Leading a slave on a leash is both a traditional activity as well as an effective activity for the training and reenforcement of submission. It can also be fun for both Master and slave. When done well, it looks natural and effortless. When done badly, you have someone being pulled along by their neck or someone who is fighting the leash. Unless someone is making a planned scene from it, I consider that a bad thing and the chances pain or injury is fairly high. That is a bad outcome I do not want for anyone. My goal with this information is to make having someone on a leash look good and effortless for the people on each end of the leash.
This way is NOT the only way to leash train a slave nor is it the only way it should or can be done. It is my thoughts about leash training and you are welcome to modify it however you wish as long as you are keeping in mind the safety of everyone involved. The leash, its length and construction as well as where you are and how crowded it is will make a difference in how you have someone following on a leash. I have never seen even a semi-detailed leash training so I felt the need to do so for my own use and that of others. If there are others, I have not seen more than a paragraph or two on the subject in any place.
I am going to call the person holding the handle of the leash the Master and the person attached to the other end of the leash the slave. I also assume a male Master and a female slave because I am male and I usually have a female on the leash.
There are several questions which must be taken into account when leash training. First, is the Master right or left handed or do they prefer holding the leash with a specific hand? How long is the leash? If you have a six foot leash it will work differently from a three foot leash. What is the relative height between the Master and slave as well as their walking ability and the kneeling or crawling ability of the slave? How much experience or practice does the Master have leading or walking a slave on a leash? How much practice or experience does the slave have being led on a leash? Finally, is there anything specific to that Master and slave which might not be a problem for others but are for them? The last must be solved by the people involved. It is too complex to try to cover here.
The first assumptions for training are that the leash is held in the Master's right hand and it is attached to the front of a collar around the slave's neck. If the left hand is used, just reverse sides as needed. A leash attached to a wrist will work similarly but variations such as the slave having her hands behind her back or crawling are then mostly out.
The hand with the leash should be held down at the side or raised very slightly and should mostly be stationary rather than swung during moving. This keeps the leash at a somewhat constant tension so the slave can maintain pace with the Master's movements. The slave should maintain some slack in the leash at all times. It should not go taut unless the Masters wants to pull her closer or momentarily to tug on it as a command.
The Master is responsible for giving any verbal or non-verbal commands to the slave. The slave is responsible for watching the Master very carefully to be ready for when and where they are moving and for commands to be given. The slave is also responsible for insuring the Master knows of any problems behind him that she knows of.
In normal movement or standing situations the slave should be about half way behind and halfway to the side of her Master so that her collar is in direct line with his leash hand. In moving through tight areas she should move directly behind him and follow closer but not touching. She should have enough space to not bump into him if he abruptly stops. When space opens up again or he comes to a stop the slave should stop and if possible, move back to the original position behind the hand holding the leash.
The slave's distance at rest should be one to two paces behind her Master depending on the length of the leash. The leash should be slack. In most cases the slave should be two paces behind so that she has one pace in which to react to the Master stopping and come to a graceful stop herself. A longer leash can allow more distance and a shorter one requires a much closer position with much closer attention to the Master's movements. If he wants or needs to in tight spaces, the Master can hold the leash closer to the collar to shorten the distance and either wrap the leash around his hand or let it drop.
It is the Master's choice as to what the slave should do when he stops. There can be a time period where she remains standing then kneels next to him. She could remain standing while he sits or kneel beside him or at his feet. This is all the Master's choice. The default is always to await a verbal or non-verbal command to do something.
The slave has physical and verbal cues and commands to watch and listen for. They indicate what the Master wants her to do or get ready to do. The best situation is to alert the slave what will be expected and then to initiate the action. The military has a two-part marching command structure. The command to turn right is Right Face. Right tells what will be expected and Face is the command to do it on the next proper step. People who have been in drill teams or marching bands will be very familiar with this and be able to follow them very well once they have learned the cues and commands. The Master is responsible for letting the slave know in advance what will be happening. The slave is responsible for paying attention and following her Master and whatever he commands. The goal is to make each other look good and to look great as a team. Yes, it is a team effort.
Verbal cues are the Master vocally indicating that they are about to turn, move or stop. They can speak to the slave or be speaking to someone else to indicate what will happen. This means the slave must be paying attention to what her Master is saying at all times so she can be ready when he wants a change. Verbal commands can be telling the slave to kneel, stand, be ready, stop or whatever commands he wishes.
Non-verbal cues can include something or someone in the Master's path that he will need to stop or turn to avoid running into. If standing, they can be him shifting his weight, repositioning himself, taking the first step forward when he wants to move forward or looking around or to a specific direction when he intends to move in that direction. Other non-verbal cues can be hand gestures or tugs or movements of the leash to get the slave's attention and give her movement direction. I will give some specific examples of verbal and non-verbal cues and commands in the practice exercises section.
