dog on leash in mouth
Last updated: 05/27/2020

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Dog training leashes (also known as dog training leads) are a valuable tool for improving your dog’s behavior and your pup safe during walks, visits to the park and other activities. Your should make your choice carefully, as the leash you choose will be the main means of communication between the handler (professional or not) and the dog.

What is the best leash for training your dog? There are several types, sstyles and materials available to meet the various needs of dogs and their owners. Certain factors should be taken into consideration when purchasing a new dog training leash, such as the dog’s current training level, breed, size, overall personality and character. In this guide, you will learn about some of the different types of leads available, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Key Facts

  • Dog training leashes are made of many different types of materials: nylon, leather, canvas or metal. The raw material used to make the leash will determine the strength, durability and ease of cleaning leash. Think about your daily routine and the type of dog you have to help you make this house.
  • As for the shape of the leash, it can be flat or rounded. The lengths are also variable, since, depending on the size of the dog, a leash can be less than 20 inches long or up to 20 yards in length.
  • The best model of leash for training your dog is a multi-position type of leash, as this type allows the regulation of its length according to the dog’s stage of instruction, physical space where you will use the leash, and the amount of control needed over the dog.

Our Selection of the Best Dog Training Leashes on the U.S. Market

Many dog owners spend time searching for a comfortable, durable and safe collar for their dog’s training, but they don’t pay the same attention to the purchase of the leash. The truth is that each of these items is just as important as the other. Below we recommend the best dog training leashes on the U.S. market.

Best Dog Training Leash for Medium and Large Dogs

Affordable and available in several lengths, this leash is great for teaching your dog recalls. It has the length needed to allow the dog to wander a little bit and will ensure that your command to “come” is obeyed. This durable, long, nylon dog training leash will outlast cotton leashes and is easier to keep clean. All stitching is reinforced and the nickel plated clip swivels to resist twisting and tangling.

The long dog leash is great for medium and large dogs. You’ll love using it as a backyard dog leash, for off leash dog training, and more. Hi Kiss nylon training leash provide extra strength for controlling large dogs. This extra long training lead is designed for distance training. Handle the dogs with this sturdy leads.

Best Heavy Duty Dog Training Leash

Have an active dog full of energy that demands an extra tough leash that will last? The Paw Lifestyles Dual Handle Dog Leash features a premium traffic handle that allows you to easily guide your dog while in traffic, crowds, or tight spaces. This 3mm thick leash is perfectly constructed of rugged premium nylon to handle even the largest of dogs while staying lightweight. The heavy duty clip is perfect for medium and large sized dogs or stronger small dogs. The perfect leash for dog walks, hikes or obedience training. And did we mention that it looks awesome?

The heavy duty 2 handle lead features two awesome neoprene padded handles for total hand comfort for when your dog gets excited and pulls hard to chase a critter. You’ll love the 2 seems of luminous reflective stitching that stretch the length of the leash which keeps you visible and safe for those late evening strolls around the block with your furpal. The 7 foot length gives your dog a bit of freedom to happily roam while still keeping him/her close to you.

Best No-Pull Dog Training Leash

Trusted by millions of pet owners, the PetSafe Gentle Leader Headcollar allows pet parents and owners to communicate painlessly and effectively in a way their dog instinctively understands. Bad behaviors such as pulling, lunging and jumping are quickly and easily eliminated. When a dog wearing the Gentle Leader begins to pull away, subtle pressure is applied to calming points along the nose loop. This prevents uncomfortable or dangerous pressure from occurring to the delicate throat area.

The Gentle Leader Headcollar is an easy-to-fit training tool for teaching your dog better leash manners. When your dog pulls, the Gentle Leader Headcollar gently moves his head and body back towards you. This effectively refocuses his attention to you and off the squirrel, dog, stranger, or other distraction.

Best U.S.-Made Dog Training Leash

Discover the timeless design and lasting quality of the Mendota Products Small Slip Solid Dog Lead. Handcrafted in the USA, this British-style lead is a leash and collar in one convenient design—something that’s been used by professional trainers for years, and is now adapted for walking and training.

