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Four Dog Leash Varieties


Leashes, or leads, are essential tools for every dog owner. Leashes are used in conjunction with collars for training and everyday purposes. Use this information to find the best leash for your dog.

Standard Leashes

Photo © Jenna Stregowski
Standard leashes are intended for basic training and everyday use. Typically available in lengths from 4-8 feet, the 6 foot length is ideal for most dogs. Standard leashes are available in leather, nylon and similar materials. Some standard leashes are made with chain, which can be useful for dogs who try to chew the leash.

Retractable Leashes

Photo © Jenna Stregowski
Retractable leashes contain a nylon band or cord of up to 26 feet that retracts into a plastic case with a handle. The leash can lock in place at any length. The mechanism is similar to that of a measuring tape. Retractable leashes can be helpful if you want to allow your dog to wander away from you without letting your dog off-leash. These leashes should only be used after your dog has been trained to walk on a regular leash. Otherwise, you will train your dog that it is permissible to pull on the leash. Do not let your dog out of your sight when on the leash, especially at longer lengths. The leash could become tangled or your dog could get into a hazardous situation.

Adjustable Leashes

Red Adjustable-Length Dog Leash
Photo © Jenna Stregowski
Adjustable leashes are similar to standard leashes, but they have several loops along the leash that allow a clasp to shorten or lengthen the leash. The various sizes can be useful during training. Adjustable leashes can make it easy to briefly tether your dog to a pole or similar object. Your dog should not be left unattended white tethered.

Martingale Leads

Photo courtesy of The Leash Connection
Martingale leads are all-in-one collars and leashes. They operate in a similar way as the Martingale collars. Commonly used for toy breeds in the show ring, the collar portion slips over the head and tightens when the lead is pulled. A plastic tube slides down the lead to keep the collar in place. Larger versions are available for larger dogs.
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