Here is the one tool every rescuer must own

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If you ever hope to save a free-running dog, there is one tool you must have immediately at hand. It is a canine slip leash, the combination collar-and-leash that is easy to get onto a dog you barely have control over. Many dogs, once they feel the presence of a collar and leash, become compliant and easy to handle. Adjusting a standard collar is really not possible in a rescue situation. Many pet owners have never seen a slip lead.

I have used many different slip leash over the years and the best ones come from a company called Mendota Pet, of St. Paul, MN. These are rope leads, made of polypropylene, and available in 3/8 and 1/2-inch widths and 4 and 6-foot lengths. More than 30 colors and patterns are available, at variable prices. All are made in the U.S.A.

The leads have a handle-loop at one end that is very easy on the rescuer’s hands. The other end has a loop and metal ring that can be opened wide and, once over the dog’s neck, tightened using an attached leather keeper. This is easier than it sounds and very quick to use. The end with the ring and keeper becomes the collar.

If you order a Mendota slip lead, please buy a few. I keep at least one in my car at all times, usually hanging from the headrest where I can easily grab it when bailing out of the car after a dog. It’s likely you will loan your slip lead out, so adding an engraved dog tag may be a good idea if you expect to ever see the lead again. This is also the perfect — better than what you already own/never can have too many — gift for a fellow rescuer.

Don’t expect to find a wide variety of these at your local pet shop. This is a specialty item best ordered online for better selection.

Mendota Pet offers a lifetime (of the dog) guarantee, but I’ve never been able to keep one of the leashes for nearly that long. I have given several to neighbors for use when their (or my) dog escapes for a neighborhood stroll.

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Mendota also makes slip leashes with a built-in swivel that reduces the need to change hand positions while walking the dog. I have never used one, but will include it with my next Amazon Prime order.

If you order from these links, I will get a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you.




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