Enjoying a walk in the park with your dog obediently at your heels is a dream activity of many pet owners. But, of course, our canine friends must first learn how to do these things. It is always best to start by training them on their leash. A leash is excellent for training and an important safety tool for your pup and others around you. It may look nothing more than a simple cord with a hook on one end and a loop handle on the other, but true dog leashes can help save lives. It may be your own, your dog, or others. With these best dog leashes we’ve researched for you, you can easily pick out the most appropriate for your mutt.
15 Best Leashes for Dogs
1 BAAPET Mountain Climbing Rope Dog Leash
- Extra durable and extra thick rope
- Tested to withstand 1000 pounds of pulling force
- Fully padded handles
- Great deals
- Money back guarantee for 1 year
Fully capable of supporting up to 1,000 pounds of pulling force, the Phydeaux’s Mountain Climbing Dog Leash Rope prides itself of a lightweight yet super durable and sturdy construction that can be used even for extra-large breeds of pooches like Saint Bernards and Great Danes. The Phydeaux is available in 2 lengths of 4 and 6 feet as well as 12 different colors.
Each variant comes with a padded handle that feels soft and gentle on the hand. The mountain climbing cord measures about half an inch thick, giving you excellent durability and optimum control of your pet’s movements. However, since it doesn’t include a secondary handle for safety and traffic purposes, you may want to get both the 4 and 6 foot models. Nevertheless, if you do get 2, you’ll get 15% discount on your purchase. And if you want greater savings you can purchase an optional nylon dog collar to enjoy 20% off on your purchase.
2 Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash
- Dual length training and safety cord
- Dual comfort padded handles
- Extra thick and heavy duty cord
- Heavy duty hardware
- 1 year replacement warranty
Designed specifically for medium- and large- sized mutts, the Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash is a 6-foot long cord that is made of heavy-duty 1-inch thick nylon material, perfect for controlling really powerful pooches. The Primal comes with 2 padded handles for versatility in your handling. It’s carefully designed to bring optimum comfort even if your pooch will be tugging on the rope at the other end. One handle is positioned about a foot away from its 2-inch heavy duty lobster clip, allowing for optimum control during training and navigation in traffic. The other padded handle is positioned right at the end of the 6-foot dog leash rope, the length of which is ideal for giving your pooch the freedom to roam and explore its surroundings, but with you retaining full control. Now, all you need is an equally tough and sturdy harness or collar and the Primal should be an excellent tool either for training purposes or for safely walking with your pet.
3 PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash
- Extra strong and extra-long dog leash
- Dual cushioned neoprene handles
- Attachment D-rings
- Heavy duty hardware
- Money-back guarantee
Boasting of a thicker dog leash rope and cushioned neoprene handles located in two distinct positions, the Pet Safe Heavy Duty Dog Leash is one amazing tool for training or even for simply walking with your dog. The dual handles allow for greater control. It comes with reflective stitching to increase the leash’s visibility in the dark as well as dimly lit environments. Should you decide to run or jog in the evening, others will definitely see you and your pooch. The Pet Safe dog leash rope is about 3 millimeters thick and comes in at a width of about an inch. The webbed nylon construction gives it exceptional sturdiness and weather resistance. But the real gem in the Pet Safe is its 7 foot length, affording your mutt greater freedom of movement. A 2-inch heavy duty metal clip is added as well as a D-ring which you can use as an attachment for your training clicker or even poop bag.
4 Paw Lifestyles Heavy Duty Dog Leash
- Unique elastic bungee cord design
- 2-position soft, comfortable padded handles
- Quick-release buckle
- 6-month warranty
It has a very unique design, drawing inspiration from the cord that people use to jump off bridges and cliffs. That’s the beauty of the Paw Lifestyles Bungee Dog Leash and it’s one of the things that appeal most to people who are on the lookout for more unique ways to train or walk their pooches. The Paw Lifestyles comes with a bungee cord leash that is only 36.5 inches when fully contracted but extends well to 4 feet once fully stretched. This makes it some sort of a retractable dog leash, although it’s manually operated. The 1 inch wide cord is made of 1000 denier nylon and comes with padded handles made with EVA. It is especially designed for medium to large sized dogs such as the Samoyed, Golden Retriever, Tibetan Mastiff, and many more. The Paw Lifestyles is similar to the Primal in that it also features two handles, one near the metal clasp and the other at the end of the bungee cord. It’s a great option for those who dare to be different.
