Published by Ethan Brehm Aug 18, 2022
Published by Ethan Brehm Aug 18, 2022
Don’t let the utility of a dog leash fool you into thinking you can just buy any old piece of dental floss at the pet store and call it a day. A quality strap won’t just benefit your dog-walking experience but ensure that you and your pup remain comfortable and safe while you’re out bonding. And since your next go-to leash should be the last one you purchase for a while, it’s important to do your research ahead of time to ensure that you’re not stuck spending money on something you or your dog won’t like. We’re here to help you out with our guide to the best dog leashes to buy.
Whether you’re a new dog owner or a parent to several, it’s never too early to upgrade your leash to something that can go the distance. A run-of-the-mill strap can rip or fray and can be difficult to clean, while the best options can provide benefits you never knew you wanted, such as versatility, convenience, water resistance, and even style. So check out this guide and then grab yourself one or two that fit you and your pup’s needs.
Dog leashes don’t always have to be expensive. Some pets don’t require the pricier heavy-duty options that need to be chew-proof. PetSafe’s Nylon Leash is great as your primary leash, especially for smaller dogs, or as a backup option. Sturdy enough to last you for years, the strap cleans easily after a muddy hike and sports a 360-degree swivel clip to prevent tangle when out and about. If you have several small pups or just like having a few spares available, you could get a few of these without breaking the bank.
What was once reserved for larger dogs has now found ubiquity amongst pet owners. Rope leashes are more popular than they’ve ever been due to their outdoorsy aesthetic and unmatched sturdiness. This nylon leash from BAAPET is made from rock climbing rope that’s a half-inch in diameter and has a durable swivel clip to match. Lined with reflective tape for better visibility in low-light situations, this leash also comes equipped with a comfortable padded handle for those pets that like to pull, as well as a poop bag dispenser that you can clip on top.
Dual-handle leashes are not necessarily novel anymore, but how many have you seen that sport three? Max and Neo’s Triple-Handle Leash isn’t just great for its practicality and versatility on the move but would be one of the best choices for dog owners even if it just had one loop. Made from heavy-duty nylon, each handle is padded with soft neoprene for a comfortable grip, the middle of which is placed at 44”, which gives you the ability to wrap the outer loop around your other wrist for better control and stability as well.
Some of your dogs would be perfectly happy if they were out for a walk all day, every day. Carhartt’s Tradesman Leash could, theoretically, be perfect for those of you who have the sleep requirements and durability of a dog-walking cyborg. Made with sturdy nylon and tough duck weave, triple-stitched with reflective thread, this strap benefits from a long-lasting glove-friendly trigger claw clasp and an additional gated clip for extra attachments, as well as an adjustable D-ring that can move up and down the leash for anything else you need to hook on.
Looks can be deceiving. Blue-9’s Multi-Function Leash may seem like a standard budget leash at first glance, but it’s really just as capable as your everyday strap. Converting from 6ft to 3.5ft for transitioning from rural areas to more populated sidewalks, it can be worn over your shoulder for hands-free walking or utilized as a double-tethered strap for stronger dogs. Available in several colorways, this leash comes with a set of D-ring loops for additional versatility.
The last thing you want when hiking in the rain is to lose grip on the device that’s tethering you to your dog. Wilderdog’s Waterproof Dog Leash is a revelation for its rubber-coated webbing that also provide dirt-repelling and odor-free properties. Six feet in length, the leash comes equipped with a zinc swivel clip for added convenience and durability, as well as a soft handle for comfort. Moreover, each of the seven colorways sports a unique top design so you can go walking in style.
Ruffwear is one of the best dog accessory brands out there, with several leash options that are each different from one another. Among the best is the Roamer Bungee Leash, which provides you with shock absorption and just the right amount of constant slack without you losing control. What’s more, you can clip the leash around your waist for a hands-free tether when walking or running, giving you a buffer so that your dog’s sudden change of pace won’t throw you off balance. For a tauter grip, the traffic handle will give you more control in crowded situations.
For over a century and a quarter, Filson has perfected the craft of quality, durable clothing and accessories. In fact, it’s safe to say that if you buy anything from this iconic Seattle-based staple, it will last you a lifetime. So is true for its Adjustable Nylon Leash, a fairly straightforward rein crafted in partnership with Colorado’s own Dog + Bone. Ranging from 3ft to 6ft in length, this leash is made from 1” nylon webbing and equipped with an antiquated brass clip and a military-grade plastic buckle to tie around your waist.
If you have a large dog or just a very strong one, you may want to think about getting a more tactical strap. Tactipup has arguably the best selection in that realm. The Florida-based company makes all of its pieces to order, in-house, mostly sourcing from fellow U.S. suppliers. The Extreme Tactical Dog Leash is its strongest leash available, made from extremely tough military-grade webbing, paired with a KONG Frog connector — an automatic closure made from aluminum alloy that precludes the need for a carabiner-type clasp — for an overall resistance of up to 2,000lbs of force.
Did we mention that Ruffwear makes great dog leashes? The brand’s Hitch Hiker is made for walkers who want to tailor the leash’s slack while also having a hands-free option. After tying the rope, you can place the leftover inside the included fanny pack. Inspired by rock climbers, the Hitch Hiker sports an auto-blocking feature that locks the rope when under tension. Where most leashes only give you around 6ft, this one supplies you with up to 12ft of rope, which can be adjusted effortlessly thanks to the proprietary HitchLock tech, so you can give your pup an off-the-collar sensation.
Whether your big dog is calm or rowdy, you’ll likely go through a leash or two in its lifetime. Where many brands (none of which are listed here) would be more than happy to know that you’ll need to keep buying their products every few years, Atlas Pet Company gives pet owners a lifetime warranty. Built from a 9mm dry-treated dynamic climbing rope, the Lifetime Leash is equipped with custom-built clamps that allow for repairs if needed. Available in both 5ft and 8ft versions, this rope also sports a super-durable 316 stainless steel clip at the end.
If style is what you’re looking for, get yourself Wild One’s Harness Walk Kit, which includes a poop bag dispenser and the brand’s flagship waterproof leash, made from flex poly-coated webbing, zinc alloy snap hooks and buckle, and coated carbon-steel D-rings that lock into place. The harness itself has its own set of D-rings and is built from a soft stretch poly base and has a woven webbing strap. With ten colorway options, which you can mix and match (i.e., pairing your leash with a different color harness), Wild One’s all-in-one kit is the way to go for owners who take their pets everywhere.
Just because you’ve found the optimal leash doesn’t mean you won’t remove it from time to time. To keep track of your dog wherever it roams, check out our guide to the best AirTag pet collars and accessories.
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