Best Dog Leash - Comparison and Reviews

Becky - author

Author: Becky Roberts
Last Updated: October 2019​

Dog with flea collar and leashWhen people get a new dog, they dream of taking long walks through autumn leaves or meeting new friends at their favorite dog park. But, they rarely think about the leash on which they’ll have these adventures. Each dog leash is different, and getting the right one will determine how happy owners and their dogs are as they adventure through the world together.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best dog leashes available on the market today. Hopefully, this article will help you choose the best leash, so you and your puppy get everything you want as you journey together.

Best Dog Leash 2019 - Reviews

1. Pets Lovers Club Heavy Duty Dog Leash with Padded Handle 

If you need a comfortable and functional leash that has a little bit of everything for those beautiful autumn walks, you’re probably looking for The Pet Lovers Club Heavy Duty Leash. It’s the perfect training leash for large, medium, or even small dogs. It has a lot of attractive features to make your daily walks with your pet even more enjoyable.

The reflective stitching and two-layer construction make this leash extremely durable—and safe. The extra padding on the handle means you won’t get rope burn when your pooch sees that squirrel nemesis they can’t resist.

Pet Lovers Club produces leashes for different dog sizes. The two-layer leash is designed for endurance and strength for larger dogs that like to pull their owners around the block. The single-layer 6-foot leash is ideal for smaller dogs and comes with lightweight, metal clasps, so it doesn’t strain.

Dutchy Brand Pets Lovers Club Blue Dog Leashes for Large and Medium Dogs - Extra Durable Webbing - Padded Handle - 6 Feet Long by 1 Inch Wide

Pros

  • Six-foot length is ideal for dog training
  • Reflective stitching makes you and your dog more visible at night
  • Comfortable padded handle prevents rope burn on your hands
  • Double-layer construction makes for a long-lasting, reliable leash

Cons

  • Dogs can chew through it

2. BAAPET 5-foot Dog Leash

Big dogs can be a big problem. Their strong jaws chew through leashes as though they’re made of butter, which means that you’re regularly buying new ones. In addition, your oversized dog can probably yank your arm out of its socket when they lunge.

BAAPET’s 5-foot leash is about as strong as they come and is available in half a dozen beautiful colors and styles. BAAPET makes their leash from super-tough nylon mountain-climbing rope, so it’s designed to carry a lot of weight. There’s no need to worry about whether or not it’s going to hold when Rover tries to chase down the neighbor’s cat (although we can’t say the same for your arm). Woven with reflective nylon fibers, this leash is highly visible and safe for all of your nighttime excursions.

Like the Pet Lovers Heavy Duty Leash, this one also comes with soft, comfort-padded handles to avoid rope burn. It also has a durable swiveling clip-hook to give your dog more maneuverability and freedom while reducing the chance of a tangled leash.

BAAPET 5 FT Strong Dog Leash with Comfortable Padded Handle and Highly Reflective Threads for Medium and Large Dogs (Black)

Pros

  • Made from heavy-duty rock-climbing rope
  • Padded handle to protect against rope burn
  • Reflective threads are woven in for visibility at night
  • Ideal for Large Dogs

Cons

  • Not ideal for smaller dogs
  • Not waterproof

3. Buddy System Adjustable Hands-Free Dog Leash

Dogs love to jog alongside their owners, and owners love having the company of a furry companion while working out. It is usually not very convenient to carry along a hand leash that can easily get tangled or in the way of your pumping arms. If you’re an active person but want to take your pup along without the hassle, invest in a hands-free dog leash.

The Buddy System Adjustable Hands-Free Dog Leash is a lightweight, hands-free leash that keeps your best buddy alongside you as you go on your runs. It comes in a variety of attractive colors and converts to a handheld leash when needed. This versatile leash also comes with an assortment of attachments and customization options, allowing you to lengthen the lead, add a second leash, or even a shock absorber for pups that love to lunge.

With the quick-release clip and the belt slip-loop, your dog will have free range of movement.

Adjustable Hands Free Dog Leash, Great Waist Leash for Running, Jogging And Training Servive Dog Made in USA by The Buddy System, Regular, Red

Pros

  • Ideal Dog Leash for Runners
  • Very customizable. It has several different options for your type of dog
  • Quick-release mechanism easily converts to a handheld leash
  • Belt adjusts for owners’ comfort

Cons

  • Not very sturdy

4. Leashboss Original – Heavy Duty Dog Leash for Large Dogs

It can be hard to leash-train your big dog for the first time. Oversized dogs can lunge and pull away quickly, which can be very hard on your joints and hands. Not to worry, though–Leashboss has an exciting solution for owners that want some additional control for their large dogs.

