Taking your buddies out for a walk is a fun activity. Besides, your pet can benefit from getting even just a few minutes of exercise. To make the experience a lot more comfortable and enjoyable, a dog leash is necessary.
However, there’s actually a huge difference between the typical leash you can find in the market and a high-quality and durable one. An ordinary leash can easily break or snap, especially if you own a large dog. Meanwhile, a quality leash won’t.
In this guide, we’re going to talk about the best dog leashes on the market along with a buying guide. We’ll also try to give you some useful answers on some of the frequently asked questions regarding dog leashes.
How to Choose the Best Dog Leash Guide
There’s plenty of dog leashes on the market, so it’s only understandable that you’ll have a hard time looking for the right product. Fortunately, you can easily narrow down your choices by knowing what things to look for in a dog leash. Basically, these things are what you should keep in mind.
There are 8 different types of dog leashes you can find in the market. As such, it’s important to know which type of leash you are buying beforehand. Without further ado, here are the different leash types you can choose from:
The standard leash is the most common dog leash type which you can use for basic training and daily walks. It’s often made of either leather or nylon, although you can also find some variants that are made of cotton or rubber.
On average, a standard dog leash will measure around 4 to 8 feet long and is strong and durable enough to restrain even an adult dog. Due to its range of length, you can have room for freedom of movement as well as easy control of your dog if necessary.
Retractable dog leash
A retractable dog leash is the second most common type available. Its design allows you to have control over the distance your dog can walk. In fact, you can easily control how close or far you want your dog to go. In other words, a retractable dog leash provides you and your dog with the most freedom of movement.
It works like a measuring tape that comes with an extendable nylon cord which can extend anywhere between 4 and 30 feet. Its handle comes with a locking mechanism to let you lock the leash at any specific length.
The adjustable leash is designed to fill any gaps between the standard and retractable leashes. It’s designed for dog owners who want to adjust the leash to their desired length. On average, an adjustable leash can extend around 3-6 feet by simply adding or removing loops.
You can either get a short leash for training or a longer one for walking your dog. Simply put, an adjustable leash provides you control of its length to a certain extent.
If you live an active lifestyle and like riding a bike, you might want to get yourself a bike leash. This type of leash can be attached to your bicycle’s frame, giving your dog an adjustable distance from your bike. With proper training, you can have your dog run alongside you while biking without him running away.
Compared to other leash types, this one is a bit harder to use. However, once your dog gets used to it, it will serve as an excellent means of exercise for the both of you.
Multiple dog leash
As the name implies, this type of leash allows you to walk multiple dogs all at the same time on a single leash. It comes with a single handle with multiple leashes attached. This is an excellent option if you have more than one dog you want to walk at once.
If you often face the problem of your dog destroying his leash, getting a chain leash would be the most feasible option. As it’s made of metal, it’s virtually indestructible. It’s also very useful for dogs who have a tendency to chew their leash.
Martingale lead leash
Though this type of leash sounds quite uncommon, it’s actually more common than you think. It’s often used by training experts for preventing a dog from pulling a leash. Once a dog starts pulling his leash, it will then tighten around his neck, just putting enough pressure that’ll make him uncomfortable the harder he pulls but without choking him.
Seat belt safety leash
This type of leash is an ideal option if you love taking your dog with you on a road adventure. It’s a short leash that comes with a clip attached to your dog’s collar and another clip attached to a seat belt so your dog is secured while sitting in your car.
With this, you can prevent him from moving around inside the car as you drive. It also keeps him from wandering off if ever you get caught in an accident. While traveling with your dog in your car is best done with a crate, a seat belt safety leash is the best alternative if you don’t have one.
Size (length and width)
Next, you have to consider the size depending on how big or small your dog is. There are two factors to help you decide the right leash size for your dog: length and width.
A shorter leash is ideal for training and safety purposes, while the longer ones are ideal for distance command training and allowing your dog to wander around without losing control over him. In the city, a 4-ft leash is often used to give dogs enough freedom while still keeping them close to their owner. Meanwhile, a leash that’s around 6-ft long is ideal in suburban areas as there is more open space for the dogs to move about.
