Selecting the Right Leash

Selecting the Right Leash

We’ve previously discussed the important role that your leash plays in the training process, but leashes range greatly in length, thickness, features, colors, material and cost.  So how do you know what type of leash is best for your dog?  Here are some things that I look for when selecting a leash.

First off, I would recommend staying away from retractable leashes as they can be dangerous and don’t allow for a structured walk.  Also, I would not recommend leashes that are flexible and allow for expansion (rubber hose or bungee material) as they only make your dog’s pulling more tolerable and make it harder for you to teach your dog about leash pressure.  Manufacturers offer some pretty elaborate options when it comes to dog leashes, but sometimes the simple basic leash is perfect!

  • Single-Ply – Unless your dog is a champion weight puller, a single-ply leash will be strong enough to handle your dog.  The single-ply also allows for slack to be pulled up and easily managed (especially helpful for heeling two dogs at the same time).
  • 1/2″ – 3/4″ Wide – I find 1/2″ – 3/4″ wide enough to handle a dog and it’s a lot easier to manage than leashes made from cable, chain, climbing rope, and just about any other material out there.
  • Inexpensive – Let’s face it, leashes get chewed, they get peed on and dirty, they get lost, and it doesn’t hurt to have multiple leashes.  These are all good reasons to stay with a relatively inexpensive leash.
  • 4′ to 6′ in Length – You will mostly be using your leash for walks and anything longer then this will just make your walks difficult as your dog does not need a lot of material to be in a proper heel.
  • Simple Loop –  Some leashes have extra padding in the handles or are triple reinforced, or have an added easy grip feature that I find cumbersome.  This goes back to having the ability to easily gather up slack.
  • Leather – 1/2″ leather leashes are my absolute favorite.  They are easy to manage, strong, and once they get worn it, they are incredibly soft!  I have had my hands on many different types of leashes over the years and I always return back to the simple leather leash.

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