There are several variations of how a slave can be led on a leash. Not all are possible to do at the same time. Some are mutually exclusive and I am going to include only what I believe are the most common options.
Slave movement is usually walking or crawling. It could include walking on the knees but that is probably not a good idea except for shifting position or moving a short distance. It can include running. However, be very careful running with as the chances of injury are much greater than crawling or walking as both Master and slave must be able to maintain the same pace and speed. The slave can also be in front of the Master with the leash attached either behind her neck or over her shoulder and still attached to the front. In this case, verbal cues from the Master are needed.
Stationary slave positions are standing, kneeling, on all fours, sitting or lying on the floor and in that order of frequency. There is also the position for attaching and detaching the leash from the slave. That is usually done from a standing or sometimes from a kneeling position. The Gorean slave position Leasha is a very useful example of such a position and it can be done either standing or kneeling. In Leasha the chin is up and turned away from the hand the Master is holding the end of the leash in to attach it to the collar. The hands are usually behind the back or at least stationary along her sides. My instructions on the Gorean slave positions are at http://websitebuilder1.doteasy.com/HouseMalkinius.com.
Some examples of verbal cues include the command to Heel in which case the slave should position herself in proper relation to her Master and be ready to move. This usually means a standing position unless the slave is required to be crawling. Other commands can be such words as Stop, Turn, Kneel, Stand or Position to bring the slave back to her starting position.
Some examples of non-verbal cues are tugs on the leash to indicated attention or a command. Shifting the leash to the other hand means the slave should position herself on the other side and be ready for movement. The Master shifting his feet into a position ready for walking can be either a deliberate or unintentional cue for the slave to get ready to move. The deliberate placement of the Master's feet can be a very subtle way of giving commands to the slave. Other cues are hand motions such as up or down and the Gorean gesture of two fingers spread as the hand moves downward for the slave to kneel in Nadu. A hand motion can be done from the hand not holding the leash especially when the slave is stopped. Specific non-verbal cues and commands must be explained before usage and if at all possible, practiced so that slave moves gracefully and naturally while on the leash.
Variations for a leashed slave are mostly the positioning of her hands or body. Most of the time they are by her sides. Her hands can also be restrained in front of or behind her body. Except in an emergency or commanded to hold or hand a loose leash to her Master, the slave should not touch or hold the leash with her hands. Her ankles can also be restrained but then the Master must be able to match his pace to the one the slave can maintain.
A second variation is having the slave's movement or body restrained. Having a slave blindfolded and led on a leash is done by some people at some times. Combining a blindfold with hands restrained behind her back puts the slave in a very vulnerable position and completely dependent on her Master. It can also be combined with ankle restraints or leg shackles for even more movement restrictions. While it is not commonly done for moving in public it does work well as part of general leash training as well as trust and slave training.
The third main leash variation is when the slave is crawling as an animal would move. This can be done as humiliation, punishment, amusement, moving her a very short distance or whatever reason her Master wishes. It should be practiced in case the wish or need for it arises. This can also be combined with wrist and/or ankle restraints but not behind the back unless the slave is knee walking a short distance.
When kneeling, depending on the wishes and instructions of her Master and her ability to do so, it is best if the slave is able to kneel and rise without use of her hands. If kneeling her thighs can be together in the Gorean Tower position or spread in the Nadu position. Her hands are either on her thighs in either of those positions, behind her back or behind her head/neck in a display position. Some might have her grab her ankles or if wearing heels, the heels of her shoes instead. The details of kneeling are the Master's decision. They can change based on different situations.
When sitting down from kneeling the position with her legs bent at her knees and one leg to the side in what I have heard called a cheerleader's kneeling works well. Obviously, any other position allowed or instructed will work.
If a slave is required to lie down her head should be closest to her Master primarily due to the length of the leash. This is or the sitting position would usually be done only when the Master is sitting or going to be stationary for a length of time. At that point, the leash is sometimes attached to something else such as a chair or table to free the Master's hand to do other things or it can be dropped to hang from the slave's neck.
One of the harder things to make look good is turning corners while on a leash. If the turn is a gradual arc, the slave can simply maintain position by adjusting her steps slightly. If it is a right angle the slave may follow to the point where the Master turned and then turn herself or wheel in a tight curve to match position. These types are turns are known by people who have been on drill teams, marching bands or in the military. The same is true for the marching turn where the feet pivot to be in the proper position for taking the next step. If the Master is reversing direction the slave should stop and step away from him to his leash hand side to let him pass then turn as he passes and resume her position behind him.
The last main variation is when the leashed slave is in front of the Master holding the leash. This is like walking a dog where the dog is in front where the holder of the leash can see them. In this case, the leash attachment is behind the neck or over the shoulder closest to his leash hand. Commands to move, stop turn, etc must be given verbally or with simple tugs of the leash. The leash must be kept slack by the Master matching his pace to that of the slave who should keep a steady pace at a practiced speed. Her hands can be in any of the above positions and restraints may or may not be used. It can also be done with the slave crawling. When the slave is leading the way it is best that she knows where they is going so she can choose the best route. It is also the Master's responsibility to position himself in the best offset, if there is one, for control of her. If the slave kneels on stopping, the Master should close to touching or almost touching distance. When the slave is in front, unless commanded to do so, the slave does not look back to watch her Master even when kneeling.
