Kangaroo Dog Lead…

Kangaroo Dog Lead…

On Friday I make new dog leash for my dog, it’s 4 plait in kangaroo with a 10 plait wrist loop.  One thing that I tend to do with the dog leads that I make for my dog is that they are 4 plait, for regular dog walking we don’t need anything fancier than 4 plait.  However to make them fancier I usually do an 8 plait flat braided wrist loop and put on a two tone knot.

Dog leads are a pretty easy little plaiting project if you are getting into plaiting.  Also if you are trying to learn how to cut kangaroo lace freehand like I do a 4 plait dog lead is a very forgiving project.  Even if it’s your first time cutting free hand you’re going to have to try really hard to mess this up!

Here’s how how I made the dog lead a few days ago:

I started with two pieces of kangaroo lace that I had cut out from a kangaroo center that was leftover making an 8 foot bullwhip.  I cut one piece of lace that was 22 feet 5 inches long by 6.25.mm wide and another piece that was 12 feet long and 4mm wide.  I pared both of these on both flesh sides and split them to an even thickness.  The longer piece of lace will be the overlay and the smaller piece will be the core.

show dog lead

You will also need a clip for the end:

dog lead

Take the core and thread it through the clip so the middle of the lace is hanging from the clip.

dog leash

Then cut the the longer piece of lace in half, so that you have two pieces.  I thread those through the clip (over the core) so the middles are on top of the middle of the core:

show dog lead

Start a 4 plait round braid.

I plaited the dog lead until about the 3 foot mark.

show dog lead

Once I had the body of this finished I would normally roll it between two boards.  However recently someone  had emailed me asking me how to use a leather rounder.  They aren’t that hard to use, you simple put the leather into it, lock it in place and pull:

The 3 foot mark is where I wanted to put my wrist loop.  For this to be a 10 plait wrist loop I had to cut each of the 4 plait strands in half and pare the edges on the flesh side that need to be beveled.  I also thinned down the two core strands so they were about the same width as the strands that will be the wrist loop.  By added the two core strands to the (now) eight strands from the body of the leash will give me ten strands for the wrist loop.



For the wrist loop I did what Ron Edwards calls a Goanna Neck pattern in 10 plait.  Once the wrist loop was long enough I folded it in half and back braided it into the body of the dog lead and wrapped it with string.

goanna neck plaiting

Then I tied the first pass of a long button knot in natural tan.


And added a second pass in black kangaroo.


Then I put a turkshead on the other end of the dog lead:

Finally I gave it another board roll and a coat of shellac.

dog lead

If it wasn’t raining today I’d put it on the dog and take her out!


3 thoughts on “Kangaroo Dog Lead…

  1. What was the width of the lace. I want to make a leash, and add some beads. The largest holes on an average is 5mm. I have tried 2.5mm leather 2 strands with a 4 braid, that would make a total of 10mm. Is there a secret to putting all the strands in a 5mm bead hole? Any suggestion?

    1. Nancy,

      I don’t put beads on my dog leads, personally I’m not a fan of how they look. How I make them fancy is:

      1. With at least two times higher plait count on the wrist loop as on the main body of the lead
      2. Having a plait count that’s over 4 plait in the main body of the lead
      3. Adding different turkhead knots to the lead

      My guess would be to braid the lead, then when you get to where you want to put the bead on you thin down the lace for that spot and feed them one at a time through the bead then continue braiding.

      Hope that helps,


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