woman walking with her dog on a leash

How To Choose The Appropriate Leash For Your Dog

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Choosing the appropriate leash for your dog is essential. Exercise is a very important part of your dog’s wellbeing: walks are good for dogs’ mental health, they are natural stress-relievers and can help your dog socialize while spending some extra energy. Making the right decision can change the game for both dogs and owners.

Choosing the appropriate leash for your dog

Standard: This leash is probably the most common one. It is plain and it can have different materials: rope, leather, cotton, or nylon, among others. It is light and easy on your hands. According to your dog's needs, its length can vary from 6 to 10 feet.

Retractable: It might be very helpful when training your dog. You can extend and retract the leash very easily through a locking mechanism to control your dog’s behavior. The only downside to this leash is that your dog can’t possibly know when the length of the leash has changed, so there can be a strangulation hazard. Besides, retractable leashes are good for small to medium size dogs only (like Jack Russell Terriers, Schnauzers, or Fox Terriers). Otherwise, the locking mechanism can break and it would no longer be useful.

Slip lead: this is a leash and a collar as well. It looks like a standard leash, but the main difference is that the slip lead has a metal ring at the end of the collar, through which the leash tightens when your dog pulls and loosens once the tension is gone. This kind of leash is specifically useful if your dog pulls hard when walking or spotting another dog. However, you need to learn how to use it properly, otherwise, it can be a choking hazard.

Nylon-coated webbing: these leashes are great for people who love to go on adventures. They are functional for going hiking or to the beach. It has a smooth surface so they are more comfortable not only for grabbing them but also for cleaning them. Especially if they are covered in mud or sand.

Chain: This leash is quite heavy, so it would be the appropriate leash for your dog if he is a big strong dog who tends to walk you, like a Dogue de Bourdeaux or a Neapolitan Mastiff. Besides, it is chew-proof. If your dog likes playing around with his leash, you’ll make sure he doesn’t tear it apart.

Adjustable: Adjustable leashes have been created for dog owners who can’t make up their minds between standard and retractable leashes: since it’s adjustable, you can shorten it or extend it according to your current needs. E.g., if you are walking your dog at midnight and there are no dogs around, you can fully extend it. On the contrary, if you are in a crowd and you want to have more control of your dog, you might want to shorten it.

‘Before choosing a leash for your dog, you need to take into account not only the purpose of that leash (training, walking, hiking, etc.) but also your dog’s particular needs.

Nobody knows your dog as you do. Even if your vet recommended you a special leash, or if your friend whose dog is the same breed as yours told you to buy a retractable leash, there is no use in following other people’s recommendations. You have to assess your dog’s needs to buy the appropriate leash. Make a decision based on your experience and what’s good for both of you.

Walking with your dog while you are in a hurry can be tedious. He will probably stop in every tree he finds, just to sniff it around or to mark the territory.

And even though this may seem annoying, pointless, or even a waste of time to us humans, it’s our dog’s way to communicate with other dogs and to scan the area for plausible dangers, so try to be patient and give your dog the time he needs.

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