Let’s talk about dog leashes based on their varying lengths:
4 feet – this is often used in busy areas like the streets or city. Ideally, a 4-ft long leash gives you maximum control over your dog and is quite useful for training purposes. It can also be useful in cases where your dog tends to wander before he’s even trained to stay at your side.
6 feet – considered the most common length for a dog leash, a 6-ft leash allows you to walk your dogs within the neighborhood or in areas with minimal traffic. It also gives your dog enough room to wander and explore without getting it tangled.
8 to 10 feet – designed for obedience training purposes, dog leashes with this length offer a considerable distance between you and your dog. Of course, you still get to exert total control over your pet.
Long line leashes – these are leashes that range around 50 to 150 feet long. They are the perfect choice for distance command training such as long stays and recalls. With a long line leash, you can maintain the longest distance between you and your dog without losing control and connection.
When it comes to width, you only have two considerations:
Thick leashes – you want to get a thick leash if your dog is a strong puller or chewer. A wide leash provides more strength and will keep the leash from snapping in the event your dog pulls aggressively.
Slim leashes – a slim leash is ideal for small dogs or puppies since they are lighter and offer fewer restrictions. If you have a puppy, you may have to upgrade to a thicker leash later on in accordance with his breed and temperament.
The next factor you should consider is the material used for constructing the leash. There are different materials used for creating a dog leash, and each of them has its own unique features and benefits. To help you figure out which leash to choose, we’re going to talk about the most common and widely used materials that dog leash manufacturers use. They are as follows:
Cotton – a leash that’s made of cotton features a good amount of give and is ideal for swimming purposes. If your dog loves to swim a lot, going for a cotton leash is the most feasible choice. The problem with a cotton leash is that it’s really difficult to find, not to mention that it runs the risk of leash burn just like nylon.
Chain – a chain leash is a budget-friendly alternative, although it’s not really ideal compared to the other materials. The reason is because it’s made of metal which could be harmful to your dog, especially if yours have a tendency to bite on leashes. As it has no give, it’s hard on the hands and might even fracture your fingers if it wraps around you while walking a strong and big dog. Generally, chain leashes are not recommended.
Nylon – considered as the most common material used for manufacturing dog leashes, nylon is strong, affordable, and available in any color you want. Albeit really cheap, nylon actually offers decent strength and durability. However, when going for a nylon leash, make sure you choose one with a padding to prevent leash burns, especially if you have a big and strong dog. It’s very lightweight, making it ideal for use on puppies.
Leather – leather is by far the best material you could ever have on a dog leash. It’s incredibly strong, gentle on your hands, and has the best natural amount of give available. The only problem with a leather dog leash is that it’s quite expensive as compared to the other leash materials on the market.
Reflective – while it’s not technically a material used for creating an entire leash, a reflective is a material that’s woven into a leash (made of either leather or nylon) so you can walk your dog safely and easily at night. It’s a common addition to a dog harness as well.
Lastly, you want to choose the right clip style. It should be strong and reliable enough as even the strongest leash available will still be useless if it won’t stay attached to the collar. As such, you have to choose a leash that comes with a good quality clip. And since the leash can get wet, going for a brass or stainless steel clip is ideal to avoid corrosion.
Also, the clip must be able to withstand a certain degree of force as there are instances when your dog pulls aggressively.
There are two styles of leash clips, and they are as follows:
Bolt snap – a bolt snap clip comes with a little spring located inside a shaft which you slide open to attach to a collar. It’s a fairly reliable clip, which explains why it’s widely used in most leashes on the market. The problem is that the spring weakens over time, causing the clip to loosen, allowing your dog to escape the leash.
Trigger snap – similar to the bolt snap, a trigger snap clip also comes with a spring. To open it, you simply need to push the tiny lever which acts as the trigger. Compared to the bolt snap, this one’s a bit bigger and more reliable as it contains a larger spring which doesn’t weaken easily. Also, its design allows it to be more secure the more tension your dog creates.
