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The Best 8 Dog Leashes: According to a Veterinarian

Veterinarians.org Team

By

Medically reviewed by

Ivana Crnec, DVM

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What Type of Dog Leash is Best?

Best Seller
COOYOO Heavy Duty Dog Leash
9.4/10Our Score
  • 5 FT REFLECTIVE DOG LEASH - Our dog leash is a perfect choice to bring balance between freedom and control for your pet during daily walks. It fits many occasions- walking, running, or training.Your dog will stay safely within your safe and gentle control by maintaining a comfy connection between you and your pet while on the go or enjoying outdoor activities.Highly reflective threads dog leashes providing visibility and safety at night walk.
  • BUILT TO LAST–Our dog leash is 5 ft long made of strong 1/2 inch diameter rock climbing rope and heavy-duty snap hook, this dog leash keeps your dog secure for a walk around the neighborhood or a fast-paced run through the wilderness. Woven rope material provides a comfortable grasp for sustained control, allowing you to enjoy each adventure with your dog.
  • COMFY WRIST SUPPORT- Features SOFT PADDED handles for extra comfort. Provides a firm grip without rubbing against your hand causing rope burns. This dog leash will not take long for you to thank us on the comfort of this handle if you have a large dog and if you need to frequently hold it back while walking.

Why do Dogs Need Leashes?

There are several reasons dogs need leashes. Let’s take a look at each of them:

  • Good Neighbor Policy. Using a leash will keep your dog from trespassing on other people’s property, chasing their pets, or approaching their children.
  • Bonding Experience. When you walk your dog on a leash, you force them to walk near you. Training them to walk on a leash at your side encourages them to stay close to you when outside.
  • Dog Protection. Leashes will help prevent your dog from wandering into traffic or approaching animals when on a walk.
  • Positive Reinforcement. Using a leash for walks regularly can give your dog something to be excited about. When you walk your dog on a leash every day, they are more likely to associate the leash with exercise and become excitable when they see you grab the leash.

Is it Cruel for Dogs to Wear Leashes?

No, it is not cruel for dogs to wear a leash.

In fact, it is highly recommended to use a leash to avoid dangerous scenarios like traffic, wildlife, and other people. Leashes create a safe environment your dog can enjoy, but you must use the proper leash and dog collar.

If the collar or dog harness is too tough, it can cause suffocation or damage to their throat. If it is too loose, it can allow the dog to slip out of the restraint and run free.

The Best Dog Leashes Reviewed

From fancy leather dog leashes to no-pull training leads – the dog leash comes in many forms and designs. To help you find the right leash for your dog, we have reviewed the eight best products.

COOYOO Heavy Duty Dog Leash

COOYOO Heavy Duty Dog Leash

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Summary: This rope leash is available in a variety of sizes to fit the needs of small dogs and large dogs alike. It features reflective strips for low light conditions and is made of 1/2 inch diameter rope. The soft padded wrist support allows for comfort on long walks. It comes in a package with two leashes, a collapsible water bowl, and a poop bag dispenser. The 360-degree swivel hook is designed to eliminate leash twisting.

Leash Type: Rope leash

Leash Length: 5-6 ft

Pros

  • Available in a wide variety of colors and sizes
  • Provides wrist support with a thick pad
  • Comes with two leashes
  • Reflective strips in the rope provide visibility in low light conditions
  • 1/2 inch diameter rope provides a secure connection for your dog

Cons

  • Releases an unpleasant scent while still new

Review: most consumers called this leash “sturdy” and “reliable,” noting it was great for their large breed dogs, and the swivel hook held up to the strongest pullers. Negative reviews mostly commented on the rubber and plastic smell emitted from the leash when new and were displeased with it.

BAAPET Dog Leash with Comfortable Padded Handle and Highly Reflective Threads

BAAPET Dog Leash with Comfortable Padded Handle and Highly Reflective Threads

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Summary: This leash made of thick and durable climbing rope can handle dogs up to 120 pounds. It features a reflective strip for better visibility and a wide padded handle for wrist support. The stainless steel swivel hook provides a twist-free connection between you and your dog. The leash also features a replaceable buckle with heavy glues at the base of the handle to keep the handle in place.

