A leashes for dogs s literally your furry friend’s lifeline. The single strip of material can mean the difference between your pup running astray, snout to snout with an aggressive stranger or sprinting into traffic. It’s one of the most important tools you can have as a pet parent, so it’s essential that your dog’s leash fits properly and doesn’t slip or snap.
Many states require dogs to be on leash in public areas. Leash laws aren’t meant to restrict your dog’s freedom, but to prevent them from becoming a distraction or potential danger to pedestrians and animals.
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Your choice of a leash will depend on what type of walk you’re taking. For example, if you’re walking through a muddy park or on a busy street, a nylon leash is a good option as it’s easy to clean and durable. It’s also lightweight, which helps reduce hand fatigue.
Leather leashes are more expensive but they’re stronger than their nylon counterparts and are great for pulling dogs. “They have a smooth surface, so they don’t rub against your hands and cause rope burns,” says Milwaukee-based Mindy Waite, Ph.D, a certified dog behaviorist at Senior Tail Waggers. They also retain fewer odors.
A retractable leash may give your dog more freedom to roam but it can be hazardous to other dogs, cyclists and motorists. Plus, it’s difficult to manage if your dog pulls as it can easily get out of control.