The dog leash is also part of the basic equipment. It is available in many shapes, colours and lengths. Which ones do you really need? What should you pay attention to? First, an overview of the most common types of dog leash:
This is part of the basic equipment and is probably the best known leash, as it is used most often in everyday life. It has a length of about 2 m (some even longer) and carabiners at both ends (one is attached to the chest harness, the second forms the loop for holding and is attached to the rings). So the length can be adjusted individually. If your darling runs free, you can hang it comfortably over your shoulder.
This can be up to 30 m long (usually 5 m, 10 m or 15 m) and gives the dog a large radius of movement. Especially during training (e.g. recall training), the leash type is very popular. It is available with or without handle, so that the dog cannot get stuck anywhere when working in the forest, for example. You should practice the leash handling, because the long line should be permanently wound up. When “towing” (simply leave the leash on the ground) there may be the danger that it gets entangled around dog or human legs. Please never hang long leashes on a collar, this can have unpleasant consequences!
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This rolls itself automatically into a housing, which one holds in the hand. Thus the length is variable. The dog can never estimate how far he can go and feels a permanent light pull on the back (never attach to the collar, this can have unpleasant consequences!), which is why it is difficult for many to learn to walk on the leash. If the leash falls out of your hand unintentionally, it flings behind the dog as it retracts, which is why he gets scared and you punish him unintentionally. Especially for sensitive dogs this can be shocking. The usually thin string leads quickly to burns, if one reaches from reflex into the leash or it wraps itself fast around a body part.
Also known as a retriever leash, it is practical for hunting dog training. The dog can be quickly leached on and off with the collar and leash combination to be sent “naked” (without collar or harness to stay nowhere) into nature. The loop of the neck has a stopper, so that the dog does not choke itself, without this the use (in Austria) would not be legal. This type of leash should only be used for training and is not suitable for everyday use, as it has the same effects on the body and psyche as collars. In addition, the dog can escape easily.
There are many other special leashes. Among other things, a release leash (in hunting, can be used under pull), a demonstration leash (at dog shows), a yoggling leash (both hands free, is attached to the belly belt), a coupling leash (two dogs on one leash, individual distance and own needs cannot be followed), a short leader (very short leash, can only be used conditionally), and many more.
Which material is suitable?
Is a synthetic fiber called polyamide, which belongs to the most popular material because it is hard-wearing, tear-resistant, easy-care, flexible, soft and inexpensive. It is available in all possible colours, shapes (round, flat, …) and special requests (reflective, …). It lies comfortably in the hand, but it can deform from about 60° and the colors fade in UV light over time.
Is an imitation leather made of polyester fabric coated with PVC or TPU. Therefore, you should use controlled European products and not cheap goods, as these are not sufficiently tested for chemical substances. The material is mould resistant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, water resistant, UV light resistant, easy to clean, supple, durable, tear resistant and odourless.
If one wins from the tanning of animal skin (mostly beef or elk). Some dogs are allergic to the substances used in tanning. The material is hard-wearing, tear-resistant, supple, easily stretchable and durable. However, it has a smell that needs getting used to, can discolour, fade, is sensitive to the weather and should be cared for regularly.
Parachute Cord was originally used for military purposes. The individual threads can be tied together to a rope if required. The material is weatherproof, robust, smooth and somewhat elastic. Especially for do-it-yourselfers it is a good option. When buying you should pay attention to tested goods.
This leash consists of chain links made of metal. It is robust, waterproof and durable. However, it is usually heavy and cold. Dogs can injure themselves while playing (e.g. teeth can get caught in it), broken chain links can lead to injuries or breakouts and the fur can get jammed.
Other materials include artificial leather, textile and rope.
What else you got to watch out for?
Besides the type of leash and the material, the carabiner is important! It is available in different sizes. It is essential to consider the size of your dog, because such a carabiner also has weight. The smaller your dog is, the smaller and lighter the carabiner should be.
How long should be a dog leash?
It all depends on what you need them for. In everyday life, leashes with 2-3 meters length are usually suitable. It is important that your dog knows how much space he has. Especially when practicing leash leadership, it is difficult for your darling to estimate when the leash ends, if he has sometimes one, sometimes ten meters available. The leash should not be too short (under 1.80m), so that your dog has the possibility to sniff and has some free space. In certain situations you can of course keep the leash shorter. Longer leashes are good for recall training, in large areas where your darling may have a lot of free space, but not run free, but also for certain dog sports, such as mantrailing.
Many dog leashes can be individually adjusted by rings. So you have several length variations in one leash.
How much does a dog leash cost?
The price range is quite high. Cheap variants are already available from about 10€, expensive models can also come to around 100€.
There is a variety of leashes in different materials and designs. Which one is right for you depends on your everyday life and your dog. Make sure that your pet feels comfortable and safe with it. Don’t forget that leashing must be learned (trainer), not every dog finds it great to be restricted in his free space right from the start.