Our furry canine friends are family. To ensure that your four-legged friends are kept as calm and comfortable as possible when on walks, it is crucial to choose the right leash.
However, with an overwhelming variety available, you might not know where to start. Not to worry — here’s a guide on how to buy the most suitable leash for your dog for fun and safe adventures!
Decide on the length & thickness of the leash
Firstly, determine how long your leash should be. If you live in a crowded neighbourhood far from dog-friendly parks, you might want to consider getting a shorter leash (about 1.2-metres) so that you can keep your dog close by your side and away from city dangers when out on walks, such as traffic. These will also be more useful for controlling your dogs as you take them in and out of the car.
However, if you live nearby a dog-friendly park, you can afford to buy a longer leash (about 1.8 metres) to give your dog more opportunities to roam further yet still stay safe.
As for the thickness of the leash, generally, larger dogs require wider leashes than smaller breeds, so that it will not break as easily when your dog tugs at the leash. Wider leashes are also good for those that tend to chew on the leash, but keep in mind that thick leashes may be too heavy for small dogs.
Choose the right material
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After you have determined the length and width of your leash, you need to select an appropriate material for its intended function. The most common materials are nylon, leather, cotton, and it is highly recommended to steer clear of rubber leashes and metal chains because these may injure your pets and cause training to be highly ineffective.
A nylon leash
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If you need a durable, relatively inexpensive leash for everyday walks, consider getting a nylon leash. Not only will you have a wide variety of designs and colour to choose from, but they are lightweight, easy to handle, and can last even in humid environments. Do take note that nylon leashes can become slippery when wet though, so it might not be ideal for a trip to the pool or the beach.
A leather leash
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For a sturdy leash that will last for years, a high-quality leather leash will be durable enough to last even for larger breeds that like to pull. Of course, it is slightly more pricey and you will have to treat your leash with a leather conditioner once in a while to maintain its condition.
A rope leash
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As for cotton or rope leashes, they are slightly more flexible, which helps to protect your arm and shoulder from injury when your dog pulls on the leash. They are also great for swimming and inexpensive. The only downside is that they are prone to wear and tear more easily than their nylon and leather counterparts.
Determining the functionality
Choose the right leash to avoid getting tangled up!
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Depending on your dog’s walking behaviour, personality, and the number of dogs you have, there are quite a few different types of leashes that you can consider purchasing, besides a standard fixed-length leash.
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Adjustable leashes are useful for when you need to shorten the leash temporarily, or go hands-free and tether your dog to your body, a lamp post, or a tree. Instead of a regular handle, this type of leash has clasps on both ends and rings at different intervals of the leash – you simply attach one end to whichever ring to determine the size of the handle and length of the leash! With this, you can even walk two dogs at once.
Have more than one canine friend at home scurrying for your attention and for some fresh air on walks? The split leash is designed to help you with walking more than one dog at the same time. This leash is made up of two leashes with only one shared handle. If you are looking for such a leash, select one with a rotating attachment that prevents the leash from tangling.
That being said, if your dogs have different personalities — say, you have one that is more outgoing and another that is more reticent — they might not fare well on a shared leash. Plus, if one of your dogs is not trained to walk without pulling, having a shared leash may encourage the other dog to start pulling as well.
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Retractable leashes comprise of a long cord (about 4 – 9 metres) rolled around a spool inside a handle, allowing you to easily lengthen, shorten, or lock the leash length with a button. While it might seem like a good leash option because it gives your dog plenty of freedom to explore while still being attached to you, we recommend getting a retractable leash only if your dog is well-trained enough to not pull, or to come upon command.
This is because retractable leashes may teach untrained dogs that it’s alright to pull away, and their handles are often bulky and difficult to attach to a tree, lamp post, or your body. Furthermore, if you happen to drop the handle while the cord is extended, it may quickly retract towards your dog, frightening it in the process. Not to mention, the retractable cords are often thin, making them more prone to tangling and snapping, and less safe as compared to other leashes.