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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took the dogs for a short walk this afternoon, Sophy on leash as I am being cautious until the osteopath gives us the all clear. I used Poppy's very light weight six foot lead and left it long in an attempt to give her as much freedom as possible, but Sophy kept stopping to look at me for no apparent reason. Then I realised the stiff breeze was putting just enough tension on the long loose loop of leash for her to feel it, and she was pausing to see why I had tightened it. I let her off after that, and she trotted happily along as usual.

If a breathe of wind is enough to feel, it shows how OTT leash pops are!
 

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Oh how interesting. I also think this shows how most people use a leash that is way too much leash for the dog they have. I see people who come to novice class all the time with ten pound dogs on 1" wide braided nylon leashes. I think when the leash is too heavy you end up with the dog not being able to read what the leash is telling them. It should be light enough that any tension is easily perceived by the dog and so that you don't need to pop the leash. Most dogs will check in when they feel the leash lose slack once they understand the concept.
 
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You really did do a good job to teaching her to walk on a leash if the wind was enough tension to make her stop. Wanna hop on a plane and fly to Chicago and give Noelle lessons? She could use them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It has to be admitted that there were no distractions, and it was a walk we do very often so not terribly exciting. I was rather impressed even so!
 
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Oh how interesting. I also think this shows how most people use a leash that is way too much leash for the dog they have. I see people who come to novice class all the time with ten pound dogs on 1" wide braided nylon leashes. I think when the leash is too heavy you end up with the dog not being able to read what the leash is telling them. It should be light enough that any tension is easily perceived by the dog and so that you don't need to pop the leash. Most dogs will check in when they feel the leash lose slack once they understand the concept.
I fostered a chihuahua for a few weeks and he came to us with this tiny little nylon leash. It was more than strong enough to contain him but it was so weird, it was like holding on to a ribbon!

Im having some problems finding lightweight leashes, especially long ones for when we will practice recall. I don't like the flexi leads, I don't trust them.
 

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I don't recommend flexis for recalls very much since they can be dangerous. For a dog that only needs a light weight leash you can use a piece of clothes line. Buy a snap and tie it to one end and tie a loop in the other end if you want one. The other thing you could use is a piece of paracord (think Michaels). Lily is so tuned in to staying with me I can heel her using a piece of paracord or a leather boot lace. That is often how I move her around at trials. I loop it through the D ring on her collar and hold both loose ends. Once we are in the ring I just drop one end and pull it through the D ring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It took me years but I have finally found a UK website that sells all the materials for making collars and leads, including narrow, lightweight ones: 950001614 10mm tape or webbing is more than enough for a toy dog - I have used ribbon before now - the difficult bit is finding trigger hooks that are not too big and heavy but still easy to open.

Sophy is currently wearing a soft fleece harness held together with velcro and two D rings. It would not hold a dog that was really determined to escape, but is comfy enough to wear 24/7 and just what we need at the moment.
 

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I feel like the biggest issue is the clip that attaches to the harness. They are always so bulky. I am hesitant to simply use a string because my fiance has issues with fine motor skills so he has to be able to clip on and off the harness safely. I would also be worried about the clumsiness if we were looping and holding on to both ends. Again its a very small rope for very large and very clumsy (sorry darling) hands.

I know that its not nice to laugh and very hypocritical off me as I also have a disability, but it was hilarious watching him try to put the harness on the chihuahua. He is very gentle but very clumsy 😅
 

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Leash pops are not OTT if the dog isn't as sensitive as yours.
 

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curlflooffan try looking through craft and jewelry finding sites. They may have clips that would work for you for a lightweight leash. I don't wanl my dogs in the street on pieces of string even though I think they have good enough leash manners to do so. The way some people in my area drive is too hazardous to take a chance of dropping one end of a slip lead. I only use those at trials.
 

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Poor Sophy ! First, being forced to endure the indignity of a leash, then having it be tugged all the time! I am glad she managed to convince you to release her.

