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How Do I Choose the Best Long Leash?

Erik J.J. Goserud
Erik J.J. Goserud

Long leashes are used to help train, maintain, and protect a pet. They are typically used for dogs and cats, though more exotic animals also require a leash. Leashes are quite affordable and come in an array of options with different features. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the best long leash for your pet: the type of pet, the activeness of the owner, and the history of the pet’s behavior.

The type of pet should be a factor when purchasing a new long leash. Retractable leashes are a great option as they allow for an adjustable distance between you and your pet. They can reach up to 30 inches (76 cm) or more via a large button you can press with your thumb. A long leash can hold a pet around the body or around the neck area. Hemp leashes are available for more eco-conscious consumers.

Thick leashes are good for larger dogs.
Thick leashes are good for larger dogs.

Thicker, stronger leashes can be purchased for larger, heavier pets. Long leashes that fit around the body of the pet can take strain off the neck. Many pet owners have multiple cats or dogs, and combination long leashes allow the owner to walk multiple pets. Leashes with six or more holding belts, which are mostly for dogs and cats, are available in major pet stores and online. Cats require less frequent walks and often different harnesses from dogs.

Consider what you want to accomplish by walking or running your pet. Physically active owners can accomplish two tasks at once by getting exercise and running with their pets. If the owner is active and enjoys biking and running, custom leashes are available for a pet to run alongside its owner. These leashes have flexibility and shock absorbency and keep an adjustable distance between you and your pet. A long leash that connects to the bicycle is totally hands free.

Also, consider the history of the pet’s behavior when choosing the best long leash. If the pet has a history of aggression toward humans or other pets, keep the distance between you and your pet closer. This will protect the animal, the owner, and third parties as well. Exotic pets with less of a domestic history should have sturdy leashes when taken out in public. Pets such as primates should always be kept on leashes as they display unpredictable behavior regardless of prior training.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should I consider when choosing the best long leash for my dog?

When selecting a long leash, consider your dog's size and strength, as well as the leash's material, durability, and comfort. A leash made of strong materials like nylon or leather is essential for larger breeds, while a lighter material may suffice for smaller pets. Additionally, look for a leash with a comfortable handle to prevent hand fatigue during long walks.

How long should a long leash be for effective training and exercise?

The ideal length of a long leash can vary depending on the training purpose and the environment. Generally, a leash between 15 to 30 feet is suitable for training exercises, allowing enough freedom for the dog to explore while still under control. For recall training or allowing more freedom in open spaces, longer leashes up to 50 feet may be beneficial.

Are retractable leashes a good option for long leashes?

Retractable leashes can offer convenience and variable length, but they may not be the best choice for all situations. They can be prone to breaking, especially with strong dogs, and the thin cord can cause injuries. A fixed-length long leash provides more reliable control and is generally safer for both the dog and the owner.

What safety features should I look for in a long leash?

Safety features to look for in a long leash include a strong, secure clasp that won't accidentally release, reflective materials for visibility during low-light conditions, and a sturdy handle to ensure a good grip. Some leashes also come with traffic handles for additional control in crowded or potentially dangerous situations.

How do I maintain control of my dog with a long leash without tangling?

To maintain control and prevent tangling, start with a shorter distance and gradually increase the leash length as you and your dog become more comfortable. Use verbal commands and body language to guide your dog. Regularly practicing leash handling techniques, such as gathering and releasing the leash smoothly, will also help minimize tangling.

Can long leashes be used for small dogs or puppies?

Long leashes can be used for small dogs and puppies, but it's important to choose a leash that is appropriate for their size and weight. A lightweight, thin leash will prevent overwhelming a small dog or puppy. Long leashes can be beneficial for training puppies on recall and giving them a sense of freedom while ensuring their safety.

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    • Thick leashes are good for larger dogs.
      By: Alexey Stiop
      Thick leashes are good for larger dogs.