It’s made from a durable, multi-filament braided rope with a “broken in” feel that is soft on your hands and pliable enough to roll up and put in your pocket. The oil-tanned leather splices and coordinating hardware give the beautiful finishing touch, proving that the best design is found in the simple details.

Best Dog Training Leash with Padded Handle and Reflective Threads

The BAAPET dog leash made with strongest 1/2 inch diameter rock climbing rope and very durable clip hook for you and your dog’s safety. Features soft padded handles for amazing comfort, just enjoy the feeling on walks with your dog and protects your hand from rope burn.

Highly reflective threads on these dog leashes keep you both safe and visible on your late-evening walks. This 5 foot length dog leash is a perfect balance between freedom and control, giving enough freedom to your dog and to maintain your control. It’s also great for jogging, camping and hiking.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Dog Training Leashes

Training leashes are valuable tools in improve the behavior of your dog, they also increase the dog’s safety during walks and can even improve peaceful coexistence in the home. In the following section, you will learn about the various characteristics and uses of a leash in your dog’s training.

dog on a leash with his master

Training leads are a valuable tool for improving dog behavior and increasing your dog’s safety during walks.
(Source Damedeeso 24327220 123rf.com)

What are the requirements of a good dog training leash?

New models and materials for dog collars and leashes are constantly emerging. As the owner and the person responsible for your pet, it is important not to be persuaded soeley by dazzling advertising but to select a training leash that meets the specific requirements for use, comfort and safety:

  • The leash must be strong: especially when you want to train a large dog or an as-yet untrained dog that pulls hard.
  • It must have strong and robust hooks: which guarantee a secure attachment to the ring(s) of the dog collar or harness. Make sure these connectors will not bend or open up.
  • The strap must be comfortable: this is for the owner’s comfort and safety and must also use a material that helps prevent friction, rope burns or chafing.
  • The leash must be long enough: to promote the dog’s freedom of movement, but short enough to keep the dog under control. Multi-position straps allow the length of the lead to be adjusted according to the dog’s needs at the time. You may need to keep your dog on a short leash in a crowd, but want to allow them more freedom on an empty beach, for example.
  • They must be made with a material that is easy to clean or wash: The leash should not not absorb odors or moisture. Man made materials or metal are the easiest to keep clean. Cotton and leather have their advantages, but are difficult to keep clean as they absorb odors, dirt and moisture.
  • For training at night: the material must be reflective or lit with an LED or similar feature.
Trish McMillan Loehr, MScAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

“Good leash skills can help you walk dogs safely and teach them good leash manners.”

What are dog training leashes?

Dog training leashes are products designed to control and, above all, to educate dogs. They consist of a strap, rope or chain with a metal hook at one end that attches to the dog’s collar or harness. At the other end, it should have a handle or loop so that the handler can maintain control of the dog.

Group of people with their dogs

Dog training leashes are products designed to control and, above all, to educate dogs.
(Source: Ian Allenden: 43392488/ 123rf.com)

What dog training leash models are available?

As we have already mentioned, on the market there are very diverse options when it comes to leashes for dog training. However, very few of them can really contribute to the dog training process and, worse still, others can even be dangerous for your dog. These are some models currently available:

