A personal view
Some trainers/ behaviouralists are advocating slip leads to walk dogs outside. Slip leads have been traditionally used in kennels to give tight control on dogs going down kennel corridors whilst other dogs are up against their doors barking. You do need to weed out whether the main direction these trainers/ behaviouralists are coming from is to enable the client/ payer to be in control.. or are they advocates for the canine species. The same goes for crates/ cages...how easy it is to restrain ..job done?!
The use of slip leads to 'control ' dogs on walks to me is equivalent to using choke chains. They are choke chains but rather than metal they are rope. They work as they hurt!
We have to ask ourselves what is a dogs walk about. Lead walks are an artificial way to give dogs exposure to their broader territory which they then mark, the perimeters to communicate their sense of use and ownership of that territory. Lead are a means of safety. The sense of smell is the most important sense a dog has; smell IS their world as sight tends to be ours and we have no idea the power and the language they own in interpreting the age, content and strength of 'peemail'. Dogs also use hearing and sight, and no doubt the touch of breeze and what that conveys. Social is so important.
To put a dog in the quandary of walking to heel on a choke lead/slip lead immediately restricts their ability to engage in their 'community' their shared territory. We are often taking dogs in who are not used to formal regular walks they have to learn to share territory and their first step is to learn to inform themselves of the scent tapestry of the outside. To restrict a dog to a short lead is to take away their sense of 'doghood' Shortened leads around streets ofcourse but still afford your dog the opportunity to involve themselves in the scenery environment' around them You may be going for a walk; they are in the moment IN THEIR WALK.
I tend to use extenders as I have developed second sense alert in controlling a dog and it gives the dog far more time to focus on their smell journey so we are both catching each other up as we go.
So please can you just think about your dogs experiential journey on their walks and not treat it as exercise alone...that may be your primary motivation but it is not your dogs.
Kennelled dogs have enough exercise in kennels, they do not have enough human contact and relaxation. They are environmentally deprived on varied smells; their ears are full to bursting with dog barking from the moment the first dog barks in the day and visually they are very deprived.
So think it through from a dog centred perspective and you will know how to enrich a dog's or your dog's experience and give them the scope on their walks they so deserve.
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