Whether your pooch resembles a loveable elephant or is more of a petite and feisty pup, they all require some time in the fresh air. If you happen to have a large yard, so much the better, but I’m betting your dog’s excursions often involve a leash.
Leashes come in nearly every shape, size, and usage, but choosing the correct one for your needs and those of your furry friend(s) can be a challenge. We’ve cut out some of the research time for you to give you this list of the best dog leashes going into 2019.
Here they are for those of you who can’t be bothered to read the whole thing, but be warned, the explanations are pretty important. (And there will be a bonus leash with some super cool modern tech at the end!)
Before we get to the leashes themselves though, there are a few things you might want to consider prior to making your purchase.
Between you and your doggo, there are several questions that you should ask yourself when selecting a leash. The questions fall into several categories which include, dog size, fitness and activity level, number of dogs, preferred activities, appearance, and special or behavioral considerations.
How Big is Your Doggo?
The first consideration is quite obvious, as your dog’s size dictates quite a bit about what leash you want. It’s highly debatable that your chihuahua requires logging chain type restraint.
The majority of dogs would be perfectly fine with a standard six-foot long, 5/8ths inch lead, but particularly small dogs might need something with less weight.
Is Your Dog in Top Shape? (or Are You For That Matter?)
How much your dog is up to, whether that’s a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood or a high-paced run along the waterfront, should play a role in what leash you decide on. You might also want to consider your own fitness level as well.
If you and your dog are both ultra-runners, that might mean a light weight retractable leash. If your dog is bouncing off the walls and you…aren’t, you should take a look at some extra-long leads that let you dawdle while your pup dashes hither and yon.
How Many Pupper Are You Responsible For?
The leash equation takes on whole new meaning if you have more than one loveable mutt in need of the out-of-doors. Unless you somehow sprout a third arm, juggling multiple leashes gets to be a workout you may not want. This might mean that your purchasing options should include split leashes or attachments to help out your overfull hands.
What’s Your Preferred Aesthetic?
Dogs are quite intelligent, and I might have more conversations with mine than is healthy for my sanity but looks typically mean very little to them.
Translation: the look of your leash is basically up to you. For the fluffy and feminine there are fun patterns, and for the classier among us there is always sleek leather. Sky’s the limit with style, and it should be an item on your checklist.
Any Specific Considerations?
This is where the rubber meets the road. (Or should I say the paw hits the path?) Your dog is your best friend, eternal companion, but… they have quirks. It might be that they have beaver DNA somewhere in their ancestry and can chew through steel.
They might always seem to wheeze their way through you walks by leaning into a collar. Perhaps they feel that a walk isn’t a walk until they attempt to dislocate your shoulder chasing that squirrel. Whatever your pup’s specialty might be, you may need to factor it into your leash selecting situations.
The List… Finally
Now, seeing as we’ve checked out what you and your doggo might need, let’s take a look at the list! Personally, I would make a list of your own wants and needs so you know what you want before proceeding. (Alternatively, you may need to read the list for some inspiration.)
These particular leash options were chosen with a little something for everyone in mind, and most have multiple size and color options available. All received great reviews and seem to be the cream of the crop for their style and pricing.
1. Retractable – When you need versatility
This leash is the usual suspect of its kind. It has a hard, plastic handle with a comfortable grip and the leash is 16’ long when fully extended. What may be the best feature of this leash is that instead of the typical ultra-thin lead, this has a wider nylon which makes for less tangling.
This type is highly recommended for someone who does a wide variety of things with their p up. It can be used both in a crowded situation and in the wide-open spaces. Ultimately, a great one-size fits all if such a thing can be said to exist.
2. Extra-long – For the overly athletic doggo
If your furry companion loves to run but needs some boundaries, this is the option for you. It comes in 15’, 20’, 30’, and 50’ lengths which gives you choices to suit your situation. It is heavy duty nylon webbing and 1” wide.
It even has an attached strap like that often found on computer cables for tangle-free, easy carrying. Let your dog run free without ending up two states over.
3. Leather – For those who love the classics
If you need strength and style with a side of sophistication, look no further. These leashes last forever with some proper care and look great doing it. This particular option is reasonable priced and of a standard size.
One benefit to note is that because leather doesn’t absorb water, this is perfect if you ever have to deal with a leash soaking up water and then freezing solid, such as going for a walk in nasty and leaving your leash hanging where it won’t drip inside. (I may or may not have done this a time or two…)
4. Small – For the daintier pooches
If you have a petite pup, perhaps a leash to match is in order. This particular brand comes in adorable patterns and would also be suitable for puppies. A thin leash can mean that the weight isn’t pulling on your pup’s collar which means more comfort for them in the long run.
When you’re a teacup poodle or tiny chihuahua, the few ounces of a big leash can be troublesome.
5. Chew-proof – You know who you are
Here we have the reason some of you are even reading this. Having a chew-happy canine can be a big challenge and can mean you are never able to tie their leash to anything – such as a park bench you dash into a bathroom and they wait in the shade.
This model is a cable coated in plastic that’s non-toxic and I personally recommend taking a carabiner along for easy clipping into a belt.
6. The Original – If you want the tried and true, fun-colored nylon
This is a great option if you aren’t looking for all the bells and whistles, just the basic, comfortable-to-hold standard that’s been working wonderfully for years. After all, if it’s not broke, why fix it? This one comes in several colors for your preference and has a padded loop for your hand or wrist.
We have all seen (and perhaps been) that dog owner who is being towed along the sidewalk, arm nearly tugged out of socket by an over-eager canine companion, and generally wish to avoid this. Take it from us, get a bungee leash. It gives your arm a break and can help train your pup not to jerk quite so badly.
8. Harness – If collars and your furry friend aren’t friends
For some dogs, collars are just not the best thing to which you could clip a leash. A harness is recommended when you have a very small dog or one prone to breathing issues. Additionally, a harness can be good if you want to clip your pup into a seatbelt while in the car. This model comes in multiple sizes and has a handy chart to help you pick.
9. Slip Lead – Collar and leash in one
Often called a training lead, this can be a nice tool if your dog’s preference for pulling you along at breakneck speed is more than an occasional thing. This is also helpful for young pups who haven’t quite learned how the whole walking thing works yet.
It has a comfortable, sliding, quick-release loop for around your dog’s neck that tightens if they jerk but releases as soon as they don’t. A handy training tool in your arsenal perhaps.
10. Split Leash – Because you only have so many hands
Here we have the option for the mom (or dad) of multiple fur babies. If you have more than one who needs to be outside at the same time, here is a good answer. This is a clip-in split lead for two dogs and can attach to your own leash so you can use it when you need it and store it when you don’t.
There you have it, the best and brightest for your dog walking needs in 2019!
But wait, there was some mention of a bonus item on our list that might be the best of them all. It’s this LED leash for walking at night. This lights up brightly and is easily rechargeable.
If you walk with your dog after dark with any frequency this just might save both of your lives when on a road or crossing the street. Drivers can have a hard time spotting your dog an you, especially if your pup is dark colored and this could be a perfect solution.
Hopefully this gave you some direction in your purchasing options and maybe a few ideas you hadn’t thought about. Your dog’s safety and quality of life are of paramount importance, and the right leash can contribute to that.
This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.