Announcing: The No Nylon Lead Coalition

I realize the headline to the left is upsetting. It is upsetting to me as well. But I would like to use the story from The Daily Record in Wooster, OH to open some discussion regarding dog training and the tools used to achieve that objective.

The recent story states that charges were filed after an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper witnessed a man strike his dog an estimated four or five times with a nylon lead in an “attempt to train it”. The charges were later reduced and the man pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after it was determined that the dog was not injured.

The idea of beating a dog makes me ill and I am glad there was some recourse for the actions of this man. Personally I would like to see him forced to take and pass a decent obedience course or otherwise relinquish the dog. The dude needs some serious education, not to mention anger management.

But, to the point of this discussion: How come no one is rising up and asking for a ban on nylon leads?

We have forces pushing for bans on electronic training equipment as well as other tools, yet here is a clear case of abuse of a tool. The general mantra is that we should not have tools that have the potential to be misused available to the general public.

So lets get rid of the potential for any other dog to be hurt by the nylon lead. Actually while we’re at it, we better go for the cotton, leather and chain leads also…oh and perhaps rope too. If there is potential for these tools to be misused, it is best to do away with them.



  • Preface: I really like your site in general. Kudos. But….

    … you obviously didn’t see the actual video of this incident, huh?

    The dog was on a harness for tracking and attempting to aggress on the handler, so the handler attempted to quickly reattach the lead to the dog’s slip collar so that he would have some to correct the dog/defend himself should it happen again. As he was attempting the switch, the dog came at him again, so yes, he struck it with a nylon lead to defend himself/subdue the dog.

    Have you ever whacked yourself with a nylon lead? It doesn’t hurt. And for God’s sake, if a dog came at me and it was all I had, I’d sure as hell do the same thing. You can argue about the appropriateness of this whole show in public, but I don’t think the man’s an animal abuser.

    And, sorry, but I find the comment “take a decent obedience course” laughable. Yes, he should take his highly trained dual purpose patrol dog to the local club, I’m sure they’d have lots to offer him! Haha… A working malinois is not your average housepet and does not benefit from being treated as such.

    • Hello Eggs,
      No, I did not see the video. My article is based on the information in the news clip included in the blog. The information there says nothing about a working dog, a Malinois or any of the details you’ve mentioned. Those are not details I was presented with. My opinions are based on the information presented in the Wooster news clipping. Do you have a link to the video that shows the incident in question or perhaps further documentation that gives us all more information?
      Thanks for sharing,

  • It reminds me of the kind of politics that were starting in the schools when I was in High School. We had to start defining what items were dangerous or contraband. We began discussing fingernail files and almost anything that could be pointy. Its amazing they didn’t ban pencils and pens. The have sharp points and handles. I believe I’ve seen more injuries with devices like that and paper clips than fingernail files.
    Soon we’ll be discussing whether incessant and improper clicking of behaviors is considered mentally abusive causing neurotic behavior in dogs. That will be after we ban head halters for spinal column injuries. Then comes boogie bags for the herding trainer, squirt bottles, etc…

  • I had the unfortunate experience of witnessing someone hit a dog with their car. Perhaps cars should also be banned! ……just sayin’

  • The people who push for bans on electronic collars refuse to concede that there is any humane way of using them. I had an email exchange with one of the leaders of the movement in Great Britain. I suggested that more education was needed, that people need to understand how the modern collars work. She claimed that the only reason they work is because they hurt the dog. My response was to ask “If equipment has to hurt the dog to work, how can a clicker possibly work? How dies it hurt the dog?” She didn’t reply. I was hoping to make her think. It didn’t work.

  • Great post!
    I think there is a potential to misuse ANY training tool, including treats.
    I met with a potential client last night who had been through previous training with one of their 3 dogs and the first thing they said was that they didnt want to resort to “shocking” their dog. This was before I even went into talking about the remote collar. After the demonstration with all 3 of their dogs they say “we wont have to carry around a bunch of treats”!

  • Great posting Robin!
    There is a Latin phrase: “Abusum non tollit usus” – the abuse of a tool is not an argument against its proper use.
    I think this applies to ANY tool or training method (including the purists of purely positive training). I guess common sense is just not that common any more.

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