Best & Worst Dog Leashes

Posted by Wag Trendz on

Best & Worst Dog Leashes

When it comes to finding the best dog leash for you and your furry friend, there are a lot of factors to consider. The size and temperament of your dog, your living situation, and your dog's level of training all play a role in determining which leash is right for you.

As experienced dog owners, we've tried out a variety of leashes over the years and have learned what works and what doesn't. In this blog post, we'll share our insights on some of the most popular types of dog leashes, including adjustable leashes, classic style - dog leash, bungee leashes, slip leashes, retractable leashes, and double leashes.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right leash. But fear not! We're here to guide you through the process and help you find the leash that will work best for you and your furry companion. So whether you're looking for a leash that's comfortable, durable, or functional - or all of the above - we've got you covered.

Best Dog Leashes - Shih Tzu wearing dog harness in multi-colored street Graffiti with a solid black adjustable leash attached - sitting outdoors on a sidewalk - Wag Trendz

#1 - Adjustable Dog Leash

As a dog owner, one of the essential things you need is a leash. A leash ensures that your dog is safe and under control while you go for walks or outdoor activities together. However, the type of leash you choose can make a significant difference in your experience with your furry friend. This is where an adjustable dog leash comes in handy.  This is our #1 choice.

An adjustable dog leash is a versatile leash that can be adjusted to different lengths, typically between 3 to 6 feet, depending on your needs. The leash's design allows you to shorten or lengthen it, giving you the freedom to control your dog's movements while still keeping them safe and secure.

One of the significant benefits of an adjustable dog leash is convenience and flexibility. With its ability to adjust the length, you can quickly adapt to different situations when you're out and about with your dog. For instance, when walking through high-traffic areas, you can shorten the leash to keep your dog close to you and away from harm. On the other hand, when you're in a more open or familiar space, you can extend the leash to give your dog more freedom to roam and explore.

Another benefit of an adjustable dog leash is its simplicity. Unlike other leashes that come with complicated locking mechanisms or buttons, an adjustable leash is straightforward to use. All you need to do is slide the adjuster along the leash to your desired length and attach it to your dog's collar or harness. This simplicity makes it an excellent choice for dog owners of all experience levels.

An adjustable dog leash is also lightweight and comfortable. The leash is typically made of a durable woven nylon that is both strong and lightweight, making it easy to handle and carry around. The material is also gentle on your hands, ensuring that you don't develop blisters or soreness when holding the leash for extended periods.

Finally, an adjustable dog leash is an excellent choice for training your dog. Professional dog trainers highly recommend adjustable leashes for their versatility in training. With an adjustable leash, you can quickly adjust the length to suit different training scenarios, from basic obedience to more advanced tricks and commands.

In conclusion, an adjustable dog leash is a simple yet versatile tool that offers convenience, flexibility, and safety for you and your furry friend. It's an excellent choice for daily walks, outdoor activities, and training sessions. So, if you're looking for a reliable and easy-to-use leash, an adjustable dog leash is undoubtedly worth considering.

Pros

  • Provides flexibility and convenience for different situations
  • Excellent for safety
  • Offers more control and guidance for training purposes
  • Great for everyday walks and adventures
  • Leash freedom
  • All-in-one solution for different adventures
  • Lightweight and comfortable for both the dog and owner
  • Durable and made from high-quality nylon materials
  • Allowed and preferred at events, campgrounds, parks, etc.
  • Allows you to maintain good control
  • Comes in a variety of colors, patterns and styles
  • Can be used long-term, everyday
  • Easy to maintain - machine washable gentle cycle in garment bag or pillowcase in cold water, lay flat to dry

Cons

  • May be more expensive than non-adjustable leashes
  • If you have more than one dog to walk, it can get tangled
  • Dual handle adjustable leashes tend to be heavy and cumbersome for some dog owners, especially on long walks
Best Dog Leashes - Frenchie Bulldog walking beside a human in a field with black, white and teal harness and leash on - Wag Trendz

#2 - Classic Style - Dog Leash

Classic style dog leash is the most popular of all leash types as most dog owners own at least one of these types of leashesTypically these leashes are made of a woven nylon or leather material.  They have a range in widths, thicknesses, and lengths.  Typically the leash extends 3-6 feet in length.  Dog trainers recommend this as their #1 leash as it's appropriate for leash training and everyday use.  For us, this is our #2 choice.  In our opinion, woven nylon leashes are hard to beat considering they are lightweight, durable, versatile and easy to maintain.

