That's "check" as in "stop," and "cord"
as in "rope." Essentially, the rope you use to stop your dog.
Of course, there's a little more to it than that. Different trainers
prefer different materials, and have varying thoughts on length, weight,
fastners, knots, and more. The main thing to understand is that a
check cord is not just a longer leash. Rather, it's a training
aid that lends itself to some specific tasks, and which is long enough
to give the dog a lot more working room without tension on the lead.
Remember that your main considerations should be tensile strength and
enough heft to the line so that you can handle it (usually with gloves on)
without hurting your hands. You may actually want two check cords - one
without any knots, and one with. If you're going to send your dog out
trailing the check cord (simply dragging it behind as the dog runs), you'll
probably want to avoid knots so that the dog is less likely to get
hung up in brush or fences. When you need more control up close on birds,
though, well-placed knots in the check cord can really help (especially
with a strong dog, or in slick conditions).
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