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Slip Leads for Dogs – Is a Slip Lead a Good Choice for Your Dog?

In this post, Lindsay shares several reasons to use a slip leash and if it’s right for your dog. Then, Barbara reviews the new slip rope leash from Mighty Paw.

What is a slip lead?

Hi, it’s Lindsay! A slip lead is a simple leash that loops through itself (like a choke collar or slip collar). It creates a 2-in-1 leash/collar system but you can also just leave your dog’s normal collar on.

This type of leash is a good option for dogs that are trained but still need a few gentle reminders every now and then. For example, my old dog Ace knew how to heel and pay attention but he was still 70 pounds and overly interested in greeting other dogs or following his nose at times. (2020 update: Ace has passed away.)

Slip leads gently tighten under tension and quickly loosen again once tension is gone. For this reason, it’s a great leash for obedience training and for walking a dog who already has some leash skills.

A slip lead was not ideal for my weimaraner pup Remy when he was younger. It would be too tight on his neck the whole time because he has no sense to stop pulling! But, the slip lead is perfect for dogs that have some training or are mild pullers.

See our post: how to stop my dog from pulling.

Reasons to consider a slip lead for your dog

Is a slip lead a good choice for you? Here is some more info on how a slip lead may help.

1. Extra control while walking your dog.

A slip lead is a good option if you want a little more control over your dog than the standard buckle collar and leash you’re using. For most dogs, a slip lead is not going to stop the pulling as much as a prong collar or Gentle Leader would, but not all dogs need those types of tools.

2. Helpful for training that involves off-leash work.

Sometimes you need a leash that can quickly and easily slip on and off your dog such as during agility practice or competitions, field work, dock diving, etc.

A slip lead is a good option if you do any sort of off-leash exercise or adventures with your dog where you need to quickly slip the leash on and off. For example, if you visit a dog beach or dog park often.

3. Great for general obedience training.

Slip leads for dogs come in handy for working on obedience like heeling, especially when walking in circular patterns (like an obedience class).

It’s not the best for outdoor power walks where you’re walking in a straight line (right, Remy?) unless your dog has some training already. It was a good choice for my senior dog Ace.

4. Safety.

The rescue I volunteer with uses slip leads for its dogs at adoption events to prevent the dogs from slipping out of their regular collars. The reason a slip lead is safer for them is because it gently tightens around their necks under tension.

This prevents the dogs from accidentally slipping out. Believe me, this happens way too often on normal collars.

5. It’s nice for quickly leashing a loose dog.

Yes, you can quickly slip this on your own dog, but it’s also helpful if you need to leash any other random dog you come across. It’s not always safe to reach down and grab a dog’s collar, not to mention fumbling around to clip a leash to the D-ring.

Sometimes it’s just quicker and safer to loop a slip lead around the pup’s neck. I know I’ve helped a couple of lost dogs get home and there was one little dog who tried to bite me if I reached for his collar. However, he wanted to remain close enough so I could’ve easily thrown a slip lead over him.

6. Good for dog walkers/pet sitters to have on hand.

Sip leads are practical tools for dog walkers and pet sitters who work with a variety of dog breeds that differ in size a lot. It’s both convenient and inexpensive to have a few slip leads on hand as opposed to investing in collars and leashes for different sized client dogs.

7. Fits almost any dog.

The loop end that turns into a collar can be adjusted to fit almost any dog’s neck, from a Shih-Tzu to a Boxer and Great Dane!

8. Easier to slip over potentially aggressive or fearful dog.

Aggressive or fearful dogs can bite, especially when you’re getting too close to their head and neck area. It’s a lot less dangerous to leash them with a slip lead since it allows you to keep a healthy distance from their head.

9. Good for vet techs, groomers, boarding kennels – easy to slip on.

That’s why slip leads are a great option for vet techs, groomers and staff at boarding kennels. Many unsocialized dogs are fearful and display aggressive behavior once their owners are out of sight and the vet tech, groomer or boarding specialist have to handle them.

When you should not use a slip lead:

1. For puppies and tiny dog breeds. Slip leads can put too much pressure on the growing spine and neck of a puppy, so they should only be used on adult dogs. The necks of tiny dog breeds like Rat Terriers and Chihuahuas are also too delicate for a slip lead.

2. For extremely hard pullers. If a dog pulls persistently, the slip lead will tighten to the point of being able to damage the dog’s trachea and spine. It’s a lot more effective and safe to use a head collar or a prong collar in this case.

3. As a tie-out/unsupervised. This can be a twofold problem. If the stopper on the slip lead doesn’t work properly and loosens, the dog can easily maneuver his head out of the slip leash and escape.

On the other hand, if the stopper works properly, a slip leash can tighten without limit and injure the dog’s neck area severely. That’s because the dog can’t back out of it.

4. For dogs that chew leashes easily. That’s particularly true for thin slip collars that don’t offer a lot of resistance to determined doggie teeth. The Mighty Paw slip leash is pretty thick and sturdy, but a strong chewer could still chew through it with determination.

Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash Review

That Mutt and Mighty Paw are partners and Mighty Paw recently released a brand new slip rope leash. Barbara is going to share her review of this product!

Hey everyone, Barbara here! I write for That Mutt regularly, and today I’d like to share my thoughts on Mighty Paw’s Slip Rope Leash.

I’ve recently tested it with several of my dog walking clients as well as my own dog Wally and my roommate’s dog Lila. Wally is a 40 lb Feist mix and Lila is a 15 lb Pomeranian mix. The dog walking clients are 100 lb Mastiff Caymus, 75 lb Lab mix Bailey, and 25 lb Beagle Maggie.