This type of dog leash provides more control over your dog compared with other leash styles by allowing your dog some freedom but staying within the 3-6 feet safety and comfort zone.  This type of leash is great for training your dog/puppy to walk on a leash and stay close.

For example, if you live in a more urban area, the flat dog leash is a great choice as it provides the highest level of safety for your dog to stay nearby with other humans, dogs, and fast moving cars in close proximity.  There are many times that we’ve had to keep our dogs close for the safety of our dogs as well as others.  This type of leash allows us to maintain control of our dogs at all times.  Check out the custom woven nylon dog leashes at Wag Trendz.

It’s important to look for a leash that is comfortable for you as well.  Be sure to look for a soft, padded handle as this can make a big difference in your comfort level when taking your dog for daily or long walks.

Oftentimes, you can find these leashes with dual handles to keep your dog even closer in populated areas or when crossing the street.  A drawback to the double handed leash is the weight.  This type of leash tends to be much heavier than the classic style woven nylon leash.

Pros

  • Excellent for safety
  • Great for training
  • Great for everyday walks and adventures
  • Lightweight
  • Allowed and preferred at events, campgrounds, parks, etc.
  • Allows you to maintain good control
  • Comes in a variety of colors, patterns and styles
  • Can be used long-term, everyday
  • Easy to maintain - machine washable gentle cycle in garment bag or pillowcase in cold water, lay flat to dry

Cons

  • Less leash freedom
  • Cannot adjust length
  • If you have more than one dog to walk, it can get tangled easily
  • Dual handle classic style leashes tend to be heavy especially for long walks

 

Best Dog Leashes - Bungee style leash laying in front of white Frenchie Bulldog with black, white and teal harness on against a solid white background - Wag Trendz

#3 - Bungee Dog Leash

The bungee dog leash is a great choice and has gained popularity in the past several years.  The idea behind the design of the bungee dog leash was to provide resistance for your dog and help alleviate the strain on you when your dog is pulling on the leash.

In other words, when the dog feels the resistance sometimes that’s enough for the dog to slow down and not pull as they normally would on a standard leash.  The bungee absorbs the initial shock of the dog pulling which makes for a more peaceful walk.  We recommend using this leash if, after training, your dog still likes to pull on occasion.

For the most part, the bungee leash works as designed.  However, some dogs discover they can just pull through the resistance.  This was our personal experience.  Our dogs may have needed more training before trying the bungee leash on them.  The drawback has been that when we need to control our dogs for safety reasons the bungee leash doesn’t allow for much human control.  It can be a little too bouncy and lenient to get a hold of our dogs quickly and keep them safe.

For these reasons, this type of leash is not recommended to train your dog or puppy on proper leash etiquette.  Dogs who are properly leash trained do well with this type of leash as the resistance is a subtle reminder for them to not pull. 

Pros

  • The bungee absorbs the shock of pulling
  • Provides resistance to help remind your dog to not pull
  • Great for post-training walking
  • Great for everyday walks and adventures
  • Allowed in most events, campgrounds, parks, etc.

Cons

  • Not good for training
  • Bouncy and stretchy when you don’t need it to be
  • Not made for safety
  • Heavy
  • If you have more than one dog to walk, it can get tangled easily
Best Dog Leashes - Cute brown dog standing on sidewalk with a slip leash around its neck looking at the camera - Wag Trendz

#4 - Slip Dog Leash

The slip dog leash is typically made of a nylon webbing, rope, or chains.  It's important for the human to be properly trained with this type of leash as it can be very dangerous to your dog.  As the dog pulls on the leash, the leash tightens around the dog’s neck to warn the dog to stop pulling.  Some feel very strongly that this type of leash is not a favorable or humane method of training.

Personally, we do NOT recommend this type of leash as we think about whether we would like to be trained with a rope or harness around our neck that tightens when we do something wrong.  If this is the type of collar you are in the market for, we recommend the martingale collar and leash combo over the slip leash.  This type of collar/leash allows it to tighten around the dog’s neck but only to a certain degree versus the slip lead that has no safety mechanism to prevent choking your dog.

A slip dog leash is never recommended if your puppy or dog has a history of or is predisposed to one of the following medical conditions; eye, back, breathing, tracheal collapse, spine or neck problems.  Always consult your veterinarian before using a leash of this type.

Furthermore, a slip dog leash is not considered a long-term leash solution for our dog.  Some trainers recommend this type of leash for short-term training.  Once your dog is trained and no longer pulling on the leash there is no point in continuing to use a collar/leash like this.  