5 TUG Patented Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash
- Retractable dog leash made of nylon tape
- 360° tangle-free, heavy duty
- Ergonomic handle with a comfortable grip
- Quick lock and unlock feature
- Three available sizes
If you prefer the retractable leashes, the TUG Leash is a fantastic choice as it’s simple and stylish yet very durable. The product features a patented 360° tangle-free, strong leash with an anti-slip handle. There is a quick lock and unlock feature too, that you can easily turn on or off by rolling your thumb. The handle has an ergonomic grip that practically forms to your hand, allowing for super-comfortable handling of your pup. Importantly, the design of the leash allows consistent retraction yet good strength when your pet pulls.
There are three sizes available, with the small one being suitable for dogs under 33 pounds, medium one for pets under 55 pounds, and the large one for dogs weighing under 110 pounds. As for colors, there are three different models main – blue, white and white/orange.
6 U-pick Dual Dog Leash
- Dual dog leash, made of 1000 D nylon and bungee
- Soft padded handle feels comfortable
- Bungee design absorbs shock from quick movement
- No tangling, 360° swivel leash attachment
- Reflective stitching for safe night walks
If you have two dogs, walking them on two leashes may not be the most practical solution. U-Pick’s Dual Dog Leash, on the other hand, is perfect as it allows for easy control of both of your pets with only one hand. The leash is made from nylon and bungee, guaranteeing strength and durability, while the handle is softly padded, allowing for comfortable but firm control. The leash also has a unique bungee design which helps absorb shocks of quick pulling by your dog, making it ideal for highly energetic canines. Most conveniently, thanks to a tangle-free 360° swivel leash attachment, you don’t have to worry about the leash getting all twisted – this attachment allows your pets to move freely around you without any sort of leash tangling or twisting. Finally, to make night walks safer, the U-Pick Leash has reflective stitching.
Before purchasing this leash tough, make sure the total weight of your dogs is not over 110 pounds (if it is, the manufacturer suggests purchasing a steel leash).
7 SparklyPets Heavy Duty Rope Leash
- Super-durable leash, made of thick rope, braided with nylon
- Metallic hooks, natural leather joints
- Shock-absorbing bungee extension
- Comes with a storage bag and smart guide
If your furry companion is quite muscular and strong, you need an equally strong and durable leash for safe walking. This heavy-duty rope leash by SparklyPets is a good choice as it’s braided with tough nylon, and has a metallic hook with leather joints. The leash, which is mostly made of a thick rope, comes with an extra elastic bungee extension, which allows your dog to safely pull on it, no matter how strong they may be. For extra convenience, the leash comes with a storage bag and a practical guide for training, feeding and caring for a puppy.
As an added bonus, the SparklyPets model is one of the most stylish leashes the list – modern and beautiful, this leash manages to blend both style and function into one. There are several colors available too, including teal, blue, red, green and black.
8 Paw Lifestyles Extra Heavy Duty Dog Leash
- Durable and weather resistant construction
- Fully padded comfortable neoprene handles
- Strong and durable hardware
- Cheaper than the Heavy Duty version
This dog leash rope from Paw Lifestyles is actually similar to the Heavy Duty version, although we really cannot say that it merits the addition of “Extra” to the name. The Extra Heavy Duty Paw Lifestyles measures only 6 feet long and doesn’t come with a dual neoprene handle. This Paw Lifestyles dog leash, nevertheless comes with the reflective stitching, D-ring attachment, heavy duty metal clip, and super thick cord for optimum weather resistance and durability. It’s also designed for medium and large breeds of canines. One thing we couldn’t understand though is that the Extra Heavy Duty is actually cheaper than the Heavy Duty version of the Paw Lifestyles. For one thing, we couldn’t find any “extra” in the Extra Heavy Duty. If at all, it’s the Heavy Duty model that has a lot of “extras”.
9 TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash
- Retractable dog leash, nylon
- Durable ABS casing with ergonomic grip
- Release and break and lock features
- Tangle-free and tough
- Comes with plastic bags in a bone-shaped cone
The TaoTronics dog leash is one of the best-reviewed retractable leashes around. It’s no wonder why – extremely durable, tangle-free, with a comfortable handle, this leash allows for safe and easy dog handling no matter where you’re going. The leash is made from nylon while the casing is ABS plastic, with an ergonomic grip and anti-slip handle. The release and break lever allow you to control the leash and prevent your dog from accidentally getting yanked, while the lock feature means you can keep the leash at the length that suits you. Importantly, the core spring is weatherproof, meaning it works equally well in both scorching hot and freezing temperatures.
For extra convenience, this model comes with a free roll of plastic bags which are placed in a bone-shaped cone that you can attach to the handle itself. Because it’s super-strong, the leash is suitable for all dogs under 110 pounds in weight.
