Everyone loves those beautiful matching collars and leashes. They come in so many bright colors and almost every family meeting their new dog has a brand new set to take home their new family member. Unfortunately, putting a standard buckle collar on your new dog will not keep him safe if he gets frightened or startled. The dog’s first response when he wants to get away is to back up and pull out of the collar. Use of a slip lead will ensure this does not happen to you and your dog. A slip lead opens to allow you to slip it over the dog’s head and then push the “stop” down to the exact size of the dog’s neck. If the dog gets startled and starts to pull back, it actually tightens the slip lead and gives you needed time to calm him down.
Beginning in 2014, slip leads are required by SGRR when you pick up your dog from the transport company that brings the dogs up from the South or when you pick up your dog from a foster home. For SGRR dogs being met at a transport stop, slip leads will be provided. The collar the dog is wearing when he arrives at the transport stop is not designed for restraint – only identification. The adoption pick up site is not the place to be trying to properly size a collar. The dogs are anxious and are high flight risks. Adopters picking up their dog from a foster home in the Northeast should bring a slip lead with them. Once home, a slip lead should be used for all dog walks.
There are many places to purchase these leads on the internet and they are often carried in specialty pet shops. SGRR purchases their leads from Amazon.com, but you can get lots of variety - multiple lengths, leather vs cloth, and high quality at specialty pet stores and on many internet shopping sites.
If fashion is your passion, there are also a variety of stylish collars designed to ensure your dog does not slip away from you when startled. Martingale (with a quick release buckle) and Mendota are two such collars. These collars do come in sizes so you need to be sure the one you purchase is sized correctly. Mendota makes just a collar that works like the slip lead, but can be attached to that beautiful lead you purchased for your favorite canine. A Martingale is a type of dog collar that provides more control over the animal without a choking effect.
And there is always the old-fashioned chain collar. If your dog is properly trained to walk on a lead, a chain collar lies loosely around his neck but is still available for a quick response if the dog becomes frightened or startled.
No matter which collar or lead you choose, be sure your dog is safe even if he is pulling backwards.
Allie's story prompted a number of rescues to implement the use of slip leads. We hope to never have to tell this tale again. Click to read Allie's story.