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3 Proper Ways to Hold a Dog Leash

Most of us don’t mind, if we have to hold a dog leash appropriately. But do you know it can harm you a lot as well as your pet too?

If you don’t hold a dog leash properly it can be fatal for both of you!

We all know how much our puppy enjoy the evening walk. When you don’t hold the leash properly while walking he may get rid of the leashes and goes off. Rest it is obvious that you know how hard it is to catch an off-leash dog.

You don’t have to worry, this article will teach you how to hold a dog leash appropriately and why it is important to hold it properly.

proper way to hold a dog leash

How to hold a Dog Leash Properly?

We have covered 3 perfect methods of holding a dog’s leashes safely. It is practically tested, so you can practice these tips and technique without having any second thought.

Let your explore begin!

1. Use thumb to Grip

To use the thumb trick you need to position your thumb at the loop handle of the leash. Later, collect some of the leash’s slack, and loop that over your thumb twice.

Holding a Dog Leash in the Right Way

The next step is to make layers of leash by closing your fist. Make an anchor. Remember to exit the leash with your hand on the little finger.

You can adjust the rest of the available length of the leash with your other hand. It is not necessary to hold your dog close to you, but have to keep enough slack so that your puppy doesn’t slip over the leash accidentally. Keep the leash or collar exit on both sides of the little finger of your hand.

If required you can give more slack to your puppy. For that, you just have to open your anchor hand with the thumb pointing up and release loops according to your requirement. The handle of the leash is near the thumb, it will help to prevent you from dropping the leashes.

Recall how you hold your baseball bat!

Note: Do you know how to make a dog leash out of climbing rope? Here is the answer for you.

2. Try Finger Grip

This technique is similar to the thumb grip. To start this, you have to place your thumb through the loop. Take some slack in your leash and start making a loop over your first finger instead of doing this with your thumb you have to use your fingers of the same palm.

Finger Grip Technique to Hold a Dog Leash

Make slab loops according to your requirement. Now, collect all the layers of the leash in your fist by placing your thumb on the top and exiting it on your pinky side. Now, this is your anchor.

Just in case you want to give your dog more slack, open your anchor with your thumb in the upper direction. Now it is easy to release all the slack at once as the loops are placed over your finger, so you can easily give more slack to your pet.

This is one of the most loved way to hold a dog leash.

3. The Accordion Grip Technique

In this technique, you have to cover the loop of the leash over the thumb or wrap around the knuckles of your four fingers. But sometimes it is not wrapped around anything.

Accordion Grip to Hold your Dog Properly

You have to layer the leash backward and forward a few time over the hand and grip that inside the fist with the rest leash exiting the little finger of your hand. Now, this becomes the anchor.

Hold the extra rope slack with another hand, if the canine is on the opposite part of the body from the anchor hand.

This technique tends to be the most suitable for pet parents who like to change the direction of the leash to both sides of the body while they are on a walk with you.

Note: You can also prepare a dog leash using a cobra stitch. Find out how to make a paracord dog leash using cobra stitch. Learn it over here.

Things to Avoid While You Hold a Dog Leash

Do you find holding a dog’s leash in the right style is not important?

Well, you will be amazed to learn the many ways people can think to connect themselves to their dog while walking. Some pet owners don’t hold a dog leash in the right style.

Some of the most common mistake pet owners do while holding the leash are:

  • Some people move and walk wrapping the leash around the arms, wrist, or hands
  • Putting the whole hand in the loop of the leash
  • Some pet owners think their leashes is a cellphone, they hold that like they are using the phone
  • Not to pay attention to the puppy while going to walk
  • Some people hold a dog leash very close and tight
  • Holding your dog leashes close to the body
  • Do not buy a short leash. Buy at least 4 to 6 foot leash
  • Holding the leash high above your waist line, hold the leash at the level of your hip
  • Holding your leash in the air

We all make some common mistakes while holding our dog to know how it harms your dog scroll more!

Read More: How to Train an Older Dog to Walk on a Leash | How to Train Your Dog to Walk Without a Leash

Why Holding a Dog Leash Appropriately is Necessary?

At this point, you have already learned how to comfortably hold a dog leash. It is important to ensure why we should bother about such behavior. If your puppy suddenly pulls hard on his leash, you should be quick enough to control him and yourself.

Learn More: You can learn about how to teach a puppy to walk on a leash here.

If you don’t hold your pet correctly there are chances that you may be facing the below issues:

  • You can lose the grip on the leash and drop it. And, once the dog is off-leash it is way too difficult to get them back
  • Sometimes your dog may pull you with a jerk. And when you have not held the leash tightly it can break bones of your fingers, wrist, or arm, or may damage cartilage, ligament.
  • There is a chance that you may even lose command of your canine and still remain affix to him. In this case, you both can come to a dangerous situation.

Therefore, it is highly important to use any of the three-technique listed in this article above. This will keep you and your dog safe while going for a walk. It is advisable to go for a larger leash as you can always shorten the leash if required.


How can I hold a dog leash properly?

To properly hold a dog leash, you can either use the thumb technique, or finger technique or try the accordion Grip method.

How to stop a dog from pulling you while dog walking?

To stop dog from pulling on a leash, you can simply keep treats reward, or a toy that he enjoys playing with. And at regular intervals reward your pet when he is walking on a loose leash by your side. Say no to your dog when he starts pulling and ask him to sit beside you. Once he is calm, you can proceed with your walk.

On which side should a dog walk the left or right?

Most of the dogs are trained to stay on the left-hand side of the humans, but for most of the dogs, it really doesn’t matter. According to some experts, they suggest you pick one side. Either choose left-hand side or right side. When you do so, you reduce the chances of accidentally falling over from going forward and backward.

Can a dog hurt if his leash is pulled tightly?

If you pull on the leash, it can give your dog injury to the neck. It’s never a good idea to yank any type of pet’s neck. When your dog pulls on a harness the neck is hurt the most while comparing to its body. The right way is to attach the harness properly adjusted to your dog’s comfort. It will help you to control your dog as well as avoid injury to him.

Summing it All Up!

If you properly hold a dog leash, it can keep your dog safe. It provides you to have good control over your dog, so that he does not fall. Basically, there are three grips methods that we have covered in this article. First the thumb grip, second finger grip, and third the accordion grip.

You can even use equipments such as head collar or front attach in place of shoulder attach harness. It will reduce your dog’s discomfort.

Note: We feel that retractable leashes are a bad idea for dogs who are still learning to not pull on the leash.

You can try any of these techniques and choose the best to overcome leash handling issues. Also, remember it is highly important to get a good leash for your dog and teaching him to walk on a leash.

If you try any of this method or have any fun trick other than this, do let us know in the comment section.

Also Read:

  1. How to Train a Dog to Walk on a Leash Beside You?
  2. Get a Stubborn Dog to Walk On a Leash
  3. What Do You Do If An Off-leash Dog Approaches You While You Are Walking a Dog?
  4. The Least Effective Method To Retrieve A Dog That Has Got Off-Leash
  5. DIY Dog Leashes


  1. How to Properly Hold a Leash to Prevent Upper Extremity Injuries – Flag Staff Business News
  2. Take The Lead, Safely! Leash Walking Skills Every Human Needs to Know – CattleDog Publishing
  3. Managing and Training Leash-Reactive Dogs – ASPCA