10 TaoTronics Retractable Hands Free Dog Leash
- Sturdy and heavy duty cord construction
- Waist strap handle with additional safety handle
- Dual bungee cord design
- Safety reflective stitching
- Excellent shock absorption
While it provides certain similarities to the OutdoorMaster bungee retractable dog leash, the TaoTronics version comes with dual bungee cord design, further extending its reach to a full 5 feet and 7 inches, unlike the OutdoorMaster’s 4 feet. Another advantage of the TaoTronics is that it comes with double handles to allow for two-handed control of even the most tenacious pooch ever to stay at the other end of the dog leash rope. The TaoTronics also feature a waist strap so you don’t even have to hold the dog leash anymore. This is especially useful if you just want to take some time out on your run by sitting on a bench at the park. The leash will be safely secured to the TaoTronics waist strap. Even while running, you can strap the dog leash onto the waist attachment. As long as your pooch doesn’t weigh more than 150 pounds, the TaoTronics should be able to handle it easily. It also comes with reflective stitching for added safety.
11 Friends Forever Extremely Durable Dog Slip Rope Leash
- Durable leash, mountain climbing rope
- Waterproof and machine washable material
- One size fits all (adjustable loop), 6 ft long
- Reflective threads for safe night walks
Looking for a simple yet chic and durable dog leash? Definitely check out the Dog Slip Rope Leash by Friends Forever. Made with heavy-duty, waterproof mounting climbing rope, this dog leash is perfect for highly energetic dogs who like to pull and tug as they please. The material has highly reflective threads as well, which will keep both you and your pet visible and safe on late night walks. Interestingly, there is only one size available, but that is because the leash has an adjustable loop that is both lightweight enough to suit small breed dogs, and sturdy enough to withstand the strength of large breed dogs (tested up to 1000 lbs of strength). The leash is 6 foot in length, which should give any dog plenty of freedom.
There are six colors to choose from – black, blue, green, red, olive and white – and the leash is machine washable too.
12 Max and Neo Reflective Nylon Dog Leash
- 4- and 6- feet long choice of cord
- Fully cushioned handle
- Double sided safety reflective stitching
- Durable D-ring attachment hardware
- Lifetime warranty
The Max and Neo Reflective Nylon Dog Leash Rope offers dog owners with a simple training or walking leash that is super comfy on the hands but sturdy and durable enough to withstand the pulling force of large pooches. It has double-sided reflective stitching that improves its visibility making it a lot safer to use in the dark or in low light situations. You also get to choose from 5 different colors, 2 available widths of 5/8 inch and 1 inch, and 2 lengths at 4 and 6 feet. The cord is made of thick nylon for superb toughness and weather resistance. The metal clip comes with a D-ring for attaching any of your favorite dog walking accessories, making for a more convenient activity with your pooch.
13 tobeDRI Heavy-Duty Dog Leash
- Extremely tough and durable leash, 2-layer nylon
- Dual handles for extra control
- Padded and soft for comfort
- Reflective stitching for safety
- Suitable for medium and large sized dogs
Incredibly sturdy yet super-comfortable to use, the leash by tobeDRI features a dual handle design for full control of your pet without leash burns. The main ergonomic foam handle provides a firm and comfortable grip, while the other one with 3mm soft neoprene, further helps protect your hands when extra control is needed. The leash is made of 2-layer nylon, which is quite thicker and stronger than other standard nylon leashes. It’s also reflective for increased visibility at night.
With 6 ft of length, the leash is ideal for medium and large dogs, however, it’s not suitable for smaller breeds dogs who weigh below 30 pounds.
There are four colors available – black/red, black/blue, blue, red and green – so it’s easy to pick the style that best suits your dog and your preferences.
14 Pets Lovers Club Heavy-Duty Leash
- Super-tough leash, 2-layer nylon
- Padded and comfortable handle
- 6 ft in length
- Reflective for safety
Does your pet like to pull every five minutes while walking? Maybe they chew on their leash the second you stop looking? Whatever the problem, the Heavy-Duty Leash by Pets Lovers Club may be able to help. Constructed of tough, double-layer nylon, this leash can withstand the strength of pulling even of the most powerful dogs. Equally important, no matter how much your pet tugs, the leash won’t leave friction burns thanks to its padded handle. While pretty simple in design, this durable, 6 ft leash is perfect for all dog breeds, including small, medium and large dogs. This is because you can choose between two sizes, where the 1-layer design is best suited for small and medium dogs, and the 2-layer design for medium and large dogs.