Steps can be a problem but must be navigated. If the slave is restrained at the ankles and/or blindfolded it can be a greater problem. When the slave can see and move freely steps should be taken at the normal walking pace. If going down steps the slave end of the leash will be higher than the hand holding the leash so extra care on tug cues should be taken to avoid pulling the slave forward and overbalancing her. If the slave is blindfolded her restrained, the steps should be taken one at a time unless the number, height and depth are well known. A curb or single step can be noted with a pause, the statement of curb or step followed by the slave stepping up and either waiting or continuing moving. If the curb or step is easily visible there is usually no need to stop. If the slave is blindfolded the Master should step up two steps and stop the slave at the bottom of the step. She then feels for the step both distance from her with a foot then the height of the step. Once she has it she steps up and brings the back foot to the step. She then repeats either with the same leading foot or alternating feet. If the ankles are restrained before taking steps make certain there is enough distance to ensure that the foot can rise the height of the step. When the last step is reached the slave should be told "Top" or "Top step" and they can stop and reset ready to move again. This is not needed if the slave has full movement capability and is not having problems with the steps. Stating that the steps are up or down is also required.
All of this can be done without the lash with the slave simply heeling her Master. Training a slave to heel using a leash enables both to practice distance, commands and moving together. Leash training a form of heeling and heeling training is a form of leash training.
If you want to do some scene play with the slave fighting against being pulled along by her leash, you can do this safely by having the slave hold the leash to keep it from pulling or jerking on her neck. Once again, practice first before you do this as it is theater rather than a real abduction...I hope.
There are many variations available to using a leash. One Master can lead multiple slaves on leashes. In that case they should spread out behind him but otherwise maintain the general rules of movement and position as above. They can also be led in a line or coffee with each slave attached to the one in front and/or behind her.
Practicing using a leash is not just doing it, but thinking first about what you are practicing, then doing it. I see practice as existing at two levels. The first could be called sampling and the second is drilling as in long duration practice. It can help both Master and slave to reverse who is leading and who is following. If you know both sides each will have a better appreciation of what the other must do. Most practice should be done in the roles which will be normally done.
Sampling is a good way to introduce a slave to being on a leash. It is a short amount of practice in the various ways she can be led on a leash with the variations of hand and body positions including kneeling, rising, crawling and waiting. It needs to include turns, reversing direction and starting and stopping as needed. It does not need to be a lot of each thing. It is familiarization with the process. If you do not have a large amount of space to work it, just going back and forth few times in whatever space you have will suffice for sampling. It also works for introducing someone new, either Master or slave, to leading a slave on a leash. Paring an experienced slave with a Master new to this can work very well.
Drilling is longer duration practice of the forms that will most commonly be used. While sampling might, for instance, go up and down a hallway twice, drill could do it a dozen or twenty times with stops, kneels and starts at both fixed and random points along the way. Walking around a square in a room in both direction so both left and right turns are practices is a good practice form as well. Work with what you have available in space and with the thought about what sort of space the actual use of a leash will be used in. Try to simulate it as much as you can so Master and slave can move as fluidly and gracefully together as possible. Calling out stops and starts as well as only using hand and verbal cues should be used with more verbal in the beginning and less the more practice sessions have been done.
Sampling and drill can be combined. You do not need to just do one or the other. Drill can be done for the main modes of use and still practice some of the others so that if there is a reason to do them, there has been practice and not a lot of thought needs to be put into remembering what to do. The last thing that can be combined, if it can be done, is to have two slaves practice this with each alternating between being the leash holder and the one on the leash. This gives both slaves some experience from leading side and will enable them to follow better. Or, you might wish at some point to have one slave lead the other. In all cases, practicing the variations of what can be done will prove useful.
I have had two slaves practice this with each other at my direction. They took turns leading and following for each type variation above including turns, stops, going down and getting up.
There is nothing wrong with creating your own unique variants. This document is just to get you started and give a framework and common terms to work with. Consider it the place to start. Each pair must work out how best to do this. That should be done in practice before needing to do it in front of other people. Except to be safe and to look as good as you can, there are few wrong ways or wrong combinations as long as both Master and slave can move together as one unit.
I may add sample practice exercises that I have used in leash training or I can provide some if asked privately.
I am quite happy if people use this guide as the basis for their own training. If you wish to repost it non-commercially, I will usually give permission if asked and full credit is given.
All material written and © Copyright 2018 by Malkinius unless otherwise noted.
For permission to quote or repost contact Malkinius at firstname.lastname@example.org.