Knot Passing Systems – Dog and Tails Method

Written By: Lance Piatt

The “Dog and Tails Method” is a specialized technique used in rope rescue operations to manage and bypass knots when lowering or raising loads, particularly when using devices like the Clutch. This method involves creating a temporary anchorage system that can control the rope independently from the main device, allowing smooth transitions and adjustments during operations. Here’s how you can effectively implement the Dog and Tails Method, integrated with step-by-step instructions:

Implementation of the Dog and Tails Method

Step 1: Pause and Prepare the Setup

  • As the knot approaches about 0.5 meters above the Clutch, stop lowering. At this point, tie a figure eight on a bight using an 8mm cord and connect it to the anchor.
  • Start just in front of the Clutch and crisscross the two lengths of the cord around the rope at least ten times, ensuring each cross counts over the previous. Finish this wrapping with a square knot and then tighten the setup by milking the cord towards the load, securing it in place.

Step 2: Transfer the Load

  • Continue to lower using the Clutch to transfer the tension entirely to the Dog & Tails setup. This step is crucial as it removes the load from the Clutch, allowing for adjustments to the rope.
  • Remove the rope from the Clutch and rerig it so that the knot is now positioned below the Clutch. Ensure the Clutch handle is turned to the ‘Stop’ position, as there will be no tension on the rope at the Clutch during this step.

Step 3: Re-transfer the Load

  • Firmly grip the Dog & Tails at the end towards the load and gradually work it back towards the anchor. This action will shift the load back onto the Clutch, preparing the system for continued operation.
  • It’s important to perform this step slowly to ensure the smooth transfer of tension without any sudden movements that could destabilize the system.

Step 4: Final Adjustments and Resume Operation

  • Once the load is fully transferred back onto the Clutch, remove the cord used for the Dog & Tails.
  • Rotate the Clutch handle to the ‘Stand By’ position and communicate with the team leader that you are ready to resume lowering.

Importance of the Dog and Tails Method

This method is highly effective for managing knots during rope rescue operations, providing a safe and controlled way to adjust rope configurations mid-operation. The Dog and Tails Method not only ensures continuous operation without the need to completely unload or reroute the primary system but also enhances safety by allowing precise load control during critical phases of the rescue.

By integrating this technique into rescue operations, teams can improve their efficiency and safety, making it a valuable skill for technical rescues involving complex rope systems.

Peace on your Days



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