How to choose the best dog leash for your dog

Has your dog leash seen better days, or are you just looking for one that gives you the best features and options when you're on the go with your dog? There are literally more than a million different dog leads out there: there are stylish dog leads in fancy patterns, dog leads for running that you can wear around your waist, dog leads made from climbing rope, eco-friendly dog ​​leads and many, many more.

A dog leash is indispensable for you as a dog owner, but choosing the right dog leash depends on a lot of factors: which dog you have, in which situations you will use it, and what you yourself prefer as a dog owner. In addition, there is a sea of ​​different types, lengths, comfort and materials, and it can be a bit of a jungle to find the dog leash that is the best match for you and your dog. Therefore, we would like to help you along the way with a complete guide to choosing your next dog leash - with a focus on the considerations you need to make.

The different types of dog leashes you need to know about

There are generally five different types of dog leashes and different variants of all of them. Here we will go through the most well-known dog leashes and put them in relation to the specific situations you may find yourself in with your dog.

Leader line

Woman goes for a walk with five dogs on a leash

The lead is a classic dog leash with a loop at one end and a carabiner at the other. The loop means that you can wear the string around your wrist, if you need to pick up dog shit or use your hands for something else. The lead is, as the name indicates, a good lead for regular walks, and it also allows you to pull your dog to you when necessary. One of the advantages of it not being extendable is that it won't jump and tangle.

If you choose a leader line, you must take the length into consideration. You can get the lead in different lengths, and you must therefore consider which length matches your dog and the situations you most often find yourself in.

Dressage line

Would you like to be able to adjust the dog leash continuously? Then the dressage line is an obvious choice. The design is very similar to the leader line with a loop and a carabiner, but instead of a single line there is a double line. The double dressage line means that you can adjust the length of the dog lead depending on where you need it - whether it is for dog training, on a walk in traffic or with a longer lead in the forest. Young woman walks red cocker spaniel dog wearing Siccaro Sealines dog leash Take, for example, Siccaro's dressage line in three different lengths. The cord is two meters long in total and has three D-rings attached, which make it possible to shorten the cord. If you attach the string to the first one, you get a normal handle and a classic length. If you attach it to the second ring instead, you get a shorter cord of 130 cm, which you can use around your shoulder or stomach. The very last ring gives you a very short length. This gives you flexibility so that you can use the dog leash in all imaginable situations. Then you can adjust the length depending on where you're going - whether it's in nature or traffic, around the block or for training.

Dog on the beach wearing Siccaro Sealines collar and leash

Reel leash (dog leash flexi)

You've probably heard the words flexline or flexi-line said among dog owners, and it makes sense as it's another word for reel line and a very popular dog leash. The leash is particularly popular because it is one of the dog leashes that can be the longest - up to eight metres. This means that you can use it in places where your dog can move more freely. It could be in a park, in the forest or similar places. Dog in flexi leash roll line dog leash The whole point of a flexi dog leash is that you can roll it in and out with the handle. The Flexi dog leash has a brake function and a stop button that allows you to switch between the short and the long dog leash. However, there are some precautions you should take when using a flexi dog leash:

  • Do not use it if your dog often pulls a lot when you are out for a walk.
  • Never use the long function when you are in traffic or in busy areas where you are with many other dogs and people.
  • Last but not least, it is important that your dog learns to walk on a loose leash, which is almost impossible on a flexi dog leash. Therefore, make sure that you choose a different type of dog leash at the beginning when your dog has to learn to walk on a leash.

Hands-free dog leash

The hands-free dog leash is especially practical when, for example, you run with your dog. Here you can have the cord fastened around your waist. It gives you free hands during running or in other situations where you need your hands for something else. It also provides a better flow for the dog, because the leash does not jump up and down as if it had to follow the movements of your dog. Instead, the leash is much calmer and is therefore the perfect dog leash for running. It could also be for dog training, where your focus must be on the training, treats and holding the dog. Here, the hands-free dog leash is more manageable.

An important rule when using the hands-free dog leash is, however, that your dog must be good at walking on a leash. Otherwise, it could run off without control, and both you and the dog could get hurt.

Retriever line

Two dogs wearing the Siccaro Solution drying suit and different colored retriever leashes
In a slightly different genre, you will find the retriever leash, which has the collar as an integral part of the dog leash, so that the leash can be easily and quickly removed from the dog. This means that this type of dog leash is often used for hunting, when the dog has to retrieve, which is also called retrieving - hence the slightly crazy name. Another difference is that the dog leash is much shorter – typically only one metre. These functions mean that you can use it for dog training and other activities with your dog.

There have been several debates about whether you should use a retriever leash for your dog, as it is a kind of choke with the loop around the neck. But most retriever lines are available with a built-in stop that prevents the dog from choking. In addition, there are many advantages to using the retriever line:

  • During dog training, the retriever leash helps the dog to remember what it has to do, and this simplifies the task.
  • You can use the retriever leash to teach the dog to walk by foot and teach your dog contact.
  • A good rule to remember, however, is that the retriever leash should be used for training and hunting or situations where you only need to get from A to B briefly. Therefore, use a longer dog leash for a regular walk. In this way, the dog knows that it must sniff and play on the long dog leash and train on the short leash. In addition, the retriever leash does not provide much room for movement, as it is, as I said, only a little over a meter long.

What material should the dog leash have?

However, it is not only the type that you have to keep in mind when choosing a dog leash - the material also plays an important role. Most dog leashes are available in many types of materials, models and in several different thicknesses.

