Dog Forum banner

Leash Tie Out?

8807 Views 35 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Sthelena
Does anyone use a leash tie-out type thing in the yard when playing with their dog? I don't have a fenced in yard and am probably getting a dog sooner than I am getting the yard fenced. The dog I am probably going to foster from the shelter likes to play fetch so I was hoping to come up with a way to play fetch with her in the yard but have her still be "on leash" so she doesn't run off, obviously. The leashes i have are 6 ft leashes so I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for leash tie-outs or long leashes or any experience in general with playing with a dog on leash in the backyard? Thanks!
Not open for further replies.
1 - 10 of 36 Posts
wish i'd seen this thread B4...


tie-outs really aren't very safe, for reasons above noted in passing - Sudden hard STOPS! when the dog runs out of 'line' can cause serious injury, including paralysis, death, or other spinal injuries.
The abrupt force of their entire body-weight on their neck at speed is bad, bad, bad. :(

I would strongly urge U to send the new stuff back for a refund, & get an overhead tie-out, instead.
They provide more running-room, they don't tangle around obstacles & get shorter & shorter, trapping the dog in full sun or away from water, etc, & they let the dog shift from sun to shade, if the line is set-up to offer both.

Dog-trolleys are not a new invention, but they're a big improvement over any corkscrew tie-out, & unlike a ground-level tie, the dog won't entangle anyone who comes to visit them, nor can they flip over or knock-over their water supply, leaving themselves to thirst.

U can use the frame of the side- or rear-door as one end of the cable, & use a post of wood or metal as the other terminus - wood is simpler, as U can screw the eye-bolt into it, but galvanized or powder-coated steel is much more durable, & will last thru many dogs' lifetimes.
Be sure to install the safety-stops as explained in the instructions, so the dog can't go AROUND the post/s at the end/s - that's what keeps the dog free of entanglements & able to move the entire length of the free cable.

the usual cautions apply:
- don't leave the dog on the trolley when U're not at home.
- even when U *are* at home, Don't leave the dog solo if they're under 20#, or the area hosts dog-hostile predators.
Toy-dogs anywhere are potential raptor-food, & larger dogs are defenseless against bears, cougar, coyote, etc, or even other dogs, when tied.
- if U go inside for any reason, it's best to take the dog along:
malicious humans can drop by, or a curious child comes over, & Bad Things Happen. Ur dog will pay the price.
- be sure the water-supply is clean, cannot be tipped, & is plentiful; a flat-sided S/S bucket spring-clipped to an eye-bolt in the post at the far end, or clipped to the metal banister by the side- or rear-door, is a good option.
It's off the ground, it's well-secured, & the bucket can be sanitized.

If the dog is outside solo despite any warnings i offer, at least CHECK on them frequently! - silence may not be a good sign. :eek:

- terry

See less See more
trolleys & posts // a temporary zip-line, made safe for trees

Thank you for the advice!
I'm just looking for a temporary fix until I get a fence. I only foster dogs, so they're only with me temporarily. Typically, they always are on leash with me when outside, but this one really likes to play fetch, so I was trying to come up with a way to play fetch with her in the yard, while she is still technically "on leash."

Do these overhead leash tie outs have to be tied to trees on either end?
I'll look into them!

actually, for the sake of the trees, that's not a good option. :( It will slowly but surely kill the 'outside' side of the tree.
There's a linear relationship from root-tip to branch-tip, & interruptions will kill the overhead branch/es - the pressure from the outer curve of cable-noose slowly crushes the thin layer of cambium under the protective bark, & the cambium is where food & water travel upward.

Cambium is why deer or rabbits can gnaw a shallow girdle all the way around a young tree, & kill it - dead as a stone.
The bark of a sapling isn't sufficiently tough & thick to keep their teeth out, & the cambium is the tasty living layer that they gnaw thru the thin dead sheathe to reach, & eat.

U can use a post set in a poured wet-mix concrete, as is usually done, or skip the messy mixing -- set the post, add gravel & dry 'crete, wet and mix it "in place".
Mix dry small gravel with double the volume of powdered concrete well, so the gravel is distributed; pour the dry mix evenly into the hole around the post while someone holds the post upright. Pour water over the dry mix, & use a thin piece of rebar to poke thru the dry-mix to create the slurry: stab, 'open', pour, pull, Repeat: stab, open... etc.
Depending on the ambient temp, curing takes longer in cool weather; concrete must entirely set-up before it's stressed.

