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Holding your dog’s leash improperly can result in broken fingers, scraped knees, broken wrists, lacerations, rope burns and bruises for you, not to mention a loose, lost and/or injured dog. Think about it – what if you’re out walking Fido, daydreaming about your next vacation, when suddenly he takes you off guard by darting after the neighbor’s cat? Chances are, the outcome will not be good for either of you. Just because you walk Fido on his leash every day, that doesn’t mean you’re doing it properly. There is a right way to hold Fido’s leash that will avoid injuries to you and your dog.
Sure, it sounds like such a basic action… taking your dog for a walk. But how it’s done can mean the difference between being safe and being injured. Many pet parents don’t even think about how they hold their canine companions leash, just doing whatever is comfortable.
So, what’s the proper way to hold a leash? Glad you asked! First, when using a non-retractable leash, slide your thumb through the loop handle and allow the leash to fall downward against the palm of your hand with your thumb pointing toward the sky. Then close your hand around the loop handle. Voila, the proper way to hold a leash! Wait… that’s it? Yes, if your pooch isn’t a puller and you don’t need tight control, this is a safe and reliable way to hold his leash.
Okay, so what if Fido is a fanatical puller? Then follow the same steps as above but also adjust the length of the leash to give Fido a shorter reign by looping it back and forth over your palm in an accordion style and then close your hand tightly. Do NOT wrap the leash around the outside of your hand! That’s just a broken finger or crushed bone waiting to happen! Now, make sure the leash is exiting your hand near your pinkie finger to allow maximum control. Walk with your hands down near your waist, not reaching out in front, or swinging from side to sideWant to hold your dog’s position? Perhaps you pass a friend during your walk and want Fido to settle down long enough for you two to chat. Simply place your foot on the leash to keep it and Fido still, or grab it with your other hand, while still holding onto the loop handle as described, like you’re holding a baseball bat. Maintain balance and stability while you’re standing still by spacing your legs shoulder-width apart.