What’s the best way to use a leash?

When on a walk with a dog, always make sure you have a firm grip on a dog’s leash, no matter which kind is being used! For safety, we also recommend keeping the leash length short, about 4 feet (or whatever feels comfortable for the size of the dog). The shorter the leash, the easier the dog is to control and the faster you can take action in an unexpected situation on a walk.

When attaching leashes to collars, always make sure to attach to D-ring (not ID tag wire!) When attaching leashes to harnesses, make sure to attach the leash to the appropriate D-ring for that pet. For example, a pup that pulls on walks may need to have their leash attached to the front D-ring, if there is one! ONLY attach leashes to D-rings on any piece of walking equipment. Make sure that the leash is intact and there are no major rips/tears in the fabric for maximum security.

What types of leashes are there?

In your work with Hands N Paws, there are 4 most commonly used types of leashes:

  • Shoulder-Strap Leash (your company leash)
  • Flat Leash
  • Retractable Leash

How do I use a shoulder-strap leash?

First and foremost, you are HIGHLY encouraged to use your company shoulder-strap leash as often as needed, especially if dealing with a dog who is very large and/or is a puller on walks! The leash is designed so that no dog can get loose from you while out on a walk. Even if the dog unexpectedly lunges at something while on the walk, there’s no way he/she could escape you, simply because the leash straps around your shoulder like a car seatbelt.

How to properly wear the company shoulder-strap dog walking leash:

  1. Make sure all clasps are unhooked from rings
  2. Look for a padded side and a non-padded side to the leash and hold the leash vertically so the padded side is at the top
  3. Hold the leash behind your back and slip the padded side across the front of your body like a seatbelt
  4. Clip the clasp to the ring that is the most comfortably secure length for you
  5. Clip the other clasp to the D-ring on the pet’s walking equipment
  6. Done!

How do I use a flat leash?

This leash offers a lot of safety and control for walking all types of dogs. The shorter the length, the greater control you will have over the dog. Likewise, the longer the lead, the lesser the control you have over the dog’s direction and movement. The typical flat lead is 4-8’ in length and is made of flat (or sometimes round/rope-like) material.

There is definitely a correct way to hold a flat lead in order to guarantee the best kind of grip and control while you’re out on a walk. It’s called the “fingerlock method”. Please see this informational video here on why the fingerlock method is the best method for holding a leash AND to learn how to hold the leash using fingerlock.

How do I use a retractable leash?

These leashes can vary in length with the push of a button. Operation can vary from leash to leash, but you’ll typically push the button on top of the handle to lock the leash length, and push in another button to unlock. Dogs that are attached to this leash can either stay super close to you while out on the walk, or as far out as the lead extends (sometimes 20+ feet!). Retractable leads can be enjoyable for a dog who likes to cover lots of ground and roam around while on walks. However, retractable leads can be problematic for reasons that the farther out the dog is extended, the lesser control you have over the dog should they lunge at something or react while out on a walk. 

Most of the time, we prefer NOT to use retractable leads! This is why we always our company shoulder-strap leash with us to use (especially in situations like this!). 

If you’ve worked with a dog for some time already and know that they are well-behaved, calm, and easygoing on walks, a retractable lead may be acceptable. Most dogs are pretty excitable on walks, though- different things catch their attention and they start barking on reacting in some way. By using a non-retractable lead, you can guarantee that you’ll have more control over the dog in reactionary situations.

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