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Choosing a Dog Leash: Which One is the Best?

A leash is one of the dog accessories you’ll use the most with your furry friend, so choosing wisely is important. The perfect leash will be strong and durable and provide maximum comfort and safety for you and your dog. When you begin your search for the ideal leash, you’ll have to think about style, material, and even clip type. Fortunately, we’ve gathered all the essential info that you need to find the leash that will work for you.  

What are the Main Types of Dog Leashes?

The first thing to look at is the style of leash that you want. This will depend on your dog’s size and strength as well as the activities you’ll be doing together. Below are the most common types of leash you’ll see. 

Standard Dog Leash

The standard dog leash is, as the name suggests, the most-used type of leash. These straightforward leashes are usually 4-8 feet long but can come in lengths as long as a hundred feet. Standard leashes are easy to find in any pet store in various colors and materials. 

While this type is an excellent option for most pet parents, it does have a drawback. The length can only be adjusted by taking up more length in hand, which is uncomfortable for the pet parent. There are more suitable leash types for dogs that pull. 

Traffic Dog Leash

Traffic leashes are extremely short, around a foot long or less, and are designed to give control over larger dogs back to the owner. With no opportunity for wandering away, lunging, or stopping unexpectedly, traffic leashes are ideal for intense training sessions. They’re also a great choice if you walk through crowded areas or parks with lots of distractions. 

A traffic leash is mainly used for special situations or training, so the downside is that they’re not very useful for daily walks or loose-leash training. 

Adjustable Dog Leash

With clasps on both ends of the leash and moveable rings, this type of leash is a versatile choice for pet parents. It has an easy-to-grasp loop handle like a standard leash, but it can also be adjusted to go around your waist for hands-free dog walking. It works with any collar or harness, and you can even use it to walk two dogs at once!

The main downside to an adjustable dog leash is that the handles aren’t as comfortable to hold for long periods. 

Chain Dog Leash

Chain dog leashes are almost identical to standard leashes, except the main section is made of a metal chain instead of leather or nylon (more on that later). A chain leash is best for dogs that tend to chew their leashes. The hard metal should deter any chomping. You can find this style in any size, so it will work for any breed you have. 

Unfortunately, chain leashes are much heavier than a standard leash, even if you get a small size. Keep an eye on your dog to see if the weight is disrupting his movement or if you notice any discomfort. Also, make sure he doesn’t try to keep chewing this leash, or you could face some expensive doggy dental bills!

Split Dog Leash

A split dog leash, or multiple dog leash, allows pet parents to walk two or more dogs simultaneously. You can even control the movement of both leads in one hand, which makes this a perfect leash for dog walkers or those with multiple canines. 

However, split dog leashes can be challenging to get the hang of, especially if the dogs are not trained. Tangled leashes can quickly become a problem, and you can’t adjust their length, unlike retractable dog leashes. 

Slip Lead

A slip lead is a collar and leash in one. You simply slip the loop over the dog’s neck and tighten it to fit by pulling the length of the leash. When walking with your dog, you’ll see that the collar portion tightens when there is tension in the lead. A slip lead will fit any size and breed and work great for loose leash walking. 

The only drawback to the slip lead is that if your dog pulls too hard or too often, the tightening of the collar portion could cause injury to the dog’s neck. Save this leash for when your dog is leash trained and has broken his pulling habit. 

Retractable Dog Leash

A retractable dog leash is the best leash type for any dog and activity. The leash is wound up and housed in a casing. A lock button will allow you to let out length, take it in, or hold it in place as needed. A typical retractable dog leash will extend 4-20 feet. These leashes are versatile and straightforward to use and usually have a more comfortable handle. 

What is the Best Material for a Dog Leash?

A quality dog leash will use quality materials to ensure safety, comfort, and durability. The material that you choose will depend on your needs and preferences, but some stand out above the rest as a great choice. 

Nylon

You’ll find nylon as a standard option in nearly any style of leash we mentioned above. Nylon is a manmade material that is exceptionally durable. Since it is so common, it’s also inexpensive and can be found in various colors and patterns so your dog can be as stylish as you are. Plus, the material won’t shrink or warp when wet and are easy to clean and dry. 