The leash also comes in several colors, including black, blue and red, and our favorite two – reflective black and reflective red.
15 Blueberry Pet Classic Leash
- Classy dog leash, nylon fabric
- Sturdy spinning snap
- Machine washable
- Various colors and sizes available
Simple and stylish, the Classic Leash by Blueberry Pet is a good choice for small to medium sized dogs. Because it’s made of nylon fabric with high density webbing, it’s quite durable, although it’s not suitable for large and powerful dogs. That said, the sturdy spinning snap can withstand a lot of tugging and pulling, as long as they’re coming from smaller/medium pups. The biggest selling point of Blueberry Pet’s leash is its elegant style though– classy and simple, it’s literally made to show off your pooch’s unique style year round. There is a host of colors to choose from, including gray, black, baby pink, violet, royal blue, military green and others, so picking out the right style for your pet should be a piece of cake.
As a bonus, the leash can be machine washed on a gentle cycle.
Best Dog Leash: Buying Guide
Whether it is for training purposes or even to help you control your mutt while you’re taking a stroll down the street, at the park, or even in your neighborhood, it is crucial that you use only the most appropriate lead for your dog. Fortunately, we have prepared some of the things that should help you find the best lead for your pet.
Choose the Type of Cord you May Want
Canine leads typically come in three fundamental types. In fact, each one will have a slightly different purpose and will often come with distinct advantages over the other types. That being said, it is critical to choose the type of lead that your canine will need based on what you really want to do.
Standard Dog Leash
Standard canine leashes are what you can call your run-of-the-mill type of leads. Depending on their length, these can provide exceptional control if you choose the shorter length cords or sufficient freedom for the canine to roam and explore its immediate surroundings. The reason for the greater control is in the straightforwardness of the design. They feature no retracting mechanisms and can come in braided or solid designs that typically range from 4 to 8 feet.
You may also like our guide on the Best Double Dog Leash.
Retractable Dog Leash
This type of lead is quite controversial since a lot of experts do not recommend its use. Unfortunately, despite professional warnings, retractable dog leashes remain a very popular choice among dog owners because it gives them the chance to really lengthen the cord to a considerable degree that the pooch is granted greater freedom of movement. Considering that there are products that can be extended up to 26 feet, it sure is a great way to allow canines to wander without the constant interference of their masters.
Unfortunately, this is where the problem lies. Because of the greater distance between the dog and its human master, the degree of control exerted by the human greatly diminishes with each extension of the cord. If the pooch suddenly bolts because it saw a raccoon or a squirrel, the lengthy cord can easily snap or it can even injure the pet. Of course, the only way to reestablish control is to shorten the length of the cord. In this case, you’d be better off with a standard dog leash.
This is not to say that retractable leads are not useful. In fact, they are quite beneficial if you have a pet that is well-behaved and is properly trained on the leash. Additionally, if you can honestly tell yourself that you’re more comfortable giving your pooch more lead-room, then the retractable is for you.
Check out our ultimate article on the Best Retractable Dog Leash.
Adjustable Dog Leash
These types of leads marry the controllability of standard leads with the flexibility of retractable leads. These typically range between 3 feet and 6 feet and the length can be either increased or decreased simply by adding or removing clips or loops, respectively, along with the length of the cord. Additionally, this can come in handy especially for those who love the controllability of standards which is particularly useful in training. And when they go out for a walk, they can easily add links or loops to the cord length and they already have a longer lead.
Read here our detailed guide on the Best Hands-Free Dog Leashes.
Understand the Different Materials Used
Once you have identified the type of lead you would want for your pooch, it’s time to decide on the materials that you would like the lead to be made of. Currently, there are 3 types of materials that provide strength and durability in dog leashes.
Leather Dog Leash
This is a very durable material and is largely regarded as one of the most comfortable to hold. However, they are quite expensive and may require some degree of maintenance to maintain their quality. While it is not really resistant to chewing, leather can stand up to the test of time if cared for properly.
Take a look at our guide on Leather Dog Collar.
Nylon Dog Leash
A very popular material, nylon provides durability at a cost that is friendlier than leather. These are weather-resistant, too. Sadly, they tend to create friction, especially when tugged by dogs. They are also not as resistant to chewing.
Chain Dog Leash
If you’ve got a tenacious chewer, then getting a metal dog leash is for you. The drawback, of course, is that these tend to be on the heavy side. Choosing the right size of the metal chain that is appropriate for your pooch should be your primary consideration.
