How to Choose the Right Dog Leash (A Definitive Guide)

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A dog leash is a useful thing that may assist in daily tasks with a dog. It can also be used to keep the dog under control when training.

We’ve put up full guide on how to choose the best leash for your dog.

There are different types of leashes and the leash you choose must be suitable for the activity that you want to engage in.

As for off-leash training 40 to 50feet long leashes are used, for running and jogging hands-free dog leashes are most suitable. However, a regular 6feet nylon leash is more than enough in most cases.

There are plenty of leashes to choose from whether you have a large dog, a small pooch, or just got an adorable puppy. Dog leashes are available in different materials, styles, lengths, and widths.

1. Choose the Right Dog Leash Material

Different types of materials used in dog leashes -

Comfortable Nylon Material

A standard dog leash is mostly made from durable and comfy nylon. One of the most common features of nylon material is that it is available in different colors so that one can choose the colors that suit the completion of their dog.

Dog leashes made from nylon are good for controlling small dogs and puppies. Remember to get a nylon leash with a padded handle as a typical nylon handle may give hand burns if your dog pulls on the leash.

A Stylish Leather Leash

If you love classic looks and stylish craftsmanship, leather dog leashes are the one for you. Leather leashes often come in two designs a braided or a flat one. They are quite similar with the only difference being that braided leather leashes are a bit lighter.

Leather leashes have their pros and cons, being prone to wear and tear upon dog chewing and are likely to get softer as time passes. They are comfortable to hold during long walks but are not very popular among dog veterans as nylon dog leashes.

Strong Chain Leash

Are you fed up with dogs pulling on the leash? And looking for a leash that can withstand aggressive pulling. Chain leashes are often affordable and are well known for being durable.

However, chain leashes are not perfect. They are heavier than nylon and leather leashes and are not well suited for small puppies. Being difficult to hold, they may be problematic for you and your dog.

Remember to get a chain leash that is alloy plated for protection against rust and should have a comfortable handle so that it can be used for leash training.

Use Lightweight Cotton Leash

Looking for a lightweight leash that can help you teach your dog swimming? A cotton leash is a reasonable answer to this question. However, being not as common as a nylon or chain leash, cotton dog leashes are difficult to find. 

Cotton leashes are lightweight and do not absorb water if used in a swimming pool. They float on water and are a great choice if you are looking for a leash for beach walks. Note that cotton leashes are not durable enough to withstand dog pulling and may give hand burns during long walks.

Try a Steel Wire Dog Leash

Dog biting leash is a common problem that is faced by new dog owners. Thus, if your dog is an active chewer then a chew-proof leash is the way to go. You can also train your dog to stop biting on the leash.

Most chew-proof leashes have a steel wire core that is protected with a vinyl coating. Haven’t seen any dog leash that is 100% chew-resistant. However, they are far better than nylon and cotton leashes when it comes to dog chewing on the leash.

2. Select from Different Types of Leashes

Different types of dog leashes |

Standard Dog Leash

These leashes can easily be bought from any pet accessories store or online. They are the most common type of leashes that can be used everyday. However, one can look for better options if you want a leash for off-leash training or for outdoor activities.

Standard dog leashes will do great in most cases, they are available in different sizes and materials. You can get them for managing large, small, and medium-size mutts.

Retractable Dog Leash

A retractable dog leash is a long leash with adjustable length that allows the dog to have all the freedom while walking. However, a retractable leash is not recommended for dog training and addressing behavioral issues. Most dog veterans advise avoiding them if your dog is a heavy puller or is an active dog that likes to tug of the leash.

Retractable leashes are usually made from nylon and come in a wide range of lengths and designs. It gives you ample control over small and medium-sized dogs, as for large and aggressive dogs they might not be the right option.

Shock-Proof Bungee Leash

A shock-proof bungee leash is a leash having an elastic bungee attached to it. This type of dog leash is best for a dog that tends to pull on the leash. Most of the bungee leashes are either made from nylon or from durable climbing rope and are woven with reflective webbing for better visibility at night.

It must be noted that bungee leashes are not chew-proof and can give hand burns if they do not have a comfortable padded handle.

Dual Dog Leash

Fostering a family of dogs and looking for a leash that can help you walk two dogs at a time? Dual dog leashes are special types of leash that are designed to control two dogs. Usually, a dual dog leash is expensive than regular leashes and has a foam padded handle for a comfortable grip.

Dog trainers emphasize using a dual leash for walking dogs that have good leash manners. Thus, train each dog individually with a standard leash. Once they are leash trained you can use a dual leash for dog walking and other outdoor activities. 

This leash can be a great help if you offer dog walking services and often deal with more than one dog at the same time.

Bike Leash for Dogs

Bike leashes and more commonly known as bike tow leash is a dog leash that is attached to a bicycle so that you can go on a ride with your dog. 

This leash is innovative and has a design like no other, with this leash you can burn some calories and at the same time walk your dog around the neighborhood. 

