How to find the right dog leash for your precious pooch?

Not buying a leash for your dog is like not buying baby clothes for your new baby - it just doesn’t happen. Like buying baby clothes for your new bundle of joy, it’s important to find leashes and collars that not only look nice but fit well and make the dog feel comfortable. It’s also important to consider the type of material your leash is made out of and how you will upkeep this kind of material. Although you will most likely choose a leash that suits your dogs or even your own personality, it’s important to keep it practical and stylish. 

Before purchasing your leash it is important to take into your dog’s lifestyle and their activities. Many times people have different leashes for different activities. Regardless of the leash you choose it should be well made and contain a secure clasp and comfortable for your to use. It is important to to keep these in mind when buying the right dog leash for you precious pooch:

  • If your dog hangs out around water a lot, it may be best to purchase a dog leash that is odor resistant and washes with ease.  
  • If your furry friend has a habit of biting or chewing on its leash, durability is another factor that you should consider
  • The time of which you usually take Rufus out for a walk. If you take him out daytime and nighttime you may want a reflective leash. 
  • Leash size and material. When choosing the correct material and size this should be based on the size and weight of your dog. A chihuahua can be overwhelmed by the weight of a thick leash yet a Saint Bernard can easily break or snap a thin leash strap. 

This article will break down the different types of leash so that you know all the details prior to going out and spending your hard earned money. 


infographic explaining how to find the perfect dog leash

Standard Leash

This leash is the most common type that can be easily found in pet stores internationally. You usually find that leash lengths vary between 4 to 6 feet and between 3/8ths of an inch to 1 inch wide. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to talk about some materials:


Nylon Leashes are the easiest to clean and maintain and are of course the most affordable. When purchasing a Nylon leash it is important to look for thicker ones as those that are thin may potentially burn your hand if your dog decides he wants to act like his in Mario Kart. Although this kind of leash isn’t as flexible or as soft as other leash materials, it's the one people mostly use when going on short walks, trips to the vet, pet store or a doggy day care. You can also get ones that glow in the dark. This is great for those who want to walk their dog after dark. 


This type of leash is really easy to use and very durable. The leather leash option is best for regular walks around town but is hard to clean if it gets dirty. Also, I would suggest you find a leather leash that is water resistant. This is so it doesn’t crack or dry out.


This type of leash is made from mountain climbing rope and has become alot more popular over the years due to its comfortability and durability. Characteristically, the leash itself has a little bit of give so your dog doesn’t rip off your arm or hand if it sees a cat.


Hemp leashes are great if you want to be earth-friendly as the plant itself is grown without the use of pesticides and fungicides. Hemp leashes are also great if your dog has sensitive skin or allergies due to its hypo-allergenic properties. 

Retractable Leashes

During my short 22 years of life, I have noticed a sharp increase in dog dads and mums using retractable leashes. People tend to opt for retractable leashes as it allows their dog to explore and sniff around. In some cases however, these leashes can cause injury to your dog and yourself. They may also encourage and teach your dog that pulling is acceptable. Prior to writing this article and during my research something I have noticed when visiting pet stores and looking at online reviews is that the leash is extremely bulky and uncomfortable. It is also hard to attach your dog to a tree or a post with these leashes. As touched upon, the freedom that these leash your dog is great but can also be catastrophic and even fatal. Dogs that often have this style of leash may also be socially awkward, being rude to other dogs and people like running up to other dogs and people and jumping on them. Retractable leashes should only be used if your dog is well trained and or if you are in an open space such as a paddock or a beach. 

Adjustable Leash 

Adjustable leashes are great if you want to tie your dog to a tree or a lamp post, walk 2 dogs at once or even if you need to shorten the leash temporarily. This type of leash has a clasp for a handle. You are able to choose the size of your leash and length of your handle according to where you attach the clasp. It is a good leash to attach to both their collar and their front harness. These leashes are usually used when dog training.

Chain Leash

These types of leash are great for dogs who chew on their leash. The metal chain prevents them from ruining the leash and even deters them due to their bad taste and texture. Walking your dog daily with a chain leash may get uncomfortable  as they are heavy and uncomfortable to grip mid leash if need be. People also associate chain leashes with tough dogs, causing intimidation amongst fellow dog walkers. 

Split Leash (For Two Dogs)

If you have two dogs and don’t want to hold two different leashes, you can easily buy a split leash. This leash allows you to walk 2 precious pups at the same time all whilst holding one handle. When choosing a split leash it is important to buy one that has a tangle-free leash compiler to prevent your pups from getting tangled together. It is important to train both dogs so that they walk without pulling. 

Short (Traffic Handle) Leash

This leash is very similar to the standard leash. The only difference is that this one is much shorter with a length of 1 to 2 feet. The leashes are great for inner city living as they keep your dogs nice and close, great for crossing intersections, visits to Dr Dog or when practicing the Heel Cue. 

Slip Lead (Martingale Leash)

This leash is actually a leash and a collar in one. Instead of there being a clasp at the end there is a metal ring where the handle is looped to create a slip knot around the dog’s neck. Because it only needs looping over your dog’s head, this leash is very convenient and easy to use. They’re so easy that these leashes are used when someone wants to gain control of an un collared dog. The Martingale leash can also be used to make an emergency muzzle or emergency harness. 

Umbilical Cord or Hands-Free Leash 

These types of leash are great for especially active dog dads and dog mums. You can always just attach the leash to your waste and run, giving you and your dog a hands free experience. Umbilical Cord leashes tend to also have a bungee leash and two handles. These bungee leash helps with pulling and absorbs shock when starting or stopping your jog. As noted, these leashes are great for hiking or if your hands are holding something else like pushing a stroller or holding an umbrella. You can also use them to potty train your puppy as you are able to go along your day but still keep a close eye on your dog. 

There you have it folks! The different types of leash for you and your dog. Ultimately it is you who decides which leash is the best for you and your dog. Remember, every dog is different and has different needs and wants. It is important to understand these needs and the lifestyle that your dog leads before purchasing a leash.