Do you ever look around our dog community and notice what kind of leash people are using on their dogs? There is a lot you can tell about the dog owner and a dog with what leash choice they have chosen. The most common leash choices are a simple flat collar with a clip leash, a retractable leash, a clip lead that is attached to a harness, a choke chain, and if you’re lucky you’ll see a mendota leash.
The best leash to use for your dog is called a Mendota leash or Brittish Style, it is a leash and collar in one. If you properly use this leash your dog is unable to slip out of it, and it delivers a consistent contact on your dog’s neck.
For some odd reason none of the big pet stores sell a useful product like this one. We sell these leashes (in yellow of course), or you can find the products directly on the mendota website. If you have a small dog or a puppy I would recommend buying the 3/4 inch width 6 foot long leash, and once your puppy is past 4 months of age and is a middle to large breed you can upgrade them to the 1/2 inch 6 foot long leash. The leashes come in all sorts of stylish colors and what’s awesome about them is that they can be put in the washer if you’ve been working on off leash training and dragging your leash in the dirt with your pup, or if they accidentally pee on it.
Putting on a Mendota leash is easy, simply slip the leash over their head and bring it up to the base of the dogs skull. You can usually feel a little bump on the back/base of your dogs skull, from here, you see that leather stopper? Slide that stopper down as snug as it will go, the more snug the more consistent. Since I train most dogs to walk on my left side, I like to put the leather stopper on their right ear, that way when I give them a tap with my wrist flick, it gives a better instruction.
When comparing this leash to a flat collar, do you notice your collar and leash slide up and down the neck and side to side? That right there is giving your dog mixed signals and it’s harder to walk your dog or get their attention.
Typically you’ll see dogs that have a harness or a retractable leash pulling their owners on their walks. Who’s walking who?! When you are taking your dog on a walk it should be enjoyable; being pulled in every direction is not my idea of fun. If you think about sled dogs who run the Iditarod, what are they wearing? A Harness! Harnesses actually teach your dog to pull forward; it distributes their weight so they can pull. Continuing to let your dog pull forward while the pressure is being distributed is actually training your dog to pull and not to walk with you.
When you see dogs play, where are they typically interacting with the other dog? Their necks right? You rarely see a dog bite at the core of another dog’s body; dogs learn the best from pressure on their necks, not core. So if you’d like to improve your walk, or improve your dog from not pulling forward, I would lose that harness.
Mendota leashes are different from all of the other leashes listed above because it gives your pooch a consistent pressure on their necks. A Mendota leash is just one of the many tools that we use to train dogs. Like everything else, we can’t just rely on just one tool. Mendota are the best leash to use when training your dog the walk as they will improve your consistency point on your dogs neck, and give you the sense of security that your dog won’t slip out of their collar or harness.
– Ashley Rodriquez, KeenDog Trainer