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Choosing the Best Leash for Your Dog

Nylon, leather, retractable, long, short...too many choices! Read on to find out how to pick the best leash for your dog.

Choosing a leash for your canine sidekick can be tricky. Just take a peek at the leash selections in your average pet supply store, and you'll see why. You’ve got thick ones, thin ones, long ones, short ones, and all different types of materials. So how is a pet owner supposed to pick the right one?

Here are a few tips to help make your leash-buying decision a bit easier:


  • A 6-foot leather or nylon leash works great for most dogs. The width will be dependent upon the size of your dog, but anywhere from 1/4 inch to 1 inch should be suitable.

  • Retractable leashes have become very popular in recent years, but at Animal Friends we don't recommend using them. Reason being, they give dogs too much freedom to roam. It's harder to see what your dog is doing and even harder to control him or her from that far away, which can jeopardize your pup's safety. Plus, retractable leashes are not very sturdy and can tangle easily.

  • We also don't recommend a metal or chain link leash. It's often difficult to get a good grip on the metal leash - and can even be painful. Plus, it tends to rust with exposure to the elements, and a particularly devoted leash biter could break a tooth or two while trying to chew on the leash.
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    If you stick with the 6-foot leather or nylon leash, you're sure to enjoy many years of walks with your dog. You'll find a great selection at Animal Friends' on-site pet supply shop and boutique.

    And as always, if you have more questions about leashes or leash behavior, please feel free to call Animal Friends' Behavior Help Line at 412.847.7070 or fill out a simple behavior question form.

    This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

    L. Lee Bee April 25, 2012 at 03:41 PM
    For the dog's safety, 1/4 inch wide leashes should only be for very small dogs that never bite their leash. For those pesky leash biters, double thickness leashes (two lengths of nylon sewn together) are great. Agree the retractable leashes are not safe - the cording is way too thin, they extend-out too far, and since we all get distracted sometimes - your dog can pull away to the end of the reel in no time and possibly into the street, too close to another dog, or too close to some other hazard.

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