our dog is sporting a nice collar which can serve many purposes, and sometimes, it’s just because it looks fashionable. But what is a dog collar without a leash? It’s like having a knife without a fork, or eating pretzels and no chocolate dip.
A leash is used together with a collar to train your dog with certain skills, or worn during your daily walks in the park or bike rides to keep him safe. When you first expose your dog to it, he may not lap it up right away, in fact, he might run away from it. So you’ll need patience, perhaps lots of it. Your pup has to learn to live with it with your help.
Getting to know the different types of leashes
If you’re a first time pet parent and still learning the ropes of responsible dog parenting yourself, going to a store and seeing so many leash varieties can be pretty overwhelming.
So to find the right one, you have to determine what you will use it for and which dog leash type is appropriate. We’ll let you in on the many types of leash, which may help you identify what suits your dog best.
Standard dog leash
This leash is good for everyday use. You can train basic skills to your dog with its loop handle and metal clip on opposite sides. The latter easily attaches to the dog collar and can be up to eight feet long.
It is commonly made of flat nylon, but can also be made of rubber or cotton, which are materials that may be sufficient for puppies. If you want a more durable leash, especially if you have a large and strong dog, a rope, chain, or leather material might be more fitting.
While measurements range from four to eight feet long, a standard leash with a length of 6 feet is suitable for most breeds. If you’re not sure what you need, you can choose this leash as a safe option.
Retractable dog leash
This type of leash retreats the nylon band into its plastic housing, which works like a self-retracting metal tape measure, except that it’s not made of metal. As it can be locked in, it allows variable lengths that can be as short as 4 feet, allowing you to walk side by side with your pet. It also stretches up to about 30 feet. This is particularly useful when you want to give your dog more distance away from you without losing your grip on him.
It is important to note that using this leash is advisable only when your dog has already been trained on a standard leash. This way your dog will maintain his discipline and will not just look at his leash as something that he can pull away from whenever he wants to.
With the retractable feature, you have to be careful about several things. The dog may acquire rope burns from the tension, especially if he often stretches the length of the leash and almost out of your sight. He can also become entangled by his extendable leash and as such, he may encounter a hazard along the way.
Another possible unintended consequence of using this leash is your dog can get used to pulling the leash to prompt you to release the lock. You have to balance this out by pulling them closer every now and then, and not give in when he wants you to extend the cord. Otherwise, you let him take over the leash instead of you. Worse, if you give him treats afterwards.
It is a good practice to check the integrity of your leash from time to time so see if it is worn out, if not damaged from frequent use. From a personal standpoint, this leash is the least favorable to you as a dog owner. While you can strike a balance between exerting control and allowing some freedom for your mutt, more often it can actually create undesirable habits from your dog that may pose bigger problems later on.
Adjustable dog leash
Adjustments can be anywhere from 3 to 6 feet, which can be done by removing or adding loops or clips. So you can go from a shorter leash when you have to train him a particular skill set to a longer one to give you some distance, especially when hiking.This leash seems to address the issue on a dog’s whimsical behavior brought about by a retractable leash. Being adjustable, you can vary the length of the cord or band to use on your dog and maintaining it as such at a time. That’s because you can only adjust it manually and it will keep you from doing that during your walks because you will have to work on the length you have set it to.
Chain style dog leash
When your dog is strong and large, and loves to chew anything, this chain leash will work best. It may stop him from biting on his leash as well as pulling away from it. But it can also work the other way around such that he can redirect his frustrations on the chain, damaging his teeth in the process.
Size and weight of the chain vary so you can get one that will fit your dog’s size. However, if the chain is too heavy, it can also hurt your dog and your hands, too. Also, some dog lovers are against the use of this type of leash for the simple reason that it is outdated.
The Martingale lead is excellent to use for dogs that easily slip out of their collars. It’s a collar and leash in one accessory made special with the Martingale characteristics of preventing choking yet allowing more control.
So when your dog is wearing it and wants to pull away, it will become tight around his neck, which will only give adequate pressure to make it uncomfortable, but not strangling him. This allows you better control and minimal correction. Furthermore, the cord is soft to the touch and easy to remove.
Multiple dog leash
Great for a dog walker handling 2 or more dogs, the multiple dog leash has one, two, or even three cords, often with a coupler using one handle. It is ideal for dogs that are relatively well-behaved and are not extremely playful when walking with other dogs.