Our 14 Best Dog Leash Picks
1. Paw Lifestyles Heavy Duty Dog Leash
The Ideal Leash for Medium and Large Dogs
Tough and durable, this 7ft long heavy-duty leash from Paw Lifestyles is the leash you need if you enjoy walking your dog at night. It features a luminous reflective threading that will help you and your dog remain visible at night.
It’s also marketed as almost 2x thicker than most dog leash in the market. It’s made of nylon and comes with plus padded handles to offer you a comfortable and complete control.
Why We Like It:
- Strong and durable due to its webbed nylon material
- Comes with a reflective threading which offers visibility at night
- Allows maximum comfort via its neoprene padded handles
2. Pets Lovers Club Heavy Duty Dog Leash
Super Comfortable Leash with Padded Handles
Only a few can match the durability and strength that this 6ft heavy duty leash from Pets Lovers Club can offer, which is the reason why it has made it to this list. It features a double layer design which makes it 2x stronger compared to your typical nylon leash. It’s also incredibly comfortable, thanks to its padded handle which protects you from leash burns.
Why We Like It:
- Comes with five different color options
- Prevents leash burn with its padded handle
- Features a double layer build, making it extremely strong and durable
3. Max and Neo Reflective Nylon Dog Leash
Reflective Leash for Added Night Visibility and Safety
This reflective leash from Max and Neo is what you need as far as a walking or training leash is concerned. Aside from being durable enough to withstand a large dog’s pulling force, it’s also incredibly comfortable on the hands.
Since it has a reflective threading, you can use it for walking your dog safely even at night. It also comes in 5 different colors for you to choose from. What makes the Max and Neo leash special is that the manufacturer will donate one identical leash to a rescue dog for every leash bought.
Why We Like It:
- It’s made of durable and high quality nylon
- The double padded handles provide you a maximum level of comfort
- It comes with a lifetime warranty
- The manufacturer decided to donate one leash to a rescued dog for every leash purchased
4. Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Dog Leash
Simple Yet Durable with High Density Webbing
This classic dog leash from Blueberry Pet is available in 19 different colors to choose from, thereby giving you a very wide variety of options. Aside from that, it’s made of nylon fabric for enhanced durability.
While it’s sold as a single product, there are actually matching dog collars and hooks to complement its looks. Albeit displaying a rather classic and simple design, you’ll be amazed to find out just how durable and comfortable this leash can be.
Why We Like It:
- There are over 12 colors to choose from
- It comes in a simplistic yet durable design
5. Primal Pet Gear Double Handle Dog Leash
Two Handles for Two Times the Control
The Primal Pet 6-ft leash is ideal for those who want control, comfort, and customization. As the name implies, it’s a double handle leash which is designed to make dog walking a lot safer and easier. Also, it’s made of a durable nylon material which makes it perfect for handling really strong and powerful dogs.
One of its handles is positioned a foot away from its clip for maximum control especially during training and walking. Meanwhile, the other handle is located at the end of the rope to allow your dog freedom to explore without compromising control.
Why We Like It:
- It’s available in 6 different color options
- Its two handles allow you to monitor your dog with ease
- Padded handles offer maximum comfort
6. Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko
The Best Selling Retractable Leash in the Market
The Hertzo retractable leash is designed for a hard-pulling dog. It’s a heavy-duty leash that will keep even the most powerful dogs in check. As a retractable leash, you can expect a reliable operation along with a good amount of durability regardless of the breed of your dog.
It’s capable of extending up to 16 feet, thus giving your buddy more room to explore and more distance to roam around. Lastly, its super grip handle has an ergonomic design to offer maximum comfort while ensuring an excellent grip for enhanced security.