It is crucial to select the most suitable bike tow leash, they must give enough distance between the dog and the bike so that both can move with ease.

Not a dog training leash, furthermore you have to train your dog to walk with a bike leash otherwise, it might cause the dog to run away.

Seat Belt Leash for Dog Safety

A special dog leash that will ensure dog safety while traveling in a car. Seat belt dog leashes are shot in length, with clips for dog collar and seat-belt attachment.

This leash allows you to buckle up the dog so that it won’t cause a distraction while driving. It is a must-leash to have if you often take your dog out on a drive, so to prevent injury due to any unfortunate accident. A seat belt safety leash is as important for a dog as wearing a seat belt is for us humans.

3. Choose the Leash Size

Different Leash Sizes (infographic) |


The length of the dog leash is a debatable topic, the two most common leash lengths are 4feet and 6feet. While most people prefer a 6feet dog leash, there are also extra-long leashes for off-leash training.


The width of a dog leash mainly depends on the size and weight of your dog. The common leash thickness being 6mm for small dogs and puppies, 8mm for medium size pooches, and 12mm for large mutts. For better understanding check the dog leash size chat.

4. Go for the Right Clip

Different Type of clips that are used in dog leashes - (1)

Swivel Bolt Snap Clip

This single ended and swivel snap clip is the most used hook that is used for attaching a dog leash with a harness or collar. Made from stainless steel these clip is alloy plated to withstand rust. Bolt snap clips are sturdy and won’t snap when it comes to dog pulling and tugging.

Spring Snap Hook Carabiner

Not an ultimate solution for the strongest attachment with any collar. Tiny Spring Snap Hooks are a good choice if used with dog leashes that are designed for small dogs and puppies. Made from stainless steel, spring snap hooks are not as strong as bolt snap clips. They are also rust and corrosion resistant are can easily be bought at any hardware store.

Carabiner Screw Lock Clip

They are the strongest hook that is used with a dog leash. Carabiner Screw Lock Clips are used with climbing ropes, and they can easily withstand the weight of a normal mountain climber. 

Its D-shaped carabiner and the screw lock system provide the ability to deal with aggressive pulling from the strongest of dogs. This type of hook is used in dog leashes made for outdoor activities and camping.

Trigger Snap Hook

These types of clips are stronger than Bolt Snap Clip. However, not as strong as Carabiner Screw Lock Clip. They are the classic hooks that look like lobster claws and have a spring-based connect and disconnect system. 

Being a swivel clip, they rotate 360-degree and won’t allow the leash to get tangled with the dog. Crafted from stainless steel with zinc alloy coating, trigger snap hooks are a great choice for an extra-strong connection between the dog leash and collar.

5. Where to Buy the Best Dog Leashes?

There are a number of sources where you can buy the most suitable leash for a dog. We will not discuss them all, however, we will go through the most common places to buy a dog leash.

Where to buy the right dog leash for your dog |

Get dog leash from local pet store

Visit the local pet store and take recommendation from a salesperson about the most popular dog leash brands. Most of these salespersons are trained thus, they can also suggest leashes based on the dog size, breed, and behaviors.

Note that if your dog has some illness or behavioral issues it is wise to get some professional guidance from a pet veteran before getting a dog leash.

Purchase dog leash from an online store

Online shopping is the most popular way of purchasing goods these days. Most of the popular pet stores and accessories vendors have online stores.

The favorable thing about shopping for a dog leash online is that it allows you to read online reviews of experts and comments of the people who had used the dog leash.

Some Tips to Choose the Best Leash for Your Dog

Here are some easy tips that can help you find the leash that suits your dog’s needs.

  • When selecting a dog leash, do some thinking on how will you use the leash? Do you need the leash for everyday use? Or do you want a leash for camping and outdoor activities?
  • If you are short of budget a nylon leash may be the best option as there are a lot of nylon leashes that are available both in the local stores and online.
  • Do not hurry on getting a leash first consider the leash size that suits your dog. Remember you may have to get a new leash as your dog or puppy grows up.
  • Choose a lightweight leash for small dogs, a chew-proof leash for teething puppies, and a strong leash for large dogs.
  • Be sure to select a leash with a strong clip, the clip should be strong enough to withstand dog pulling and lunging.
  • You can use a leather dog leash for everyday use. However, do not forget to clean the leash often with a leather cleaner and a soft cloth.

Final Thoughts | How to Choose a Dog Leash?

Now it might seem obvious, just how important is a dog leash for a household with dogs. Each dog is different in the same way each leash is different. During the course of training and grooming a dog you will use different types of leashes.

This definitive guide on how to choose the right leash for your dog will help you make the most appropriate buying decision. It will save your time and effort by aiding you to get the most suitable leash for any dog based on the leash type, material, size, and behavior.

Camila Coleman

I'm a creative and compassionate mom. Being an animal lover and housewife who spends most of her days chasing after kids. When I'm not fawning over them, you can find me outdoors spending time with my husky "skippy".

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