How To Use A Figure Of 8 Dog Lead?

Let’s be real here. Our canine companions are our true best friends. We would do anything for them, and want to enjoy a long, happy, peaceful life with them. But…if you have a dog that makes you feel a little like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, it can be difficult to enjoy simple pleasures such as dog walks.

Some dogs, especially larger breeds, or ones that are young and adolescent can struggle with impulse control. This means that any distraction such as a smell, sight, another dog, other people, or any other animals and obstacles can be a big deal for them. They’ll want to lunge forward, run after them, and ultimately drag you along with them. 

This isn’t pleasurable for you to say the least, and it also isn’t good for the dog. Of course, it is negative behaviour, but it can also be dangerous for your dog and stressful for them in these environments if they are pulling and overwhelmed by everything they see. 

One of the answers to your prayers is a figure of 8 dog lead. So, let’s look at what they are, how to use them, and what the benefits are. 

What Is A Figure Of 8 Dog Lead?

A figure of 8 dog lead is named as such because of its shape and position on the dog. This lead works by applying a simple pressure and release system, which can prevent your dog from pulling or lunging on walks.

This can ensure that your dog is not overreacting to other dogs or people in the area, is not stressing you, or itself out, and you can both enjoy your walks more often. A figure of 8 lead is a kind of slip lead that goes around both the neck and the nose, so that you have more control, and can guide your dog better.

This is perfect for dogs that are easily distracted on walks, or pull too much, are overly excited by smells or others around them.

When your dog is pulling on the lead, the figure of 8 positioning applies a small amount of pressure on the snout and neck, and they will soon learn that when they stop pulling and lunging forwards, the pressure is released.

This is a proven method used by many dog trainers to calm excitable doggies down, and improve their behaviour while out on walks.

How To Use A Figure Of 8 Dog Lead?

The first step is to ensure the lead fits your dog properly. You want the lead to apply pressure, not pain upon your dog. Be sure to check guides online for sizing purposes before purchasing one. If you lay the lead out on a flat surface, you’ll see the figure of 8 shape. There will be two loops. One for the neck, and one for the nose.

The neck loop will have the lead coming off the end, so you know which loop to put around the face. You can alter the size of the loops to ensure your dog is fitted in it correctly. Of course, when pulling the lead, it will get tighter, so be sure that it’s not too close fitting that it would hurt your pet.

Start by putting the larger loop over the dog’s head, and with the metal bit, you can fix the figure of 8 shape in place. The lead will be twisted into the 8 shape, so then place the smaller loop over the muzzle, and fit it nicely around the nose with the other metal loop, and fix in place. This will ensure that your dog will not get free of the lead when out on a walk.

Then, once fitted around the neck and muzzle, you are ready to take your dog on a walk. It may take some getting used to, and your dog may not like the lead fitted around the mouth, so be sure to practise with some positive reinforcement around your home or back yard first.

When on a walk, if your dog pulls, they will feel the pressure and will soon stop. Again, reward good behaviour with high value treats. One of the many benefits of this type of lead is that the lead around the muzzle allows for more control.

If your dog becomes distracted, you can guide the head, and they can place their focus back on you, the handler. Let’s look at some other benefits.

Benefits Of A Figure Of 8 Dog Lead

  • Reduces pulling and lunging
  • Allows more control over the dog
  • Restricts the dog in a safe way
  • Calmer walks
  • Does not cause discomfort
  • Humane training method
  • Cost effective and affordable training solution
  • Makes for a better walking experience


To summarise, if you are at your wits end with your dog pulling on walks, and you are unsure how to train them out of this unwanted behaviour, then it’s time to try a figure of 8 lead. We recommend the number one bestseller on Amazon, the Dog and Field figure of 8 lead.

These leads are easy to use, and cost effective, providing much calmer walks and a less stressed out dog and owner. As long as it is properly fitted and used, it will not cause harm to your dog, and you can finally have the relaxing dog walks you have been dreaming of.


  • Jonathan Spaeth

    I'm a professional business person who loves dogs. I'm motivated by a passion for dogs and a deep understanding of pet care and behavior. I have more than 10 years of experience in animal healthcare—my lifelong passion for helping dogs.

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