It might be a challenge if you’re using this on two dogs, especially when they’re doing two different things, let alone with three dogs. It is suggested depending on your preference, to get one that either has a swivel attachment to two separate leashes, or a double leash that gives enough room for your dogs to move to avoid becoming entangled.
Seat belt safety dog leash
Seat belt safety leash as the name suggests, is used when securing your dog in your car’s backseat. It’s a shorter leash with one end that connects to your dog’s collar and the other that fastens to the seat belt. This type of leash will keep the dog in an upright position and prevent him from climbing all over you while you are driving.
And just like the use of seat belts on humans, it can also save his life where there is an untoward incident. It must be noted that this should only be a second choice for putting your dog in a crate, especially when you are going on a long road trip.
You might not think of a dog harness as a type of leash, but it is. A dog harness is a walking accessory that has girth straps across your pet’s torso and clips to a cord, either on the front side or back. This is one of the preferred types of leashes because it provides you with better control and at the same time, gives more comfort to your dog. It can also be adjusted to fit your dog’s body nicely.
It may also reduce the pulling behavior of large dogs with the aptly named no-pull harness. Front clip types are preferable for this purpose as well. However, most dog owners use the back clip harness for their pet because it doesn’t get tangled easily, unlike when the leash is clipped to either the collar or the front side. It also protects that dog’s neck. There’s even a head halter dog harness for the more aggressive dogs.
Bike dog leash
You should get this leash if you’re the type that likes to hit two birds with one stone, like enjoying a bike ride and at the same time giving your dog his exercise. It’s a great way to spend your bonding moments to exhaust your high energy mutt.
When using this leash, Instead of holding it, it has a rigid arm that is attached to the bicycle frame while being adjustable to give enough distance to your dog. You must note that proper training is required to avoid any mishap as this is no ordinary leash. In fact, your dog must be at least medium to large size, healthy and suited for this type of activity
Top dog leashes to consider for your pet
You now know somehow which type of leash suits you and your dog’s needs, it’s time for you to check out some of the best leash products in the market.
Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash
Having 2 padded lead handles will provide versatility in purpose and better control of your vibrant dog with the Primal Pet Gear dog leash. The 6-foot heavy duty cord caters to dogs that are either medium or large in size, and can withstand constant tugging and pulling.
The leash is made of nylon with 1-inch thickness and tough hardware, ensuring durability and longevity. The padding on both handles make it comfortable to grip even when your dog is extra playful. It is a perfect complement to either your dog’s stylish collar or cool harness.
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When using one handle that is just a foot away from the lobster clip, it allows you to control your dog in busy streets and tight spaces. The other handle which is 6 feet away, is perfect for those leisure walks in the park, giving more allowance to your pet to get curious with the environment while still holding on to him.
Primal Pet Gear dog leash is useful for both training purposes and recreational activities with your pooch. You will get to enjoy your time together while keeping him safe and secure. The product comes with a 1 year warranty for replacement.
- Special features: Presence of two handles
Phydeaux’s Pet Supply’s Mountain Climbing Rope Dog Leash
When your idea of fun includes mountain climbing with your canine, you should not be without the Phydeaux dog leash. You will have no problems with your ascent when your ultra tough dog leash can hold up to a thousand pounds of downward force.
Great even for triple XL dogs such as the English Mastiff and St. Bernard, the Phydeaux dog leash is lightweight yet very durable. It is designed by putting a premium on safety first and foremost.
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The padding on the handle will not scrape off your palms even when it is pulling at your heavyweight of a dog. The cord itself is half-inch thick allowing you to maintain dominance over your pet.
Given its single handle feature, you can avail of both variants in 4 feet and 6 feet, respectively, and get a good 15% off from the total price. And when you throw in a dog collar, you jack your discount to 20%.
The product comes with an amazing 1 year satisfaction guarantee or your money back. You can choose from the 12 eye catching colors and 2 sizes.
- Special features:Solid clasp and available discount deals
Leatherberg’s Leather Dog Training Leash
Made with rawhide leather, this training leash will appeal to dog owners who prefer genuine leather quality that is a perfect match to their pet’s leather collar. The beautiful full-grain latigo leather was treated with chrome on the first stage and finished off with vegetable tanning.
