Dog Leash Buying Guide
What is a Dog Leash?
Having a good quality dog leash is a must when you own a dog. Even if you don’t have to take your dog on walks in the city, you will still have the need for a good leash when you take your dog to the vet or travel with him or her. Most places have leash laws, so you will need to follow those and ensure that you have a good leash on hand.
Before you purchase a dog leash, make sure you have information on the different types of dog leashes, the materials used to make them, and the specific factors that determine which type of leash works the best for you.
Choosing the right leash is a very important decision to make. Since a dog leash is probably one of the most important training tools you will buy, you need to choose one that fits your dog’s lifestyle. Remember that a dog leash, even an excellent, high quality one, can’t replace training, but it certainly can help the training process.
Types of Dog Leashes
There are many different types of dog leashes available for a dog owner to choose from. Ultimately, you only need to worry about 4 basic types of dog leashes. These four are the most common types that are used.
- Standard – As its name implies, this leash is the most common type of leash purchased by dog owners. Standard dog leashes are used for basic types of training and daily dog walking. Most standard dog leashes measure anywhere from, 4-8 feet long. The ideal length for a standard leash is 6 feet. Standard leashes can be made out of nylon, chain, leather, rope and other materials as well. The majority of dog trainers prefer standard leashes for starting puppies off on the right paw.
- Retractable – A retractable leash is a lot like a tape measure. The dog owner holds the handle of the leash and the end attached to the dog can roll out and retract as the handler wants. Most retractable leashes contain nylon cord or bands that can provide as much as 26 feet of slack that will retract back into the case, which is usually made of plastic. Retractable leashes are best suited for dogs that have already learned how to walk properly on a dog leash.
- Adjustable – Adjustable dog leashes are between standards and retractables. The design of an adjustable leash is very close to that of the standard leashes but there are several loops along the length of the leash that allow you to adjust it to the length you want. Adjustable leashes are very good for rewarding the dog with more walking length without allowing them too much freedom.
- Martingale – What sets martingale leashes apart from others is the fact that the leash and collar is one unit. This is a very good style of dog leash for smaller dogs. The way it works us the collar slips over the dog’s head and will tighten when the handler pulls the leash. Even though Martingales can be used for larger breeds they are recommended for the smaller ones.
Dog Leash Materials
The most important factor in choosing a leash material is finding something that is durable. The stronger the material is that is used for the leash, the less likely it is that the dog will be able to destroy the leash by chewing through it.
- Nylon – This is one of the most common materials used in dog leashes. It is durable and strong and will not constrict if it gets wet. Nylon is a very inexpensive material as well and comes in a variety of colors. The only drawback to the nylon dog leash is that it can wear on your hand and also cut into the dog’s neck so care must be taken when using it.
- Cloth – Cloth is not a real big favorite with dog owners for several reasons. It frays easier than nylon, can tear and dog’s can chew through it relatively easily. Cloth leashes cost about the same as nylon and there are no real significant benefits to using them so they are getting less and less popular.
- Leather – Leather is the most expensive material that is used to make a dog leash but it is also the one that will last the longest. The durability of leather is one of the reasons it costs more but people don’t mind the cost since the value is so superior. They don’t fray, they are impossible to chew through and there are many designs that appeal to all kinds of dog lovers.
- Chain – Chain leashes are not as popular as they once were, but they are still used by some dog owners. Although professional dog trainers very rarely if ever use chain, some people like the look or feel it is better for their particular dog.
- Reflective – Reflective leashes are leashes that have reflective elements on them that make it easy for people to see them in the dark. They are good safety measures that protect the dog and handler when taking walks in the dark or early morning hours.
Things to Think About Before Purchasing a Leash
There are three main factors that you want to consider before you purchase a leash for your dog. We’ve listed them below for your benefit so when you start shopping you know exactly what to look for.
- Length – The length of the dog leash you choose decides the amount of freedom your dog has as you walk. Length is a feature that us prevalent in standard, retractable and adjustable leashes. When you are first walking your dog on a leash and getting them used to it, you want less freedom of movement while they are learning how to behave properly. Length is one of the most important factors for deciding on a leash.
- Clip – The clip that is on the end of the leash and that attaches the dog to the leash is very important. When this clip is weak, it can break with the least amount of resistance. Make sure that the ring and the clip that is attached to the ring is strong and rust-proof which means making sure it is made from stainless steel.
- Durability – Unless you want to replace your dog leash repeatedly, you should take a little bit more time to research and choose a leash that will be durable and tough and stand up to the rigors that it will go through. Another reason to make sure that the dog leash you choose is sturdy and durable us because of the safety a sturdy, well-made leash provides.
Buying Tips for Dog Leashes
Here are some good do’s and don’ts as you are purchasing your dog leash. These tips are designed to help you choose the perfect leash for your dog.
- DO… Look for a dog leash that will give you the most control over your dog. This can also mean making sure you know which types of leashes work well for certain breeds. The leash needs to be long enough to give the dog some slack but also short enough to ensure you have control over them as well.
- DO… Look for a dog leash that has a width that correlates with the dog’s size. Large dogs do better with wide leashes. If your dog grows fast, a wide leash will work well for them also.
- DO… Look for a dog leash that provides comfort and safety for your dog while you are training it. Never compromise your dog’s safety or comfort for price.
- DO…Buy more than one dog leash. Aside from having a backup if something goes wrong with the first one, or it gets lost, you should buy leashes that will work for the different stages your dog will go through during their leash training.
- DON’T… Don’t use a chain leash even on the breeds that are considered to be more aggressive and challenging. Chain leashes don’t make good training tools and if used incorrectly, they can injure the dog.
- DON’T… Don’t waste money on decorative dog leashes. Those with tassels, glitter and other embellishments can choke a dog if they are able to get them off of the leash. A dog leash is meant to train and keep the dog in check. Having decorative items on them can be a distraction and hazard.
- DON’T… Purchase a retractable leash for a dog that is not trained to walk properly on a leash. If they dart off to the side or are constantly pulling, they can tangle themselves around objects or even passersby and cause themselves, you or someone close by injury.
- DON’T – Never buy a leash with the intent of tethering your dog. This is not the way to train them and it can lead to chewing and other attempts to free themselves which can cause injury to the dog.
One of the single most important training tools you will buy for your dog or puppy is their leash. They are invaluable for teaching your dog to walk properly when you take them out or to the park and it teaches them how to behave and what it expected of them. Now that you have learned some of the more important factors involved in choosing the right leash you can sort through all the choices available and decide on the one that will meet the needs and preferences you have and want for your dog.
- Flexi Explore – http://www.flexi-northamerica.com/us/company/
- Flexi Neon – http://www.flexi-northamerica.com/us/company/
- Petslovers – http://www.petsloversclub.com/