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A lead (also known as a leash) is an item added in the 1.6 updates for Minecraft. They can be used to tie some passive mobs to a fence post. It is crafted with 4 strings and a slimeballWandering Traders will also drop up to 2 leads upon death or when their Llama is killed.

The main use of the lead is to tie horses up to keep them from running away, but any mob that the lead holds will do the same thing. Simply right-click the mob with the lead in hand, and the mob will be attached, While roped, the mob will follow a player much like animals following a player with their desired food, i.e. pigs with carrots, sheep with wheat, chickens with seeds. The lead will expand up to its maximum length of ten blocks before disconnecting and being dropped for reuse upon collecting. Once free of the lead, the mob is free to roam once again.

Multiple mobs may be roped at one time, and it is not currently known to have a limit, though it has been proven to be at most seven mobs.

IMG 1643

A Chicken, Sheep, Pig, Cow, and Squid tied to a leash with an extra chicken in the background.

2013-04-27 15.14.55

A Horse tied to a fence post by a leash.

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Trivia

  • It's possible to rope a pig, horse, donkey, mule, skeleton horse, zombie horse, and/or llama while a player is riding it. This can lead to very humorous results.
  • Prior to update 1.6.1, looking away from the animal connected to a player's lead caused the lead to become invisible. Looking at the mob made the lead reappear.
  • Killing mobs tied to fence posts causes the lead to disappear along with the mob.
  • All farm animals can have leads on (sheep, cows, etc.). This is an efficient way to make an animal farm.
  • Iron Golems can also be lead by the player, making it a useful bodyguard against hostile mobs.
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