How to Use a Slip Lead?

Slip leads are useful to own, and can be an ideal option to use in certain situations, such as rescuing a dog. When it comes to slip leads, it is important that they are used correctly.

They are unique as they are essentially a collar and a lead in one. 

A slip lead is a combination of a collar and a lead. Instead of the lead attaching to a separate collar, The slip lead can be transformed into a collar and lead. Take a look at the metal ring on the lead, this turns the slip lead into a collar.

How to Use a Slip Lead

In this article, we will be providing you with all of the necessary information you need to have a better understanding of slip leads.

We will be talking you through how to use a slip lead, the different types available, and how they can be useful.

The Different Types Of Slip Leads

Slip leads can be purchased in a number of different designs and materials. This is why it is important to ensure you are choosing the right option for the breed.

There are two main types of slip lead, one that features a stopper tab to keep the slip lead secure, and one that does not feature the stopper tab

The slip leads can be purchased in a number of different materials, depending on the strength needed and personal preference:

How To Choose The Best Slip Lead

The best slip lead will depend on the breed and your preferences. However, in general, the rope slip leads are far better than the chain leads. The chain leads can be potentially damaging to the dog, and should be avoided where possible. 

When choosing, ensure that the lead is of a good quality, and is durable. You will also want to ensure it is the correct size. They can be purchased in a 4 foot or 6 foot length. 

How To Use A Slip Lead?

Slip leads are simple to use. They feature a metal ring which help to create the collar and lead. A large loop needs to be created at the end of the lead.

This loop will eventually be placed around the neck of the dog to become secured in place.

How To Adjust A Slip Lead

Once you are happy with the size of the loop created, this will need to be placed  around the dog’s head. The loop you have created should have the metal ring at the end of the loop, attaching it to the rest of the lead. You will then want to secure the slip lead by ensuring that it is the correct size for your dog. 

If the slip lead is too loose, the dog will be able to wriggle out of it. If it is too tight, this is dangerous and can choke the dog. The lead can be adjusted by moving the metal ring, and feeding more or less of the lead through it. 

The slip lead should sit high up on a dog’s neck in comparison to a dog’s collar. If it sits on the throat and the dog pulls a lot, when it tightens this can be quite damaging. By placing it closer to the dog’s jaw, this helps to prevent this from occurring.

How To Release A Slip Lead

Releasing the slip lead is fairly straight forward. You will need to stop placing pressure on the lead, so that it is slack rather than pulled tightly.

Once the grip is relaxed, the slip lead will naturally loosen, and it can be easily removed from the neck of the dog. 

How To Make A Slip Lead Into A Harness

If you want to take pressure off a dog’s neck, and you want the slip lead to fit more comfortably, you can make the slip lead into a harness. To do this, you will need to loop the lead around the neck of the dog as you typically would. 

From here, take the loop, and loosen it so that it sits on the shoulders of the dog. Take the lead of the dog and wrap this underneath both their legs so that it is sitting behind the legs on the dog’s chest. 

Next, take the rest of the lead and loop this behind the dog’s front legs, so that it is sitting on its chest. Feed the lead through the loop created around the dog’s shoulder and secure in place. 

When Is Best To Use A Slip Lead?

It is best to use slip leads in an emergency situation or if you are rescuing a dog. They can be used for quick transportation, and loading and removing dogs from card.

They can be used for some training purposes, but do not rely on them as a permanent solution. 

When To Avoid Using A Slip Lead?

You should avoid using a slip lead as a permanent solution. They should not be used in all training situations, and they are not suitable for dogs that pull a lot because they can cause damage.

A dog should never be left unattended while wearing a slip lead.

How To Use A Slip Lead For Dogs That Pull

While slip leads are not a permanent training solution, they can be useful to use if a dog is pulling due to their nature. You will want to use it in a similar way to a standard lead.

When the dog begins to pull on the lead, stop the walk, adjust the slip lead, and continue walking when the dog stops pulling. It requires time and patience, but it is possible

Tips on Using A Slip Lead

Given the way in which a slip lead works, care needs to be taken. Unlike a collar which is set to a specific size, the slip lead can move easily from being tight to loose. 

As a result, if a dog is pulling a significant amount, this can cause the lead to tighten around the dog’s throat. This can be uncomfortable and painful for the dog. Ensure the dog can walk on a lead before using the slip lead.

It is important to educate yourself on the correct ways in which to use a slip lead. Practise does make perfect, and you will want to test out the slip lead before you try to place it on the dog.

This will help you to gain a better understanding of how a slip lead works.

Why Slip Leads And Collars Are Effective

They are effective because of the way in which they work. They tighten around the dog’s neck when the dog pulls, which discourages this behavior. When used correctly, they do not cause harm, but teach the dog that pulling will hinder and stop the walk. 


We hope you have found this article useful and insightful. As you can see, when slip leads are used correctly, they are perfectly safe and fine to use. Even so, they are not a permanent solution.

We would always recommend practicing placing on the slip leads beforehand to ensure you are doing this correctly. Remember that it should never be placed directly around a dog’s throat.