Why We Like It:
- Can support dogs of up to 110 pounds
- Features a super grip handle with an anti-slip and ergonomic design
- Extends up to 16 feet to provide your dog with more space and distance
7. TaoTronics Retractable Hands Free Dog Leash with Dual Bungees
Hands-Free Wearing for a Hands-Free Walking Activity
The TaoTronics leash is a high-quality product which is offered in two different colors. It’s a retractable leash that’s capable of supporting large dogs of up to 150 pounds. Its dual-bungee cord design allows you to walk your dog safely without the risk of muscle strain and injuries for the both of you.
It also features a waist strap which allows you to walk your dog hands-free so you can use your hands for other activities like using your cellphone without being restrained by your dog’s movements. Lastly, it comes with a reflective stitching to provide you and your dog enhanced visibility and safety while walking at night.
Why We Like It:
- Its dual bungee design minimizes the risks of injury and strain
- It can fit dogs of all sizes
- Comes with a waist strap for a hands-free use
8. PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash
A Traditional Style Leash That’s Perfect for Both Cats and Dogs
The PetSafe leash is a simple yet highly durable and reliable dog leash that’s available in 6 different color options. Despite having a classic design, you can surely rely on this product’s durability, especially since it’s made of a durable nylon material.
It’s available in lengths of 4 and 6 feet with varying widths to suit the size and breed of your dog. If you’re looking for a leash that will help you train your pooch with ease, this is definitely one of the best options you can find.
Why We Like It:
- Incredibly easy to use
- Comes in 6 different color choices
9. Leashboss Original – Heavy Duty Dog Leash for Large Dogs
Ideal for Training and Walking without the Leash Burn
The Leashboss Original leash is a heavy-duty leash that’s intended for walking large dogs. It comes with a padded handle to offer you comfort while walking your dog and prevent the risk of a leash burn. Also, it allows you to maintain a firm and secure grip when your dog starts pulling hard.
Since this leash is made of durable nylon, you can expect it to last for a longer time without the risk of snapping. Lastly, its 5-ft length which is intended to neither be too long nor too short allows you to enjoy maximum control.
Why We Like It:
- It comes with a dual handle design
- Features an ultra strong construction with its durable nylon material
- Specifically intended for large dogs
10. OutdoorMaster Bungee Dog Leash
Unique Bungee Design for Minimal Risks of Injury
This bungee dog leash from OutdoorMaster has a rather unique design which is based on the bungee cord used by thrillseekers. This unique design actually serves a specific purpose which is to minimize the risk of injury and offer you maximum comfort especially when your dog starts pulling aggressively.
The 1-inch wide leash is made of 1000D nylon to offer maximum durability, while the padded handles are made of EVA for maximum comfort. The leash is only 36.5 inches long when contracted but can extend up to 4 feet when fully stretched.
Why We Like It:
- Features a unique and elastic bungee cord design
- Comes with EVA padded handles to offer comfort and prevent leash burn
- Ideal for medium to large sized dogs
11. Timber and Tide Outdoor Co – Premium Heavy Duty Leather Dog Leash
Premium Full Grain Leather Leash for Unparalleled Strength and Comfort
This 6-ft heavy-duty dog leash from Timber and Tide Outdoor Co is made of 100% full grain leather to ensure maximum strength, durability, and comfort. It’s incredibly strong and designed specifically for medium and large dogs.
In spite of that, it’s soft enough to make sure you enjoy maximum comfort while walking your dog. Additionally, it’s water-resistant construction allows you to walk your dog in the rain without having to worry about it getting dirty. As it’s made of leather, you can rely on its durability that’ll surely last for a long time.
Why We Like It:
- Designed to handle even the toughest pulling dogs
- Made of durable leather to ensure maximum durability
- Classic yet premium design
12. Leatherberg Leather Dog Training Leash
Leather Leash for a Pain-Free Walking and Training Activity
The Leatherberg dog leash is an excellent choice as far as a quality leather leash is concerned. It’s made of durable cowhide leather for exceptional durability along with a double-stitching design. It also includes a heavy-duty stainless steel clasp to prevent it from getting twisted.
Additionally, it’s water-resistant and won’t collect any fur since it doesn’t have any fabric weave compared to conventional leashes that are made of nylon. While it might not be an affordable option, it’s nonetheless an excellent one when you’re looking for superior durability and comfort.
