Choosing a Dog Leash

Dog walking should be a fun bonding experience for you and your pooch, not a dreaded task. But if your dog isn’t following your lead, it can become a drag—quite literally! Whether you have a puppy who is still learning the ropes or are looking to teach an older dog new tricks, these dog walking tips can help.

Dog Walking Gearleash

Collar with ID tag—check! Leash—check! Yep, that’s pretty much all you need to walk your dog. But there are lots of choices out there when it comes to dog collars and leashes, so which should you get for your four-legged friend?

Pick Your Leash

There are a variety of leashes out there with different pros and cons. Select a leash that you think would work best for you and your dog.


These leashes, which are made of synthetic material like nylon, are usually the least expensive of the bunch and can come in lots of fun colors and patterns. They’re typically lightweight and easy to wash, which are two ticks in the “pro” category. The “con” is that the synthetic fabric can cut into or burn your hand, so this leash may not work well if your dog tends to pull.


Leather leashes generally hold up well over time and tend to be gentler on your hands than a synthetic leash. The downside is that they are typically more expensive and might not be as easy to wash as synthetic fabric.


Some people like the look of chain leashes, but others find them heavy and uncomfortable to hold. Chain leases are also uncomfortable for dogs to chew on, so they can be a good option if you’re trying to stop this behavior. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) tends to recommend against using such leashes, though, as they can limit your ability to control your rambunctious pup.


These leashes can be let out and reeled back in with the touch of a button. They give your dog more freedom to explore but need to be used with caution. They’re best for not so busy places where there are fewer opportunities for your dog to wrap it around people, pets, trees, or other objects. They’ve also been known to pose a risk to the pet parent, too. Reports document finger amputations resulting from a digit getting caught in the leash loop when a dog is pulling out the leash.

-from the ASPCA

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