Zipline for Dogs: Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Dog Owners

Zipline for Dogs

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Canines are made for the outdoors. However, they can be quite hard to contain when their energies go over the roof. This is where an aerial zipline—made specifically for dogs—comes in. Dog cables let your dog run and play with freedom within a range of motion that keeps him in a safe distance. Aerial zip lines come in handy when going hiking, during hot summer days at home or when you need to contain your pet at your favorite restaurant.

What Are Dog Ziplines?

Dog ziplines or dog lines run are essentially trolleys or pulley dog tie-out systems for dogs. They utilize a suspended pulley system that hangs across an aerial cable, staying with your dog as he walks, runs, sniffs, and explore. The system consists of two cables: a runner cable tied between two posts or trees and a pulley cable that is mounted on the runner cable and tied or attached to a dog’s harness or leash. Check the video embedded in this post for more information on how it works.

Benefits of Ziplines for Dogs

Compared to typical dog tie-outs, ziplines offer several benefits, including:

  • They minimize the chances of your pooch getting strangled or wrapped around trees, posts or chairs.  By using a zip line, therefore, you eliminate the need to check your dog several times a day to untangle him.
  • One of the demerits of conventional tie-downs is the fact that they are not free-moving and may promote instinctive aggressive behavior in your pup. On the contrary, dog ziplines act like an invisible fence and make your dog feel less strained.
  • Running lines for dogs are also suited for dogs that have a tendency to chew their leashes off. Considering that the leash is overhead and somehow hidden to the dog, he is less likely to turn and chew it.
  • Conventional tie-downs are known to spread feces all over the yard or tie-down area, exacerbating the spread of bacteria and other diseases because cleaning up the area effectively becomes a problem given that the dog can also step on the feces and track it all over the area. Ziplines minimize your dog’s contact with his feces as well as the spread of bacteria and diseases.
  • Since the zip line is above the ground, it minimizes unwanted contact between your pup and children or people who may cross the access area. It also limits tripping-related injuries, especially if you or a member of your family is crossing the access area in the dark.

Potential Dangers of Ziplines for Dogs

  • Without close supervision, a dog run cable can strangle your dog to death, especially when the dog collar is held tightly by the stops on the runner cable. The trolley cable can tangle your dog, cutting off his breath and blood circulation to the limbs.
  • If you own a Jack Russell terrier, golden retriever, Dalmatian, Irish setter and other dogs that require a lot exercise, a zip line can easily bore them because it limits room for exercise and exploration. As a result, you may witness destructive behaviors like unnecessary barking, digging, or chewing their hair off.
  • Although running lines for dogs are famed for their potential to provide a little more freedom to dogs, they still limit the ability of your dog to flee animal predators like cougars, snakes, or hawks. This makes your pooch vulnerable to injuries or even death at the hands of these predators. Your dog also risks being stolen by criminals who steal purebred dogs for resale or scientific purposes.
  • Tethering your dog in uncomfortable weather may cause dehydration and other health conditions. Besides, exposure to weather elements can weaken the dog line run leading to unwanted escapes.
  • If your dog gets tangled around a tree or post, he may be deprived of access to his food and water. This is also possible when your dog accidentally pushes or rolls over his bowl.  
  • Prolonged tethering can lead to aggression and behavioral problems in dogs

Best Types of Dogs to Buy Ziplines For

Dog run cables are recommended for the following types of dogs:

  • Nervous dogs that are still acclimating to new environments or other pets
  • Runners, wanderers, fence jumpers, and dogs who like to escape
  • Energetic dogs that are often tempted by provocative outdoor furniture, posts, and flower beds
  • Aggressive dogs that need plenty of roaming space.

How to Install A DIY Dog Runner

Here is a quick guide of how to make a cable dog run

What You Need

  • Steel cable of suitable length (10+ feet)
  • 2 threaded eyebolts
  • 2 stationary objects or posts
  • Chain pulley
  • Dog leash
  • Dog collar or harness
Ensure that you buy products that will handle well your dog’s weight and strength. A dollar store leash, for instance, won’t work well with a 100lb dog.

