I was cleaning up yesterday and I found a bunch of dog leads that I had made about a year ago. All of these are cowhide leather except for one that’s kangaroo. I had originally made about two dozen or so of these and sold them at a craft fair that benefited the preschool my daughter used to go to. These are the ones that were unsold after the craft fair and I put them away and forgot about them.
These dog leads are made from veg tanned leather which is an environmentally friendly tanning process. That’s something important to look for in any dog lead, something that’s not made with potentially poisonous chemicals that could potentially lead to health problems down the road for your dog. So many of the leather dog leads that are mass produced and imported from places like India don’t tell you how the leather was tanned and you don’t know what you are getting.
Making dog leads is a good way to get use up smaller bits of leather that are left over from whip making. I’ve listed these on my Dog Leads page. All of these are in stock and ready to ship out!
One day I’ll make an in stock page for all the little odds and ends that I make with my left over kangaroo lace. These are things like key fobs, bracelets, mini-horse tack, etc.
Yesterday I made an 8 foot 8 plait dog lead from black kangaroo. Here’s the skin that I used, it was pretty large and the leftover is going to be a 4 or 5 foot bullwhip:
The first step was to cut out the eight strands. I did this by cutting out one very long strand that was about 110 feet long. I also cut out one core strand that was about 15 feet long and will be doubled inside the dog lead.
This was cut from the outer part of the skin, so I cut the strands fairly wide and cleaned them up on my lace cutter. I rarely have opportunities to use my lace cutter because it doesn’t cut at a taper like is required for a bullwhip. I can even up and pare faster by hand, but it was a chance to use this tool so I spent a little extra time and used the lace maker.
Below are two piles of kangaroo, the pile on the right is the lace and the pile on the left is the waste.
I also used the lace cutter to pare the lace, which again is faster to do by hand…but sometimes it’s fun to use a tool.
The one thing about dog leads compared to bullwhips is that they are a lot less complicated. With a bullwhip you are constantly paying attention to taper, or dropping strands, but the with dog lead it’s pretty much just plaiting.
Here you can see the eight strands (four on each side) and the two core strands. The core strands are wider than the overlay.
And here’s the dog lead finished without a knot covering where the wrist loop is back plaited. I do most of my dog leads with flat braided wrist loops. Pretty much the only time I do round wrist loops is with 4 plait cowhide leather dog leads. Even my 4 plait kangaroo dog leads have 8 plait wrist loops. I think it looks better.
And here’s the finished dog lead with the two tone knot.