How NOT to hold a leash—unless you want to land in the ER My friend ended up with a concussion, a small skull fracture, a small subdermal hematoma, and hearing loss.

A friend of mine recently became a pet parent for the first time and adopted a big, beautiful rescue dog. Her dog wasn’t trying to cause harm — she just went into reactionary mode when she saw another pup across the street — but she ended up dragging my friend across a busy street, head first.

My friend had the leash wrapped around her wrist several times, thinking that would give her more control over her dog. It’s a common misperception and, unfortunately, didn’t allow for a safe quick release of the leash. It proved to be very dangerous. She not only went head first, but head first backwards, as her dog had cut behind her. She ended up with severe head trauma – a concussion, a small skull fracture, a small subdermal hematoma, and hearing loss, not to mention quite a few bruises. She’s very lucky there weren’t any cars crossing the busy street at the time.

How NOT to Hold a Leash.

In the picture above, Sanchez is helping me demonstrate how to never hold a leash.  The most important rule for holding a leash for a dog of any size is ALWAYS make sure you can do a quick release. This rule applies whether your dog is wearing a collar or a halter, and weighs 9 or 90 pounds.

In the Vet Street video above, trainer Mikkel Becker demonstrates how to have a strong grip on your leash, while also being able to safely do a quick release. It should be a mandatory watch before adopting any dog.

Have you ever been pulled by your dog when you couldn’t release your leash? Thanks for sharing your stories in a comment below.

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina.

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