Leashes are the second most important accessory you can purchase for your dog. A leash allows you to take your dog out of the house and into the world for adventure, even if they don’t know you are just going to the vet. A leash is used to control your dog in multiple environments and keeps them safe from different types of hazards. This is a quick guide to help you in buying the best type of leash for your dog.
This is the most common type of leash on the market today. The design is usually simple, a handle at one end and a clip on the other. It can come in a variety of fabrics, widths, and lengths. Many leashes will match collars from the same company.
The stretch webbing leash, also known as a bungee leash, has a design that takes on the best features of both a standard leash and a retractable leash. The leash is made from an expandable material so there is more flexibility in the length, but it is still limited in the length in which it can expand to which makes controlling your dog easier than using a retractable leash.
This leash design is similar to the standard leash design but instead of having a clip at the end to connect to the dog’s collar, it has a loop in which to slip over their head. Then the leash works as both a leash and a collar. This is a correction leash design and is used frequently with dogs who are pullers. The best-designed cinch leads will have some sort of stopper from preventing the loop to loosen up, allowing the dog to slip out.
Usually, the waist worn leash is a variant to the standard leash, essentially it is a standard leash but the handle can be converted to be worn around your waist. The benefit is a hands-free walking experience. This design is most commonly used for those individuals who run or hike with their dog.
A retractable leash has a relatively large plastic grip in which it houses the length of the leash, usually a nylon cord, which comes out when pulled and retracts when the tension is released. This leash can work against you if you are trying to teach loose leash walking or if you need extra control over your dog. Otherwise, the leash allows for your dog to have the most amount of freedom they can while still on a leash.
When purchasing a leash:
Consider the size of your dog when purchasing a leash, smaller dogs are not going to need a thick heavy leash to keep them under control like some larger breed dogs. Look at the handle itself, this is where a lot of your dog’s pulling is going to transfer to you, make sure it has a comfortable handle and fits your hand well. The length of the leash is also important, the most common length people buy is around 6 feet, but there are longer and shorter options depending on your needs. Bring your dog to the store, and if they let you, try out the different types of leashes. This is great to do at larger pet stores because they are filled with all different types of distractions and it will test not only your dog but the leash too. If you can’t try out leashes at the store, talk to your fellow dog-owning friends and see what types of leashes they have. Ask if you can borrow one for a test run and see how you like it in the environment that your dog and you will be using it the most.
Once you decide on the type of leash you would like to purchase, look into the different “extras” or variations that the leash has. Some leashes come with reflective threading in them so you and your dog can be seen while walking at night. Others have an extra loop closer to the clasp so you have a secondary handle to get a better hold of your dog when needed. The clasp itself can vary from leash to leash. In some cases, you have your standard clasp where you pull down on the side and hook it to the collar loop. Others can include a carabiner type clasp.
In the end, you are more than likely going to end up with multiple leashes for the variety of activities you may end up doing with your dog. If you do have multiple leashes, consider keeping one in your car at all times. This is important for many reasons, you could be in a rush and forget to bring a leash when you need one, or you could end up helping a stray dog find their way home. It is always important to have an extra leash on hand, just in case.