Leash Type: Rope leash

Leash Length: 4-5 ft

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Padded wrist support
  • Reflective strips
  • Capable of handling dogs up to 120 lbs
  • Replaceable buckle for the handle

Cons

  • The replaceable buckle may give out if not installed properly

Review: Most of the reviewers on Amazon say they love this leash. They use it to train their dogs to walk politely on a leash and say they would “definitely” buy another one in the future. Meanwhile, the majority of complaints involved the swivel hook. They say the spring that closes the clasp is weak and prone to an opening on walks, especially with more aggressive pullers.

Taida Strong Durable Dog Training Leash

Taida Strong Durable Dog Training Leash

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Summary: This leash is made to handle small to medium dogs. The webbing on this dog lead is made of 3/4”-1” wide nylon and features a stainless steel swivel hook for tangle-free use. It is available in a large variety of colors and provides a secure connection between you and your dog. The lightweight and simple design are made intentionally minimalistic to reduce the opportunity for breakages to occur.

Leash Type: Nylon web leash

Leash Length: 5-6 ft

Pros

  • Stainless steel swivel hook
  • Very simple and minimalistic design
  • Comes in two different widths
  • Available in an array of colors
  • Affordable price tag

Cons

  • This leash is not ideal for very large dogs

Review: Numerous reviewers commented this is a “nice leash,” noting its simple design is easy to use and strong enough for their medium-sized dogs. They were happy with the durability of the webbing and say this is one of their favorite pieces of dog gear for everyday use. Other buyers were less than impressed when the leash broke near the stitching for the hook and said they would never repurchase another one.

Jewoster Heavy Duty Dog Leash

Jewoster Heavy Duty Dog Leash

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Summary: The extra handle near the swivel hook on this nylon web leash provides extra control for when you need your dog close to you. It is nearly twice as thick as standard nylon dog leashes with a 3 mm thick web construction that is 1 inch wide. Plush padded handles offer comfort on long walks. Reflective strips provide higher visibility in low-light conditions. It features a D-ring near the top handle to hang things like waste bag dispensers and other pet products.

Leash Type: Nylon dog leash

Leash Length: 6 ft

Pros

  • Extra handle provides extra control
  • 1 inch wide, 3 mm thick web construction
  • D-ring for waste bag dispensers and pet products
  • Reflective stitching for visibility in low light conditions
  • Well-padded lower handle for hand support

Cons

  • Complains about low-quality stitching on the lower handle

Review: Most buyers were happy with this product and said the construction was fabulous. They were pleased with the functionality of the second handle in busy areas as they could keep their dogs close while traversing dangerous, high-traffic areas. Critical reviews said the stitching on the lower handle felt weak, and some complained it had actually broken when trying to control their dog on a busy street.

Joytale Double-Sided Reflective Dog Leash

Joytale Double-Sided Reflective Dog Leash

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Summary: This nylon web leash is made in a large variety of colors and sizes to fit the needs of nearly any size dog. This 6-foot leash features double-sided reflective stitching to provide safety at night or in low-visibility scenarios. A comfort grip offers support and practicality on long walks, and a 360-degree stainless steel metal clasp provides a secure connection. It is available in 3/4,” and 1” wide versions for medium or large dogs and has a D-ring near the handle for easy accessibility to pet gear.

Leash Type: Nylon web leash

Leash Length: 4-6 ft

Pros

  • Available in a wide variety of sizes and colors
  • D-ring for a waste bag dispenser
  • Double-sided reflective stitching
  • Padded grip for comfort and support
  • The stainless steel clasp provides a rust-free connection to your dog

Cons

  • According to reviews, the stitching can be inconsistent and may tear

Review: Happy customers called this a “great leash” and were happy with the sturdiness offered. They were satisfied with the reflectivity of the stitches and the strength of the swivel hook that connects them to their dog. Dissatisfied buyers were disappointed when the stitching had failed shortly after buying, even for customers who already had purchased this leash in the past.

FunTags Reflective Dog Leash

FunTags Reflective Dog Leash

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Summary: The nylon webbing of this leash is made to handle dogs up to medium-sized breeds. The webbing is anywhere from 3/4” to 1” wide and features reflective stitching. A 360-degree rotating clasp provides a secure tangle-free connection to your dog. It comes in the ideal length of 6 feet, so your dog has the perfect balance of control and freedom on long walks.

