Guide to Making The Perfect Zipline For Your Dog

Miranda Merchant 

When you first hear the phrase "Dog Zipline," you might think about strapping a dog into a harness, flinging them on a wire, and watching them fly through the air. Although this would be very exciting for you and your dog, a real "Dog Zipline" is much more benign. Dog ziplines or cables can be the ideal way for you to secure your pup. They are great for campgrounds, allowing your dog to roam while keeping them safe.

You might have many questions about dog ziplines, and we have the answers. If you have questions such as…

Dog Zipline Basics

  • What is a Dog Zipline?

You can think of a dog zipline as an aerial leash. The zipline is a cable or rope that is suspended in the air. Then, a leash is attached to the rope. This leash allows your dog to move up and down the length of the rope. The length of the leash also determines how far your dog can roam from the rope, allowing you to adjust how close your dog stays to you.

  • Where Should I Put a Dog Zipline?

Dog ziplines are one of the best ways to keep your dog on a leash at a campground. If you are camping out in the sticks, two trees will work perfectly. Just secure the ends of the zipline to two nearby trees, attach the leash, and your pet will be safe all day and night. Two trees can also work if you are RV camping at a campground. However, not all campgrounds have enough trees near the campsites to make setting up a zipline simple. One option is to attach one of the ends to your RV and find another solid object, like a tree, post, or stake, to tie up the zipline. No matter how you camp, you should always be able to find a solid place to firmly attach the zipline.

How Do I Set Up a Dog Zipline?

A dog zipline has three main components, the wire or rope, the clamps or ties, and the leash.

You want to start with the rope. You should decide on the location of your dog's zipline first. Find two tall solid objects, trees work best, that are close enough to attach your zipline.

Then you need to decide on the length of the zipline. Some people only want a 20-foot zipline for their dogs, and others like them much longer. Depending on what your dogs like, you want to find the perfect space to run the zipline.

Before you start tying the zipline, you need to decide how high you want the zipline. Ideally, the zipline should be low enough that your dog can comfortably lie on the ground if they need to rest. Also, you want the zipline to be high enough so your dog does not run into it when they move around. Then, you can begin attaching the zipline.

Once you have picked the place and height of the zipline, you can begin tying it to a tree. The best way to attach a zipline is to wrap the rope or wire around the tree and then use a clamp to keep it secure. If you are using a rope zipline, you can also tie a knot to secure the zipline.

Remember, when you are camping, do not bring a zipline that screws or nails into a tree. This type of attachment can permanently damage the tree and should be avoided.

Finally, you can run the leash from the zipline to your dog. The leash can be anything from a simple wire to your everyday leash. The critical aspect is ensuring the leash slides up and down the zipline. If the leash catches on the zipline, it can make it extremely difficult for your dog to move and could also be unsafe.

Building A Dog Zipline

Many tools and objects you need to build a zipline for your dog can be found around your home. You do not need any extra tools to create a dog zipline. Although, if you want to make a zipline out of thick rope or wire, you will need special tools to cut them.

Finding rope or wire that is strong enough to hold your dog, and is the correct length, can be one of the most challenging parts of building a dog zipline. We suggest ropes that are strong but also lightweight. Rope such as paracord fit this role perfectly, and many veteran campers likely have paracord lying around their home. If you have a significant length of strong rope sitting around at home, this also fills the role perfectly. If you are comfortable working with wire, you can choose that for its durability. Still, it may be challenging for people who are unfamiliar working with wire.

Once you have a suitable rope, making sure it stays attached to the tree is your next step. You should wrap the end of the rope around the tree several times to add stability. Then, the simplest way to finish securing the rope is to tie a knot. You want to ensure the knot is stable, but you do not want it to be too tight. If the knot is too tight, it will be hard to remove from the tree. If you are not a knot-tying expert, spring clamps also work. You can use these to swiftly attach the end of your rope to the length that is already wrapped around the tree. These common heavy-duty clamps ensure that the rope will not be undone while your dog is on the zipline.

The last part of the zipline is the leash. If you have an everyday, nonadjustable rope leash, that will work perfectly. Remember to run the leash's handle through the rope before putting it on the tree. This allows the leash to slide up and down the zipline. Another choice is to use a karabiner. You can click your karabiner onto the rope and then put the handle of the leash into the karabiner. This method assures that the leash can easily run up and down the zipline on the metal karabiner.

Overall, if you have a long length of rope and a leash, you should be ready to make a dog zipline. Also, you can use lightweight ropes like paracord, spring clamps, and karabiners to make life easier. It is also highly likely that you already own all of these items. A quick trip to your garage and some elbow grease should have your DIY dog zipline done in a jiffy.


Q: Are Dog Ziplines Better Than Tie-Outs?

One of the most popular ways to keep dogs close by at campgrounds is using a tie-out. These are leashes that are screwed or hammered into the ground. We believe that dog ziplines are a much better way to keep your dog safe than a tie-out at a campsite. A tie-out can be hard to secure in ground that is too hard or too loose. Furthermore, dogs can get tangled up in tie-outs, requiring constant attention. Dog ziplines are super simple to set up between two trees, and your dog will never have to worry about getting tangled up in cables.

Q: Are Dog Ziplines Safe?

Dog ziplines are very safe. However, you must take precautions to ensure your dog is safe. Make sure the height of the zipline is low enough so your dog can sit comfortably on the ground without tension in the leash. Also, always have your dog on a harness in a zipline. Attaching a leash on a zipline directly to a dog collar can cause them to choke. As long as your zipline is at the proper height and your dog is in their harness, dog ziplines are super safe.

Q: How Do I Find the Right Height for a Dog Zipline?

You do not want the zipline to be too high or too low. Make sure the zipline is low enough that your dog can lie comfortably on the ground without tension in the leash. Also, make sure that the zipline is high enough that your dog can walk beneath it and cannot jump up to knock it down. Therefore, smaller dogs will have lower ziplines, and larger breeds will have to have higher ziplines.

Q: How Do I Find the Right Length for a Dog Zipline?

The right zipline length is enough space for your dog to roam around. Some people like 25 feet for small dogs, and others like more than 50 feet for larger dogs. Additionally, the length of a zipline will vary depending on the campsite. No two trees will ever be the exact same distance apart. Therefore, your portable dog zipline should be longer than the distance your dog can roam. A 100-foot zipline can always be wrapped around a tree to become shorter. The last thing you want is to not have a place to run your dog's zipline because trees are too far apart. When camping, find two trees about the appropriate distance apart and run the zipline. If it is too small for your dog, you can always move it to a different set of trees.


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