How to Pass a Knot on a Lower Through the CLUTCH Using the Dog-N-Tails Method // CMC Pro Tip


This Pro-Tip video demonstrates a knot pass on a lower through a CLUTCH using the Dog-n-Tails method.

The dog and tails method of passing a knot is a very efficient technique that requires few resources. The only downside is that it only works when passing a knot in a lowering system. You will need a spot on your anchor to connect the dog and tails into or on; this is commonly an anchor plate, delta or just a second carabiner on your anchor webbing. The dog and tails should never be attached to the carabiner connected to the CLUTCH/MPD or to the becket on the device. The technique requires 15’ (4.6 meters) of 8mm cord, 2 locking carabiners and a roughly 2’ (60 cm) webbing or prusik loop. The 8mm cord must be crossed around the rope a minimum of 10 times and finished with a square knot. The milking process is critical to the ability of the dog and tails to hold the load.

For more information about the dog and tails and other methods of passing a knot in a rope rescue system please refer to the CMC Rope Rescue Technician Manual, CMC Rope Rescue Field Guide, or the free CMC App available for both Apple and Android devices.

This video is intended to be an adjunct to competent hands-on instruction. For more information about hands-on instruction of rope rescue systems, including several knot pass techniques, open enrollment or customized contract Rope Rescue and Confined Space Rescue classes please visit the CMC School Website at:


Step by Step:

1.    Stop lowering when the knot is 18 inches or 1/2 a meter from the CLUTCH.

2.    Lock off CLUTCH on the knotted rope.

3.    Tie a Figure 8 on a Bight in the middle of a 15 foot or just under 5 meter length of 8mm cord.

4.    Attach it to a 2 foot webbing loop or prusik cord

5.    Attach the end of the loop to the anchor.

6.    Extend the loop and 8mm cord in front of the CLUTCH and begin crisscrossing the 2 cords on the rope

7.    It is important that there be a minimum of 10 crisscrosses, counted from the top of the rope.

8.    Secure the end of the 2 cords with a square knot

9.    Tighten the Dog-n-Tails by milking it towards the load, generally at least 3 times.

10.  Recheck the Square Knot to assure it is still tight

11.  Unlock the CLUTCH and lower the load onto the Dog-n-Tails

12.  Remove the knotted rope and rig the rope so the knot is in past the CLUTCH.

13.  Make sure the CLUTCH side plate is fully closed.

14.  Lock the CLUTCH.

15.  Grip the Dog-n-Tails at the load end and slowly push it back towards the anchor until the rope begins to slide through slowly!

16.  Once the CLUTCH is loaded, untie and remove the Dog-n-Tails from the rope

17.  Unlock the CLUTCH.

18. Continue the lower with both ropes