Dog leashes have one function – keeping your dog safe and in control in public spaces. Dog leashes also help in corrective training, and they add to you and your dog’s comfort. Buying a dog leash is the best thing you can do for yourself and your dog.
Imagine taking your dog for a walk, then the leash snaps and the dog runs away never to be seen again. Scary, right? When choosing a leash, you should consider what you are using it for, to ensure that you get the right one for your dog. Here’s the perfect guide to choosing the best leash for your canine.
Think about the best leash type for your dog
Leashes come in different types such as standard, adjustable, retractable, and multiple dog leashes. When choosing leash type, put your dog’s needs and characteristics first. If your dog is well-behaved, you can get them the best retractable dog leash as they will barely pull away when walking. Retractable leashes allow you to lock the leash at a certain length, so you can still use them for training. Also, they automatically collect slack, preventing it from tangling your dog’s legs. Standard leashes are ideal for basic training and everyday walking while adjustable leashes allow you to shorten or lengthen the leash. Multiple dog leashes make your work easier when walking many dogs because they allow holding the dogs on a single leash that has a coupler for attaching another dog.
Think about material
Dog leashes are available in different materials; hence your choice should be driven by your dog’s needs and your budget. The most common are leather, nylon, and chains. You can also find cotton and rubber leashes. If you are having a difficult time deciding which material to buy, here’s what you need to know:
- Nylon: this material is popular because it is relatively strong and inexpensive. Nylon leashes are also available in many colors and patterns. Nylon leashes are ideal for training pups because they are lightweight and easy to handle. However, they are not hard to chew through and if your dog tends to pull suddenly, the leash will create friction and could result in a burn. They are also slippery when wet; thus not ideal for wet weather or swimming with your dog.
- Leather: if you need a leash that will last for years, go for leather, it is high quality and durable. Since leather has a natural give, it tends to soften to your hand over time and is comfortable. However, you will need a leather conditioner to treat the leash regularly to maintain its quality.
- Chain: chain leashes are inexpensive and durable. Since they are heavy, they are not the best for training purposes. Though some people deem them as ideal for dogs that chew, they might injure your dog’s teeth if he/she bites them. They also tend to be tough on hands. Chain leashes are a good fit for larger, weightier dog breeds. You can find a thin, light chain for a pup and upgrade to a heavier one as it grows.
- Rubber: rubber chains are not the best choice for your dog. They make it hard to train and correct your dog or pup. Since they are flexible, they allow your dog to pull you; thus you have no control over him/her.
Decide on the right length
Having a good leash length prevents your dog from wandering away and getting into trouble. Leashes can either be short, standard, or long.
Short leashes are typically 2-4 feet long. They are ideal for walking your dog in high traffic areas and busy streets. They minimize the risk of your pup getting wrapped around poles and posts. Short leashes are a great choice if you are walking a dog who has not been trained to stay by your side.
Standard length leashes are 6 feet long. These are for walking your dog in less trafficked areas or around your neighborhood. Standard leashes give dog owners control over their dogs and allow some room for dogs to face them when receiving commands. They leave room for your dog to explore without so much slack that they get tangled around your dog’s legs or touch the ground.
Long leashes are great for training dogs. They allow some distance between you and your dog, without taking away your control.
You can also find long-line leashes on the market. These range between 50 and 150 feet. They are a good fit for distance command training, recall commands training, and training in long sits or stays. However, some states and cities limit leash length to six feet so check the laws before buying a long line leash. Also, use them in an open field or if your property sits in a vast area to avoid issues of trespass.
Consider the ideal width
Width is another crucial factor when choosing a leash for your dog. Thicker leashes are an excellent choice if your dog is a chewer. Since they are strong, they are ideal for pullers and stronger dogs because they won’t snap. Thin leashes, on the other hand, are the best for small dogs and young, small puppies because they are light.
Always carry an extra leash when walking your dog as your primary one could get damaged. Also, when walking many dogs on a multiple dog leash, do not forget to adjust the coupler to prevent the tall dog from dragging the shorter one. Do not forget to follow the tips discussed above when choosing a new leash for your canine!