Pros

  • Can be used for short-term training by a trained human
  • Comes in various sizes, material, colors, etc. to fit your dog
  • Allowed in most events, campgrounds, parks, etc.

Cons

  • Can cause serious injury to you and your dog if not properly trained in how to use this type of leash
  • Can further complicate your dog's medical conditions
  • Can lead to life-threatening tracheal collapse
  • Not recommended for dogs who have a history of neck or back problems
  • Can choke your dog if not used and worn properly
  • Not a long-term leash solution for your dog
  • Can provoke a fight or flight response from your dog
  • If you have more than one dog to walk, it can get tangled easily or worse they could choke each other
  • Many consider this type of leash inhumane
Best Dog Leashes - Dachshund dog carrying retractable leash in mouth walking toward the camper - Wag Trendz

#5 - Retractable Dog Leash

The retractable dog leash is an option if you want to allow your dog more freedom on the leash.  If your dog likes to roam a little but typically stays close by this may be a good choice for you.

For example, using retractable leashes for well behaved dogs may be an option but only use this type of leash with a harness and not a collar to lessen the chance of injury.  Read our blog post on collars versus harnesses to better understand the tension distribution and why this is important.

There are many drawbacks to the retractable dog leash but most are related to safety.  Your dog can get just far enough from you to get in trouble such as with another dog, encounter a wild animal, run over by a car, etc.  Healthcare professionals have seen numerous cases where people have had their fingers amputated with a retractable leash, so beware. 

Moreover, a retractable leash can get tangled around fallen limbs or branches or worse entangled around your legs or your kids legs and trip them.  The retractable leash has given our kids rope burns on many occasions and burnt our hands when we have grabbed it quickly to keep our dog safe.  It’s embarrassing to admit that we have done this numerous times and we don’t recommend it.  

Additionally, retractable leashes can injure your dog if he/she bolts quickly and you manually stop the leash or the leash fully extends as this can cause spine, neck or back injury to both you and your dog.  As previously mentioned, only well behaved dogs should use this type of leash.  Remember that even the most well behaved dogs could bolt after a squirrel or rabbit.  Hey, it’s in their blood!

In the end, we classify this type of leash as the WORST leash to use for your dog.  The cons outweigh the pros by far and the risk of injury to yourself, others and your dog is too great.

Pros

  • Allows more leash freedom
  • Can come with built-in flashlights and other accessories
  • Comes in various sizes, lengths, colors, and options to fit your dog

Cons

  • NOT allowed at most events, campgrounds, parks, etc.
  • If you have more than one dog to walk, it can get tangled easily or worse they could choke each other
  • Can cause serious injury to you and your dog if not properly trained in how to use this type of leash
  • Can get tangled easily if walking more than one dog at a time
  • Can give you rope burn 
  • Can be a safety hazard (choke, trip, amputate, etc.)
  • Heavy
  • Not recommended for dogs who have a history of neck or back problems

 

Best Dog Leashes - Two dogs sitting in grass with collars and a leash coupler attached to the leash - Wag Trendz

#6 - Double Dog Leash or Leash Coupler

Walking two or more dogs at the same time can be overwhelming.  Using a double dog leash or leash coupler is a great way to reduce the stress of walking more than one dog at a time.  

In our experience, we have enjoyed using a leash coupler when walking multiple dogs.  It really does reduce the stress of walking more than one dog at a time.  If your circumstances will allow it and your dogs love being close to one another, we highly recommend using a double leash or leash coupler with a classic flat-style leash and harness (not a collar).  

Pros

  • Great option for walking multiple dogs at the same time
  • Reduces tangling when walking multiple dogs
  • Pet owners only have to have one hand occupied 
  • Less overwhelming to the dog owner or walker

Cons

  • Two strong willed dogs who like to go in opposite directions or don't like to be led by another dog.
  • If your dogs don't get along all the time, this setup may cause friction between the dogs.

We hope this guide has provided you with some relevant information so that you can make a more informed decision about the type of leash that will work best for you and your dog. As previously mentioned, it boils down to personal preference because what works best for some may not be the best choice for you and vice versa.  

Please share this information if you feel like it will help someone else make the right decision.  We are always happy to help our customers!  If you have any questions or additional comments please reach out anytime at info@wagtrendz.com

Given the sheer number of dog leash types, if there is a specific type you would like for us to review or additional pros and cons for this list, feel free to add it to the comment section below.  We would love to hear from you.

XO 

-the Wag Trendz® team-

 

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    Comments

    • Found your post interesting to read. Good Luck for the upcoming update.This article is really very interesting.

      Neha Rane on
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