The 10 Best Dog Leashes in 2021

The 10 Best Dog Leashes in 2021

A walk is the best part of your four-legged friend’s day. For your dog, there’s nothing better than exploring the outside world and taking in all the exciting smells and breathtaking sights. That’s why it’s important you’re equipped with a leash that is comfortable, secure and considers your dog’s personal needs. An appropriate leash will maximize their enjoyment, and it’ll also ensure their safety.

Today we’ll be walking you through the best leashes available on the market, and we’ll also help you find the perfect leash for your pal.

What You Need to Know About Dog Leashes

Here, we’ll explain why it’s vital to keep your dog on a leash. We’ll then go over the factors we looked at when determining which leashes would make it into our list.

Importance of a Leash

14% of dogs end up lost at least once in their lifetime, and unfortunately, not all lost pets are reunited with their families. Keeping your dog on a leash while you’re out and about is crucial; it keeps them close to your side and prevents them from wandering off.

While it may be tempting to give your dog “true” freedom by letting them off-leash, doing so is exceptionally dangerous for your dog and others, and in many places it’s also against the law. Even if you believe they would never run off, there is no telling what could happen if something catches their eye (or nose!). Most dogs can’t resist checking out the many irresistible smells, and many breeds have a high prey drive that can lead them to instinctively chase something they see moving in the distance.

Besides safety, a leash has many other benefits. For example, when training your dog, a leash can come in handy, especially if you’re teaching them commands such as heel or tackling poor behavior like counter surfing. It can also prevent your dog from jumping into the nearest lake or rolling in mud, which will save you the hassle of having to wash them!

Factors to Consider in a Dog Leash

Before we dive into our top ten picks, we’ll first cover what factors we focused on, and what you need to consider when purchasing a dog leash.

Leash Type

There are several types of dog leashes, including retractable, adjustable and multi-dog. Each dog leash type has its fair share of pros and cons. We go over all this information in our full buyer guide down below.

Thickness and Width

A dog leash usually has a width ranging between a half-inch to an inch. A thinner leash is best suited for a small dog or puppy, while a thicker, wider leash can better handle a larger dog’s strength.

That being said, unless you have an exceptionally strong dog, try to avoid overly thick leashes – the leash will be difficult to hold, and the added heaviness could make for an uncomfortable experience for your dog.

Material

A dog leash is typically made from nylon, chain, rope or leather. All these materials are durable, but in our guide we give an overview of each material’s properties.

Length

Dog leashes come in various lengths. In each review we’ve made sure to mention each leash’s length so you can shop fully informed.

Features

While some dog leashes stick to the basics, others offer more features such as padded handles, reflective threads or D-rings (a ring you can clip accessories to). In our reviews, we’ve made sure to note every leash’s features.

We’ll now unveil our picks for the best dog leashes on the market. We haven’t included retractable leashes in our picks, but that’s because we’ve made a dedicated list for retractable leashes, which you can check out here.

Top 10 Best Dog Leashes 2021

1. Best Overall Dog Leash: BAAPET Dog Leash

BAAPET Dog Leash


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: Thanks to its comfortable handle, exceptional durability and reflective material, BAAPET’s no-frills dog leash comes out on top.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Standard Leash
  • Suitable for: Up to 120 lb
  • Material: Nylon Rope
  • Length: 5 ft
  • Diameter: ⅓ – ½ in

With its climbing rope material, this leash is durable enough to withstand the strongest pulls and tugs, making it an ideal option for reactive dogs or persistent pullers. It comes equipped with a comfortable, easy grip padded handle, so no matter how much your dog pulls on the leash your hand won’t be left with leash burns.

This leash comes in a variety of vibrant colors, including red, orange and pink. While tougher than most, it won’t prevail against a strong chewer’s jaw. This is particularly true of the padded handle. If you’re looking for a chew-proof leash, we recommend going for a chain style, like the Beirui Leash.

Additional Features

Love taking your pooch out for a late night walk? The BAAPET Dog Leash has high-quality reflective threads that will make sure your dog can be seen regardless of how dark it is. The 360° heavy duty swivel clasp also helps to keep the leash tangle-free.

BAAPET even offers a deal where you can get two leashes for a discounted price, making it an affordable choice for multi-dog households. If you buy the two-leash deal, your purchase comes with a handy collapsible water bowl and a pocket-sized poop bag dispenser; however, the smaller leash size is not part of this offer.

