perfect for dogs that prove difficult to walk. They work by a self-correcting influence, without causing any pain or discomfort. It allows the walker control over the dog. If the dog attempts to pull forward, its snout is automatically pulled down or to the side due to the collar’s design. The dog needs to stop pulling to be able to continue to move forward.

Dog Leash Training: Helpful Tips for Walking Your Dog

Owners with poor dog control often find walking their dogs very unpleasant. It is important to choose the correct collar size and lead length for your dog, and consider a harness or head collar if your dog continues to pull.

Other tricks you can try are to walk very slowly; it is believed to relax the dog somewhat. Dogs tend to get extremely excited when it’s walk time, so don’t put the lead on until your dog sits for you, then when you begin walking, walk slowly, and keep the dog right beside you, the lead short, on your left hand side.

Avoid allowing your dog to walk in front of you. When your dog has learnt to walk beside you, you can give the lead some slack. If your dog pulls you again, bring him or her back to your left hand side. Repeat this for as long as it takes. An older dog may take longer to teach, but patience, consistency and positive rewards will lead to a well-behaved dog, and you’ll both enjoy the walks.