Which Leash Is Best For My Dog

Retractable, prong collar, harness, head collar, standard—there are all kinds of choices when it comes to leashes and it can be overwhelming to find the right leash for your dog. But the leash is integral to your walk! Different leashes create different tensions and different reactions from your dog, and from you, so it’s important to use the right one.

We all know that is the exception rather than the rule. If your dog pulls on a leash, sniffs everywhere, walks in front of you or reacts to every noise while walking, it’s time to reevaluate your leash.

Standard Dog LeashUntitled design

Of course, there is always the standard leash, which is the most common leash at the pet store. We’re all familiar with these leashes, and you can often find dogs straining at these leashes to say hi to other dogs or people and sniff around.

A standard leash typically attaches to a flat collar, which should fit comfortably around your dog’s neck; not too tight but not too loose that your dog can slip out of it. You should be able to slip two to three fingers comfortably underneath the collar.

Retractable Dog LeashesUntitled design (1)

Retractable leashes have an adjustable line, which allows your dog to decide how closely he will follow you. These types of leashes allow the dog to walk you, not the other way around. They control the environment, the pace, and you can end up chasing your dog.

Retractable leashes do have locking mechanisms, but if not it place, things can go wrong in a hurry. Imagine your dog darting after something interesting and you don’t fully have a good grasp on the leash handle. You grab wildly at the leash as your dog runs away and grab the rope portion of the leash. Instead of stopping your dog, you’ll end up with a nice rope burn.

Dog HarnessesUntitled design (2)

There are a couple variations of the harness; the two most popular versions seem to be the Easy Walk Harness and more commonly, the body harness. But harnesses can also encourage a distracted dog on walks. Harnesses are often used on pugs and other short-faced breeds. A better option may be a martingale collar with a chain. It fits perfectly around the short snout and the sound of the chain is effective at keeping your dog’s attention.

Harnesses can also lead to injuries. They are designed to pull the dog sideways from the chest, making your dog more susceptible to injury by hyper extension to the legs and shoulders from the pulling sideways. Again, the key is your dog’s level of training. If he walks next to you and is not distracted by noises or other dogs and people, the harness may work for you. If not, there may be a better option to teach him how to properly walk on a leash.

Head Dog CollarUntitled design (3)

The head collar is quite similar to a horse’s halter: It slips on around your dog’s snout and snaps together behind your dog’s ears. Some confuse it for a muzzle but your dog can still open his mouth, drink water, and eat with it on. And if your dog pulls on the leash, it may be your best bet. Dogs can be reluctant to let their pet parent put the head collars on, though.

This is especially true for stubborn alpha dogs or dogs with very little training. If you choose a head collar, make sure it is fitted properly and you know how to use it.

If you are having issues training your dog to walk with your properly or adjust to using a leash, speak with one of our highly experienced dog trainers in Atlanta, GA today to schedule your one on one consultation.


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