Dog Leads – What’s Best?


Here is a little secret of mine. I don’t collect shoes, or handbags, but I do find it difficult to tear myself away from the dog lead aisle in pet shops. I love the array of different textures and colours of dog leads – vibrantly displayed and to be deliberated over like one might choose an outfit.

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It might be argued, that one dog lead is just as good another. To a certain extent that’s true, but sometimes, certain types of lead suit different types of dogs better, depending on their temperament, size and breed.

Of course, a dog lead – whatever the type – is there to keep your dog under control and safe when he is out and about in public. But, if you’re like me, you want your dog to look nice and smart too!

For reasons of safety, your dog must legally be under control in public spaces, so choosing the right lead is important. A lead is an essential tool for training sessions, as well as day-to-day activities.

A good sturdy lead prevents your dog from causing an accident and stops him from chasing other animals, dogs, or people. Additionally, a lead ensures he is also toileting where he should.

A standard dog lead is usually between 4 and 6 feet long with differing widths. They can be made of leather, nylon, or rope.

Nylon leads are lightweight, but tough enough to restrain even the largest breeds. Do be aware, however, they are quite easy to chew through!  Nylon is a good choice for wet weather walking as it dries out quickly.

Leather leads are robust and strong. but again, they can often be attractive to dogs that like to chew. Leather will need more care, especially after a walk in the rain. That said, they are likely to last a lifetime.

Choosing the right width of lead is important too; you need it to be strong enough to restrain your dog without restricting him. A young puppy doesn’t need a lead that is too thick and heavy. Therefore, start off with a smaller, lighter lead until the puppy grows – (and start a collection like me!).

The style of clip is also a consideration since they do vary in type and, significantly, quality. Clips made of stainless steel, or brass, is by far the best choice as they don’t tend to corrode as quickly.

I have noticed that dog leads in high street supermarkets, or cheaper outlets, do not always have good quality clips, so this is something to look out for.

Cheap clips are apt to fail when they become wet over time, (particularly in sea water). It is common for them to either become stuck on the ‘open’ setting, (allowing your dog to escape) or, they become impossible to unlock.

Trigger hook clips are the most common. Inside, there is a spring mechanism which is operated by the pull back trigger. Always check these regularly as springs can weaken and fail over time.

Some leads are adjustable in length by using one, or two, rings located along the length. Adjustable dog leads are handy, especially when it comes to training. They can either be set shorter, or longer, depending on the circumstances. These types of dog leads are usually made of leather, or nylon.

Retractable, or extending, leads are the choice for many, but do be aware of the pitfalls including, tripping, ‘rope burns’ and other accidents which may compromise the safety of your dog.

I personally favour leather leads. While they are more costly to buy initially, they last a long time – many years in fact. They look smart and they tend to age nicely, becoming softer and nice to hold in the hand.

I have quite a few other types of leads and harnesses, including a couple of ‘jazzy’ nylon leads which I use in the rain, or a visit to the pub with Floss the collie; (her ‘going out’ dress!).

Do you often buy leads, or do you have one or more old faithful’s that have seen you through lots of dogs? Let us know on our Facebook or Instagram pages.

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