TIPS for cold-weather curing -

Use wooden posts & screw the eye-bolt in, or metal posts that were drilled to accept a bolt-style eyebolt that takes a hex-nut & lock-washer to secure it, opposite the eye.
Or U can use a 'collar' type fastener with an eye - the curved collar is in 2 halves, with a hinge, & the eye goes vertically into a shaped slot. The collar fastens with a bolt & wing-nut.

For a fastening system that goes ON TOP of a square metal post, go to 4:15 on this how-to video, & check out the anchoring system used for the shade-sail.

here's another option:
a zip-line of climbing rope running horizontal, using a LOCKING carabiner as the metal 'loop' overhead.

however, i wouldn't use a leash, as seen in the photos - too many dogs can shear thru their leash over time, by gnawing a little each time they bite it. I'd use a drop-down cable of nylon-coated bike-cable, which any big-box hardware store can tailor-make to a custom length.

Don't forget, the rope ZIP-LINE won't have 'stops' to keep the dog from getting tangled around obstacles!
Overhead trolleys that come pre-packaged for installation, include the safety-stops.

But the zip-line, being temporary, goes up & comes back down each time it's used -
the trees will be OK, so long as U pad the outside curve with eggcrate-style heavy-duty foam under the rope. That inexpensive camping-mattress that U never use is a good source - cut 4 full-width slices, 1-ft deep, & stack them facing each other, flat sides out, egg-crate inward.
Wrap the stacked foam pieces in abrasion-resistant backpack material [U can cut-up a GoodWill-sourced back-pack & not cry over it], duct-tape across the gap to secure the wrapped foam at the height where U want it on the tree, & then wrap the rope zip-line entirely around it, securing it to itself with the spring-clip at the end.
Do the same at the other end. // If they don't look too hideous, the foam-pads can stay in place - just take the rope off every time U finish playing 'fetch'.

Periodically, every month or 2 for fast-growing young trees, or for big mature trees, every 4 to 6-months, cut the tape at the center & bridge across it with a new piece of duct-tape, to allow the tree to continue growing.
Tree trunks don't grow UP - they grow <=== OUT ===>, with the tree adding girth. Anything that doesn't expand, slowly strangles the tree.

Connect the drop-down to any inexpensive sturdy Y-harness, adjusted to fit snug & flat; test the fit by pulling with both hands to the same side, one hand on the shoulder-strap & the other on the heart-girth; it should only slip an inch or two, not roll to one side.
No hardware should touch or even get close to the dog's tender 'armpits', where the elbows swing - no buckles, no slides.
The harness protects the dog's spine from serious injury if they HIT the end of the line with force.

- terry

See less See more
together? // A trolley, with a long cable on it?

You can use the long cable like you see on Amazon, and you can also make a cable run, using line and pulleys.

I'm not sure if this is meant to describe a combination of the 2? -
IOW, install a zip-line with an overhead trolley, & then put a long-cable on the trolley, instead of a short vertical drop-cable, to clip onto the dog's collar.

A long-cable on a trolley creates the same hazards as a tie-out at ground-level -
it tangles around obstacles, it can overturn the only water-source, or it can kink & shorten, but even-more dangerously, it allows the dog to BUILD MOMENTUM on a long run, then run out of cable, & hit the end of the line with jarring force, possibly causing serious injury.

Just like a Gentle Leader headcollar, which cannot be combined with a long-line nor with an extending leash / retractable reel / Flexi, some combinations of tools create hazards for dogs, & a long cable on an overhead trolley is one of them - the longer the cable, the shorter the trolley must be, as the posts at each end are meant to be blocked-off so the dog can't encircle them, & get stuck.

If U have a long narrow yard, with a solid wall or a privacy fence at the far end, a short trolley going side-to-side with a long line would still not be as safe or as usable as a trolley going the length of the narrow yard, if that makes sense?

If i've misinterpreted, i apologize - I'm just not sure how the 2 go together, or maybe U install both separately? :confused:

- terry

See less See more
one more time...

@SpicyBulldog -
the confusion is - i think!, i could be wrong - easily clarified. :D

A "long-cable connected to an overhead trolley" was what I thought YOU were suggesting -
the short vertical-cable that comes packaged with the trolley, is the one that I would use - & is also what i'd suggest. :)

All clear, now?
- terry

See less See more
I've installed commercial dog-trolleys for clients - so far, they've all worked.

... I'd never trust a pre packaged one, myself.