The Leatherberg leash is sturdy with its double stitching and metal rivets on the ¾-inch strap. The water-resistant material does not have a fabric weave feature that’s common with other nylon leashes. As such, pet hair will not leave lints on the leash. You should note that the leather strap is not chew-proof, so you will have to consider your dog’s chew type before buying it.
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This product is excellent for medium-sized dogs as well as large breeds, which has a length of 6 feet. The leather material is soft and comfortable to be held, and has no sharp edges so you don’t risk having cuts to your hand.
Given the quality of the leather strap and its durable construction, the Leatherberg is higher-priced, but deservedly so. It comes with a 1 year risk-free guarantee or they will refund you in full.
- Special features: The genuine rawhide leather
GOMA Industries’ Strong Chew Resistant Reflective Dog Training Leash
Made with 100% nylon, the GOMA strong chew-resistant leash is lightweight yet virtually indestructible. It is your dog’s chew stopper that can tolerate your dog’s relentless chewing and absorbs shock as a result and still comes out damage-free. It makes for an ideal training tool for your dog or bringing him along during your mountain climbing expeditions.
Should you go on those aimless walks at night, you and your dog will not disappear in the darkness. Thanks to its reflective, glow-in-the-dark materials, you can walk safely during night time without exposing your dog and yourself to danger of being run over.
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The fully padded handle will prevent rope burns even with constant yanking from your pet. The heavy-duty metal hook can hold more than 300 pounds of pull. Its beautiful rope design is a nice touch to an already reliable leash.
This GOMA leash offers a full refund for 90 days or 3 months. You can choose from 2 sizes of either 4 feet or 6 feet, depending on your dog and your usage.
- Special features: The reflective color that can be used safely at night
OutdoorMaster’s Bungee Dog Leash
This leash is made using a bungee cord- yes, it’s the same elastic as the one used in bungee jumping from a cliff or an elevation. It truly makes for one unique feature that’s excellent for walking or training your canine.
When unstretched, the cord, which is one-inch wide, only measures about three feet and can fully extend up to four feet. As such, it becomes somewhat a retractable dog leash, but with the extra comfort and reduced risk if injury. So when your dog suddenly jumps or does those jerky movements, it will have less impact on him and on your arm.
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The two handles allow more versatility with its use, one of which is near the clasp, and another found at the edge of the stretchy cord.
The EVA padding on either handles contributes to the comfortable grip as well as the 1000D nylon material and the connect buckle with quick release. This also makes it great to be used for medium and large dogs which include Tibetan Mastiffs, Samoyeds, Golden Retrievers, among others. The OutdoorMaster bungee dog leash has a warranty for 6 months and comes in three colors.
- Special features: The flexible bungee rope with two handles
Petsafe Nylon Leash
Based on a no-frills, standard type, the Petsafe nylon leash offers a durable tool you can rely on to deliver expectations. The hook connector easily attaches and detaches from your dog’s collar or harness in one clipping action. As such, you can transition smoothly from walking your dog with the leash to coming home and sliding it off from him.
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Another great aspect of this product is its availability in varying lengths and widths. You can get either a 4-foot or 6-foot long, choose the right width from ⅜ inch that’s ideal for small pups to 1 inch, which can handle medium-sized canines Take a pick among their 6 attractive colors that will match your dog’s collar, harness, or head halter.
- Special features: Affordable price and wide range of sizes and colors
Paw Lifestyles’ Extra Heavy Duty Dog Leash
This leash is an offshoot of the heavy duty variant and is supposed to be a better option. Based on the features, it is almost the same as the other kind, such as the presence of double handles with neoprene padding for comfort, D-ring inclusion, and the tough hardware.
The reflective cord that allows you to use it at nighttime, and also has the same material, which can withstand practically all elements. It caters to medium size dogs up to large ones just like the other variant.
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Given the identical features, there are perhaps two obvious things that make it different from the heavy-duty model and they are the length size and price. This one comes shorter at 6 feet long and has the same thickness width of 3mm.
What is surprising about this item is that even if it’s extra heavy duty, it’s significantly sold at a lower price. Remember that this one comes with 100% guarantee for your money back, too.