The Leashboss Heavy Duty Leash comes with two padded, rigid handles that prevent your hands from getting rope-burned if your puppy decides to run. The first handle is 18 inches from the clip and provides precise control for training your dog to stick close. The second handle is out at the recommended 5-foot length for regular walks and more freedom.

Use one or both handles for additional control, or just one of them to give your pooch the freedom to wander. It’s a terrific system to help you train your dog.

Leashboss Original - Heavy Duty Two Handle Dog Leash for Large Dogs - No Pull Double Handle Training Lead for Walking Big Dogs (Black)

Pros

  • Two padded rigid handles prevent rope burn
  • One handle close to the clip enables tight control over your dog’s movements
  • Excellent leash to train Dogs and Puppies
  • Comes in a variety of colors

Cons

  • Nylon construction may not be as durable as heavier leashes

5. TaoTronics 16-foot Retractable Dog Leash

Retractable leashes are all the rage these days, even though veterinarians are somewhat wary of them. It does feel nice, though, to let your dog explore a little—as long as you’re careful. Which is what a retractable leash is most useful for: Giving you some control while your furry friend has a bit more freedom.

The Taotronics Retractable Dog Leash is our favorite retractable on the market these days. It provides 16 feet of roaming room, a locking button to control the length of the lead, and a handy free roll of disposable bags for when your dog has urgent business to attend to. Its durable nylon lead is strong enough to give you control over dogs up to 110 lbs.

As with all retractable leashes, though, owners need to make sure that the lead is appropriate. It’s nice to give your dog the freedom to roam, but it’s essential to keep them under control. Otherwise, you risk injury to your pup, yourself, or bystanders.

TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash, 16 ft Dog Walking Leash for Medium Large Dogs up to 110lbs, Tangle Free, One Button Break & Lock , Dog Waste Dispenser and Bags included

Pros

  • 16-foot lead provides freedom to wander while still maintaining control
  • Handy disposable bag carrier included
  • Lockable brake to set lead distance

Cons

  • Not ideal for large dogs
  • Lead retracts slower than some other leashes on the market

6. Vaun Duffy Double Dog Coupler Leash

It’s often a challenge to walk two large dogs at once, particularly if you do so on two separate leashes. Both leashes often cross and tangle, and you have no other hands available to fix them when this happens. Luckily, several companies offer dog coupling leashes, allowing you to maintain control of your big dogs when they get adventurous.

Our favorite dog coupling leash comes from Vaun Duffy. It offers many features of the best single dog leashes, including reflective stitching, padded handles, and a tangle-proof swivel. This model also keeps your dogs an even distance from you without limiting their freedom.

Vaun Duffy designed this double leash with big dogs in mind. It’s made of sturdy nylon and attaches easily to your single leashes while offering two padded handles for closer control. Most notable about this coupling leash is its lifetime warranty, which means if you ever have a problem with it, Vaun Duffy will replace it for free.

Vaun Duffy Double Dog Leash Coupler with Two Padded Handles, No Tangle Splitter Swivel, Reflective Stitching, 1 Inch Wide, Adjustable 18-24 Inches, Strong Lead for Walking 2 Large or Medium Dogs

Pros

  • Sturdy construction for large and medium-sized dogs
  • Padded handles add comfort and safety
  • 360-degree swivel prevents the leash from tangling
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Plastic adjustment bands may break easily

7. Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Leashes

If you have a smaller dog or puppy and want to make a statement with a colorful leash, Blueberry Pet offers their standard classic dog leash in 19 different colors. It’s a terrific lightweight leash that connects to the simple Blueberry Pet harnesses for smaller pets. Mix and match your harness color with your leash to create a functional-yet-fashionable statement for your daily walks.

The leash is made of durable nylon with a fully swiveling clip, providing more maneuverability. It doesn’t offer a padded handle, presumably because small dogs aren’t known to cause rope burn by ripping it out of your grasp. That option is available, though, if you’d still prefer that level of comfort for your daily constitutional with your best bud.

The Blueberry Leash is the best, no-frills dog leash for your puppy or small dog.

Blueberry Pet 19 Colors Durable Classic Dog Leash 5 ft x 3/4', Mint Blue, Medium, Basic Nylon Leashes for Dogs

Pros

  • Ideal for Small Dogs
  • Durable swiveling clip provides control and freedom
  • Choose from 19 vibrant colors
  • Matching harnesses offered

Cons

  • Thin nylon is easily chewable
  • Padded handles not standard
  • Nylon straps harness could chafe

8. Pet Industries Premium LED Reflective Dog Leash

Safety is a significant concern for any dog owner who’s ever walked their favorite friend at night. When you live in the country, or on a major roadway without a sidewalk, this consideration becomes essential. You want to make sure that motorists can see you and your dog from far away.