Procedure

  • Choose the posts you want to attach the running cable between. The posts should be far enough apart to give your dog enough space to run. Ensure that the area around the access area is clear of tree branches, fences, and other obstacles that may injure or tangle your dog. You should also ensure that the posts are strong enough to handle all the pulling by your dog. Don’t use posts that you can push or bend.
  • Now you can screw one threaded eyebolt into one of the posts. Ensure that it is high enough so that you don’t have to duck when crossing your dog’s access area. As a guide, make it a foot taller than the tallest person in your family.
  • Put one end of the running cable into one of the threaded eyebolts and tighten it using a clamp. Pull to ensure that it is tight enough.
  • To make your work easier, consider looping the rope clips, stoppers, and pulley system on the running cable at this stage. If you want to stop your dog from reaching either end of the running cable, for instance, you need to put additional rope clips and stoppers now (along with the pulley). Ensure that you slide them in the correct order to allow the pulley to run the full length between your chosen rope clips.
  • Repeat step 3 at the other post. Ensure that the cable is tight enough to allow the pulley system to run smoothly across it. It shouldn’t droop in the middle.
  • You can now clip the pulley cable to the handle of your dog leash and the loop in the pulley. Test if it is working properly by running the pulley across the cable a few times to ascertain that everything is running smoothly without any kinks.
  • Finally, attach the leash to your dog and you are done. Ensure that leash hangs loosely from your pooch’s neck to the running cable to avoid the risk of the leash pulling your dog’s neck or getting caught in his feet as he runs or plays.

If one step isn’t very clear to you, I recommend you watch this video:

Best Zipline for Dogs

To ensure that your dog gets the most out of a zipline, get him a product that has been proven by other dog owners to work flawlessly. Although making a homemade zipline for dogs may save you a few bucks, you don’t want to mess or waste your time creating something that doesn’t work perfectly or could injure your dog. Here are the best options to opt for:

1.Four Paws Walk-About Overhead Tie-Down

An aerial zipline for a dog should be sturdy, rust-proof, and durable. The Four Paws Walk-About dog cable ticks all the boxes. Made from vinyl-coated aircraft cable, this cable ensures that a dog is safe always. It gives him the freedom he needs to explore his surroundings. The cable is a 10-ft pulley that supports heavy dogs (up to 50 lbs.). It is also fitted with a 75-ft tie-out cable to make provision for large dogs. The only disadvantage with the Four Paws is that it loses tension over time. The wire is also prone to rust. But all in all, it is a great aerial zip to watch out for.

2. Boss Pet – Prestige Aerial Dog Run

If you don’t have a fence in your home, the Boss Pet Aerial Dog Run is a fantastic product to contain a canine. Like the first entry, this aerial dog run is made from vinyl galvanized steel used to make aircraft cable. The material is known for being strong and long-lasting. It can withstand a lot of tension without breaking or bending. The cable comes in three lengths making it perfect for dogs weighing up to 60 lbs.

To reduce tangling, the product is also fitted with patented double swivel snaps. The snaps allow the dog to enjoy more freedom and range of motion in a lateral direction. This reduces the likelihood of the dog getting tangled in his leash. The direct connection is also a great feature that adds strength when compared to the traditional clasp.

3. Petest  Runner Cable Trolley for Heavy Dogs

Next on our list is the 60 ft. tie-out cable by Petest. If you have a heavy dog that needs enough space to play and exercise while still being safe, this is the best cable for you. It can hold a dog of up to 125 lbs. with no problem. The trolley system is fitted with a sturdy steel spring that gives it an elastic buffer in case of a sudden pull. Talk about an added safety feature! It also has durable, anti-rust snaps to help protect a dog’s neck.

4. BVPet Trolley for Dogs up to 125 Pound

Another great aerial zipline for a heavy dog is the BV Pet 60 Feet Trolley. Everything—from the cable, stake, swivel clips—is made using quality steel for strength and durability. The dog run consists of two strong steel cables (60 feet and 10 feet) that are covered with vinyl to protect it against rust and rain. The trolley system gives your dog up to 1,200 square feet of space to play which is more than enough room for any dog.

5. Pet Champion Aerial Dog Trolley System

Made from 100% steel, this tried-and-tested aerial dog run from Pet Champion is a best-seller. Its pulley system that allows up to 1,200 square feet of playing space and is designed to give your pup great mobility while still keeping them at a safe distance. This dog run comes with two cables (60 feet and 10 feet each) both of which ensure sustainability. The cable is vinyl-covered to keep rust, fraying, and moisture at bay. For increased visibility, the cable features a reflective design. Finally, the swivel clip boosts strength and durability so that your dog can run around safely and securely at all times.

6. PUPTECK Dog Run Cable

The PUPTECK Dog Run Cable is a high-quality cable with a number of attractive features. Available in two different lengths, it is a wonderful replacement for a traditional tether system. It is a long cable (measuring 100 feet and an additional 10 feet) and is, therefore, ideal for super heavy pups. This 100% steel construction is made to withstand a lot of tension while the vinyl material covering keeps the cable free from the elements. This product also consists of a shock-absorbent spring as an added safety feature.