- Special features: Has a cheaper price compared to the heavy-duty model
GEEPET’s Mountain Climbing Rope Dog Leash
Another tool you can use for your medium or large canine that can withstand a pull force of 1000 pounds is GEEPET’s dog leash. As its product name says, it is perfect for those mountain climbers who have dog companions and enable them to enjoy their climbing exercise without hassle.
The kernmantle rope may have durable quality, but it lends a supple touch. It will match your dog’s constant tugging and yanking behavior, and it is one tough cookie to break. The padded handle will ensure this as well while keeping the palm of your hands cut-free.
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The durability of the GEEPET’s mountain climbing rope dog leash is attested by its 100% satisfaction guarantee for one year. It comes in 2 length sizes of 4 feet and 6 feet and in 4 beautiful colors.
- Special features: Material is made with mountain-climbing quality
Max and Neo Dog Gear’s Reflective Nylon Dog Leash
Just like many of the leashes mentioned earlier, the Max and Neo’s dog leash allows you to take your dog for casual walks outside or train him specific skills with relative ease. The cushioned handle makes for a comfortable grip even during extended periods of use.
The durable construction ensures its ability to stand up against your dog’s extreme playfulness. You can attach your usual dog accessories such as your poop bag, training clicker, etc. to the D-ring connected to the metal clip.
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The most amazing feature of this product is its unbeatable lifetime warranty. The makers have even gone as far as guaranteeing replacement of your chewed leash, which shows a lot of complacence on their product’s durability.
You will have extra safety measure at night when you use this leash given the luminous stitching on both of its sides. This will make you and your dog’s presence visible even with low lighting.
This leash comes in 2 standard lengths, 2 widths, and five colors, which makes sure there’s at least one option that will suit your dog.
- Special features: Lifetime warranty
Coastal Pet Products Nylon Remington Rope Slip Dog Leash
The 2 in 1 beautiful braided rope that is also sturdy and long-lasting are just some of the remarkable features of this leash. You will not have to buy an individual collar because this leash has a loop on one end, which you can slip on your dog’s neck. There is no danger of accidental strangling whatsoever, ensuring safety of your pooch.
With a padded handle that’s gentle on your palms, you can get the Coastal Pet Products’ Remington leash in a shorter length of 2 feet. This size is quite uncommon among other leashes that only offer 4 feet as their shortest variant.
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Aside from handling smaller dogs, this 2-foot version allows you to walk your dog on the busiest streets and crossing lanes more safely. You can also move your dog between enclosures without any hassle. Furthermore, certain maneuvers based on your specific training are made possible with a shorter leash.
Remember that the Coastal Pet Products leash still comes with the standard 6-foot rope length that suits most dog breeds.
- Special features: Availability of rope length at 2 feet
Taotronics’ Retractable Hands Free Dog Leash
When you think of this leash, it reminds you somehow of the OutdoorMaster bungee dog rope. The difference lies in the dual design and its extendable length of more than 5 and a half feet. Given that advantage, it allows you a wider range of activities with this leash.
Aside from the 2 handles that provide extra grip for the aggressive mutt, the waist strap is a welcome feature for improved safety and less manual handling of the leash. This way, you can easily detach him to allow more freedom while you sit on the park bench to rest. It’s even great when you want to do your runs, breaking a sweat as you can simply hook the clip to your waist.
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It also boasts of better shock absorption, which can accommodate up to 150 pounds of dog weight. The reflective stitching will give a luminous light for safety when treading with your dog in the dark. The double ring attachment is another bonus feature which can stretch up to 63 inches.
The Taotronics retractable hands-free dog leash comes in 2 colors which are blue and green, with a size that will fit most dog breeds.
- Special features: Double bungee cord that extends up to a few inches from 6 feet
Getting your dog accustomed to his leash
The leash symbolizes the connection that exists between the dog and you as his parent. It’s important that he sees it that way, and that his leash is something positive and never a form of punishment. Just like many things you train on your dog, you should employ gentle persuasion, but with authority when it comes to encouraging him to accept his leash. Here are tips that can be of help:
- Get your dog acquainted to his collar and leash. You can do this by displaying the leash within his sight, or leaving it on the floor so that he becomes curious with it. He may even flirt with it like it’s a dog toy. Just let the familiarity sink in.
- Let him start wearing the leash for a few minutes while he’s just hanging around in the house. When you remove it, you can give him a treat afterwards. Repeat a few more times in a day. This way, he will able to associate his leash as something fun.