Pros

  • Durable enough to withstand a persistent puller
  • Reflective threads and tangle-free
  • Comfortable, padded handle
  • Two-leash deal perfect for multi-dog households
  • 100% money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Handle can be easily chewed

2. Best Budget Dog Leash: PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash

PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: This affordable, easy to handle leash boasts a lightweight yet sturdy design, making it ideal for puppies.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Standard Leash
  • Suitable for: All Sizes
  • Material: Nylon
  • Length: 4 – 6 ft
  • Width: ⅜ – 1 in

The PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash comes in a wide range of sizes, meaning you’re sure to find one perfect for your pooch. Despite its sturdiness and durability, it is very lightweight. This makes the leash perfect for most pups, as it won’t weigh them down or be too heavy on their neck. As it’s so lightweight, a child would also be able to hold this leash easily without straining their arm.

While this leash does come in a variety of colors, be aware that not all the colors are true to picture. For example, the red color in actuality is more of a dark pink.

PetSafe’s leash is exceptionally easy to clean. Even if your dog bathes in mud, this leash will look good as new with a quick wash and dry.

Additional Features

If you have a pup that’s a bundle of energy, attaching a leash to their collar can be a challenge. However, this leash’s hassle-free clip makes this easy: the clip can be attached and unclipped quickly with one hand. The clip also swivels, so you can rest assured your walks with this leash will be tangle-free.

Pros

  • Range of sizes to choose from
  • Lightweight yet sturdy
  • Very affordable
  • Tangle-free and easy to clean
  • Perfect for those with kids or puppies

Cons

  • Some colors not accurately depicted

3. Best Traffic Leash: Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash

Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: A standard leash suitable for giant breeds that also functions as an effective traffic leash.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Standard Leash, Traffic Leash
  • Suitable for: Over 30 lb.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Length: 1 – 8 ft
  • Width: 1 in

Thanks to its double handled design, this leash can be used as a long standard leash or a traffic leash (the other handle is located 1 ft above the clip). This versatility makes it ideal for those who walk their dog in both open areas and crowded, busy areas (since short length gives full control).

This leash is made from thick, tightly woven nylon webbing that can withstand the pull of large dogs and even giant dogs.

The handles are padded on both sides with neoprene, making them easy to grip and comfortable to hold.

Unfortunately, when you’re using this product as a long leash, the short handle can get in the way; if there’s slack in the leash and it ends up dragging along the ground, the short handle will get dirty and your dog may even trip over it. If a short handle is not a “must” feature for you, it’s probably best to stick to a single handle leash, like the BAAPET leash.

Additional Features

The Primal Pet Gear leash’s rust-resistant clip swivels, ensuring a tangle-free experience. And, with dual-sided reflective stitching, this leash provides ultimate safety during a night walk.

Another great aspect of this leash is that it has a D-ring just below the handle where you can conveniently hook a poop bag dispenser.

Pros

  • Dual handles padded with neoprene
  • Suitable for giant breeds
  • Tangle-free
  • Great features like reflective stitching and a D-ring
  • 1-year replacement warranty

Cons

  • Short handle can be a hassle

4. Best Multi-Dog Leash: iYoShop Dual Dog Leash

iYoShop Dual Dog Leash


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: With its tangle-free design and shock-absorbing bungee, this leash makes walking multiple dogs a breeze.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Multi-Dog Leash, Standard Leash
  • Suitable for: Up to 150 lb.
  • Material: Nylon Rope, Bungee
  • Length: Rope: 35.5 in, Bungee: 20 – 35 in
  • Rope Diameter: ⅜ – ½ in
  • Bungee Width:¾ – 1 in

Walking one dog can be a challenge, let alone two – the leashes getting tangled or twisted can seem inevitable. Fortunately, the iYoShop Dual Dog Leash makes walking multiple dogs a walk in the park. No matter how much your two dogs move about, this multi-dog leash will stay tangle-free as it utilizes a 360° swivel clasp.

While the hand leash is made from durable climbing rope, the dual part is a double bungee extension that can extend up to 35 inches. As bungee is stretchy, if one of your dogs suddenly pulls it will help to absorb the shock. This makes the iYoShop Dual Dog Leash a good option for excitable pooches. That being said, bungee leashes are not suitable for small dogs or dogs that persistently pull. We explain why in our full guide.

