Today I ran into a man at the groomer picking up his 10 1b very active pooch. He had a slip lead and wasn’t happy about it. He was trying to find a harness and didn’t buy one. On his way out he was grumbling a little about the slip lead and I said it’s my favorite lead to use! He disagreed saying he was afraid he was choking the dog. Well, he was honestly. The dog was pulling and the owner was letting him! Any leash whether it’s attached to a collar, chain, or a slip lead should always remain loose. If there is tension on the leash it heightens any emotions the dog is feeling, and in this case that feeling was ‘GO’. A leash should be loose except when giving a light correction/pop to redirect the dogs attention and let him know what you want him to do. In this case the leash needed to be corrected in a side motion towards the owner.
Then the dog needs to wait to walk till your ready to walk. Now this may take several attempts till the dog understands, then many more while your walking to keep the dog beside you and not in front of you. It’s important to correct patiently and calmly. Any frustration will be picked up by the dog and he could become sensitive or more unruly. Just remember ‘slip leads’ give you more control over the head and neck more than any other leash, which makes them ideal for dogs that want to lead you instead of the other way around, or aggressive dogs. You can definatly use a harness for safety when hiking, or to have more control over a very large dog like a pit, but it is more important to have control over the head so you need both in those instances. Just remember loose leash. A dog learns nothing from a tight leash except to pull more!