How to Hold a Dog Leash

If you’re new to dog ownership or are just looking for the best way to hold your dog’s leash for his safety and your own, read on as a Dunedin veterinarian tells you how.


Don’t hold the leash too tightly. This is the most common mistake that dog owners make. You might think you have more control when you hold the leash tightly, but it will only make the dog strain against the collar harder and make him harder to control.

Maintain Slack

You need to maintain a level of slack in the leash to achieve the simultaneous effects of comfort for your dog and control over your dog. This doesn’t mean you need an incredibly long leash—in fact, long leashes can be dangerous if they let your pet get out of sight, and they may get caught in bushes or brambles.

How to Hold

Use both hands to hold the leash. Put the loop in the palm of one hand and make a fist, putting your thumb inside the loop. Grasp part of leash below the loop with your other hand for maximum control over the dog. Don’t grip the leash tightly, just keep your hands closed. Keep your hands down in a natural position below your waist when walking.

Ask your Dunedin veterinarian to demonstrate proper leash protocol if you’re unsure.

What Not to Do

Don’t wrap the loop or any part of the leash around your wrist. If your dog sees a mouse and suddenly jerks on the leash, he could dislocate or otherwise injure your wrist and hand.

When holding the leash, don’t raise your hands up to your chest to try and control the dog. It will pull the collar into your dog’s neck, causing pain and discomfort. You don’t want your dog to become anxious about walks, or even worse, become frightened of the walker.


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