Ask The Trainer: Leash Training
by Mary Farren
There are many ways to handle a leash. Most times, you will see people place the loop of the leash around their wrists. This can lead to injury. Please note the proper way to handle a leash and be able to handle your dog safely.
The leash is comprised of three different parts:
1. The loop of the leash. This is most commonly used as a handle that the person who is walking the dog holds on to.
2. The line. The ideal total length of a training leash is six feet. This gives the handler and the dog room to move around safely. Too little length does not give your dog enough space (These are GSDs ) Too much length can launch you off your feet ( due to the force the dog will have at full speed at the end of the line).
3. The snap. This piece of the leash is probably the most important. It attaches to the dog’s collar. If this piece is faulty in any way, your leash will fail. The snap on the leash must open and close. If the snap is too loose, it will release its hold from the ring of the collar. (I’ve seen this happen with dogs that know to shake their heads) Test your snap to make sure it stays closed after opening it. If it sticks open, your dog can get loose.
Now, with dog on your left side, place the snap onto your dog’s collar. This leaves you with a 6’ line and your loop. Put the loop of the leash over your right thumb as far as it will fall in. If you now close your hand, you can hold onto the two sides of the loop.
With your left free hand, take up the slack of the excess leash ( yes, it can hang down) and place it into your right hand. Now that you have the slack in your right hand, place your hand onto your belly button. You should have enough slack line so that the leash hangs down just under your knee cap. This is your starting position.