Choosing the best dog lead for your dog is extremely important for many reasons. There are some key aspects to think about when choosing a dog lead. You might be looking for your new puppy or want to try something for an older dog. Personal choice always comes into play but with so much variety it can be a bit of a minefield. Read on for our top tips on how to choose the best dog lead.
Best puppy lead
The needs of a puppy can be very different to an older dog. Firstly, you need to choose a lead that is not too heavy and that is the right length. You will want it to hang nicely and not pull on your puppy’s neck. The choice of material is also important, as there are pros and cons to material choice.
Rope leads are lightweight and strong so might suit a boisterous puppy. However they can sometimes be uncomfortable for the owner hands. Nylon webbing dog leads are very strong and lightweight but again can be very abrasive on your hands. Chain leads can be heavy but nonetheless work well with a puppy that likes to chew the lead. You will be grateful of this once you have gone through a few leads in quick succession! Once you pass the chewing phase, you can upgrade to a more aesthetically pleasing dog lead.
Fabric leads can be a good choice especially those with a strong nylon inner material. They are strong, lightweight and soft on the owner’s hand (dependant on which fabric is used, our ultra-soft signature range is one example). Leather leads offer a traditional look which can be favoured, as well as being strong and durable. Leather does take some care and isn’t water friendly like some other materials. It can also weaken over time if exposed to moisture too often.
Retractable leads are an option, but for us they are a big no no with a puppy. Whilst training you should always have a bit of slack. You want the puppy to understand the importance of heeling and walking on the lead. Using a retractable lead allowing a lot of freedom can be a bit confusing for a younger puppy. Our training leads combine the benefits of strong, lightweight material with the ability to adjust the length. Our skinny training leads (1.5cm wide) are the ideal choice for puppies!
There is always the option of a harness. If you spend the time training your puppy to walk well with a collar and lead you may never need a harness. However, harnesses do provide a good option for dogs that you feel cannot be controlled with a traditional collar and lead. Harnesses with a double clip work really well with the double ended training lead.
Best dog lead for training any dog
There are lots of different options across dog collars and dog leads that proport to offer quick solutions to training issues. We would always recommend patience and time to train your dog properly before moving to a quick fix. With this in mind following our advice for puppies (above) is a good starting place.
Once your dog is a little older then lead choice can come down to different factors:
When considering all of the above, this will help you choose the best dog lead for your dog. A standard lead will provide most of what you need, however when considering flexibility, a training lead may provide a broader solution. A training lead offers the availability of different lead lengths, this means you get the best of both worlds- a shorter lead when training to heel and a longer lead when giving your dog a bit more freedom on a walk.
Retractable leads are less suitable for training and provide a better option for a well-trained dog that you aim to give more freedom depending where you are walking.
Best dog lead for dogs that pull
There are lots of claims of accessories that claim to help stop your dog pulling, but as a word of caution, anything that uses negative training techniques (i.e. punishes the dog for pulling) should be avoided. The amount a dog will pull will only be reduced by positive training techniques, so always ensure you have treats on you to reward your dog when it walks as you would like.
Harnesses can be useful to gain further control of your dog in combination with a good quality lead. They offer great support around the chest area therefore allowing increased control of the full body of your dog. There are downsides of harnesses, as they can be uncomfortable and hard to put on, and they are more likely to get dirty due to location of the body. Be sure to fit your dog’s harness correctly and look for a machine washable harness also!
Head collars such as the classic Halti can be useful as they work to reduce pulling by controlling the head. When using such a head collar (sometimes referred to as a gentle leader) you should ideally use a shorter lead to avoid any jolting of the head. Whilst effective, there are some downsides of head collars. Your dog may take a long time to adjust to it, there is a risk of injury if not used correctly and it should never be used as a substitute for good training.
By now it should have dawned on the reader that the overriding take home message is: first and foremost, positive training techniques should be employed whatever lead you decide to go for, then you should choose something that works for you and your dog both for comfort and aesthetics!
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