a long leash

long leash

A phrase indicating that one is given a lot of independence or is not under very strict control by someone else. Her parents giver her quite a long leash, so it doesn't surprise me that she gets up to as much trouble as she does. They may be regretting the long leash they gave their candidate ahead of the campaign.
See also: leash, long

a long leash

If someone is given a long leash, they are allowed a lot of freedom to do what they want. Note: A `leash' is a long thin piece of leather or chain, which you attach to a dog's collar so that you can keep the dog under control. He thinks it best to let people have a long leash. `If some want to make fools of themselves, I let them do that, too.' Inga knew that she had to give Judd a long leash or he would have left her. Note: You can say that someone is given a longer leash if they are given more freedom. At the beginning of the campaign, the Republican candidate was given a longer leash than ever before.
See also: leash, long
References in periodicals archive ?
A dog who is leashed but who appears agitated or stronger than his handler, or who is being allowed by his owner to wander across the sidewalk at the end of a long leash (or, horrors, one of those retractable leashes that allows him to extend his reach to an unpredictable distance), may appear as a terrifying threat to a mom who is taking her newborn baby out in a stroller for the first time, or an elderly person who is fragile or already having trouble with balance.
If you are not confident that the dog will remain in the stay position, you can attach a long leash to the dog's collar and keep one foot on the edge of the leash.
When she is coming reliably in the house, go outdoors with her on a long leash so she cannot escape.