7. Freedom Aerial Dog Runs

Custom built for dogs up to 70 pounds, this dog kit is perfect for large canines that want to let loose and explore their world. It is a wonderful and easy aerial zipline that allows your dog the freedom he needs to run around without wandering off. The 100-ft cable is constructed using galvanized steel with the ability to withstand your dog’s active nature. The protective coating made from vinyl ensures protection against dust and rain while the connectors attached to the pulley and the dog’s collars are also constructed with high-quality corrosion-resistant alloys. It is an easy-to-install product that comes with detailed instructions.

8. You & Me Canine Aerial Zipline Cable

The You & Me Canine Zipline Cable with a trolley is a favorite product among dog owners with huge canine breeds. The cable and tie-out easily to two high points and have no links that can tangle up and cause injury. If you don’t have the time to extend a wire from a tree, this is an awesome tool to have. The hardware is corrosion-resistant, strong, and durable. Plus, the cable is easy to clean, store, and carry around.

Factors to Consider When Buying Zipline For Dogs

To ensure that you buying a dog run line that is durable, reliable, and comfortable for your dog, here are a few factors that you should keep in mind;

  • The material of the zipline: The type of material used to make the various components of the dog run line dictates its durability and comfort. The best running cable, for instance, should be made of a weather-proof material to provide rust protection. The snap locks should have 360 degrees swivel to enhance the free movement of the running cable. Lastly, the running cable should be thick enough to offer maximum tensile strength.
  • Size of Your Dog: The size of your dog will dictate factors like the length and weight of the cable to choose. Select a zipline that is long enough to offer a bigger playground for your dog to play, rest, feed, run, and do other important businesses. You should also select a zipline that can withstand the pull by your pooch. While at it, remember that thicker cables may be too heavy and uncomfortable for your dog is he is a small breed.
  • Color:  The best zipline for dogs should be made of bright colors to help you identify where your dog is fast, especially in low lights.
  • Installation Accessories: Choose a zipline that includes most or all the installation hardware that you may need, including pulley system, running cable, rope clips, stoppers, shock absorber springs, hooks, installation bolts, etc.
  • Warranty: Brands with longer warranty periods are the best because they are more durable and reliable. No manufacturer will give a longer warranty period if they aren’t sure about the quality of their products.

How Long Should A Zip Line For Dogs Be?

There’s no standard length for dog ziplines. It boils down to your dog’s behavioral characteristics, your preferences, and a host of other factors including:

  • How Long You Want To Tether Your Dog: Go for a longer dog zip line if you plan to tether your dog for longer durations.
  • Your Dog’s Energy Level: You don’t need a very long dog line run if your dog is inactive and loves to sleep a lot. On the flip side, opt for a longer zipline if your dog is active and loves to run the whole day.
  • Amount of Space That You Have: The amount of space at your disposal should dictate the upper limit of your cable length.
  • Potential Risks in the Area: The cable should be long enough to allow your dog to fight or flee from potential dangers in the access area like snakes and other animal predators.

Tips to Help You Make Your Dog Run Cable Safe

  • To prevent choking hazards, avoid using the collar to attach your dog to the running line. Use a harness instead. A harness will not only prevent chocking in case your dog becomes tangled but also tends to be more effective for dogs that are prone to slipping out. If you have to use a collar, go for martingale collars instead of the regular buckle collars to prevent your dog from pulling out of the collar and escaping. However, you shouldn’t leave a martingale collar on your dog 24/7 or if you are not around to avoid risks of your dog getting tangled.
  • While zipline for dogs provide an excellent way for your dog to roam around your yard, picnic area, or campsite a bit, you should always strive to supervise him. Most importantly, remember that ziplines are not a substitute for playing, exercising, and socializing with your dog. Your dog is a social creature and craves for attention even if it is for a short period.
  • Remember to double-check the range of your zipline. Ensure that it keeps your dog within the confines and safety of your yard, campsite or picnic area—away from the street, motorists, and other potential hazards.
  • Put a water bowl within your dog’s access area because your dog will need plenty of water as he plays or runs along the zip line.  
  • Ensure that the dog line run is installed in a shaded area if possible. Remember to use audio and visual cues to determine the comfort level of the area you plan to restrain your dog.
  • If it is your dog’s first time to use a zipline, train him beforehand to avoid him getting excited or acting weirdly with sounds of nature or hurting himself chasing critters.  

Bottom-line

It is a joy to see your dog playful and bubbly. However, if you have no fence or any other measure of control, he can easily run off to unsafe places. Installing your own aerial ziplines for dogs or purchasing one of the suggested options on this post will help you solve this problem once and for all.