Choosing the Right Dog Leash

You’re standing in the pet supply store, looking at the wall of leashes available. How do you know which to pick, and which one will best serve your pooch? Below, a Briargate veterinarian offers some help.

The Standard Leash

The classic standard leash will work well for the majority of dogs. These are generally about six feet long, with a solid clamping mechanism at one end and a loop for your hand at the other. Good basic leashes are made of nylon, although some may be manufactured out of leather or other materials. They’re widely available, so head to your pet supply store, a vet’s office, or even a retail store to pick one up.

The Long Leash

As the name suggests, the long leash is longer than your standard leash. In fact, they can be much, much longer—sometimes up to 50 feet in length! You probably don’t need one that long, as most long leashes are used for training purposes. 10- to 20-feet long leashes are more common, but be careful: a long leash could let your dog get too far ahead, potentially running into traffic or other hazards before you can stop him.

The Retractable Leash

A retractable leash extends from a spring-loaded handle and unwinds as your dog walks away from you. A button on the handle allows you to stop the cord from extending, limiting your dog’s range of motion. These leashes are fairly popular, but stay aware—if your dog bolts after a chipmunk or some other enticement, the cord could unwind completely before you have a chance to stop it. Consult your vet for more advice on the advantages and disadvantages of retractable leashes.

The Bungee Leash

Bungee leashes are usually made of rubber, though some can be made of other elastic materials. These materials allow the leash to stretch and flex while your dog pulls on it, minimizing the pressure on your pooch’s neck. These are good for dogs who struggle against their leash or are in-training to handle leashes properly.

Of course, your best bet is to ask your Briargate veterinary professional before heading out to purchase a leash. He or she can give you a recommendation on what will work best, so you and your dog can be happy and secure knowing you’re using the right leash!