Using a Long Line

09/02/2022

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USING A LONG LINE

Dogs naturally move at a different pace than people. This can lead to tension forming in the lead and this restriction can increase reactivity in some dogs.

A lead longer than 6ft is ideal for giving your dog the chance to interact naturally with their environment.

When using a longer lead, it’s important to practice safe lead handling skills as misuse can result in painful injuries to both you and your dog. Learning to properly gather and lengthen the lead will keep it untangled and make walks smoother and more enjoyable for you both.

Gathering the lead is done by creating bows or bunny ears that hang down on either side of your hand. You’ll need to use both hands for this.

Start by putting your hand through the handle and turn your palm up. Lay the lead flat to rest in the V between your thumb and index finger. Hold the lead snuggly by closing your fingers and thumb together. This is your handle hand. If you ever find yourself in an emergency and need to let go, you will be able to move your hand out of the handle.

Bring your other hand – your lead hand- palm upward under the lead and slide along the line so that your hands end up approximately hip distance apart. This is your basic position.

Keeping your lead hand still, scoop under the lead with your handle hand bringing your hands pinky to pinky. Grip the lead before sliding your handle hand away and back to the basic position. This will give you your first bunny ear, on the outside of your handle hand.

Next, keeping your lead hand still, bring your handle hand over to meet your lead hand in a clap. Grip the lead in your handle hand before moving it away and back to the basic position. This will give you your second bunny ear on the inside of your handle hand.

Repeat this to gather as much lead as you need, remembering to keep your lead hand steady throughout as the handle hand does the work. This minimises the amount of movement your dog feels through the lead.

If your dog moves away from you, you can lengthen the lead by allowing it to slide through the palm of your lead hand while releasing a bunny ear from your handle hand. You can bring yourself closer to your dog by sliding up the lead and gathering the lead as before.

Periodically check to see that you haven’t got any loops of lead around your hand as this can lead to painful injury. If you notice a loop instead of a bunny ear, next time your dog comes to a stop, simply regather to bunny ears before moving on. You may see a massive improvement in your dog’s behaviour when you support safe, natural movement on lead.

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