A leash has two primary functions: to help keep your dog under your control when you’re out in public and to use as a training tool, especially in the early stages, when you’re preparing your pet to become a full-fledged member of your family. However, there are many other specific benefits of using a leash, including preventing your dog from injuring themselves and other animals or people. A leash also makes walking your dog a whole lot easier and helps you establish rules and boundaries as well.
Now you might think that a leash is a leash—as long as it helps you walk your dog, right? However, because different dogs and dog owners have different needs and habits, there are also different types of leashes in the market that you might want to consider.
This short guide will help you become more familiar with these options, so you can have an easier time shopping when you finally decide to buy a leash for your dog. Moreover, make sure to get a complementing dog collar that you can use along with the leash. Consider getting a personalized dog collar which is tailored just for your pet. Some of the ways you can customize your dog’s collar include attaching a tag with your dog’s name on it, or picking colors and patterns that reflect your pal’s unique personality. As for the leash itself, here are some possible options.
If you’re looking for a reliable leash to use for walking your dog during the day, then you can’t go wrong with standard leashes. These are usually made from nylon, which is strong enough to control a big dog yet light and soft enough to use for puppies and smaller dog breeds. Leather is also a popular material for leashes, although they are a bit more expensive and requires more care and maintenance than nylon ones.
A standard leash can be of 4 and 8 feet. Commonly length is 6 feet, as this allows space for movement but a little short to give 100% control of the dog, if necessary.
If you’re usually out and about at night or if your dog is a night owl who prefers to have their walks during the evenings, getting a reflective leash can provide an additional layer of safety for you and your pet.
A reflective leash is usually a standard leash made of nylon but stitched with reflective material on one or both sides. Some styles braid thin nylon ropes with reflectorized strips. Depending on the material used, a reflective leash can be seen from up to 600 feet or a little over 180 meters away.
Retractable leashes allow the handler to vary the length of the leash at any time, thus providing the dog more freedom of movement. These leashes usually work with a press-and-release mechanism—pressing the button loosens the lock and allows the leash to be pulled, while releasing the button locks the leash and retracts the line into handle. The actual leash is attached to a length of rope or cord that can extend anywhere from 4 to 30 feet, although it’s not ideal to let it extend to its full length, as both the dog and the owner can get tangled up in the line.
Retractable leashes are also ideal for smaller dogs, as bigger, more powerful breeds may be able to snap the cord when they pull on the leash or suddenly takes off at full speed. Well-trained dogs who already have proper leash manners are also good candidates for retractable leashes.
A chain leash is very useful for dog owners whose pets tend to chew and destroy their leashes. There are different weights and thicknesses available, so you can readily find one for almost any dog size. One thing you have to consider when buying a chain leash is that, while some dogs stop chewing on the leash once they figure out that it’s indestructible, other dogs may actually continue to chew on the chains, which can end up damaging their teeth. Just keep checking your dog while on a chain leash to stop them from developing the habit of chewing the metal.
Active dog owners with similarly active dogs may want to consider a bike leash to take their pet out on their usual bike routes. This sort of leash is attached to the frame of a bicycle and gives the dog enough room to jog alongside you as you bike, without fear of your dog getting away from you. Using it might be difficult at first, and you might end up biking more slowly than you’re used to in order to allow your dog to adjust. However, with proper training, a bike leash can be a great way for you and your dog to get some exercise every day.
If you have two or more dogs, you can buy a multiple dog leash so you can walk them at once without holding two or more leashes. A multi-dog leash has one main leash for the first dog, and a coupler allows you to attach a second leash (perhaps more) for another dog.
A multi-dog leash is ideal for highly-trained dogs that usually don’t have a habit of jumping around or pulling, as you may have a difficult time controlling two or more hyperactive dogs at once.
Keep in mind that the most important thing about getting a leash is that it should be able to serve its purpose for you and your dog. Once you’ve figured out what your needs are, you’ll have an easier time making a choice. You might even end up buying two or more kinds of leashes in the end!
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