Why not?
They vary slightly in quality, i'd want brass or bronze snaps [not nickel-plated or chromed steel, which will rust],
but otherwise, they're all practically identical -
nylon-coated metal cable for trolley & drop-line, a spring-coil to absorb impact, 2 stops so the dog can't run around the 'posts'.

they're straightforward to install, & surely sturdier than the 'nylon leash drop-line with a carabiner thru the wrist-loop' shown as a DIY for campers traveling in recreational-vehicles. ;)
Half the dogs i know would gnaw thru that leash in 20-minutes, working when nobody was watching them, & be off like a shot...
Nylon-coated cable can't be gnawed thru. :thumbsup:

BTW, in the left-hand photo, if U don't recognize the dog-breed, that's a marmalade tabby on the trolley. :D
The line goes the full width of the house, with cover overhead for foul weather, some shade, & the substrate underfoot varies, too - paving, or landscape bark over soil.

- terry



See less See more
dogs that cut wire-twist bike or airline cable?

... dogs can in fact chew through cable / coated cable, just so you know.

Not unless it's super-cheap 1/4-inch. :rolleyes: So much for 'durable' & well-made, :rofl:

Sure, dogs can gnaw off the coating, yes - 3/4-inch twisted metal strands under it, no. :)
Unless U have one of those hardened-steel jaw dogs, that cut padlocks from hasps for fun, in their spare time? :D

[Even bolt-cutters have a hard time slicing cable thicker than 1/4-inch. Some can manage 3/16ths.]

- terry



See less See more
"How *Could!* U!..." // Meh. I give it only a 6 of 10, as a 'flounce'.

I really don't find people's dogs escaping or ruining their teeth funny. I think I pointed out not durable or reliable, hence one reason I wouldn't personally use them. There are several. As well as chewing on the coating (which some dogs like to do) still has hazards.


oh, for pity's sake, Spicy. :rolleyes: Tying-out a dog on the equivalent of metal embroidery-floss is ridiculous -
& may i remind U, these are all hypothetical dogs. Guilt-tripping me is pointless.

My bicycles never ran about at 25-mph on their own, nor pulled on their locking-cables, but i didn't BUY 1/4-inch cable to secure them.

I've yet to meet anyone, IRL or virtually, or even hear of anyone, whose dog "ruined their teeth" by chewing on metal rope.

Chewing on tennis-balls, yes! - many, many, many. Dentin exposed, end of the tooth ground-off, curved 'socket' to fit the abrasive ball into, yup - very very common.
"tennis-ball mouth" is actually a known issue; there's no similar term for "wire cable mouth".
I hate to see dogs with tennis-balls - denuding the ball is part of the "fun" for many dogs, & there are so many mouth-friendly options that don't get as filthy as fuzzy tennis-balls, & WON'T grind their teeth to the gumline like a wet abrasive disk.

Feel free to tell me how ignorant i am, not knowing any metal-rope-chewing dogs or their owners, & also how cruel, for thinking that anyone who secures a dog bigger than a Chihuahua with 1/4-inch wire cable is delusional.
The vast majority of dogs that i've seen on tie-out trolleys aren't itty-bitty toys, they're typically in the Med-Lg range of 40 to 60#. // 1/4-inch cable, to secure a dog of that size, would look like string.

I can't wring my hands over an issue that's never been raised. I've worked with many dogs who had a rock-chewing compulsion, & the consequent cracked & broken teeth, or who swallowed stones, & required surgery, & several who'd been kept in extreme confinement, & damaged their teeth trying to escape, or simply gnawing with boredom.
If any owner comes to me with a cable-chewing dog, i'll refer them to U as an expert on the subject. :p

- terry

See less See more

Okay when you have time I'd like the info to find the cables.

Find what cables?

I installed ordinary, commercially-made, pre-packaged overhead trolleys.
I didn't custom-make some 1940s Packard version, with beefy hardware & cable double or more the thickness of OTC versions.

The only 'custom' cables I've had made for me, were for double-ended tethers to be installed on eye-bolts in baseboards.
I chose my cable, the dude at the Big-Box Home Improvement Store cut it, clamped the swiveling spring-clips on it, & i took it home. // It's been way-too long for me to recall what the thickness was, it's over 20-years ago. I just picked something substantial that wasn't ridiculously thick.
The tethers are under 2-ft long, they aren't running between posts & only serve as a station for the dog.

- terry

See less See more
1 - 10 of 36 Posts
Not open for further replies.