- Train him to respond to a verbal cue. There are many ways to do this. You can make a clucking sound or pick a word that will resonate with him such as playtime. You can also use a training clicker for this purpose. Do this in a place where there are no distractions. Reward your mutt with a treat as soon he responds by looking at you when he hears the magic word.
- Repeat the verbal cueing several times until you are able to get more from him by not just looking at you, but also approaching you after he hears your sound. Please note that dogs get easily distracted, especially if he does repetitive actions, so keep each of your practices short yet remarkable.
- Practice in a normal setting, where there are noises and distractions everywhere. Don’t forget the reward system of giving him a treat for obedience and praising him verbally.
- Time to road test his new skill. Be ready as the first day may prove to be challenging. Patience is part and parcel of training your beloved dog. Again, keep it short during the first few times until he becomes well adjusted to the new routine.
Remember, don’t use force, let alone punishment, especially when you’re trying to hasten things up so you immediately achieve your goal. Both of you might just end up in frustration.
So when you encounter challenges during his leash OJT, here are even more advice you can use to manage them:
- If your dog starts to pull away from you, stiffen your stance. Don’t move and given in to his whim. Wait until he relents.
- If your dog decides to lunge on a critter he sees, prevent him from doing so by being observant and widen his distance from the target. Also, be prepared with a handy treat to distract him from his own distraction, so to speak.
- If your dog barks upon seeing another dog, do the same as you would when he is about to lunge at a distraction- offer him a treat after keeping a distance.
When all these challenges have been overcome, you’ll find that you would rely less on giving treats and more for your dog putting his best foot forward all the time he’s on a leash.
Which leash type is best for my dog?
As you may have learned from reading this article, a leash comes in many types according to use and material. It is not a one size fits all item. Right off the bat, you have to consider your dog’s size, chew type, preference, activity, and purpose. Of course, everybody would always want a durable product so that one’s a given.
For the sake of giving a response to this question, a standard type leash is a good starter product which will fit most breeds and will work well with normal physical activities such as walking outside. For those who have a more active lifestyle, such as hiking or bike riding, there are specific leashes that will be most suitable.
For your part, assess your lifestyle and activities you like doing with your dog and then reread the different leash types on this article.
I just bought my dog’s first leash, now what?
Train your dog by getting him to be familiar with his new leash. Unless that’s a Martingale lead, make sure that he also has either a collar or a harness because that’s where you’ll hook the leash in the first place. Don’t just put it on him right away, you have to proceed gently and take baby steps if necessary. Refer to the tips enumerated above.
Is there such a thing as waterproof dog leash?
Yes there is but more often, dog leashes are just water resistant, which is technically different from being waterproof. With most leashes being made of strong nylon, this type of material can be water resistant meaning, even when it’s wet, water will take time to soak the leash. Always check the item description to know if what you’re buying is indeed waterproof.
How can you tell if your dog actually likes his leash?
This is a great question. Often we only think of ourselves when buying a leash and just trying to impose our lifestyle on our dog. Offhand, you can observe his behavior when you are walking him with a leash. Is he always tugging his rope? If yes, this could mean discomfort for your pup.
How do I pick a durable leash that can withstand my hyperactive dog?
While manufacturers may drumbeat their product by saying that it can handle this much dog weight, the best way I think is to try it for your own dog. Detailed feedback and reviews help as well. Or, before you even have your dog wear it, do the test using your own strength by pulling it apart. It’s a simple method of testing the sturdiness of the product.
What’s the best cleaning method for leashes?
Cleaning your dog’s leash is an uncomplicated exercise. But before anything else, check the cleaning instructions on the leash as it may also entail special cleaning procedures. For most nylon leashes, they are machine-washable and perhaps you can just use a gentle clean setting. Air dry afterwards instead of putting in a dryer, which may cause shrinkage. If it’s a leather leash, you can use cleaning oils specifically for leather. You can also lightly pat it with warm water and some soap, and leave it to dry as well.
A leash proves to be not just a dog accessory, but an essential tool in keeping your dog safe and secure, especially when he is outdoors. It is also part of being a responsible dog parent in making sure your beloved pet is always on his best behavior. Leash training may be a challenging feat, but with patience and determination, this will make both you and your dog’s life much better and maintain your harmonious relationship as well as with others.