Pet Industries has come up with this brilliant dog leash that makes you both highly visible from any angle. Its reflective strips add additional visibility to the already-bright LED lighting located along the length of the whole leash. Even more this handy leash is also rechargeable. One charge with its convenient USB cord allows a week’s worth of walks.

If the bright LED safety lights aren’t enough to catch your eye, take note of its durable construction. Pet Industries makes this leash from extra-strong nylon, with a clip made of steel to prevent corrosion. Do you want beauty with brawn? Fine—because it comes in six brilliant colors to add that personal touch.

Pet Industries Premium LED Reflective Dog Leash- USB Rechargeable -Available in 6 colors (Racing Yellow)

Pros

  • Three lighting modes
  • USB rechargeable with long battery life
  • Steel clips prevent corrosion
  • Reflective strip for additional visibility

Cons

  • Water-resistant, not waterproof
  • LED lights may short out
  • USB recharger is exposed to the weather

9. Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Hands-Free Dog Leash

If you’re a runner, you’ll want to make sure that your best friend can stride along with you without worrying about them jerking you out of your pace. You don’t want to be holding on to a leash the whole time, either. Many hands-free dog leashes aren’t flexible, though, which means any change of direction can result in you or your dog getting a sudden, unpleasant yank.

Stunt Puppy produced a terrific option to keep your dog just as fit as you, without all those aggravations. The Stunt Runner is a fully-adjustable waist belt connected to an elastic leash. It allows you both to cruise along your favorite path or sidewalk without you suddenly getting pulled around, or accidentally yanking your pups’ collar.

The connection lead stretches from 35 inches to 51 inches, giving both you and your dog plenty of space to run in comfort. It’s also lightweight, so you’ll barely even notice it while you’re both out on a run.

Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Hands-Free Dog Leash, Black

Pros

  • Elastic lead to reduce shock
  • Comfortable, lightweight, adjustable belt
  • Built for large and medium dogs

Cons

  • Elastic portion is not adjustable for smaller dogs

10. SparklyPets Heavy Duty Rope Leash

Many different dog leashes have one or two modern and stylish features that make them stand out from the crowd. SparklyPets Heavy Duty Rope Leash seems to package them all up in one great product, though.

This rope leash is tough enough to handle oversized dogs and comes in five beautiful colors. It’s thick, robust, and chew-resistant, with reflective threads to make it more visible for nighttime walks. This leash also features a bungee extension that helps prevent shock for both you and your faithful companion.

SparklyPets rope leash even comes with a handy storage pouch for the whole unit, as well as a soft handle to prevent rope burn. It’s also got a durable handle near the clip for additional control when your dog gets a little unruly. This SparklyPets leash is an excellent option for owners who need a bit more strength from their leash.

SparklyPets Heavy Duty Rope Bungee Leash for Large and Medium Dogs with Anti-Pull for Shock Absorption - No Slip Reflective Leash for Outside9733; Teal

Pros

  • Thick rope leash is perfect for big, energetic dogs
  • Chew-resistant
  • Bungee extension reduces shock for the owner and dog
  • Five-year guarantee

Cons

  • Bulkier and Heavy

How to Choose the Best Leash for Your Dog

As you might imagine, there are many different dog leash options available on the market today, which might make selecting one a little daunting. Honestly, it may be a mistake to try to find one leash that fits all dogs for all situations. If you and your dog have an active life together, there are going to be situations where you might need a different type of leash.

dog with leash attached to harness

Picking out the right leash means taking a good inventory of yourself and your dog. There are lots of factors to think about, such as whether you plan on hiking or jogging, or if you live on a dark street with heavy traffic, and even your dog’s temperament. Consider all these things before selecting a dog leash, and get the one that satisfies most of your qualifications.

We’ve compiled a few tips here to help guide you through the leash selection process. You should always consult with your veterinarian, though, to get recommendations on the best leash for your pet.

What Things to Consider when Buying Dog Leash

Type of Dog Leash (Standard or Retractable)

Dog leashes come in two basic types – standard or retractable. Which one you choose will depend on whether you want your dog to have a wide range of movement (which allows them to get into a lot more trouble), or if you’d rather keep your dog close and controlled (to prevent them from getting into said trouble).

Standard dog leashes are usually five or six feet long. The most significant advantage of this style is that they keep your dog pretty close to you, so you can make sure you control them safely. Use a standard leash for training. Doing so will ensure your furry friend does not run into traffic when you’re on a busy street or get overfriendly with strangers in a populated area.

Retractable leashes are ideal when you want your dog to have more freedom and aren’t worried about them tripping up other people or running into traffic. These models have become much more popular in recent years, and are often dog owners’ first choice. They often become tangled, though, because of the much longer lead, and they’re not great for obedience training while walking.

