A dog lead is both a training tool and a safety device. It helps you to teach your dog to walk and behave appropriately. It also keeps him and others around you from getting into accidents. That explains why putting your canine companion on a lead in public spaces is legally required in many parts of the world.
Although there are many kinds of dog leads, you will likely need only two of them more or less. It largely depends on the purpose for the lead and your dog’s breed. To know which one you need, take a look at these different types of dog leads and their uses.
Standard Dog Lead
Although this can be used to train your dog on his walk, it is most suitable for easy-going pooches without obedience issues. Also, it may not be the right lead for dogs that pull excessively.
The weight and width of the lead should correspond to your dog’s size. The rope types, which are typically round, are good for large or very strong dogs. The leather types are the more comfortable and durable ones. Nylon leads, although durable, may be uncomfortable for some dog breeds. However, those are light enough for puppies and smaller dogs.
Also known as the training lead, this collar-and-lead combination is suitable for dogs still having problems on their walk. If many things on the walk—from a gust of wind to squirrels—distract your dog easily, the slip lead is your choice. It lets you correct him easily and keep him on track on your stroll.
Just make sure you give a quick pull sideways so that your dog won’t pull against you in reaction. The pulling will tighten the leash, which is a corrective signal for your dog. However, see to it that the lead does not become too tight as it may restrict your dog’s airway. As a precaution, in case your furry buddy slips out of the lead, have him wear an ID collar.
You might also like: How to choose the best harness for my dog
If you have a greyhound or breeds that have necks thicker than their heads, this is not the right lead to use.
Modifiable Dog Lead
The length of this lead can be changed depending on the purpose of its use.
This type of lead is similar to the standard lead but has loops or clips that allow you to adjust the length. It can be modified to be as short as 3 feet or as long as 6 feet and come in different materials. Some are flat and some are rounded (rope type).
This kind of lead is good for heel work as you can shorten the length, so your dog is very close to you. If you want to run with your furry buddy, you can adjust the length so you can wrap it around your waist. However, this should only be done if your canine companion is already well-trained.
The rounded lead type tends to have a more comfortable feel for you and your dog. A good handle should not cause considerable chafing so that your grip remains secure. You can also go through a lengthy training session or walk without arm issues.
Retractable Dog Lead
Retractable lead is great when you want your dog to exercise or explore further from you without going off-lead. But this should only be allowed if your pooch has no walking issues, is used to leads, and is progressing to off-lead walking. It is not suitable for loose-lead walking training. Whilst this lead is not ideal for big and highly energetic dogs, it is perfect for well-behaved dogs of smaller sizes.
Beware when purchasing a retractable lead without testing it. Only choose a reputable brand, as a low-quality retractable lead might have a slow retraction, which might put your dog in danger at times.
Choose the suitable size according to your dog’s weight as a wrong size lead might result in breaking.
Special-Feature Dog Lead
There are leads that are made for special purposes, such as the following:
High-Visibility Dog Lead – Made with reflective tape, high-visibility lead is suitable for night walks.
Dog Lead for Running – This lead has a belt attachment to put around your waist. Some also comes with a phone pouch. The lead allows dog owners to run comfortably with their dog.
Dog Lead for Biking – This lead is for dog owners who like to cycle with their dogs running alongside them. It attaches the bicycle frame to the back of the harness, allowing a good distance between him and the bike.
Multiple Dog Lead – This one lets you walk more than one dog at the same time on one lead. This is suitable for well-trained pooches that have no pulling or obedience issues.
Dog Seat Belt Safety Lead (SBSL) – This small section of lead attachment secures your dog in your car whilst traveling. The lead is attached to the seat belt at one end, connects to the back of the dog harness at the other end, and protects your pet in the same way as our seat belts.
Shock-Absorbing Dog Lead – This feature can also be found in leads used for various activities, like running and cycling. It has a comfortable (often neoprene) handle and accordion-fold feature in the middle of the lead, which cushions the impact of pulling. This lead is ideal for use in high-traffic areas, large dogs, and dogs with a strong pull. Owners with arm, hand, or hip issues will also benefit from the shock-absorbing lead.
Before You Lead
Where you position the collar will affect how your dog behaves during your walks. Placing it on the lower part of his neck, near his shoulders, makes it easier for him to pull on you. Position it near or at the top of his neck as it is the most sensitive part. When you correct your dog by redirecting the lead, he’s more likely to follow.