My 4-in-1 Convertible 

…Dog Lead, that is. 😉

I wanted to create a dog lead that could be converted into other types of leads. The dogs I walk at the Refuge only require a standard lead, or a harness and lead (of which more in a later post). Boarders require walking on a slip lead. Instead of carrying around 2 leads, I wanted to just use 1. 

It’s such a simple concept, really, and anyone can do it. Here are 4 different ways my lead can be used.

1) as a Long Lead. It’s cut to be a 6 foot long lead, however after sewing the ends and the loop handle, several inches were sacrificed so the end length is more like 5.5 feet, which is still a good 1.5 feet longer than a standard 4 foot lead.

2) as a Slip Lead. The problem with using a standard lead as a makeshift slip lead, is that after pulling the end of the lead through the loop handle around the dog’s neck, you’re left holding the snaphook/clip part of the lead. Which isn’t terribly comfortable or secure to hold. There’s where my handy sewn-in tab with attached D ring comes into play. Simply clip your snaphook/clip to the D ring et voila! you have a nifty and secure loop handle.

3) as a Standard Length Lead. When used in the standard configuration, i.e clip to the dog’s collar, loop handle at the other hand, by clipping the Carabiner to the D ring on the sewn-in tab towards the other end of the lead, the lead is thus shortened to about 4 feet.

4) as a Double Lead. The Carabiner that lives with the extra D ring on the lead, when it’s not in use, can be detached and clipped to the end of the loop handle. This creates a lead with 2 clips, that can be used for example, to clip to both the front and back of a harness. 

And here’s the lead itself:

Very simple, really. See in the photo above the placement of the sewn-in tab and D ring. Also in the photo the Carabiner is in the Double Lead Configuration position. 

Here’s Francis the Staffy x Shar Pei with the lead in action:

As a Long Lead.

As a Slip Lead. Next photo shows how the loop handle is formed using the lead’s snaphook/clip and the D ring.

As a Standard Length Lead. Here the Carabiner simply clips to the D ring on the sewn-in tab, thus shortening the lead.

Francis did not have a 2-point harness on, so I could not demonstrate how the Double Ended Lead configuration looks. Instead, I’ve clipped both the snaphook/clip and the Carabiner to Francis’s collar here.

Of course, you can buy such a lead from a pet store, but it will set you back $30-40 dollars, depending on the brand. Making this lead at home cost me less than $10 in total. If you have any skills in sewing at all (and I’m no expert, I can tell you 😉), I recommend giving this a go yourself. You’ll have a lead that not only looks pretty, but is functional.

This was my first, so it’s a prototype. Having the fabric sewn only to one side of the webbing means it’s a bit rough on the hands. So, for my next lead I wrapped my fabric around the webbing completely and sewed along both sides to secure. It’s a far better feel in the hand, really comfortable and also adds strength to the lead. Aesthetically, it also looks prettier.

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