Why We Like It:
- Comes with a 1-year, no-risk money back guarantee
- Made of leather to ensure maximum durability and strength
13. Phydeaux’s Mountain Climbing Rope Dog Leash
A Considerably Thicker Leash for Handling Big Dogs
Capable of supporting up to 1,000 pounds, this mountain climbing rope dog leash from Phydeaux’s Pet Supply is what you need for handling the strongest of dogs. In other words, it can handle any dogs regardless of their size. It also comes with a padded handle to offer maximum comfort and control as well as prevent leash burn.
Aside from the comfort and durability it offers, it also comes with a one-year warranty which is basically a win-win deal for any dog owner.
Why We Like It:
- Extremely durable and fully capable of supporting even XXL dogs
- Highly affordable and comes in 11 different colors
14. Vaun Duffy Double Dog Leash
Double Dog Leash for Walking Two Dogs at Once
The Vaun Duffy dog leash is the ideal leash if you want to walk two dogs at the same time without compromising their comfort and safety. It comes with two padded neoprene handles to make sure you remain comfortable while walking your pets.
It also comes with a reflective stitching so you can safely walk your dogs at night. Lastly, this 1-inch wide leash is designed for medium to large sized dogs. You don’t even have to worry about your dogs having different heights as you can easily adjust each side to match each of their height.
Why We Like It:
- Comes with a no-tangle swivel to prevent the leash from getting tangled
- Can be easily adjusted to match your dogs’ varying height
- Allows you to walk your dogs safely at night with its reflective stitching
How to Train a Dog to Walk on a Leash
Now that you know which are the best dog leash products in the market, let’s now talk about how you can teach your dog to walk properly on a leash.
Like all dog training activities, you need to proceed in a step-by-step process. Make sure not to rush your dog as it can only make the training a lot harder and slower. That said, here are some tips you have to follow:
- Make sure your dog is familiar with his collar and leash first. Don’t walk him immediately right after getting a leash. Instead, leave it lying on the floor and give your pet enough time to play with it until he gets used to it. You can then place the collar around his neck.
- Afterward, teach him to respond to either a sound or verbal cue. This is when a clicker is really useful. Also, you might want to give him some treats while doing so.
- Next, entice your dog to come closer to you. As he gets closer, start moving a few steps back before giving him a treat. This time, he should already be wearing both the collar and the leash. Wait for your dog to start walking towards your direction, then start walking a few paces.
- Keep practicing it in your house with little distraction as possible until your dog becomes comfortable “walking” with you while wearing a leash. Once he gets used to it, you may start walking him outside. Take it slowly. Walk him around the backyard, then as he gets comfortable, walk him toward the next block, then around the neighborhood, and so on. Always make sure to do it slowly and reward him with praises and treats.
Q: Can dog leashes be washed?
A: Yes, you can wash a dog leash. However, since each material is different, you have to check the instructions on how your leash should be cleaned. Most nylon leashes can be washed in a washing machine, while leather leashes should be washed using a special soap and a towel.
Q: How do I know the leash size I need?
A: The size of your leash will depend on the size and breed of your dog. You also need to consider the purpose you’re going to use the leash for. We’ve already mentioned the different leash sizes available above.
Q: How to stop the dog from biting the leash?
A: If your dog is fond of biting his leash, there are a few things you can do to prevent him from doing so. They are as follows:
- Give him interactive toys that contain treats and make him “work” to get those goodies. Not only will it give him something to play with, it’s also a good method to provide mental and physical stimulation.
- Look for activities that allow your dog to have a physical or mental workout. This could be a game of fetch or food puzzles.
- Divert his attention with the help of treats. This way, his attention will be focused on the treat instead of biting his leash.
A dog leash, like any other dog products like dog head halters, allows you to walk your dog effortlessly without having to worry about his safety and comfort. With the best dog leash, you can certainly have a worry-free adventure with your dog whether on the street, park, or the neighborhood.