You’ve probably heard the quote, ‘A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.’ And apart from loving you, a dog’s next best thing is having you take him – or her – for a walk.
Whether it’s your new puppy or your old pal, a walk in the rain, or a walk in the sun, knowing the best dog leashes – and the right collar – can make your walks more enjoyable and safer for both of you.
Let’s look at different dog leashes and collars and see what the experts recommend.
Best Dog Leashes
Apart from the fact that keeping your dog on a leash isn’t optional – most cities and towns have ordinances requiring it – it’s also far, far safer for your pet.
Even the most well-behaved dogs can get distracted, and on busy streets, danger’s never far away. So the first choice is whether to go with a fixed dog leash or a retractable one.
Fixed Dog Leashes
If you have a puppy or your dog isn’t well trained at walking on a leash, the experts all agree that a fixed dog leash is the only way to go. First, make sure to size your leash to your dog’s weight, of course.
Features to look for are a solid snap, rugged construction, and padded handles. There are plenty of well-made, durable, and cheap dog leashes to choose from – you don’t have to spend more than $15 – $20 to get a great leash.
The best dog leash for most people is a two-handed leash. These have two padded hand loops – one in the normal spot at the end and another spaced to keep your dog in a ‘heel’ position.
If you have a dog that thinks tugging is fun (maybe some obedience school time is in order?), being able to use both loops at once comes in handy!
Many municipal leash ordinances require leashes of less than six feet, so keep that in mind when buying.
Retractable Dog Leashes
To say that retractable leashes aren’t popular with trainers is an understatement. The feeling is that retractable leashes encourage bad behavior, are far less safe for your dog, and can be dangerous for you – think fingers getting caught.
That said, if your dog is exceptionally well-behaved and you like to give them more range on occasion, there are some very good, affordable retractable leashes available.
Again, size the leash to your dog and look for a molded, comfortable grip that easily fits your hand.
Collars and Harnesses
Attaching the leash to your dog’s regular collar isn’t recommended. Instead, use a well-designed harness or gentle-leader style head collar. You’ll have much better control and won’t be pulling against the dog’s throat.
Take a Walk
You and your best friend will be taking a lot of walks in the coming years. And the best dog leashes will make your walks a lot more pleasant – and safer – for both of you!
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