Long-Leash Handling Technique

Since embracing the use of a long leash while walking my dog, Stormy, I’ve discovered its myriad benefits that extend beyond mere convenience. The long leash not only grants dogs more freedom to roam and explore but also facilitates better communication between handler and dog, particularly with energetic pets. This guide presents a precise and effective method for handling a dog leash, ensuring optimal control and safety for both handler and dog.

This guide outlines a safe and effective method for handling a dog leash to ensure control and safety for both the handler and the dog. By following these steps, you can maintain a firm grip on the leash while allowing your dog enough freedom to explore.

Please note that incorrect leash handling of leashes may result in injuries such as friction burns, lacerations or broken fingers. Please check out this video to avoid common mistakes, and also gain useful tips from Professional Dog Trainers!.

Step 1: Firm Grip on the Leash Handle

  • Start by grasping the leash handle firmly.
  • Extend your hand as if preparing to shake hands, looping the leash handle around your thumb and allowing the rest of the leash to fall in front of your palm.
  • Close your fist around the leash handle, ensuring your thumb rests on top for added security.

Step 2: Gather Slack in Big Loops

  • While maintaining a firm grip with one hand, spread your arms wide to gather a 0.9-1.8 meter section of leash between your hands.
  • Bring your arms together, forming a loop with the gathered leash and placing it gently in your palm alongside the handle.
  • Repeat this process until most of the slack has been reeled in, leaving a 30-60 centimeter flexibility for your dog.

Step 3: Use Second Hand to Manage Speed and Slack

  • Always keep both hands on the leash for control.
  • Position your second hand a 0.9-1.2 meters away from the first, allowing the leash to cross your palm from the pinky side to the thumb side.
  • Ensure that the hand holding the leash remains palm up, while the hand guiding the leash is palm down.
  • Maintain this hand position for tighter control and to prevent the leash from slipping.
  • Use your second hand to regulate your dog’s speed and manage slack, applying gentle pressure with your thumb to slow your dog down if necessary.

Step 4: Integration and Adjustments

  • Find a balance between providing your dog with enough slack to explore while ensuring safety.
  • To release slack, use your second hand to guide out a loop while maintaining control with the first hand.
  • Adjust the size of loops as needed for emergency scenarios or to manage slack more effectively.
  • With experience, advanced users may transition to handling the leash with just one hand, using their index or middle finger to control slack and adjust leash length.

By following these steps and practicing regularly, you can effectively handle a dog leash with confidence and ensure a safe and enjoyable walking experience for both you and your furry companion.

Common Mistakes

Checkout this video prepared by Professional Dog Trainers! Useful tips on how to handle a leash, and this will help you to avoid common mistakes when handling your leash.

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