How to use a longline

How To Use A Longline

A longline is used to give freedom to a dog who is still learning recall. They are a fixed length but come in different sizes and materials. The recommendation is a 5m longline in any material other than “nylon rope.” These will cause injuries easier than the flat nylon or biothane. 

Safety For Your Dog

Longlines should be used with a well fitted harness, which is recommended for growing puppies anyway. This is due to the fact your dog can reach high speeds and come to a sudden stop at the end of the longline which could cause injuries if attached to a collar. Be mindful if your dog gets tangled in the longline, it’s easy to get their feet wrapped up, usually they will untangle themselves as long as they have enough line to do so.

Safety For You

Never wrap the longline around your hands – instead it should look like spaniel ears that if you let go of the longline your hand would be completely free.

Putting some knots in the longline enables you to stand on the line without it slipping through your feet (especially in wet weather.) Putting a few near the end also means you know when the line is running out so you can get your dog’s attention without them getting to the end of the line.

Using A Longline

Loop the longline over your hands like spaniel ears – never wrap the line around your hands, if they suddenly pull it can damage your wrist and/or hands. Gradually release the line one ear at a time as your dog walks further away from you and wrap it up as they come nearer to you – this will help with reducing foot tangles. 

The longline should only be dropped to trail behind your dog in safe areas and when your dog’s recall is becoming more reliable. Don’t let it drop in areas where if your dog ran off they could become tangled in hedges or around trees etc.,


If your dog ignores the first time you ask them to come back you are able to stand on the line, walk up the line and do a very short recall by placing your treat right on the end of your dog’s nose, turning them to face you and doing a recall. This prevents your dog from thinking “it doesn’t matter how many times they call – I’m having fun and I’m not going back”

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