Best Dog Leashes...What's Best For You And Your Dog?

Posted by Wag Trendz on

Best Dog Leashes

What's Best For You And Your Dog?

The best dog leash is the one that works best for you and your beloved dog.  However, there are variables that should be taken into consideration when choosing the right leash.  Such variables include your dog's size, temperament, where you live, if your dog is well trained or needs more training, etc.  

We will discuss our experience with testing various kinds of dog leashes we have used over the years and what has worked and not worked for us and why.

Nowadays there are so many choices of dog leashes it can be overwhelming.  However it doesn’t have to be.   After reading this, hopefully you will gain some insight that will help guide you in the right direction.  The choices are many and seemingly endless.  Type of leash, material, comfort, color, size, and functionality just to name a few.

As for the type of leashes, let’s dig into 5 of the most popular types we see and outline their respective pros and cons.

  1. Classic Style - Flat Dog Leash
  2. Bungee Dog Leash
  3. Slip Dog Leash
  4. Retractable Dog Leash
  5. Double Dog Leash
Best Dog Leashes - Frenchie Bulldog walking beside a human in a field with black, white and teal harness and leash on - Wag Trendz

Classic Style - Flat Dog Leash

Classic style flat 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 flat leash extends 3-6 feet in length.  For us, this type of leash is our #1 choice.  In our opinion, woven nylon leashes are hard to beat considering they are lightweight, durable, versatile and easy to maintain.

In our experience, a flat style 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 flat-style 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 flat style 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 standard 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
  • If you have more than one dog to walk, it can get tangled easily
  • Dual handle flat 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

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

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

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, we recommend using retractable leashes for well behaved dogs who live in the country or more rural areas and always 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!

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.
  • 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

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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    • Nice Blog…. This is really amazing. Great information about dog leashes.

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