What Kinds of Collars and Leashes Are Best for Dogs?


Again, there are many kinds of leashes, in different lengths. You will probably want a short leash for walking in crowds, a longer leash for just walking along, and an extra long leash (that could just be rope) for some training exercises.

You can find a variety of snaps on leashes. The most common is a hook with a knob that pulls down to open the hook (snap hooks). Another kind is a hook where the lower part pushes in (spring hooks). The latter are better as they don’t accidentally release. Look for hooks with swivels to avoid twisting. There are a few hooks that actually screw closed. They are hard to find but can be useful for some people.

  • Flat nylon leashes. The most common. They come in a variety of colors and lengths.
  • Braided rope leashes. These look like the rope used in rock climbing, with the same colorful patterns. These are sometimes easier on the hand and are quite sturdy.
  • Leather leashes. These range from the plain to the intricately braided. Take care to keep them out of the water to prevent brittleness. Inspect them for wear. Shorter ones, two to four feet, are ideal for training.
  • Metal link leashes. Especially if your dog likes to chew on leashes. Sometimes combined with leather, especially for the handle. Not a good leash to use with a choke-chain collar.
  • Flexi-leads. Developed in Germany, these are spring-loaded, retractable leashes that have a minimum length of 2.5 feet and varying maximum lengths. They come in a variety of sizes. The handle is bulky because it contains the retracting assembly, but there is a comfortable hand grip. Be careful — it is easy to get wrapped up in the flexi-lead and rope-burn yourself or at least get all tangled. These leashes are ideal for letting the dog explore around you while you walk along. They are not very good to use when training your dog because of the amount of give in the rope even when the length is locked in.

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