How to Make a Slip Lead

Updated November 21, 2016

Types of collars include slip or choke, harnesses, prong, traditional buckle and halter-type. Slip leads combine a slip or choke collar with a leash. Slip leads are easy to make and can be designed according to your needs. A slip lead is not recommended for puppies under 5 to 6 months of age, but it is one option for older dogs.

Take measuring tape and measure your dog's neck. Decide how much lead line you want from your hand to the dog's neck. With a small dog you will need longer length from your hand to the dog's neck. Add 2 inches for ring securing and 5 inches for handle fold. Typical finished slip leads are 4 to 6 feet long.

Decide on type of material, width and colour if available. Common materials are leather, braided nylon, chain and cotton. Rolled leather slides better than flat materials. Wide materials are more suitable for larger breed dogs. Most materials other than chain come in a variety of colours, and some chains have coloured coating. Purchase the length of lead needed.

Compare metal connectors. Both "O" and "D" rings are used. Wider material is more suited to a "D" ring, as it holds the attached end in place, but either can be used. The ring must be large enough so the material can easily move through it without constriction. Both types have ratings for pounds of pressure. Select a rating that is appropriate for your dog's weight. Purchase one ring for each slip lead you intend to make. recommends solid brass hardware for strength and durability.

Purchase carpeting thread to match the lead material and a pack of heavy-duty sewing needles.

Pull 2 inches of the lead material through the ring, fold over the ring and align the end with the lead on the other side. Use the thread and needle to sew the material together within 1/2 inch of the bottom, straight across. Sew across again another 1/2 inch up and again 1/2 inch up from that one. For security, sew each side up and down at least one inch leaving enough space so that the ring can be turned.

Measure 5 inches at the opposite end, fold over and secure the bottom 2 inches the same way as the ring was done, in order to make a handle.


Pull the lead through the ring to form a loop. Face your dog, with the loop in your right hand and the end of the lead in your left, so that it forms a "P" shape (not a "9"), and place the loop over the dog's head. Lead your dog from its left side so that the slip lead easily tightens with pressure and releases as pressure is reduced.


Never leave a slip collar or slip lead on a dog when you are not with it. Don't tie your dog up using either of them to prevent accidental choking.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Lead material
  • "O" or "D" ring
  • Carpet thread
  • Heavy-duty sewing needle
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About the Author

Daniel Cobalt lives in Georgia and has been writing online for over five years. He has a technical certificate in printing from the Philadelphia Printing School. His areas of expertise include fitness, home schooling, parenting, personal relationships, small business ownership and pet topics including breeding, training and responsible ownership.