One thing that all dog owners need is a good leash. Not only is having a good leash essential for taking your dog on his daily walks, but it is also useful for training purposes. There are many different kinds of leashes out there, so how do you choose the right one? Below you will find an overview of the different types of leashes, as well as tips for picking the right leash for your dog.
Types of Dog Leashes
There are four main types of leashes and each has its own associated pros and cons, as summarized below.
- Standard Leash – A standard leash varies in length from four to eight feet and comes in a variety of different materials, including nylon, leather, and even chain. Standard leashes are ideal for everyday use and they are typically inexpensive to purchase. Not only are these leashes available in different lengths, but in different thicknesses as well. Shorter leashes are ideal for teaching puppies proper leash etiquette and longer, thicker leashes are good to use in everyday walks for adult dogs.
- Adjustable Leash – An adjustable leash is very similar to a standard leash but it features several loops along the length of the leash that you can use to lengthen or shorten it. This type of leash typically has a clasp on each end so you can clasp one end to the dog’s collar and the other to one of the loops along the leash to adjust the length. Because there are clasps on either end, adjustable leashes make it easy to tether your dog to something like a fence or lamp pole for a short period of time.
- Retractable Leash – This type of leash consists of a plastic case and handle with a retractable nylon cord. These leashes are available in different sizes, up to 26 feet long, and the leash can be locked in place at any length you choose. Retractable leashes are an option if you want to give your dog a little bit more freedom on your walks without actually letting him off the leash. Downsides of this type of leash is that it can get tangled in things, there is a risk of the cord snapping if your dog pulls too hard, and it can cause neck injuries to your dog if he reaches the end of the leash and is jerked back.
- Martingale Leash – A Martingale leash functions as an all-in-one leash and collar and it is a great way to achieve more control over your dog’s movements without using a harness. Martingale leashes consist of a loop that slips over the dog’s head that is attached to a loop on the lead – when your dog pulls, the collar portion tightens around the dog’s neck and it loosens when he relaxes.
Choosing a Leash for Your Dog
The type of leash you choose to use for your dog is entirely up to you and you may even want to use different leashes in different situations. A standard leash is ideal for everyday use and for training, because it limits the length at which your dog can wander. If your dog has a tendency to chew on leashes, you may want to look into a leash made from chain. If you want to give your dog a little more room to explore, a retractable leash may be a good option as long as your dog does not have a tendency to pull too hard. If you worry about your dog slipping out of his collar or if you want to teach your dog not to pull, a Martingale leash might be your best bet.