If you want a multi-dog leash that is ideal for small dogs, check out Halti’s adjustable leash.

The handle is padded thickly with foam, ensuring comfort. However, the padding does have a tendency to slide and shift, so it doesn’t provide the best grip control.

Additional Features

This leash is versatile; the top hand leash can be detached from the swivel clip which the two bungee leashes are connected to. This allows you to use it as both a single dog leash and a dual leash. This leash is also reflective, and it has a ring you can attach a poop bag dispenser to.

Pros

  • Tangle-free and versatile design
  • Comfortable, padded handle
  • Bungee material
  • Ring for accessories
  • Reflective

Cons

  • Not the best for grip

5. Best Premium Dog Leash: Fairwin Leather Dog Leash

Fairwin Leather Dog Leash


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: A gorgeous, durable braided leather leash with a sturdy clip that can withstand a persistent puller.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Standard Leash
  • Suitable for: Up to 165 lb.
  • Material: Leather
  • Length: 5.6 ft
  • Width: ½ – 1 in

The gorgeous leather is not just for show – leather is exceptionally strong and durable. Moreover, with a heavy-duty copper clasp able to withstand a 500-pound pull force, a persistent puller is no match for this leash. We go into more detail about the pros and cons of leather in our buyer guide below.

Despite being made of thick leather, this leash is not too heavy, making it suitable for even a tough, small dog. That being said, the leash’s copper clasp might be too heavy for dogs under 10 pounds.

The handle is comfortable to hold and easy to grip. It’s also not too bulky – something that those with small hands will appreciate. However, a padded handle, like the BAAPET Dog Leash has, does offer slightly better comfort.

This leash doesn’t fray, and it comes in either a natural leather hue (brown) or a black hue (dyed leather). Unfortunately, the black style does not accommodate extra-large dogs, and the dye used tends to rub off and stain.

Additional Features

While this leash is designed to last, Fairwin does offer an excellent 2-year warranty for this product.

Pros

  • Durable fray-free leather
  • Easy grip handle
  • Sophisticated, stylish look
  • Clasp can handle 500-pound pull force
  • 2-year warranty, 60 day unconditional return

Cons

  • Black dye tends to rub off

6. Best Hands-Free Leash: Tuff Mutt Hands-Free

Tuff Mutt Hands-Free


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: This hands-free leash is convenient, versatile and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Hands-Free Leash, Standard Leash, Traffic Leash
  • Suitable for: 30 – 100 lb.
  • Material: Nylon, Bungee
  • Length: 4 – 5 ft
  • Width: 1 in
  • Waist size: Up to 42 in

The Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Leash comes equipped with a comfortable, adjustable waist belt. You attach the leash with a clip that glides around the belt. This provides your dog greater freedom, as they’ll be able to move in whatever direction they please without being restricted by the clip’s position.

Although the leash’s primary purpose is to be hands-free, it does have two handles. One is near the top and the other is at the bottom (which functions as a traffic leash). The handles are extremely useful for moments when you need to quickly get your dog under control.

Plus, as it’s possible to detach the leash from the belt, you can choose to simply use it as a standard leash or traffic leash instead of a hands-free leash. So if you only need a hands-free leash occasionally – like for a weekly run – this leash is a cost-effective choice as you won’t have to buy multiple leashes.

The Tuff-Mutt Hands-Free Leash has a stretchy bungee part that helps to minimize shock from sudden pulls.

While this hands-free leash is ideal for runners and hikers who often need their hands free, the waist belt is on the heavy side. The added weight can be a little uncomfortable, especially if you’re running or hiking for a long period of time. If you’re looking for a lightweight hands-free leash, the Halti Dog Leash is a good alternative.

Additional Features

This leash has reflective threading that is even in the waist belt. This means both you and your dog will be highly visible at night. Tuff Mutt also sells a handy poop bag dispenser pouch that you can easily strap on to the leash.

Tuff Mutt provides an exceptional lifetime warranty for this product. You can receive a replacement if the leash malfunctions no matter how many years pass.

