slip lead

Slip Leads Guide – Pros and Cons

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There are different collars available for walking, training, and identifying your dog. There are also collars used purely as fashion statements. It is important to check the different leash varieties before you finally purchase the right one for your dog. 

There are collars that come with quick-release clasps, and metal buckles. They also come in a variety of materials, styles, and colors. Some pet owners prefer buckle collars for larger dogs, while others favor the quick release clasp.

slip lead

One type of leash used for dogs today is the slip lead. Although not as popular as the other types in the market today, it features many benefits and can be very useful in certain conditions. Not familiar with slip leads yet? You have come to the right place. Let’s get to know slip leads a little bit more.

What is a slip lead?

Slip leads are used to better control pooches and it is most useful in situations when you need to gain control of your four-legged friend. It should not be used on a daily basis. It is only necessary when training a dog, especially when you want him to learn how to walk on a lead. 

A lot of people do not understand what slip leads really are and it often elicits emotions of disgust because it is often mistaken for choke chains, although it is not. The biggest difference between the two is that a slip lead comes with what is known as a stopper. The stopper is designed to keep the lead part up higher than the dog’s neck. On the other hand, choke chains do not sit as high as the dog’s neck and they can be stressful for the dog, most particularly if too much force is used. Choke chains are widely disliked and are not recommended under any circumstances.

Are slip leads cruel?

There has been so much debate over the cruelty or non-cruelty of slip leads. However, it largely depends on the patience and compassion of the pet parent. The slip lead is a training aid so that you can gain control of your pooch to a better extent. However, it should not be used as a training aid for the dog to stop pulling. 

If the dog pulls a lot, the rope can end up damaging the dog’s neck and causing serious health problems such as trachea damage, neck sprains, spinal cord trauma, damage to the blood vessels of the eyes, and whiplash. It can also result in behavioral issues such as your dog biting you and causing severe pain on your part. It is a must to extend your patience when using slip leads to gain better control over your pooch because there is no such thing as magic or a quick fix training aid. It requires time, effort, and patience. 

Compassion is another thing which you must have plenty of when using slip leads. Slip leads can cause so much damage if someone uses it who is inexperienced. However, in the right hands, it will just be like a standard leash or collar. It should be seen as a positive reinforcement for your dog, not as punishment because doing so will only lead to behavioral problems.

Pros and Cons of Slip Leads

First the Pros

Useful for training that involves off-leash work

Sometimes a leash that quickly slips on and off your dog is necessary especially during agility practice, dock diving, field work, and other competitions. A slip lead comes in handy in these situations and any other off-leash exercise where your dog quickly needs to slip on and off a leash. 

Extra control while walking your dog

A slip lead is a good option if you want to have a little more control over your dog which the standard buckle collar does not offer. Although the slip lead is not going to stop most of the pulling as much as a prong collar, it is a must to remember that prong collars are not suitable for all dogs.


Slip leads prevent dogs from slipping out compared to regular collars. It is safer because it gently tightens around their necks even under tension. If you have been a pet parent for a long time, then you know that slipping out of regular collars is something that happens all too often.

Great for general obedience training

If you are working on your pet’s obedience like heeling and walking in circular patterns, the slip lead is your best aid. However, it doesn’t work well for outdoor power walks or walking on a straight line, unless your dog has already had some prior training.

Quickly leashing a loose dog

Not only is the slip lead helpful for your very own dog, but it can also be used to quickly leash any random dog. Remember that it is not always safe to reach down and grab a dog’s collar, you can easily get bitten. In cases as such, it is best to reach for a slip lead.

Now the Cons

Health and behavioral problems due to inexperience

If the user lacks experience, the dog can quickly lunge and pull a lot and end up with severe neck damage, as well as other health issues. Experience in dealing with dogs, in general, is also useful as you certainly wouldn’t want a dog that has pain-influenced behavioral problems which can lead to severe bites, as well as physical health problems. 

Using a slip lead

It is important to know how to use a slip lead before you start using it to avoid injuries to yourself, as well as your beloved pooch. Check and make sure that the toggle us mobile before putting it on your dog. Otherwise, your dog can easily escape while you are adjusting the slip lead. It is also beneficial to use a model to practice using the slip lead on before applying it on a real dog. Learn how to recognize behavioral signs that represent aggression or fear. Remember to never sit on the floor or kneel when handling a dog so that you can move quickly whenever necessary.

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