Training Tip Tuesday: Leashes

Mama Sally:  Let me start this blog by saying that when your dog is outside of a safely fenced area, he is only as safe as the equipment that you use!  This is NOT a time to save a few bucks by buying something cheap that was easy to pick up at a discount store while you were out! Be sure you are buying quality equipment so that your precious cargo stays as safe as possible!  All equipment is NOT created equally!!

I find that leashes are a really personal type of thing.  Some folks like nylon and some like leather.  I don’t own a retractable leash and never recommend them!  I find them to be dangerous overall, and unsafe for use.  Owners rarely have the good control with their dogs that they think they do.  In addition, I’m trying to teach a dog to work on a loose leash, and a retractable teaches a dog that pulling will earn him more freedom….the complete opposite of the mindset I’m trying to teach a dog.

I stick to standard six foot leashes.  That extra length is really helpful in creating slack in the leash.  Slack in your leash is necessary in order for the dog to have a loose collar or harness!!  Think wiggle room in your leash, and think of creating the letter “J” with the leash when it’s attached to your dog.  From your hand to the dog, you should see the letter, “J” made by the slack in your leash.  Shorter leashes, especially with smaller dogs, won’t give you enough slack to allow the normal movements your dog will make.  That can end up making your dog feel like he’s in a straight-jacket when he’s out on a walk with you.  Not much fun.

I’ve always been a fan of high quality leather leashes.  Once you get a good leather leash broken in, it will last for years and years!  And, if your dog should happen to take off unexpectedly, it won’t burn your hands as it slides through your fingers like a nylon leash will.  This is especially true with larger, rowdy dogs!

Different sizes for various sizes of dogs from toy breeds to Saint Bernard!

I look for a high quality, well made leash that has strong stitching, and clasp on the end with a tight spring.  I want to know that the clasp is made of a heavier guage of metal, and that a solid piece goes through the leash at the end where it is attached.  With larger dogs or stronger breeds, my leash clasp is solid brass, so it’s not going to fail no matter how hard that dog pulls!


With tiny guys, I just want to make sure that I’m using a thinner leather with a lighter snap so that it doesn’t weigh down the pup.  I always train tiny guys on a harness so that there’s no throat damage.

In all honesty, you just want to use a leash that feels good in your hands.  That’s what’s most important.  Your leash is the steering wheel for all directions with your dog, so whatever you use, be sure you like it and it feels good in your hands.

I typically order all of my leashes from a great company called “”  I use their original leather leashes, and really love them!  They are high quality and won’t break your piggie bank!  They’ve always given me terrific service, and I’ve used them a lot!  They have terrific pricing on Kong toys and Nylabones if you’re looking for a little extra to round out your purchase.

Rugby James:  I know my leash!!  I know which one is mine, and I know it means sumping good is gonna happen, so leashes mean good fings at my house!  Sumtimes, it means I getsa have a adventure sumwhere, and that’s always fun….and a lil scary too.  The Mama keeps it in a special place sos when she asks me to get it, I can bring it to her.  It’s one of my jobs!


It really makes me feel more secure when I’m out wif the Mama knowing that I can’t get away. It’s just long enough to give me a lil bit of wiggling around sos I can stop and sniff sumping what smells good.  The Mama uses a harness wif me, sos there’s nuffing tugging on my neck, and my leash isn’t too heavy wif my harness sos it’s really comfortable when she works wif me.  And even though I weigh twenty-free pounds, I can pull plenty hard when I gets all wigged out over sumping.

The most important fing I wanna say is to be sure that your lil dogger is really safe when you take him out and about!  Be sure he gotsa safe equipment sos he can’t get away from you and get hitted by a car or losted!!  He’s counting on you to choose good stuff what will be safe for him!


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