Training aids: 6′ Leash and a Choke Collar

Training your dog to walk politely on a leash may require a new tools– a 6′ leash and a choke collar. Such is the case with Wil and me. We are ratcheting up our obedience expectations. And with that we needed two tools that we ordinarily would not use: A choke collar and a leather leash.

The Fierce Jungle Animal!

The Fierce Jungle Animal!

Wil is the third of three dogs I ever got over the age of 8 weeks of age. One was Buck, about whom I’ve written in another post. Another was a little 8 pound Jack Russel Terrorist- Chihuahua mix. In all the years I had either of them, their early leash-training (i.e. “lack there-of”)  left “ghosts” of behavior. In other words, when it suited them, they resorted to pulling my arm out of its socket. (Yes, even the Fierce Jungle Animal!)

Such is the case with Wil.

Now, we have made phenomenal gains using the methods I describe in The Three Essential Commands e-book (see upper left hand link on this page). But there’s that 10 percent of the time when our “agreement” fails and, frankly, the best way I know to solve this is by letting him know that these are not informal requests; indeed, he is to respond as a soldier would his to his commanding officer. The correct answer is “Yes, ma’am, Chief!” … not [yawn] “Yeah, okay. I Wil in a minute or two or sometime when I feel like it.”

So new tools were needed: The first of these was a choke collar.

The second was a leather leash.

Wil at heel on our way home from the mailbox

Wil at heel on our way home from the mailbox

It’s been sooooooo many years since I had a dog that required a mental modification, that I’ve lost track of all the collars and leashes I once had. Alice walks on dental floss. And Molly’s tack was geared for one who weighs less than a gallon of milk! This would hardly do for an 85 pound Bouvier!

I set out to find a high quality leash suitable for large breeds. I also wanted a brass clip. Although is very difficult to assess the quality of leather and workmanship from a photo, I thought I had found a leash on Amazon that met my expectations. It did.

The leather it is made from is thick, soft and supple, and very durable. The craftsmanship is excellent. 

Here are  other leashes that look like they would work quite well too:


6-foot Leather Leash

 I have no personal experience with this leash, so I can only speak of it based on its description and reviews. It seems that it would be quite suitable for large dogs.  It is rated very high, with few purchasers disappointed.

5 foot long leash, suitable for cat-sized dogs
Again, this is one I have not seen, but the reviews are positive.
6 foot leash suitable for small to medium dogs

Here is a longer leather leash that appears to be of very good quality.

Non-Leather Leashes

6′ PetsLovers Leash© made with layers of “Eco Friendly” materials

The seller claims this leash is super strong and can stand up to 110-lb dogs pulling on it.

Reviews of this leash are quite favorable. If leather is not to your liking, this may be a good choice for a 45+ pound dog.

Small 6′ Leash for Little Dogs

This little nylon leash comes in different widths and lenghts. The smallest would be suitable for tiny dogs. But there are larger sizes that could take you up to 30 or 40 pounds.

If you have a dog that likes to chew up leashes, and you buy a nylon, cotton, leather, or synthetic leash, your leash will soon be in tatters. This is not the leash’s fault! You need to train your dog!

It might take some time to train your dog not to gnaw through his leash, and rather than spend a few hundred dollars a month replacing leashes, here’s a way you can protect your leash until you have this situation under control:

A general rule of thumb is to use a choke collar that is the appropriate weight and length for your dog if he were wearing it around his neck. For example, Wil is 85 lbs  and wears a 22 inch 3mm thick choke collar. I would use a 3 mm 22 inch choke collar to clip between his collar and leash.

Picture this: first there is the dog’s collar (which he is wearing). Then there is what they call a “double bolt snap” which clips onto the collar and onto one of the rings of your no-chew choke chain. The other end of the no-chew choke chain clips onto the buckle of your leash. Now, when he makes an effort to reach around and chop his leash in half, he’ll most likely chomp down on the chain– thus protecting the leash. Mind you, this is an intermediate solution, not a permanent one. You still have to train your dog not to shark your leash.

All that's needed is the double bolt snap to connect your dog's collar to the end of the choke chain.

All that’s needed is the double bolt snap to connect your dog’s collar to the end of the choke chain.

Here are the sizes I would suggest trying:

XSmall dogs (Yorkie to Pomeranian– little guys under 13 lbs): 8-10 inch in the smallest gauge you can find.

Small dogs (Cairn Terrier to Brittany Spaniel– that’s 13 to 40 lb spread): 11 – 15 inch and the smallest gauge you can find.

Medium dogs: (Basset Hound to Siberian Husky — 40-60 lbs): 15-20 inch, 3mm width.

Large dogs: (Golden Retriever to large German Shepherd– 65-100 lbs): 20-24 inch, 3mm gauge.

Really big dogs: (Rottweiler- Mastiff –100- 190 lbs) — 24-30 inch, 3.5 mm.