Pros

  • Dual handle and bungee material
  • Adjustable waist belt
  • Gliding belt clip
  • Reflective, including waist belt
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • A little heavy

7. Best Slip Lead: Mendota Slip Lead

Mendota Slip Lead


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: A stylish slip lead that is reflective, waterproof and sturdy.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Slip Lead
  • Suitable for: Up to 250 lb.
  • Material: Polypropylene Rope
  • Length: 4 – 6 ft
  • Diameter: ⅜ – ½ in

Mendota’s rope leash has everything you could possibly want in a slip lead; it’s easy to use, comfortable to handle and extremely sturdy. If you’re not familiar with what a slip lead is, we explain this a little further down.

Keep in mind this leash is fairly thick and on the heavy side. If your dog is small, it will likely be too heavy for them. PetSafe’s leash is a sturdy lightweight leash ideal for small dogs and puppies.

This leash comes in a wide range of colors and stylish patterns, so you’re sure to find an option that suits your tastes. Plus, the stopper is made from leather, which gives a sophisticated look to the leash.

While the leather stopper is generally safe and secure, it tends to wear and stretch over time, which can cause it to become a little loose.

As the rope is made from polypropylene (a waterproof material), this leash is waterproof and machine washable, making it hassle-free to clean and an ideal choice for dogs that love to swim.

Additional Features

In the black and blue options, the rope material has reflective threads, ensuring visibility at night.

Pros

  • One size fits all; suitable for most dogs
  • Waterproof and machine washable
  • Sturdy and easy to use
  • Stylish colors and attractive leather stopper
  • Reflective

Cons

  • Leather stopper prone to wear

8. Best Chain Leash: Beirui Premium Chain Leash

Beirui Premium Chain Leash


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: This chew-proof chain leash can withstand the strongest and toughest bites.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Standard Leash
  • Suitable for: Up to 45 lb.
  • Material: Chain
  • Length: 4 – 6 ft
  • Width: 3 – 4 mm
  • Chains Diameter: 2 – 4 mm

If you’re hoping to tackle your dog’s pesky leash chewing, look no further. As this leash is made of metal chains, it’s virtually impossible for your dog to destroy the leash, no matter how hard they try.

The leash’s chain is heavy, meaning it’s ideal for a strong dog who would easily snap a lightweight chain. Though, keep in mind this leash will weigh down a small dog.

This leash is relatively rust-resistant, but it’s not completely rustproof. If you take your dog out for a walk with this leash in wet weather, make sure to dry it afterward to ensure it lasts. If you’re particularly wanting a waterproof leash, we recommend the Mendota Slip Lead.

Additional Features

While chain can be uncomfortable to hold, this leash counteracts this drawback with a comfortable, padded handle. However, the handle itself isn’t entirely chew-proof, so you’ll need to be careful not to leave this leash lying around unattended! The padded handle’s material is also not the best quality, and as a result it does wear fairly quickly.

Pros

  • Chew-proof
  • Ideal for strong dogs
  • Padded handle for comfort
  • 60-day quality guarantee

Cons

  • Handle not chew-proof and wears quickly
  • May rust

9. Best Adjustable Leash: Halti Training Lead

Halti Training Lead


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: Despite its budget-friendly price, the Halti Training Lead boasts excellent versatility.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Adjustable Leash, Hands-Free Leash, Multi-Dog Leash
  • Suitable for: Up to 110 lb.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Length: Up to 6ft 7 in
  • Width: 35 – 1 in

The Halti Training Lead is hands-down the most versatile out of all the leashes we reviewed. Not only can it be adjusted in length, the style can also be adjusted. It can conveniently function as a standard leash, hands-free leash, traffic leash and even a multi-dog leash. This all-in-one design makes it the perfect leash to take with you when traveling with your pup. After all, it’s incredibly space saving as you won’t need to pack several leashes in your suitcase!

While the padded nylon is soft to the touch and comfortable to hold, there is no proper handle on the leash. Due to this, it’s a little hard to grip. The leash also frays at the edges. A leather dog leash like the Fairwin Leash is easier to grip and doesn’t fray.

When used as a hands-free leash, the waist belt might be loose on some. The Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Leash can be made more secure.

Additional Features

The leash’s double clips make for easy attachment to dual-clip harnesses, which in turn will give you more control over a pulling dog. That being said, the clips are a little on the weak side, and may break if a strong dog lunges suddenly.

