What Length Should I Choose for My Dog's Leash?

 

dog-leash-length-boy-walking

The primary purpose of a dog leash is to keep your pup safe and under your control. The size, temperament, level of training and situation will determine the best leash length for your pup.

Safety first means never having so much slack in your leash that it drags on the ground where it can get tangled around you and/or your dog. As your pup grows, and gets larger and stronger, upgrade the length one to two times.

For Everyday Walking: 4’, 5’ or 6’ leash

For overall control, 4 feet is a good length. It’s perfect when teaching your new dog to stay by your side, and it's always recommended for any dog who needs a little more guidance during their walks (reactive with other dogs, people, squirrels, jumps up on people they meet, etc). A shorter length is recommended when walking on congested sidewalks.

5-6 feet’ is the ideal length for pups with good leash manners. This gives your pup a bit more room to potty and explore, yet remain within your control. It’s the perfect length for walking in neighborhoods, parks and other less trafficked areas. Our 5 foot leash is a customer favorite.

Thinner and Lighter Leashes for Small Dogs or Young and Small Puppies

In addition to length, it’s important to select a leash that’s thinner and lighter. 5/8” width leashes are designed for small/medium sized pups, and puppies.

Specialty Leashes

Traffic Leads (12”), Grab Tabs (6”-12”) and Long Lines (15’-30’) are appropriate in different circumstances and in various combinations. For example, with puppies or pups in training, we recommend a 4’ leash, a grab tab and a long line (if you are going to teach your pup recall for off leash walking).

Here's Why Retractable Leashes are Not Recommended

As we've said, keeping your pup safe and under your control is what's important. Although retractable leashes are popular with owners, they’re cautioned against by trainers and veterinarians.

Numerous articles have been written on the topic, and here's a summary of why they're not a good option for your dog.

  • Retractable leashes “reward” your dog for pulling. Feeling the tension on the line as they explore teaches them that pulling is okay.
  • You have little control over your pup when they’re more than a few feet away. There is no easy or quick way to retract the leash short of grabbing the cord and pulling on it, and you could get rope burns.
  • You risk injury to your dog’s neck or spine when you push on the lock to stop your dog from pulling ahead of you. It exerts a strong force where the leash is attached to your pup (likely at the collar).