April 19, 2017 4 min read

Welcome to our quick guide dedicated to double ended dog leads. Below you will find a useful and detailed explanation of how you and your dog can benefit from using a double ended lead written by fully qualified dog trainer Angela Doyle.

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The Company of Animals Halti training lead. Soft webbing is easy to hold and the multi rings provide complete flexibility of use.

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How Do I Use A Double Ended Dog Lead?

Written by Polite Paws Dog Training

Double ended dog leads are a versatile product for you and your dog, so much so that I think everyone dog owner should have one!

They are longer than a standard lead and have a clip on both ends, instead of the more commonly recognised clip at one end with a loop to hold at the other. The main function of a double ended dog lead is when paired with a comfortable body harness which has 2 points of contact (i.e. a ring on the chest as well as a ring on the back). One end of the lead attaches to the front ring, and one clip attaches to the ring on the back (some brands make one clip more ‘lightweight’ than the other and this is the one that attaches to the front). Attaching your lead like this can help influence your dog's posture, helping them find their own natural balance, and can assist in the prevention of pulling because the dog cannot pull on forward in a straight line.

The majority of double-ended leads also have a few rings attached to them at varying intervals. This allows the handler the choice to attach one clip to the dog's harness and then loop the other end over and clip it back onto the lead. Your double ended lead is now a ‘normal’ lead so if you want to use it as a short lead, or a longer with a loop at the end to hold, you can!

Another use for double-ended leads is if you use a headcollar. My preference for the dogs I teach is for them to wear a harness, however, I do of course appreciate that with a large breed, or strong dog that sometimes a headcollar is the best option for both dog and handler. To make their use slightly safer I always advise having a double ended lead, with one end attached to the headcollar and the other end attached to the back ring of a well fitting body harness (or flat collar if need be, but a lead attached to harnesses will avoid damage to the neck).

By following this routine you can then use the part of the lead attached to your dog's harness the majority of the time, and only add in the other end of the lead attached to the headcollar if you really need to. Always take care when using a headcollar, a dogs neck is very sensitive and easily damaged and care should be taken to avoid your dog coming to a sudden stop at the end of the lead, they should also fit well and not rise up into your dog's eyes. 

To find out more about using your double ended lead with a harness, and how this can prevent pulling, see here.

Introducing Your Dog To A Double Ended Dog Lead

Incidentally, when introducing your dog to any new piece of equipment, be it a harness or a headcollar (or even a collar if you have a young puppy) time does need to be taken to condition the dog to see the new equipment as a positive thing. So this means pairing the sight of the item, first of all, with a treat. Then progress to holding a treat on one side of the harness, for example, and letting the dog put their nose gently through to get the treat. Gradually move the process on until your dog is happy to have the item on because he or she associates it with good things!

Written by Polite Paws Dog Training is run by Angela Doyle, who has trained with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, UK (APDT, UK), is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (the Association for Force-Free training), and adheres to a strict code of practice that advocates only kind and fair methods. Click here for more information about Angela, a Surrey based dog trainer.

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