Although they come in all kinds of sizes and colors, and can be crafted from a number of different materials all dog leashes have the same main purpose; to keep your dog safe and under control when she is out and about.
Think about it for a moment. Dog leashes prevent you pup from wandering into the street, where they could be badly hurt, from running away, from wandering into places and spaces they shouldn't, and if they are very friendly, or have a strong prey drive, from approaching people and other animals and perhaps scaring them. A dog leash is a very important part of any pup's life every day, which is why it is so very important that you buy the one that is just right for them.
With a pet care item as common as a dog leash you might think buying one is super easy. And then you find yourself faced with a lot more options than you expected, and suddenly you are not so sure. So how do you do the best you can to ensure that the dog leash - or leashes - you purchase are right for your particular pup? Here are some of the things you should keep in mind to help you make that important decision.
Dog Leash Type
As you begin to shop you will discover that there are different types of dog leash to choose from:
Standard Dog Leashes
The standard dog leash is probably what you will have in mind first when you start shopping; a long length of durable material that has a sturdy loop for your hand, a clip to attach it to your pup's collar and is somewhere between four and eight feet long.
Retractable Dog Leashes
Retractable dog leashes can be very handy, but they do need to be used with care. A retractable dog leash offers pet parents the choice of adjusting lead length at the push of a button, great for better behaved dogs who like to be given a little extra space to run at the park. The downside of these leashes is that they do give you - as pet parent - less control over the leash, and so are usually not suitable for dogs who pull a lot or don't walk on a leash very well yet (which is especially true of puppies).
Adjustable Dog Leashes
Essentially, adjustable dog leashes combine some of the best functionalities of both standard and retractable dog leashes. These are a great choice for pet parents who like the control that a standard leash offers but would occasionally like to make use of a slightly longer leash, for example, a shorter leash for training sessions then a slightly longer one for walks. They can usually be adjusted by adding or removing clips of loops along the length of the leash and most offer lengths of between three and six feet.
Dog Leash Material
Nylon is the most popular and commonly utilized materials in the world of modern dog leashes and for some very good reasons. As it is a manmade material it is relatively inexpensive and very durable, easy to wash and won't shrink in the rain. It is also easy for pet care item designers to offer nylon leashes in a huge variety of different colors, textures and designs.
The only possible downside is that if your dog is an aggressive chewer nylon will not be that hard for her to chew through and so the risk of escape may be increased. You can minimize this risk however by making sure that you pup is never leashed when unattended.
Leather dog leashes offer excellent durability and a lot of style. Also, because it is smoother and yet has a little more give than nylon can feel more comfortable in a pet parent's hand, especially after it has by 'broken in' over the course of several uses. On the downside it will not fare well if allowed to get wet and it will take a little extra TLC - usually via a leather cleaner - to keep it looking nice.
Chain leashes are less common these days but they can be a good choice for pups who will simply chew through everything else (and there are pooches like that). They can also be a good alternative for use if you have a giant breed dog, as most of them have considerably more strength and may, over time, just pull a flimsier dog leash apart.
Choosing the Dog Leash Length
Six feet is the most common length for dog leashes and in most cases that is ideal for everyday dog walking use. This length allows you pup room to explore a little but without creating so much slack that the leash gets tangled around your pup's legs - or your own - or dargs on the ground.
If however you will usually be walking your pup in a busy area - an urban street for example - you may want to opt for qa slightly shorter leash - around four feet. In these situations some dogs often become a little more excited as there is so much going on around them, and so a shorter dog leash offers you more control and makes it easier to keep them walking to heel.
There are longer dog leashes available - eight to ten feet - that are designed for use for training purposes. These are not really safe for walking, but if you are working on training exercises like long sits and stays, or on recall commands, these longer dog leashes can be very helpful.
Other Dog Leash Buying TipsEvery pet parent really needs to buy two dog leashes, as if one breaks or is damaged having a spare immediately on hand will be a real help and allow your dog to avoid having to be confined indoors for days until you get around to buying a new one.
If your dog leash gets wet - if you get caught in an unexpected downpour for example - always hang it up to dry completely before using it again (which is another reason to have a spare leash)
If your dog is still growing, be prepared for the fact that you may have to change the size of his leash a few times before he is fully grown.
Now that you know a little more about dog leashes it's time to start shopping. We offer a wide selection to choose from, so are confident that your will be able to find the right dog leash for your pup with ease.