A lead (also known as a leash) is an item added in the 1.6 update for Minecraft. They can be used to tie some passive mob to a fence post. It is crafted with 4 string and a slimeball. Wandering 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 "roped." 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 "breaking" and being dropped for reuse upon collecting. During this time, 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 least seven mobs.
A less intended use of the lead is to be used as a gallows. Some players will build tall fence posts and tie mobs to the very top, forcing them to suspend in the air. The mobs will bounce up and down, and if they are close enough to the ground, will repeatedly hit the ground until dead.
- 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 with the mob.
- All farm animals can have leads on (sheep, cows, etc.). This is an efficient way to make an animal farm.
- The lead looks similar to a lasso, which may be why it appears to be tied to an animal's neck.
- There is also another item in Minecraft: Bedrock Edition and Minecraft: Education Edition called "lead" and it is Element Lead, but it is an item in the chemistry pack. You can use that item to craft several things in the game.
- Iron Golems can also be roped by the player, making it a useful bodyguard against hostile mobs.