When we talk about materials, it is also important to think about exactly your dog's needs and habits. For example, if your dog often bites the leash when you are out for a walk, it is obvious to choose a material that can withstand it. You must also consider whether you need a material that holds up extra well in rainy weather. One thing that you might not think about is the weight. The weight of the dog leash can vary depending on the material and is worth bearing in mind if you go on long walks or if you want to carry it in your pocket.

Nylon dog leash

 Nylon is a material that is often used for dog leashes, as it is a very flexible and durable material. Another advantage is that the cord is typically relatively light and therefore easy to keep in your pocket when you don't need it. Nylon dog leashes are also washable and can be easily wiped off if your dog has rolled in the mud on the walk. However, there can be a big difference in the quality of the material, and you must therefore be careful not to just choose the cheapest model. If the nylon dog leash is of too poor quality, you may get a burning sensation in your hands when the dog pulls a lot on the leash during the walk.  Another advantage of the synthetic dog leashes is that they are cruelty-free.

Siccaro Sealines dog leash orange silver and logoline mix Leather dog leash

 Many also choose to get a leather dog leash, which provides a comfortable hold for you as a dog owner. A leather dog leash softens and changes shape over time to fit the hands of the wearer. This makes it much more comfortable to hold. Here, however, you also have to dig a little deeper into your wallet.

Dog leash in polyester (rubber)

 If your dog loves walks in the rain, mud puddles and everything that goes with it, then maybe you should get hold of a polyester dog leash. They are robust but soft to the touch and can withstand all weather conditions as they are waterproof. Dirt and grime simply cannot get stuck on a polyester dog leash, and it is easy to clean. Last but not least, it is flexible and elastic in material, which means that you can soften the sudden movements of the dog. However, polyester can also give you a burning sensation in your hands if your dog pulls too much.

Dog leash in BioThane

 Another material that is also perfect if, for example, your dog is at the beach and picks up the entire shoreline with its dog leash, is BioThane. It is a brand that makes polyester webbing, which is strong woven plastic fabric. This makes the dog leash durable, easy to clean and waterproof. A good combination if you have a dog that loves the beach and forest.

If we have to summarize the choice of material, it means taking the different materials and looking at their advantages and disadvantages and what you will use the dog leash for. This gives you a good starting point when you need to find the best dog leash for your dog. The materials can of course also be mixed, which gives them new advantages. For example, new materials such as mesh or cork, combined with leather or nylon, make the line lighter, more durable and easy to clean.

What type of dog leash is most comfortable for your dog?

When you have to choose a dog leash and possibly an associated collar, comfort also plays an important role. It is extremely important that it sits comfortably on your dog and does not bother you in any way. In this context, you must also consider whether your dog leash should come with a classic collar or a harness that covers more of the body.

A harness can in some cases be more comfortable for your dog - especially if it pulls a lot on the leash. The harness can also help prevent your dog's leash from getting caught under its legs. However, it is important that you choose a harness that is completely adapted to your dog. Otherwise, you may end up with it being anything but comfortable to wear.

A collar , on the other hand, can give you better control and require less physical strength from you than harnesses when walking your dog, depending on the size of your dog. A collar is generally very easy to use and is fantastically practical if your dog does not pull too much.

Golden Retriever wearing Siccaro Sealines collar If your dog has curly or fine fur, you have probably experienced that it has become tangled, which can also be bothersome for your dog. The hair often tangles under the collar, under the harness around the neck or under the armpits. A solution may be to choose a collar and dog leash that is round and preferably in leather. It prevents the fur from tangling more than absolutely necessary.

Consider the environment when choosing a dog leash

We know you love dogs, and your dog probably gets you out into nature more often. So why not take better care of that nature when you have the opportunity? Leather and nylon dog leashes are the two most common materials for dog leashes, but sustainable materials such as recycled nylon, hemp, recycled rope and organic cotton are becoming more common and available, making it easier than ever to be more eco-friendly when choosing a dog leash.

You can also say that a good dog leash that suits your needs is also a sustainable choice. Then you don't want to buy a sea of ​​different less good dog leashes and throw away nearly as many. If you find a good dog leash that can last a long time and that matches you and your dog, you don't have to reinvest in a new one all the time.

You can also invest in dog leads that are made from recycled materials, so you can take better care of the environment that way. We have an extreme overuse of plastic, and it is about using it in new situations so that it can be used again and again. Take for example this eco-friendly dog ​​leash from Siccaro , which is made from regenerated ECONYL® nylon from discarded fishing nets, carpets and pre-consumer waste.

In addition, both the carabiners and the D-rings are reusable, which means that the entire dog leash is made of pure recycled material that can be reused again and again. Siccaro Sealines dog leash in recycled nylon by the sea

The appearance of the dog leash

For many, the appearance of the dog leash will also have something to say. Some prefer the dark and natural colors, while others love colors. It is again entirely up to you, and there are dog leashes in all kinds of colors, so there is plenty of opportunity to find your favorite color or a color that matches your own look.

It may also be that it is important to you that the dog leash can be seen in the dark. If you often go for walks without great lighting, or often go for walks in the dark in traffic, it is obvious to choose a dog leash that either has reflectors or in some other way improves the visibility of you and your dog.

Remember that a dog leash is something you use many times in a day, so it's important that you like it!

Find the dog leash that suits you best

Our overall point is that you can find out what works best for your dog and you. Is the dog mostly into a long dog leash, where it can sniff from a distance, does it pull on the leash a lot, or is it really more into a harness? You must take all these factors into consideration.

If you take into account the situations you typically find yourself in, what type of dog you have and what your own preferences are, you will find the dog leash that best suits you and your dog. And remember, all dogs and dog owners are different. Maybe the one dog leash will work for you and your dog, but not for the neighbor's.

Happy dog ​​leash hunting!

Shop now