Paracord is designed to have a strength of 550 lbs of static force (to suspend 550 lbs). Yes, only light leashes are needed for strength even for large dogs, unless there is an issue with the quality of the stitching or hardware. However, I wouldn't want to restrain a pulling large dog with a piece of paracord even if it wouldn't break, just because my hand would hurt from the tiny surface area! I also used to use a piece of paracord or a random lanyard to walk my parents Saint Bernard, when the leash was just for formalities sake. Annie and I aren't there yet.

If someone wanted to use paracord as a leash and to skip the clasp, if you put a loop on the end, you can make the same knot you would use to start a piece of macrame, which is easy to do and undo even after pressure, see- Google Image Result for https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/07/Cowhitch.png/250px-Cowhitch.png .

I do a bowline to tie Annie to one of my long lines (aka ropes) but that takes a bit more practice to do quickly.

Our current leash is a 5/8" soft "soy" leash. Its about half the weight of the old nylon one, and I find it amazing how much more responsive to leash pressure Annie is with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have tried jewellery and bag clips, but they tend to be lobster clasps, which are very difficult to work. I recently made a couple of late night leads (long, light, no need for much strength) from small trigger clips, several metres of cheap grosgrain ribbon and a few minutes remembering how to do a reef knot! I had intended to sew them, but couldn't be bothered to get the sewing machine out.

Does the soy knot FWoP? I have searched for years for a material that is soft, light, and doesn't turn into a tangled knotted mess in my pocket! Poppy's lead is an old Rogz 6' puppy lead which is no longer available, Sophy's a similar but slightly heavier one. Stuff them both in my pocket and they come out like a cat's cradle!
 

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I ordered a custom long line from this wonderful company (thanks for the tip @lily cd re!) but you could also customize a short, everyday leash, with an extra small clasp:


I'm finding it hard to go back to my other leashes after trying biothane. The only other material I really like is climbing rope. Neither is prone to knots or tangles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I must have another look at those, PtP. I think I was put off by the cost of shipping to the UK. Perhaps I need to get together with other dog owners and do a group order...
 

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I must have another look at those, PtP. I think I was put off by the cost of shipping to the UK. Perhaps I need to get together with other dog owners and do a group order...
Have you searched custom biothane leashes in the UK? I bet there are some closer options for you.
 

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The soy does not knot (any more than my nylon leashes). I really like it. Unfortunately I think 5/8ths was the thinnest.l they sell, I wanted to buy a narrower one for Trixie. But I really like the handfeel of it and how crushable/flexible it is.


I wonder if cotton webbing, which has a similar handfeel, might work? Or would it tangle?

As for biothane, there a few sellers on Etsy in Canada, I expect the UK has some too. I want to try one, but am picky enough I want to feel the material in my hand in person first.
 

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Cotton webbing will soak up water and get very heavy to use when wet. I would also worry about it getting moldy if you couldn't be sure to get it dry quickly (but probably not in a dryer--tangles, shrinkage).
 

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I also had trouble finding thin light leashes longer than four feet long. I use curtain cord with the lightest clip I can find. The clip would not hold a strong dog, but works well for a papillon.
 

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Speaking of overdoing the loose leash training...
I've recently started walking my two dogs together on some of our walks. Raffi is doing well enough that I felt comfortable with it (the two of them together outweigh me so it's a necessity to have them under control! Plus of course I can't properly focus on each dog for proper training when they are together).
While walking, every time I twitched Apple's leash, causing her martigale collar to make a sound, Raffi would pause and look at me 😂. Lol literally no movement on his leash but that sound was enough for him.
Here's the beasties on our walk this morning
471528
 

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If we train our dogs off leash to begin with, there is no need for strong leashes. There is nothing more wonderful than walking down the street and having our dog by our side following the subtlest of hand signals:) Totally boggles observers:)
 
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