  • Conventional straps: they are usually flat in shape and have a length of about 1 yard. They are suitable for walks, but do not have enough length for dog training.
  • Straps of 2 yards or longer: this is like a conventional strap but much longer. It can extend from 2 yards and up to 20 yards. They allow the handler to train the dog to answer a call or to bring a ball (or another object). These are usually flat. The straps are gathered up and released manually.
  • Multi-position straps: between 2 and 3 yards long. Their special feature is the presence of 2 or more rings along the length of the belt, which allows the carabiners to be hooked and the length of the strap to be adjusted. They are the number one choice of trainers, veterinarians and responsible dog owners.
  • Flexi® or extendable straps: they can have different lengths, although the most common have 3, 5 or 8 yards of length. They consist of a ribbon-type lead, which is wound inside a plastic and ergonomic handle, which the dog can extend as it pulls or moves away.
  • Slip or “choker” leads: this model includes strap and collar. Both are joined by a special “knot” which, when the dog pulls, causes the collar to tighten and, as the name suggests, chokes the dog. They are discouraged because they are both cruel and dangerous.
Models Advantages Disadvantages
Conventional Economical and easy to use on walks. The length is insufficient for training.
Long A good choice in advanced phases of training, to teach commands, behaviors, or games that require the owner and pet to be at a considerable distance apart. Depending on the design and material, they can become rolled up or twisted, making them uncomfortable and difficult to use.
Multi-position The length is easily adjustable according to the needs of the moment. The maximum length is usually 3 yards, which can be limiting.
Flexi®/Extensible They give freedom of movement to the dog. Teaches or stimulates the dog to pull the lead. They are not advised in the case of dogs that have the habit of pulling with force.
Slip leads Neutralize unwanted behavior by negative reinforcement These are dangerous to the dog and mistreat the animal.

Which training leash model is the most highly recommended?

As dog leads have advanced over time, the multi-position leash is currently the best choice for dog training. The carabiner is easily attached to the corresponding ring to obtain the desired length. The maximum length is usually 2 to 3 metres. This type of lead is a comfortable, safe, versatile and dynamic. They can be made of two different materials; nylon or leather.

The multi-position leads that are 2.8 to 3 yards long can be used as belts around the waist of the owner and many of them are also useful for walking 2 dogs at the same time. Most manufacturers include a manual for the non-professional trainer to get the most out of this model.

What types of dog training leashes should be avoided?

In no way should you use choke or slip leads, commonly recommended for dogs that pull with force, such as a pitbull. Two things can happen with this type of lead: the dog stops pulling because of the choking effect, or the dog, even if being choked, does not stop pulling. Some dogs have suffered serious neck injuries from this type of dog lead.

It is also not recommended to use extendable leads, or Flexi® leads, when training a dog. These leads promote the habit of pulling or encourage dogs that do not have this habit to begin doing so. The Flexi® lead can be used for walks or for trained dogs that are in more advanced stages of training.

Dr Chris BrownFamous Australian Veterinarian

“There’s an amazing feeling of wellbeing bubbling around most people when they’re with a pet, and now tangible scientific evidence is coming through about the actual physical and emotional benefits”.

Can electric collars replace training leads?

No. There have recently been calls by the ASPCA to ban these type of devices because it is considered cruel and unnecessary. Electric collars are collars used for “wireless” training, as they do not require a lead. When the dog disobeys or does something inappropriate, the owner presses a button and emits an electric shock, vibration or beep.

The cost of the loss of animal welfare is too high to justify the use of electric collars, given that there are other equally effective and harmless alternatives for the animal and owner. Therefore, it is not recommended to use this type of device when training your dog.

man walking with dog in park

Training straps consist of a strap, rope or chain, with a metal hook at one end to be attached to the dog’s collar or harness.
(Source: ljupco: 48277407/ 123rf.com)

Can the same lead be used for dog training and walking?

Yes, one of the major advantages of multi-position belts is that once the training is complete, they can still be used for dog walks. Often during the process of dog training, which at the beginning only lasts a couple of minutes, a walk is carried out and it can be annoying to have to change the leash.

various dog leashes

New models and materials for dog collars and leads are constantly emerging. Choose a training lead that meets the requirements of fit, comfort and safety.
(Source: Keiphotostudio: 78188877/ 123rf.com)

How should the owner behave during dog training?

A dog training leash is a very valuable dog educational tool, but it is not miraculous. If the owner wants to train their dog instead of going to a professional handler, the owner must be patient, affectionate and disciplined with the training. Dogs learn very quickly, but even so, this process takes some time.