Of course, there are a couple of minor downsides to nylon leashes. For example, if your dog has a chewing problem, nylon may not stand up to his teeth. And if your dog is a puller, the nylon could cause irritation to your hands. Proper training will help your dog with either of these behaviors, though. 

Leather

Leather offers a more rustic or classic look, and it’s also quite strong. Leather leashes are also more comfortable to grip while you walk with a dog that pulls. 

On the downside, leather leashes can be attractive to dogs that chew. They can also be quite expensive compared to nylon. 

Rope

Natural cotton rope leashes feature natural and eco-friendly materials. They’re durable and strong but still soft. Rope is also more difficult to chew through than leather, so it could make a great leash until you get Fido trained. 

Rope leashes do tend to get dirty pretty fast, and they can be hard to clean up. 

Chain

Metal chain is a hardwearing and durable material that will resist breakage, even with the most muscular pulling dog. Chain leashes come in all sizes for all breeds. Try to find one that is as lightweight as possible for your dog’s strength to avoid injury. 

Chain is not ideal for long-term everyday use. Once the dog has been broken of its chewing habit, you should opt for a different material, like nylon. 

The Kinds of Leash Clips and Why It Matters

The leash clip is the mechanism used to attach the leash to the harness or collar. A poorly designed clip could lead to any number of problems. For example, if it snaps and your pet runs away, his safety is in jeopardy. It should also close securely enough that it won’t just break after the first big walk. Here are a few different types of clips you might see. 

Trigger Snap Clip

 

A trigger snap clip features an easy-open spring-loaded mechanism that lets you hold the clip open while attaching the leash to the harness. This is a perfect clip type for four-legged escape artists because the clip opens inward; if your dog pulls or lunges, the tension will prevent the clip from being forced open. 

Bolt Snap Clip

The bold snap clip is the most common (and most beneficial) option you’ll see in modern leashes. Like the trigger snap, the bolt snap uses spring-loaded action to allow you to pull down a small bolt and let the harness attachment in. When you let go, the bolt snaps upward. This type of clip is easy, straightforward, and makes getting ready for walks effortless. 

Locking Carabiner

For medium- or large-sized dogs, a locking carabiner may be a more suitable option. They’re stronger than other clips and can’t be forced open, no matter how hard your dog pulls. The locking mechanism is simple but does take time to activate, and they’re bulk and heavy. Save these for large or strong dogs who are trained. 

Which Leash is the Best?

When you’re looking for a leash that’s right for you and your pet, you should look for a leash made of high-quality materials and has a durable design that is both comfortable and safe for pet and parent. 

At Pet & Cuddle, we swear by our expertly designed retractable leashes. With plenty of leash length and an easy lock/release button, you’ll be able to adjust this leash for activities like running, jogging, hiking, and other sports. Our retractable leashes also make loose leash walking and heeling a breeze, even in crowded public places. Durable nylon and a high-quality bolt snap clip with stainless steel spring will keep your dog safe and secure, even with frequent use. 

Check out all of our safe and affordable top-rated retractable dog leashes to find the perfect leash that will give your pup the freedom to explore the world and you the control to help him do it safely. 

Questions about Choosing the Best Dog Leash 

Still have a few questions about choosing the best dog leash? We’ve got you covered. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about finding a great dog leash. 

What is the best material for a leash?

For a leash that is durable, comfortable, and easy to clean, go for nylon. It’s also stylish and affordable. 

Are chain leashes bad for dogs?

Chain leashes should only be used on medium- and large-sized dogs who chew through their leashes. Because they are so heavy and hard, they could cause injury to your dog. 

Is it better to use a retractable dog leash?

A retractable dog leash is the best style for most pet parents and their pups. With an adjustable length and easy lock/release button, you can easily find the ideal length for your dog and activity. The leash handle is also much more comfortable to hold for longer, thanks to its ergonomic design.