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5 Tips on Choosing the Best Leash for your Dog

5 Tips on Choosing the Best Leash for your Dog

with these is remembering to screw them up once they’re clipped - otherwise your clip hasn’t locked and can easily open.  


Don’t be overwhelmed by the many leash designs on the market. When choosing the design, start by considering the situation such as how crowded your surroundings are, the size of your dog, and the needs you have. Let us break down some different designs you’ll see for different uses:
Retractable leash: These leashes allow for the maximum amount of freedom on a dog. They’re able to walk as far as you allow; with a wired leash cord that winds up or releases based on your control of the button holding the leash. 
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Double dog leash: This design works like the double handle leash, only that it splits into two leashes with one handle instead of one leash with two handles. This is a great design when you are taking two dogs on a walk; these leashes usually come with a carabiner clip. 

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Slip dog leash: This design combines the leash and collar into one unit, making a conjoined choke collar with leash. As a result, the collar gets smaller as the dog pulls. This is a great option for people who often don’t use leashes and need something to “slip” on when required, but won’t be using it all the time. It’s also great for city walking and for on-leash activities where you know you won’t have to remove the leash. Slip leashes are important to have on hand in your back pocket - they can also aid in breaking up altercations between dogs and allow you to gain control over an off-leash animal of any kind. 
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Standard leash: This leash is your standard - handle, leash and clip. These come in a wide variety but are most popular within the 4FT-6FT range, and in the 10-15FT range for hiking or tie out. When shopping for leashes, try out different lengths on your dog. Most trainers will ask for a 6FT leash to accompany your dog as it allows for movement without tight leash walking. 
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Tactical leash: These leashes are usually thicker, and often come with two handles - one closer to the base of the leash and one standard handle. This is to switch easily between handling the dog closely or at a distance. 
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Traffic leash: These leashes are short and meant to be worn for a short period of time. Because they don’t allow the dog to walk freely, they are not meant for casual dog walks. They’re great for keeping your dog close at a dog show or event, or to bring them from one space to another where they will be off leash (i.e. car to beach.) Traffic leashes can range from 0.5FT to 2FT but rarely go beyond that length. At the shorter length, dogs can wear these while off leash as an added form of protection to gain immediate control while running or hiking.
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The handle of a leash is as important as the closure. If the handle slips out of your hand, you have lost control over your dog. Leash handles come in varying designs, and here is a breakdown of the best leash handles depending on your dog's size and what you intend to do. 
Dual handle design: These leashes have two handles, one for walking your companion close when passing other dogs, and the other for general walking. These are also seen on tactical leashes. They can be great for dogs who may be reactive to people, dogs or other things at a close distance (i.e. stopping a dog from lunging off the sidewalk towards a bike.)
Standard loop handle: This design is comfortable to hold and works great for small dogs. Generally made from rope, these are best for dogs who walk well on a leash as they can give rope burn with a dog who pulls often.  
Padded handle: The handle looks like the standard loop handle but has padding for added comfort. This is great for heavier or stronger dogs since it eliminates leash burn. Padded handles are generally found on flat leashes, often made from nylon.
Hands-free handle: You wear this handle around your waist or shoulder, freeing up your hands. This is a great handle when you want to control the dog while biking, walking or running and they are heel-trained on leash.  

Leash Material

Leashes are made of varying materials, which usually affects their weight and durability. Leashes made of nylon are lightweight and won’t exhaust your dog. Depending on the grade of nylon, they can either be very sturdy or flimsy so it’s best to check what their D rating is. On the other hand, leather leashes are sturdy and durable. They wipe clean, but can crack over time if not properly cared for. Unpadded leather leashes can also cause leash burn on dogs who pull often. Lastly, there are biothane leashes - an extremely popular option due to their waterproof nature. They wipe clean and come in a variety of colours. The only downside to biothane is that for leashes made with rivets, the entire pressure of the leash rides on the rivet so it’s important you purchase them from a trusted source. If your dog tends to chew, then consider getting a chain leash. They are heavier and noisier than a regular leash, but can also be waterproof and won’t allow your dog to chew through them.


Whether it’s 1FT or 6FT, the length of your leash entirely depends on how you want to use it. Will you be letting your dog sniff around to find their perfect pee spot? Will you be doing tricks with your dog while on leash? Will you be on a trail that has lots of other dogs? Will you be in a city where you’re passing people at a close proximity and riding public transit? These are all things to consider to when choosing what length best suits your needs. 4FT leashes are ideal for busy city walking to keep your dog close. 6FT leashes allow for some slack to sniff and discover. 8-10FT leashes allow them to roam freely beside you. 1-2FT leashes keep them by your side at all times.