Positive behavior on the part of the owner Negative behaviour on the part of the owner
Chooses a time when the dog is calm and attentive for the training session. Forces the dog to learn commands when he is tired, afraid or nervous.
Uses treats for dogs, caresses, affectionate words and games as a reward for good behaviour learned or in the process of learning. Yells, hits, punishes or ignores the dog because it is not learning the command or command they want to teach.
Conducts short training sessions, about 5 minutes and then continues with games or walks. Carries out prolonged training, which tire and annoy the dog.
Teaches just one command or order in each training session. Thinks that the dog can learn several commands in each training.

Buyer’s Guide

The world of dog training leashes is huge. It is important that you know the different materials, models and lengths available so that you can get the right product for you and your dog. These are the basic purchase criteria that you should evaluate before buying a lead to train your dog:

Material

Nylon and leather straps are the most recommended because they are lightweight and durable. However, leather can be ruined by washing or moisture and is also easily destroyed if the dog has a habit of chewing on the lead. Metal leads are very heavy, difficult to handle and tend to rust over time.

Criteria Nylon Leather Metal
Price Intermediate (very variable depending on length and model) Expensive (varies with length and model) Economical
Resistance High, even to dog bites. Very good resistance, although it can break if the dog has a habit of biting the lead. High
Easy to clean Very easy to clean, most can even be washed in a washing machine. It is ruined by washing with water or wet rags. The links retain a lot of dirt.
Durability Very durable Very durable, if not exposed to excessive moisture. Tends to rust with water or moisture.
Weight Lightweight Lightweight Heavy
Model of belt made with this material All: conventional belt, long belt, extensible belt or Flexi®, multiposition belt, double belt Conventional belt, multi-position belt and double belt Conventional belt

Model

For the initial phase of training, the ideal lead to buy is a multi-position belt (leather or nylon) or, failing that, a conventional lead of 2 yards in length. During more advanced phases of training, the dog can work with a long lead (more than 10 yards) or extensible/Flexi® (but not if the dog has a habit of pulling hard).

It is important to mention that extendable leads provide virtually no control over the animal and are very dangerous to use. They can be used with very obedient dogs or when training in enclosed spaces with fences. Never choose leads that are too short (less than 50 centimetres) or choke style leads.

couple walking dog in mountain

Remember that the training lead must be long enough for the dog to be comfortable at all times.
(Source: Mark Bowden: 71235796/ 123rf.com)

Security Elements

The handle should be comfortable and non-slip to prevent friction burns to the owner. Reflective patches are very important for night walks or night training. Carabiner hooks must be strong and must secure well to the dog collar. Any failure in the hook means the dog will escape, which can be very dangerous.

Characteristics of the Dog

If your dog is large or tends to pull hard on the leash, you should buy a strong and reinforced product to prevent the leash from breaking or accidents occurring during training. For smaller dogs, it is important to purchase lightweight leads. For dogs that tend to bite, leather leashes should be avoided.

Some dog owners think that with a short lead of less than 20 inches, they will be able to control the dog better and discourage the pulling habit of their dog. However in fact, the opposite is true: the shorter the leash, the more the dog pulls. It is essential to take into account the breed and/or personality of the dog when choosing a new dog training leash.

Summary

As you may have noticed, a training leash is much more than a simple tool to prevent your dog from escaping during walks or jumping up on other people. A training leash is a tool that, if used correctly, will allow you to educate your dog and communicate with him or her easily. Choosing the right leash is part of preparing for dog training and the responsibility of a dog owner.

Multi-position, nylon or leather leads are our favourite choices for educating a dog and, once this process is complete, will serve as a useful walking lead. Of course, even if you buy the best product on the market, without your time, patience, affection and discipline, the training of your dog will not be successful.

If you liked our guide, please share it with your friends so they can know a little more about dog training leads.

(Source of Featured Image: Damedeeso: 24327221/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Alexandra Williams Dog Expert and Trainer
Alexandra works as a dog trainer and is the owner of a dog school. She rescued three stray dogs from her local animal shelter and basically knows everything there is to know about dog training and dog food. She enjoys writing all about these loyal animals.