Determine the Correct Length
We already said that different types of leads come in different lengths. Shorter lengths are ideal for safety and training purposes while longer leads are perfect for distance command training. Plus, they are also beneficial for allowing your canine friend to explore and roam around without you losing control over it.
Consider the Right Width
If you have a mutt that is known for pulling or chewing, you’d definitely want a thicker and wider lead. This should help prevent the lead from snapping as the increase in width and thickness can lend strength to the lead. Conversely, if you have a small dog or a small puppy, a thinner and slimmer lead is more appropriate as this is less restrictive and lighter, too. Once they grow, you can upgrade to a thicker or wider lead.
What Size of Dog Leash Do I Need?
One of the things that you have to seriously consider when choosing or buying a lead for your canine friend is the size of the leash which is actually a function of its length, width, and thickness. We’ll try to examine the different lengths of leads as this is very important.
- 4 feet: This is primarily useful if walking your dog in high-traffic areas, although if you can get an even shorter 2-feet or 3-feet lead, better. This allows you maximum control over your pet and is especially useful for training dogs to stay on your heel.
- 6 feet: This is perfect for a leisurely walk in the park or in areas with less traffic. The extended length allows for canine exploration without the danger of the cord getting tangled.
- 8 to 10 feet: This is perfect for obedience training purposes by allowing some distance between you and your pet. You still get to exert control over your pooch.
- >10 feet: Longline leads are ideal for distance command training. These can actually range between 50 and 150 feet. This is perfect for training long stays or recalls.
Training Your Dog with a Leash
It is one thing to buy a dog leash. It’s definitely another matter to teach your pooch how to walk on a leash. Like all canine training activities, it is important to proceed in a stepwise manner and to get your cue from your dog itself. Rushing things can only make the training more difficult for your pet and more frustrating for you. Here’s how to train your dog with a leash.
- Always get your pet to become familiar with its leash and collar first. You don’t have to walk him in it yet. Just leave it lying on the floor, allowing your pet to play with it from time to time until it accepts it as an ordinary thing. You can then wear the collar around its neck.
- Teach your pet to respond to a verbal or sound cue. This is where a clicker can come in handy. Plus, the addition of some dog treats can help reinforce the teaching of a cue.
- Entice your pet to come to you. As it moves toward you, move several steps back before giving its treat. By this time, it should already be wearing both the collar and the leash. The point is for you to give the verbal or sound cue, wait for it to start walking towards you, and start walking a few paces. This means your pet is already ‘walking with you’.
- Practice this activity in your home with very little distraction until such time it is already comfortable ‘walking’ with you with its leash on. Gradually take it outside. First, do it in the backyard, then the next block, the neighborhood, and so on and so forth. Make sure that with each progression, you’d have to go slowly. Remember to give praises and treats, too.
You may also like our article on the Best Training Collar for Dogs.
Tips to Walk Your Dog with a Leash
Now that you have trained your pooch to walk with its leash on, you’re now ready to walk with your dog. Here are some tips to make it even more meaningful.
- Be the leader of the pack. Always stay ahead of your pet while you’re walking. It should either be beside you or even behind you. If you have to enter or exit a door, you should always be the first.
- Provide at least 30 minutes to walk your pet. However, do consult with your veterinarian if it is okay for your pet to walk for an hour or so. You will also need to be very observant of your pooch’s behavior during and after the walk.
- Always bring plenty of water with you for your canine friend to drink especially if you intend on extending your walk to several miles. Canines don’t have a very efficient way of cooling themselves so you have to make sure they stay hydrated and have ample rest in between walks.
Take a look at our review of Portable Dog Water Bottle.
- Allow your pet to explore its surroundings at certain times in your walk. For example, after 10 minutes of walking, you can stop and let your pet explore its immediate surroundings. This is its reward for walking with you. Again, you have to take the lead when saying it’s time to resume the walk.
- Don’t ever forget to provide positive reinforcement to your pet after the walk. It can be its favorite dog toy, a warm hug, or even a hefty portion of its favorite meal. This reminds your pet that it has to ‘work’ to gain these rewards.
Walking with your canine friend can be so much fun especially if you have already trained them to walk with you on a leash. By carefully considering the type, length, width, and material of the lead you intend on buying for your pet, you will have a much greater chance of teaching them how to walk with you on their leash. Fur further control, you may wish to combine this with a high-quality dog harness from our other buying guide.
- Judy Germany, 6 Ways To Prevent Common Dog Walking Injuries, Rush
- Michelle Neff, How to Determine What Kind of Harness or Leash is Right For Your Dog, OneGreenPlanet
- Sandra Ketcham, How to Properly Hold a Dog Leash, The Nest