Type of Dog You Own

Which type of leash you buy is going to depend a lot on what kind of dog you have. You’re not going to want or need a heavy rope leash with a small dog. They’ll just be dragging it around, and they won’t enjoy it.

Likewise, buying a light nylon dog leash for a large pup almost guarantees that you’ll be replacing your leash often. You also might have the unenviable experience of having to chase after your dog as they sprint after their latest distraction.

Make sure you get a leash that is strong enough for your dog and won’t permit them to pull your arm out of its socket if they decide to run off. Bigger, more active dogs, like Rottweilers or Pit Bulls, are going to test your patience—and your arm. If you own an oversized dog, get a leash with a padded handle if you don’t want to risk rope burn from trying to rein in your puppy.

Different Styles of Dog Leashes for Runners, Hikers, and Trainers

Picking out the right dog leash also depends on what you’ll be doing with your dog. These days, companies produce excellent hands-free dog leashes that let you run alongside your faithful friend without getting tripped up or pulled around.

Who doesn’t love the idea of taking their dog out on a hiking trip? You don’t want your dog to be dragging you around every tree and bush, requiring you to unwrap and untangle them for miles on end. You’ll want a shorter leash for those wilderness treks so you can keep your pooch under control and close on the trail.

If your dog has a habit of leash pulling during the walk or running then consider buying the best no-pull dog harness as well. It will help you train your dog for walking.

If you are a dog trainer or are just trying to teach your own pup some manners, you can also choose from a variety of different leashes. Shorter leashes are better for teaching them to heel and be obedient. And, if you have a large puppy, you might want to double up on the handles, so they don’t pull away from you when they get excited.

Material (Leather, Nylon or Chain)

Nylon dog leashes are the most popular option these days because they’re cheap and robust while still being flexible and safe.

Traditional leather leashes are still a great option because they’re incredibly durable and hard to damage. Dogs love to chew on their leashes, and leather holds up to abuse much better than nylon.

Chains are still popular as a material, but they tend to be cumbersome, and aren’t great for smaller dogs. It’s very durable, but it can be uncomfortable for the dog and susceptible to rust.

Comfort in Handling

If you’re a long-time dog owner, you’ve likely experienced the feeling of having the leash ripped away from your grasp as your furry friend gets taken with a sudden urge to chase a squirrel or inspect a new scent. It can be a painful learning experience if you’ve got the wrong leash with an inadequate handle.

These days, manufacturers use an assortment of different handles that cater to owners of active, impulsive dogs. You’ll never feel that leash slip from your fingers again—and no more rope burn when your pup decides to lunge.

Solid, padded handles give you the grip you’ll need to keep hold of even the biggest and most powerful dogs. Of course, you won’t need something that robust for a smaller pooch, like a Corgi. Consider how big and excitable your dog is, and plan accordingly for the squirrels and scents they’ll encounter when you’re traveling together.

Size

Size matters in dog leashes. As we’ve mentioned before, a thicker leash isn’t necessary with a small dog. A large dog will chew through and escape thinner nylon bands almost as soon as you get it on them.

Length is another consideration. A shorter leash is better to keep control because the dog doesn’t have as much space to build up speed if it attempts to run away. A longer leash can be helpful if you want to let your more obedient, predictable dog roam and experience the world with you.

Hopefully, this information has helped you figure out which dog leash is best for you and your faithful companion. Consult with your veterinarian to get tips and pointers on the best leashes available for your lifestyle and your type of dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a dog leash be?

The length of a dog leash depends on what sort of activities you’re doing with your dog. Generally, a distance of between 5-6 feet is perfect for most dogs. This length gives them a good range of movement while still allowing for maximum control. The shorter the length, the less time they have to gather momentum, and the easier they are to maneuver.

What is a hands-free dog leash?

A hands-free dog leash is simply a leash that clips on to a belt that allows you a full range of motion while moving. They’re great if you’re doing something active with your dog where you may need the use of both hands, such as hiking a challenging trail. They usually have a short leash, so the dog doesn’t get tangled up in bushes, or other pester other people while you’re moving.

Are retractable leashes bad for dogs?

There’s a lot of discussion about retractable leashes these days, but the fact is that they are only as dangerous as the ignorance level of the owner using them. The longer leads allow dogs to explore their world a lot more, but it also means that your pup can get into more trouble if inadequately monitored. Dogs can also run out the length of their lead quickly and then come to a quick halt when they reach the end, which can hurt their necks.

Owners who have retractable leashes need to pay attention to them at all times and try to keep them reined in if they want to avoid problems. Do not use them in populated areas or enclosed spaces, as they can trip up other people and animals.

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