Pros

  • Multi-functional, several ways to change it
  • Adjustable length
  • Perfect travel leash
  • Soft
  • Great for dual-clip harnesses

Cons

  • Frays
  • Hard to grip
  • Clips a little weak

10. Best Long Line Training Leash: Hi Kiss Training Leash

Hi Kiss Training Leash


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: This exceptionally long leash allows your dog to explore and play freely.

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Long Line Leash
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium
  • Material: Nylon
  • Length: 15 – 100 ft
  • Width: ¾ in

This extra-long leash makes play in open areas and distance training a breeze. With a length up to 100 ft, your pal can roam freely but you’ll no longer have to worry about them dashing off.

The High Kiss Training Leash can tolerate most tugs due to its reinforced stitching. Plus, it’s perfect for water play, as it floats in water and dries exceptionally quickly. That said, the leash is rough to the touch and can be uncomfortable to hold. If you’re looking for a leash that you can grip comfortably, we recommend checking out the BAAPET Dog Leash.

This leash comes in a range of bright neon hues (there’s even a rainbow option!), so if you’re playing with your pup in water or wooded areas, you’ll easily be able to see where the leash is.

Sadly, this leash is extremely easy to chew through. The Beirui Premium Chain Leash is a great chew-proof option.

Additional Features

The Hi Kiss Training Leash can be coiled up and made compact for easy transport. It’s also pretty lightweight, which further makes it easy to carry.

While this leash does have a swivel clip to prevent tangles, the clip is fairly small and may break if pulled upon by a large, strong dog.

Pros

  • Ideal for training, or playing in open areas or water
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Easy to carry and tangle-free design
  • Bright neon hues

Cons

  • Clip small
  • Rough to touch
  • Can be easily chewed

Guide to Buying the Best Dog Leash in 2021

labrador retriever on leash sitting between owner’s legs

Leashes are extremely diverse; they come in many sizes, types, styles and serve various purposes. In this in-depth guide we’ll explain the main leash types, then go over the commonly used materials and some other factors that will help you discover the best leash for your dog’s needs.

Which Type of Leash Is Best for Your Dog?

The most common type of dog leash is a standard leash. A standard leash has a handle and a length ranging between 4 to 8 feet. While you’re probably familiar with a standard dog leash, you might be unfamiliar with the other leash types mentioned in our reviews.

Traffic Leash

This leash is similar to a standard leash, only it is substantially shorter, with a typical length of 1 to 2 feet.

Pros

A traffic leash gives you full control over your dog, as the short length means they can’t walk far ahead. This makes it ideal for situations where you need your dog to stay close to you, like when you’re visiting the vets or walking in high traffic areas. Plus, as it provides better control, a traffic leash is great for managing reactive walkers or dogs that pull.

Cons

Due to the limited length of a traffic leash, your dog won’t be able to explore their surroundings properly. This can hinder their enjoyment and prevent them from releasing all their energy.

Slip Lead

Rather than having to be clipped on to your dog’s collar, a slip lead functions both as a leash and collar. The end of the leash can be adjusted to form a loop, which you then slip over your dog’s head. The loop will tighten if the leash is pulled on by you or your dog, and there is a stopper that prevents the loop from opening up.

Pros

A slip lead is escape-proof; your dog won’t be able to wriggle out of the leash no matter how hard they try. As you don’t have to clip the leash to their collar, you can also easily and quickly slip the leash on and off them.

You can use a slip lead to train your dog not to pull on the leash. This is because it tightens around their neck when they pull, which deters them from pulling further. Keep in mind, however, this aversive measure is not without its risks, which we’ll cover in the cons.

Cons

As it tightens, a slip lead can be incredibly uncomfortable for your dog. If the slip lead isn’t correctly positioned around their neck, it can even choke them.

While a slip lead can be a useful training aid when it comes to stopping a dog from pulling, you should never use a slip lead if your dog is a persistent puller. Constant tightening may damage their throat.

Understandably, a slip lead is not suitable for dogs that have neck or back problems.

Multi-Dog Leash

Although this leash has one handle, it splits into separate leashes, allowing you to walk multiple dogs on one leash.

Pros

Moreover, while holding multiple leashes will doubtlessly result in you and your dogs ending up tangled together, high-quality multi-dog leashes like the iYoShop Dual Dog Leash are designed to stay tangle-free.

