Long vs. Short Dog Leashes: Which One Is Best?

Dog Harness Recent March 22, 2024
Long vs. Short Dog Leashes

Long vs. Short Dog Leashes: Which One Is Best?

This page contains affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn More

Long vs. Short Dog Leashes

When bringing home a new dog or puppy, a leash is essential, not only to prevent them from running away during walks but also to ensure they are legally controlled when off your property.

A leash also allows you to communicate with your dog, and in some situations, a short or standard-length leash is best. However, in others, a long leash may be more suitable.

A leash not only protects your dog and other dogs from unexpected encounters but also allows you to have a physical connection with your dog, allowing them to sense your mood and wishes.

Which Type of Leash is Best?

The length of a dog’s lead can be a concern for owners, especially if they have a large dog with a head turned back at an odd angle due to hip dysplasia or arthritis. Long walks outside may put the dog in danger.

Additionally, the training level and comfort level with certain leashes, such as choke chains, can also impact the choice. If choke collars are too heavy for the owner, switching to shorter leads might alleviate stress.

The space available for dog boundaries should also be considered, considering whether other people are present when walking together outside. By considering these factors, owners can ensure their dog’s safety and comfort during outdoor walks.

The market for leashes is expanding due to the increasing number of dog owners. Leashes come in various styles and materials, including leather, nylon, and metal. Leather is traditional and comfortable, but it can be expensive due to its chewing potential.

What Are the Different Types of Dog Leashes?

Choose from different leash types to ensure your dog’s behavior is influenced by its length. Shorter leashes provide more control and safety, as they reduce the distance between your hand and your pup. The choice of leash type also impacts the control of your dog, from a dachshund to a Saint Bernard.

Standard Dog Leash: This is the most popular form of leash used by pet owners for a variety of functions. Most regular dog leashes are approximately 6 feet long and composed of nylon or leather.

Short Dog Leash: A short leash is often two times shorter than a conventional one, allowing better control over dogs near you but still capable of trouble. It’s also recommended for dogs working on pulling or jumping up. For overall control, 4 feet is a good length for most dogs and puppies, especially when teaching them to stay by your side.

Long Dog Leash: This type of leash allows you to give your dog greater freedom while still keeping them close by attaching them to a ring on their collar rather than latching onto the end like regular leads. A check cord has no handle (which can cause injury if pulled too hard), but it should not be used unsupervised because it provides no restraint; instead, use these leads in conjunction with other training methods such as treats and rewards for good behavior, rather than using pain or fear punishment techniques like choke collars!

When Should You Use a Standard Leash?

Standard dog leashes, made of nylon, rope, or leather, are commonly used for walking dogs due to their control and freedom of movement. They help reduce pulling habits, as instincts cause dogs to pull against tight leashes. To reverse this, aim for loose-leash walking with a standard-length leash. Keep multiple leashes on hand, including reflective ones for low light or night walks. However, these leashes may not provide enough control for strong pullers.

When Should You Use a Short Leash?

A short dog leash provides better control over a dog than a standard or long leash, especially for unpredictable or pully dogs. It’s beneficial in urban environments with car traffic and crowded sidewalks and can help train dogs showing signs of aggression.

A tab leash, a handle with a buckle, attaches directly to the dog’s collar and offers extra control in tight spaces or for strong pullers. It’s suitable for tight spaces or strong pullers, but not for regular walks in open spaces. However, it doesn’t allow enough length for slack.

When Should You Use a Long Leash?

Long dog leashes, longline leads, and check cords are commonly used for training dogs. They allow dogs to respond to commands like ‘come’ or “stay’ when they are farther from you, increasing their likelihood of listening in unexpected situations.

Long leads also provide off-leash freedom, keeping dogs and others safe. However, they require constant attention to prevent the leash from dragging on the ground, catching on stones, or wrapping around trees or legs. Adjusting the lead length is crucial, and long dog leads are safest when attached to the back clip of a dog harness.

While long dog leads are great for training well-behaved dogs who are already polite leash-walkers, they may not offer enough control for dogs who pull, can snag on trees, stairs, or branches, and may be ungainly for people unused to dealing with the length.

You and your dog may need more than one kind of leash, depending on what you do and the activities you enjoy together. You will probably find that you use one leash on a regular basis but have other leashes for training or going to certain places.

What is the Best Dog Leash Material?

Nylon leashes are affordable, suitable for humid climates, and easy to chew. They are designed for small dogs and cats, especially for puppies. Nylon is a great alternative for well-trained dogs, especially in the show ring.

Quality Leather Dog Collars offers a variety of styles and colors for both nylon and leather leashes, suitable for show ring or field use. These durable, comfortable, and reliable leashes soften over time, reducing the risk of damage to pet skin or fur. With frequent use and oiling, these leads become soft and pliable, providing a lifetime of use.

Polypropylene ropes are soft, waterproof, and machine-washable. They are perfect for duck hunters as they float and are water-resistant, lightweight, and UV-resistant. The rope acts as an insulator, preventing electricity from being drawn to live wires. They return to their normal size when stretched and won’t fade, fray, or decay.

What About a Retractable Leash?

A leash is crucial for keeping your pup safe, and the shorter the leash, the more control you have. Retractable leads reward your dog for pulling, but they offer little control and can cause injuries to your hands.

Retractable leashes can also cause damage to your dog’s neck or spine when you push on the lock to stop pulling ahead of you, as it exerts a strong force where the leash is attached to your pup, likely at the collar. Therefore, it’s essential to choose a leash that offers the best balance of control and safety for both you and your pup.

Final Thoughts

Dog leashes are essential for keeping your pup safe and under your control while out in public and during training. The best leash length depends on the dog’s age, temperament, level of training, and situation. Safety first means avoiding excessive slack that can get tangled around you and your dog.

Best Dog Foods For Shedding

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *