How to Use Martingale Show Leads

Written by helen jain
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How to Use Martingale Show Leads
Martingale show leads are often used for dog training. (dog show image by agno_agnus from

A Martingale show lead is a type of dog leash that is used to train a dog and is often used in dog shows. The design of the Martingale is a loop design that tightens snugly around the dog's neck so that it doesn't pull at the head, but is gentle enough to prevent choking. When used properly, dogs trained with a Martingale show lead will not pull at the leash.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Martingale show lead
  • Leash

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  1. 1

    Measure the dog's neck. The key to using a Martingale show lead is sizing the lead appropriately. A lead that is too small for the dog will choke the dog and a lead that is too large is ineffective. Measure the circumference of the dog's neck and order the Martingale show lead in the appropriate size.

  2. 2

    Slip the lead over the dog's head and attach the leash to the lead's small loop. Gently pull the leash so that the lead is snug, but not tight. According to the website, if the Martingale lead is properly sized, the large loop will not pull together completely.

  3. 3

    Give the dog a command such as "heel" and then start the action, such as walking. Keep the lead snug so that the dog does not pull at the lead and choke or otherwise injure itself. Train the dog as normal.

  4. 4

    Remove the lead and clean it if necessary. Martingales come in a variety of materials, including easily cleaned nylon. Removing the lead requires taking off the leash, letting the small loop go slack and pulling the lead over the dog's head.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid the use of a Martingale show lead on a dog that has a habit of pulling. Train the dog not to pull on the leash before using the Martingale or the dog could potentially choke.

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