Cons

If your dogs are different sizes and walk at different paces, a multi-dog leash can be incredibly uncomfortable for them – just imagine a poor Chihuahua attempting to keep up with a Collie’s fast strides!

Some dogs get anxious walking in close proximity to other dogs, even dogs they live with. A multi-dog leash, by its nature, brings dogs closer together, so it can intensify this anxiety and make for a stressful experience.

Hands-Free Leash

Like most leash types, this leash clips on to your dog’s collar, but instead of having a handle it has an adjustable strap that you attach to your body. For example, the Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Leash has a waist belt strap.

Pros

It’s a lot easier to multitask with a hands-free leash as both your hands are free to do or hold other things. Unsurprisingly, a hands-free leash makes exercising while walking your dog a piece of cake. As you won’t be holding the leash, you’ll be able to maintain a good posture and won’t strain your arm if your dog pulls.

Cons

Without a handle, the control you have over your dog is limited. If your dog suddenly lunges at something you’ll undoubtedly be dragged along with them and may even stumble and fall. Due to this, a hands-free leash is best suited for well-behaved dogs who don’t persistently pull or lunge.

Long Line Training Leash

This leash is extremely long – the exact opposite of a traffic leash. Some long line training leashes are even 100 ft in length!

Pros

A long line leash, such as the Hi Kiss Training Leash, provides your dog the most freedom. If you have a high energy dog and live in a safe, open area, a long leash might be the best option, as they’ll be able to exercise with ease and burn off all their energy.

Additionally, if you need to teach your dog commands that involve distance, like come and stay, an extra-long leash will allow you to practice these commands safely at greater distances.

Cons

You have almost no control with a long leash, so your dog needs to be properly leash trained before you use this leash type. A long leash is also prone to tangles.

Retractable Leash

A retractable leash has a mechanism inside the handle that lets you alter the length of the leash, with some able to extend to 30 feet. Usually, there is a button on the handle you can press to lock your desired leash length in place. You also retract the leash by pressing this button.

The main benefit of a retractable leash is that your dog will be able to explore and roam at a much greater distance. However, retractable leashes can be dangerous for both owner and dog if not used properly. We talk in-depth about the pros and cons of retractable leashes here.

Adjustable

Adjustable leashes (like the Halti Training Leash) are a happy medium between standard and retractable leashes.

An adjustable leash has a clasp on each end and has multiple rings along the leash at varying lengths. One clasp attaches to your dog’s collar, while the other clasp attaches to one of the rings. If you clip the clasp to a ring higher up on the leash, you’ll have a longer leash, whereas if you clip the clasp to a ring nearer the bottom, you’ll have a shorter leash. An average adjustable leash is around 6 feet at its maximum length.

Pros

With an adjustable leash, you get the best of both worlds: your dog has enough length to roam comfortably, but you can also shorten the length and keep them close to you if the situation calls for it. Moreover, an adjustable leash doesn’t come with the potential dangers and drawbacks that a retractable leash has.

Cons

While the length can be changed, it still doesn’t offer as much freedom as a retractable leash – an adjustable leash is typically not as long. You also can’t adjust the length on the spot like you can with a retractable leash.

What Material Should You Pick?

Now we’ll take a closer look at the properties of the most common dog leash materials, so you can gain a better idea of which material is best for your pooch.

Nylon

Nylon is a low maintenance, durable yet inexpensive material, making it an ideal option for most dog owners. It is relatively water-resistant and dries quickly, so you’ll be able to walk your dog no matter the weather. Nylon is also lightweight, and as it’s a synthetic fiber it comes in a wide array of colors, meaning you’ll definitely find a nylon leash in a look you love. For example, the Hi Kiss Training Leash even comes in a rainbow style.

However, nylon frays over time, so it won’t last as long as materials like leather. Plus, while nylon is soft, the fabric may give you a leash burn if you’re holding it and your dog suddenly lunges. This is especially true of thin nylon.

Keep in mind if your dog loves to chew, it’s best to avoid nylon, as they’ll probably be able to chew through it.

Leather

A leather leash has an exceptionally long lifespan. It is stylish, thicker and more durable and chew-resistant than a nylon leash. Another great aspect of leather is that it’s easier to grip and a little more comfortable to hold. If your dog is a puller, leather is a great option as the superior grip will give you more control.