Leash Type: Nylon web leash

Leash Length: 4-6 ft

Pros

  • Available in a large variety of colors and sizes
  • 360-degree clasp provides a tangle-free experience
  • Ideal size for small and medium dogs
  • Reflective stitching illuminates you to people in low-light situations
  • Comfort padded handles provide anti-fatigue support on long walks

Cons

  • Only made to handle small and medium-sized dogs
  • Reflective stitching is on only one side of the leash

Review: Dog owners were mostly happy with this leash. They said it handled their dogs perfectly and seemed to be just what they were looking for in a simplistic dog leash. Critical reviews were annoyed the leash only had reflective stitching on one side, and others said it felt very flimsy.

Mile High Life Braided Rope Dog Leash

Mile High Life Braided Rope Dog Leash

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Summary: This rope dog leash is handmade and capable of handling dogs weighing over 100 pounds. The leather binding near the handle provides a secure connection from your to the leash. A 360-degree swivel clasp offers a tangle-free user experience that is available in a small selection of colors. The ranch fashion style of this leash is sure to catch the eye of almost anyone who sees it.

Leash Type: Rope dog leash

Leash Length: 4-6 ft

Pros

  • Capable of handling dogs over 100 pounds
  • Very unique design
  • Made from real handmade rope
  • Secure connection from the handle to the leash
  • 360-degree swivel clasp for tangle-free walks

Cons

  • The rope construction may be too hard for some people’s hands

Review: Many users were happy with the aesthetic of this leash as well as its functionality. They said they could trust the rope construction on their large breed pets while others were let down by the clasp. Other critical reviews were harsh on the rope construction for being uncomfortable and rough to the touch.

SparklyPets Hands-Free Dog Leash

SparklyPets Hands-Free Dog Leash

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Summary: The hands-free design of this leash offers both you and your dogs a great amount of freedom on walks, runs, and hikes. It features a belt that the leash attaches to and a handy bag to put the belt and leash inside of when not in use. It is made for medium and large breed dogs with a shock-absorbent bungee leash that prevents excessive pulling. Two stainless steel clasps take the pressure off the plastic belt buckle to ensure the longevity of this leash and the second handle near the dog end of the leash provides extra control in busy areas.

Leash Type: Bungee dog leash

Leash Length: 6 ft

Pros

  • Hands-free and no-pull design
  • Shock-absorbing bungee leash
  • Allows a great amount of freedom
  • Made for medium to large-sized dogs
  • Second handle for extra control

Cons

  • Not suitable for untrained dogs

Review: Most consumers were happy with this leash, saying it was perfect for their hikes and their runs. They say it does a great job at freeing up their hands without having to worry about where their dog is, and they enjoy the second handle that provides extra control in busy areas. Disappointed buyers were concerned about the quality of the shock-absorbing leash. Many said the bungee leash broke shortly after purchasing with regular use.

What Should I Look for in a Dog Leash?

When shopping for a dog leash, there are several factors to consider:

  • Quality Materials. Leashes are made in various materials like nylon, leather, and chains. A nylon dog leash will allow you the greatest range of uses and is strong enough to stand up to dogs of any size. Leather leashes may dry out and crack or tear quickly, and chain leashes are heavy, noisy, and not generally great for a relaxing walk.
  • Proper Length. Retractable leashes can extend out to almost 30 feet, and this poses immediate dangers to you, your dog, and others around you. Most experts recommend a leash 4-6 feet in length, as anything longer than that is a liability.
  • Function. There are many types of leashes out there for many different functions. Training leashes, bungee leashes, multi-dog leashes, and tie-out leashes are all examples of the various jobs leashes can be designed to perform. Determine what job the leash will be doing, which will help you determine what type of leash to look for.
  • Lightweight. When walking with a leash, it may be important to use a lightweight leash to avoid fatigue. Chain leashes and some leather leashes may be cumbersome and heavy on long walks; something like a standard nylon leash is light and robust so that it can be comfortably used on longer walks.

How Do You Introduce a Leash to Your Dog?

