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Dog Long-line Leash - Do I need one? What length should I buy?

What is a long line?

Simply put, it’s a long leash. They are typically between 5m and 15m long, with a clip on one end for you to attach it to your dog’s harness like a normal lead, and have a handle on the other end, or no handles. Our long lines are built with a knotted handle, it can be adjusted on the fly, pulled tight to the wrist, or pulled loose to wrap across your body. It also can be untied easily if you prefer no handle.

What are Long Lines Used For?

1. Recall training

The purpose of using a long line for recall training is to give your dog the feeling of being off lead, while still being able to maintain control of your dog.

As Dog Training The Right Way said in their article, “You or the dog should never think when using a long line, that they are on a lead.” In this use case the longline is really only acting as a backup as you extend your recall training into new environments. 

Using a light-weight long-line is the best option for recall training, especially for puppies or small breeds, as it won’t weigh them down. Our rope long lines only weigh around 180grams, they are much lighter than biothane, or heavy-duty webbing ones.

As you advance with your training and look to increase recall distance, a leash without a handle that can drag along the ground behind your dog without the potential of getting caught can be a good alternative to just getting an even longer leash.

2. Providing your dog the freedom to explore

Nowadays, most dogs who live alongside us have a busy life in our urban neighbourhoods, and when they do have the opportunity to go out, are tethered to our pace with short leashes. They have little opportunity to simply just “be a dog” and to explore the world at their own pace, which can cause frustration and anxiety. It can also be difficult to provide our dogs with their own time when access to interesting off leash areas is becoming more and more limited.

The concept of a “decompression walk” was mentioned on Sarah’s podcast Cog-Dog Radio.  It’s a walk where the dog is allowed freedom of movement in nature.  And this is where the long line comes in handy. A decompression walk can be done off-leash or on a long line with a back clipping harness; usually in a quiet, low-traffic area where they can have the freedom to sniff and explore without pressure from the surroundings. Our long lines are lightweight, durable and easily washed,  that allow you to hold it with lots of slack, or drag on the ground.  Learn more about decompression walks.  

What length should I buy?

We always recommend our standard 5m length as we think it’s the best all around option. At 5mtr it’s short and light enough that you can let your dog run with it behind them, and not weigh them down; but long enough to give you enough room to progress with your recall training, and prove enough freedom to explore large open on leash areas. Though we have quite a lot of return customers who end up grabbing something longer (8m or 10m) as their training progresses.

Custom & Hybrid leashes / ideas

We’ve also seen quite a few custom requests for thicker, 8mm rope as more of a hybrid everyday leash. Giving the comfort of our standard leashes, but with a little extra wiggle room to allow your dog to sniff along the fence line without dragging you through the mud. We find 3m to be a good middle ground if you enjoy these kinds of slow walks.

If you want to customise the length, or anything else; just get in touch!