How to Choose, Fit and Use a Martingale Leash

Martingale collars were originally designed for training sighthounds and other breeds who have long, slender necks and small heads. The unique build of these dogs make it very easy to pull out of a regular collar while on lead. Traditional collars had a tendency to put too much pressure on the throat, often resulting in tracheal collapse.

However, the dog world soon discovered that martingale collars are ideal for other breeds as well. Martingales have since become a fan favorite with trainers of nervous dogs, dogs that easily slip collars, and so much more.

The Mendota Dog Walker Martingale Leash and Petite Martingale Show Leads are ideal as a combined leash and collar system for training, everyday walks or special show and field activities. While traditional collars allow for easy escape, martingale collars stay taut when dogs pull against them.

Martingale Leash and Dog Walker Product Highlights

  • Martingale Collar and Leash Combination
  • Tightens when dog pulls and loosens when dog stops pulling
  • Safer and more comfortable than a choke chain that's always tight
  • Available in dozens of color and design options
  • Secure fit prevents dogs from escaping or backing out of collar
  • Made with durable polypropylene rope
  • Super soft and comfortable in your hand
  • Easily stows in pocket
  • Colorfast and protected against UV light
  • Oil tanned leather accents
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Brass, Brushed Nickel or Black Metallic Hardware
  • Made in the USA 🇺🇸
  • Perfect for 'escape artists' and breeds with narrow necks
  • Adjustable fit is perfect for growing puppies
  • Doesn't cause matting or bald spots like standard collars
NOTE: Martingales are NOT recommended for tie-out use, regular day use, or during group play sessions

Martingale Leads vs Slip Leads

Martingale collars function similar to a traditional slip collar. That is, they tighten around the dog’s neck when they pull and help keep the dog from slipping out of the collar.

Martingale vs Slip

Mendota Pet Slip Leads are ideal in that they have a special leather slide that allows you to set the lead to your dog’s neck size. This stops them from escaping the lead when the line is slack. But, the martingale collar features two loops that form a single loop on your dog’s neck, making it safer for the dog than a slip lead.

The biggest difference between martingale and slip collars is in how they function.

The martingale tightens against the dog's neck using the two lengths of extra rope. In this way, the collar tightens with a center lift against itself.

When fitted properly, martingale collars should not choke dogs. Due to the way martingale collars are constructed, there is a maximum point as to how tight a collar can be. As such, martingale collars are seen as a safe and human way to keep dogs under control.

What Do Martingale Leads Look Like?

Martingale collars are available in a multitude of designs and designs. At Mendota Pet, we have designed the Dog WalkerMartingale Show Leads and the Petite Martingale. 

The martingale leads at Mendota Pet are made from a soft, pliable diamond braid that comes with an adjustable leather slide to get a comfortable fit around your dog's neck.

Martingale Sizes

The Petite Martingale

Petite Martingale

The petite martingale is made with nylon and has a lead length of 48". This Leash and collar in one is designed for exercise, training, and show and field. A great alternative to the Slide and Loop Leads as the collar restricts tightening around your pet's neck. Overall length of lead is 48".

The Petite Martingale is available in widths of: 

  • Fine
  • Medium

Two collar sizes: 

  • 8" 
  • 10"

Four colors:

Martingale Petite Colors

Show Martingale

Show Martingale

The Show Martingale is made from a soft, pliable diamond braid that comes with an adjustable leather slide to get a comfortable fit around your dog's neck. Each Show Martingale Lead has a diameter of 1/8" and length of 40".

Three collar sizes:

  • 8"
  • 10"
  • 12"

13 colors

Show Martingale Colors

Dog Walker

Dog Walker

The Dog Walker is designed to easily slip around the neck to secure your dog without it tightening. This is a great alternative to the Slip Lead! These are wonderful for medium to large dogs and both the small dog walker and large dog walker is available in leash lengths of 4 ft or 6 ft. 

The rope thickness is:

Both the Small and Large dog walkers come in 35 colors.

Dog Walker Colors

Who Should Use a Martingale Collar

Martingales are ideal for dogs with slender necks and heads, any dog in training, dogs who are “nervous” in crowds, escape artists and dogs who need a little more control.

Since the martingale is adjustable, it can also be used in training younger dogs.

Remember that your dog should not wear a martingale as their sole collar when off leash. 

To find the proper size, measure around the base of your dog’s skull - just behind the ears. You want to ensure the collar fits well. 

How to Choose & Properly Size A Martingale Lead

When selecting a martingale, you want to think about your dog’s size, breed, and how the collar will be used. Martingale leashes (as well as slip leads) are not good choices for dogs who spend time in crates, are left alone in a yard, or who have a tendency for drama. 

To properly fit your dog's Dog Walker or Martingale, take your dog’s measurement at two locations:

  1. The back of the head behind the ears.
  2. The neck where the collar lays naturally.


How to Safely Use a Martingale Leash

When used correctly, the martingale is an ideal way to train your pets to heal.

This leash has been designed for exercise, training, show, and field. The combined martingale style ensures your dog will not slip out of the collar (and off the leash) when pulling in any direction.

The martingale leash is comfortably loose and tight only when it needs to be. The collar portion allows for easy handler control and correction.

Highest Quality, Made in the USA

In the tradition of quality from Mendota leads and leashes, the Dog Walker Martingale Leash is made from highly durable polypropylene material that will not fade and or cause your or your pet rope-burn. The braided construction is lasting and strong. All Mendota leads and leashes are affixed with anti-corrosive hardware and oil-tanned branded leather.

Let us know if we can help you select your Martingale Leash. We know you and your dog will love it.

Guide to Martingales and Dog Walkers