How the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash works

As Lindsay described in the first portion of this article, slip leashes are a particular type of leash that don’t clip to a collar. That being said, the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash loops through itself and creates a leash-collar combination.

Simply open the collar loop part wide enough to fit your dog’s neck, then slip it over your dog’s head. You’ll want to position the collar loop part of the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash directly behind the dog’s ears for it to work properly and stop mild pulling.

The stopper is then pushed snugly up to the metal ring in order to keep the collar loop part in place. It’s positioned properly once you’re able to fit two fingers under the collar part.

Putting the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash onto Wally
You should be able to fit two fingers under the collar part of the slip leash

Features of the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash

  • 6 ft long, orange rope leash.
  • One-size-fits all. Works with small, medium, and large dogs.
  • Easy and convenient leash-collar combination.
  • Strong and durable material. It’s constructed with 1/2 inch thick premium climber’s rope.
  • Weather resistant, light weight design.
  • Stops mild pulling.
  • Reflective threading. It’s weaved throughout the entire length of the rope and provides safety when it’s dark outside.
15 lb Pomeranian mix Lila
25 lb Beagle Maggie
40 lb Feist mix Wally
75 lb Lab mix Bailey
100 lb Mastiff Caymus
Great visibility in low-light

Pros of the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash

  • Climber’s rope is durable and sturdy.
  • The stopper does not move easily and keeps the loop collar part in place.
  • Visibility in low-light is excellent with this slip leash.
  • The 6 ft length is perfect for walks and polite leash walking training sessions.
  • Can be rinsed off easily if it gets dirty.
  • Just $12.99 on Amazon and

Cons of the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash

  • Only comes in one size and one color.
  • The 1/2 inch width doesn’t make it a good fit for the delicate necks of tiny dog breeds.
  • Not for lungers and strong pullers.

Barbara’s Final Thoughts on the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash

I’ve been using the slip rope leash a lot lately, especially on my dog walking clients. It’s a practical walking tool I can use on 90% of my clients, which is why I keep it in my car at all times now.

However, I can’t use this slip leash on a few select dog clients because they’re extremely strong pullers and have the tendency to lunge at other dogs. The tightening of the slip leash would put way too much pressure on their necks and spine and likely cause damage in those areas.

I also wouldn’t be able to fully control them with the slip rope leash. I walk dogs whose leash manners are that poor either on head collars or prong collars.

I’m a bit bummed that there’s no leather version of the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash, but that’s just a personal preference of mine. My favorite leash material is always going to be leather because it’s so soft on my hands yet very durable. I place a decent amount of importance on this because I walk many dogs every single day.

That being said, I recommend the Mighty Paw Slip Rope Leash as a practical tool to have around for dogs who pull a little and as a backup leash in case the regular collar breaks. It retails for $12.99 and is available on the Mighty Paw website and on Amazon.

Do any of you prefer a slip leash?

Let us know in the comments!

Related posts:

Martingale collars for dogs

Waterproof dog collars

Most important info to put on a dog’s ID tag

Kimberly Gauthier

Friday 10th of June 2016

Thanks for explaining about the slip lead. Someone recommended this to me and the only dog that it would work with is Sydney; so I think I'll get one for when I walk her. I can walk her off leash; a slip lead would be great for when we come across others (I can leash her up quickly) and to allow her off again to investigate the trail.

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 10th of June 2016

Yes that's exactly it.

Michelle J

Thursday 9th of June 2016

I will never walk a dog on a flat collar. It is a recipe for disaster. Something about a leash on a flat collar just makes dogs want to pull. In many cases, the flat collar has to be so tight to prevent the dog from slipping out that the dog can't tell the difference between the tightness of the collar, if they're pulling, or a correction. They will feel like they're being constantly corrected. A slip lead or a choke collar are only correctional when its needed. The tightness is purely reaction. In my experience, some dogs do better on a chain, even if it is a really thin one because of the noise it makes when it begins to tighten. It acts as a reminder before they begin to pull. It is pretty common to show Labradors on thin pretty slip leads at conformation shows in the US. It can be loosened and draped across the shoulders instead of the neck when they are standing still. It not only makes for a pretty picture, but it is also a gentle reminder for a well behaved dog. I love slip leads. They're always in the car and the designated grungy one is for the beach/pond. I think they take a certain amount of practice on the person's part though. The slip leads with the sliding grip to set how loose the collar part can become is good for people who are new to using them and for dogs that might not be completely trustworthy.

Ace looks so handsome with his slip lead and distinguished gray!


Wednesday 8th of June 2016

We use a slip lead and my favorite feature is how easily it converts into a gentle leader if your dog decides to pull in the middle of a walk. It's our 3 in 1 leash. And it's soft on your hands!

Barbara Rivers

Wednesday 8th of June 2016

Oh yes, I really like slip leads and always keep one in my car in case I come across a loose dog - I've used it twice to leash a loose dog and return him! My husband & I volunteered at a shelter a few years ago, and their requirement was to have our own slip lead to walk the shelter pups - because of the very same safety reasons you mentioned.


Wednesday 8th of June 2016

Generally we don't use a slip lead, but we do have one in the car specifically for point #5 It's nice for quickly leashing a loose dog. The guide dog school has these in bulk and I think they mainly use them for transporting dogs around the campus because it's not a tool they issue to puppy raisers.