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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Maria

Faulty Leashes - Keep dogs safe and replace worn leashes.

We do tens of thousands of walks a year for Philadelphia pups, which means we spend a LOT of time at the other end of the leash. One of the SCARIEST things that can happen to a professional dog walker (other than off-leash dogs running up on us, but that is another blog post) is a leash malfunction. Typically this happens with older leashes that are ready to be replaced and is preventable when you know what to look for.

Yesterday, one of our Minders found themselves with a leash and no dog attached. (Thankfully this dog ran right down the block to her home and was easily recovered.) They sent me a photo of the leash clasp, and sure enough, it was out of alignment. We immediately emailed the client to ask for a new leash. These alignment issues are sneaky, because the leashes are fine, until they are not, and when they pop off, it takes us by surprise. If there is anything that will send your heart rate and anxiety through the roof, it's an unexpected dog off-leash.

A faulty leash that could pop off a collar
The bar and the loop do not align!
A picture of a faulty dog leash
This one also needs to be replaced!

You can see in the photos above that the release bar is just SLIGHTLY off kilter. What can happen is if a pup moves in just the right way (or if we, as walkers, put JUST the right angle of pressure on the leash) the clasp will be undone and pop off mid-walk. This leash might be FINE for months and months before it happens again (or it might never happen again!) but we can't trust that it won't. Dogs do NOT have to be pulling excessively for these sort of faulty leashes to pop. It's more about the angle of pressure on the leash that causes it to release. It can happen at anytime.

Contrast the leashes above to the photo below. Even though this leash is "well loved," the bar and loop are perfectly aligned and they do not wiggle or jiggle. (A fair amount of pressure is required to depress the release tab.) This is a secure leash clasp.

A picture of a leash clasp.
Your leash should look like this!

What does your leash clasp look like? Take it from us - this is not a risk you want to take! Replace your leashes when they show signs of this type of wear. (We wrote another blog post about this in 2019 because it's worth repeating and revisiting. Safety first!)

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