Picking The Right Leash For Your Dog
Finding the right leash, harness or collar can be hard when there are so many different options. Having to think about what kind of leash is best for you and your dog can be difficult. That's where we come in to help. Here at Terrible Toby’s, we have plenty of different options, but also the explanations behind them.
The most common leash you will see is a standard flat leash. These can range in width for the size of your dog and typically come in 6ft (2m), however, you can find shorter and longer ones too. These are your most common leashes for training and most trainers will work with and recommend this type of lead. Typically, these leashes are made with materials such as nylon, leather or woven material. When choosing the right flat leash for your dog, usually if you have a bigger or stronger dog it is important to choose a leash on the wider side, sometimes choosing rope material instead of nylon, whereas if you have a smaller dog, something on the skinner side would be appropriate as well.
Retractable leashes are the second most common leash. They allow various lengths for freedom and movement essentially working like a measuring tape. They can be locked to the desired length or unlocked to follow your dog’s movement, up to a maximum distance. The leash part itself is a nylon cord and the handle is a soft plastic material that will last over time. If at any time there is slack in the leash while locked, unlocking it will bring the material to reduce slack. Retractable leashes are great for dogs because it provides them more freedom to roam around on their walks. Retractable leashes can also be used for training commands such as stay & place, similar to how a long line would be used. When leash training, retractable leashes typically are not recommended. Retractable leashes don’t give consistent boundaries that a standard leash will. Which can confuse your pup and lead to frustration for both you and them. There have also been cases of low quality leashes failing, which causes the mechanism inside to break and allows your pup to have full range of the leash even when locked. When using retractable leashes, it’s extremely important to choose one that’s graded for your dog’s size. All retractable leashes should have size ratings, the maximum usually being 120lbs. Meaning that if you have an extra large dog, retractable leashes may not be the best option.
Bungee leashes incorporate a bungee into the leash to help absorb shock when your dog pulls. These leashes are great if you're a big runner and want to bring your dog along. When not stretched out all the way, the leash takes the pressure off of the collar. Meaning if your dog slows down or speeds up they won’t receive an intense shock when hitting the end of the leash. As said earlier, if the dog pulls, the bungee section of the leash takes the strain off the collar and their neck. These leashes are great for adventurous dogs who love to smell, allowing them some freedom without putting strain on your pup or your arm. Bungee leashes are more geared toward leash-trained dogs and are not recommended for reactive dogs. These leashes don’t allow the owners to have much control if there were to be incidents with other dogs. These leashes can also train the dogs to not have any reaction to pulling, with the bungee piece they might not see a problem with pulling as there are no consequences from the leash.
Training or long line leashes are generally used for training your dog’s recall. These leashes can range from 15ft - 50ft. Long lines simulate an off-leash environment while still having control of the dog ensuring they won’t run. Recommended to be used in an open area, these leashes will help you achieve your command goals like “come”, “heal” or “stay” while giving you the confidence of knowing your dog won’t bolt. Training leashes are recommended for almost any dog, but still be cautious if your dog is reactive, depending on how long your leash is you may not have the control you desire if an incident were to occur.
Seatbelt or safety belt leashes are used for car rides. On one end they have a carabiner that attaches to the harness and the other side clips into the seat belt holder. The common length for these is 2.5ft and some can have a bungee portion. They prevent the dogs from climbing around the front and back seats distracting the driver. Having your dog secure in the car is important in case of an accident or abrupt braking. They can also prevent your dog from running loose if there was an accident. One important piece to note is that not all dog seat belts are created equally. The majority of dog seat belts are only intended to keep your dog in place while driving and are not crash tested. If you’re looking for a seatbelt for your dog that is crash tested and certified, you have to order a special harness too. This is because although the seat belt can be strong if it’s attached to a standard harness there will more than likely be a failure in a car accident.
Double dog leashes or leash couplers are for walking more than one dog at a time. This leash splits off into two sections each having a carabiner at the end to attach to your dog’s collar or harness. Coupler leashes may seem convenient for you, but not for your dogs, especially when walking dogs with height or size differences. You may have less control over the dogs and the dogs don’t have enough space between them, especially if you have pups who love to explore. It is primarily recommended for dogs who are previously leash trained. Using a coupler or double dog leash can prevent your dogs from getting tangled up as they would if using two separate leashes. However, if they’re not great on a leash, or one dog is reactive you may end up with an even bigger tangle.
There were lots of options discussed in the article and we hope we were able to cover each one in enough detail for you. If you have any further questions or want to see the leashes in person, we’re open 7 days a week and would love to help you find the right leash for your pup. We also always like to note that if there is anything you believe we missed or that should be added in send us a message or come in and we’d be happy to learn more.