Introducing a leash to your dog requires a few simple steps:

  • Start from an Early Age. Dogs can leash trained as young as 6-8 weeks. The sooner a dog is introduced to a leash, the more likely it will be to quickly get used to being on one.
  • Introduce the Collar: Let it get used to wearing it around the house, feeling what it’s like to have a collar around their neck, and giving them treats when you put it on. Let them wear it for short durations, then remove it and put it back on while offering them treats in the process.
  • Teach a Cue. Cuing your dog for a walk is imperative for a fulfilling walk experience. Once the dog is trained on a leash, this cue will notify them to get ready to go outside.
  • Attach the Leash to the Collar. Leave the leash attached to the collar and let them roam around the house with it dragging for a while. This will get them used to feeling a leash beside them and allow them to better able understand the purpose of the leash before taking them for their first walk.
  • Make the Dog Come to You. The dog coming to you is important because it builds trust. While leaving the leash and collar on the dog, back up a few paces and make them come to you. Give them a treat, back up a few more paces, and repeat the process.
  • Practice Inside. Practicing leash walking indoors is a great way to lessen the dog’s stimulus while providing a safe environment to teach them an invaluable skill like walking on a leash.

How Long Should a Dog Leash Be?

Most dog experts say 4-6 feet is the correct length for a dog leash.

There is no standard way to measure a dog for a leash, but it is recommended the leash be long enough for a dog to be able to enjoy a modest amount of freedom when walking. This means a smaller dog may require a 6 ft leash while a larger dog may be able to get away with a 4 ft leash.

What is the Difference Between a Regular Dog Leash and Retractable Dog Leash

Here are some of the basic differences between the regular and retractable dog leash:

  • Length. The length of a dog leash should be no more than 6 feet for maximum dog safety and control. Standard leashes are typically no longer than 6 feet, while retractable leashes extend anywhere from 10-30 feet in length.
  • Functionality. Retractable leashes may sound like a good idea because they give your dog more freedom to roam on a walk. Still, their function is more akin to leading them to danger than providing an enjoyable walking experience. Unless your dog is specifically trained to walk on a leash, these are not great options for freedom.
  • Reliability. Retractable dog leashes, like Flexi leashes, will fail. There is no way around it. It is a mechanism with moving parts that will become tired and fragile over time with consistent use. Standard rope leashes or leather leashes are far more likely to last a long time as they are little more than just a piece of rope and leather.

When Should I Use a Dog Leash?

Here are some of the situations in which it is recommended to use a dog leash:

  • Walking your dog
  • Sitting in a public setting
  • When training things like recall, walking, and social skills
  • When around food in an unfamiliar setting
  • When there are children around
  • When hiking with your dog

What is the Best Way to Walk a Dog on a Leash?

There are many ways to walk a dog on a leash. Below we give some do’s and don’ts of dog walking:

  • Be Assertive and in Control. Dogs are reactive to your behavior so being confident in your ability to be in charge is a must when walking a dog, exceptionally headstrong dogs.
    Knowing where you are, what your surroundings are like, and where your dog is at all times in relation to you is imperative to an enjoyable and relaxing walking experience.
  • Don’t be Reactive to the Environment. Reacting to things instead of proactively responding to them may upset your dog and, in some more extreme cases, cause them to become aggressive or reactive themselves.
    Since dogs react to your reactions to your environment, it is essential to know what is around you so you are not caught off guard. This will also allow you to know where other animals, people, and cars are so you will not be surprised when you come upon them.
    Even if your dog becomes startled by any of these things, knowing it was there beforehand will allow you to be better prepared and be in control of the situation.
  • Keep an eye on the Surroundings. It is important to know where your dog is at all times when walking, but it is also important to know where other living creatures are. Knowing what is around you will allow you to prevent incidents by becoming proactive once the threat is known.
    If a wild animal is loose and approaches you or your dog without either of you being aware it was there in the first place, it may not only frighten you but your dog as well, and a frightened dog can become a dangerous dog in an instant.
  • Don’t Allow your Dog to Stray too Far Away. This applies mainly to users of retractable leashes, as these have the greatest allowance for freedom. It also gives the dog infinitely more possibilities to get into troublesome scenarios.
    Allowing your dog to stray too far from you can lead to dangers and mishaps that could have been avoided had a shorter, more practical leash been used.
  • Let your Dog Explore within the Range of the Leash. Walks are meant to be enjoyable and an opportunity for the dog to do their business. Allowing them to explore within reach of the leash will enhance their walking experience and make walking easier and more fun for both of you.
  • Don’t Restrict your Dog’s Movement too Much. Although it is important to limit your dog’s movement when on a leash (because you are likely in a public or wildlife setting), it is also important to realize dogs need to explore.
    Allowing them to roam a bit while walking or slowing down when they want to take a sniff can enhance their walking experience and make your job as the dog walker easier. Restricting their movement can make the dog resent walks and refuse to go, leading to a lack of exercise and actually causing health issues.