Unfortunately, leather is costly and requires a fair bit of maintenance throughout the years. If not properly cared for, leather will wear and end up cracking. While a leather leash can handle a small amount of moisture, it isn’t really waterproof. Oh, and be aware that leather does stretch over time with use.

If you’re specifically looking for a leather leash, make sure to buy a genuine leather leash, like the one on our list (the Fairwin Leather Dog Leash).

Chain

If your dog can’t resist chewing on their leash, a chain leash, such as the Beirui Premium Chain Leash, is the best way to go. No matter how many times your dog chews on a chain leash, they’ll never be able to destroy it. If your dog isn’t a chewer, though, we recommend you stick to nylon or leather. A chain leash is heavy, and the weight can be uncomfortable for some dogs.

Rope

A rope leash (usually made from nylon or polypropylene) is exceptionally durable and soft to handle. As a rope leash tends to have a bit of stretch, it can absorb the shock of sudden movements. This makes rope an ideal choice for reactive dogs or those that pull on their leash. While a rope made from nylon is somewhat water resistant, a rope made from polypropylene (like the Mendota Slip Lead) is waterproof.

Keep in mind although rope is tough, it isn’t completely chew-proof. The appearance of rope may even remind a dog of all their tug toys, and as such it could actually encourage a dog that chews on the leash to chew even more!

Bungee

Similar to rope, a bungee leash can absorb shock, but as it’s stretchier it’s a lot more effective at doing so. Due to this, a bungee leash can drastically ease the strain off your arm when your dog tugs or yanks.

Unfortunately the generous stretch of a bungee leash can make it difficult to correct your dog and take control of them. In fact, it can actually encourage pulling as your dog is rewarded with more length when they pull. A bungee leash is also not suitable for small dogs – a small dog won’t have the strength to effectively stretch a bungee leash.

Other Factors to Consider

To ensure you can find the best possible (and safest) leash for your dog, we’ll cover some more noteworthy factors.

Temperament

If your dog pulls or is very reactive on the leash, it’s best to keep to a leash that lets you control them easily, such as the Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash and BAAPET Dog Leash. If your dog is well-trained, they’ll enjoy the freedom an extra-long leash (like the Hi Kiss Training Leash) offers.

Health

If your dog has any health issues or behavioral issues, it’s always best to seek guidance from a veterinarian before purchasing a dog leash. A leash that doesn’t take into account your dog’s complication may end up doing more harm than good. For example, a slip lead is not recommended for dogs with breathing difficulties, as it can actually worsen their breathing and hurt their throat.

If you have your heart set on one of the leashes we mentioned above, you can ask your vet if they think it would be suitable for your four-legged friend.

Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle can play an important part in what makes a leash right for your dog, so make sure to consider what role your lifestyle has. For example, what time of day do you typically walk your dog?

If you walk them when it is dark outside, it’s a good idea to buy a leash that is reflective, like BAAPET’s leash. This will ensure your dog is visible to passing drivers. If this is a major concern for you, you can combine a reflective leash with a reflective or light-up collar for even higher visibility.

Should You Use a Harness or Collar?

For most dogs, a collar is safe and secure enough. A harness is best suited to dogs who tend to be reactive walkers, as it provides more control and helps alleviate pressure upon their neck when they lunge. For the same reason, a harness is also a good option for small dogs and dogs with neck problems.

If you’re struggling to pick between a harness or collar, this useful guide can help you determine which one is suitable for your pooch.

Final Thoughts

Our dogs treasure every moment with us, so it’s only right we give them the best care possible in return for their love and devotion. An appropriate leash will greatly benefit their wellbeing – it will allow them to go on adventures comfortably, securely and safely.

Whether you’re looking for a leash for your destructive chewer, or a starting leash for your pup, you are sure to discover a leash on our list that is well-suited to your four-legged pal.

Team PetMag

We’re a diverse team of animal lovers with a penchant for pups and a fascination with felines. As pet owners, we know that all pets are part of the family. Whether you live with pooches, pussy cats, rodents, or reptiles, we want to support them in living happy, healthy lives. Nothing tops our unwavering love for animals, but sharing all of our tips and tricks here at Pet Mag is a close second. We’re here to guide you through all of your pet care needs, like fighting fleas, picking grooming gloves, or simply hunting down the tastiest treats available.