dog with leather leash waiting to go walkies
Last updated: June 20, 2020

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Dog leads and specifically dog training leads are a valuable tool for improving dog behaviour and keeping dogs safe during walks, visits and other activities. Choosing the best lead for you and your dog is important as it will be the means of communication between you as the handler (professional or not) and your dog.

What is the best lead for educating a dog? There are many different types of lead that come in a variety of different materials which will the needs of pets and their owners. There are certain aspects which need to be taken into consideration when purchasing a new dog training lead, such as the dog’s training phase, the breed, size, personality and character. In this guide, you will learn about the different types of leads, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

First Things First

  • Dog training leads are made of different materials: nylon, leather, fabric or metal. The material used will determine the strength, durability and ease of cleaning of the lead.
  • The shape of the lead can be flat or rounded and the length is variable, they can be less than 50 centimetres long and up to 20 metres in length.
  • The best model of lead for training is the multi-position type, the length can be adjusted according to the stage of instruction, the physical space and the need for control over the dog.

The best dog training leads on the UK market

A dogs lead is as important as the collar when it comes to safety, comfort and durability for both you and your dog, but many owners do not spend the same time when looking for a lead. Below we recommend the best dog training leads on the UK market below.

Dog Training Lead Long Rope (10m/33ft, Red)

Available in 3 different lengths and 4 different colour options, this dog training lead is ideal if you are planning on training your dog. The long rope is made of soft, webbing nylon for a firm comfortable hold and allows your dog to run free yet remain under control if walking in a public place.

This dog training lead is great for recall training, outdoor play with tennis balls and swimming.  Its also great for activities such as hiking, camping and beach walks.  The 360 degree swivel-style zinc alloy buckle allows for easy attachment to your dog’s own collar andallows your pet to play more securely

Extra Long Line Training Dog Leash – (20m, Black)

This is a 20 metre long lead but is also available in 10 and 15 metre lengths.  It is perfect for training, tracking and walking.  The brand new and high quality polypropylene (PP) material means it is lightweight, incredibly practical an can be used in all weather conditions.

It is strong enough to support the handling of large sized dogs, the trigger hook is nickel plated and swivels to ensure the safety of your dog and resist twisting.  Its long length is great for training recall but also offers peace of mind for you as your dog wanders and explores.

It also has a 12 month warranty.

Dog Training Lead for Dogs and Puppies – 50 Foot Long

Barkswell 50 Foot (approximately 15 metres) Nylon Dog Training lead is made from strong smooth nylon and this company have made every effort to make a lead as safe and durable as possible giving you years of comfortable dog training.  The barrel handle is padded with soft durable foam that allows you to control your dog whilst avoiding dreaded ‘lead burn’.

This lead is suitable for all dogs and after training, the lead can be coiled and secured with a band (included) and stored in a handy shoulder bag allowing you to carry the lead in comfort or store it when it’s not in use. This lead is also available in 30 foot (approximately 9 metres)

Sweetie Rope Dog Lead

This is a great innovative design with two tubular webbed and padded handles making it easier to grip without facing any strain or rope burn. It has diameter of 1.25cm, a length of 1.5m and a large 7.6 cm tangle free clip withreflective stitching which increases visibility in low light and foggy conditions. It is also weather resistant, which makes it perfect for a stroll in the rain, snow, and sun.

Its a 5ft long lead for medium & large dogs.  It’s made from a heavy duty climbing rope material and can handle the pulling and tugging of your furry friend. The thick girth of the leash also makes it long-lasting, it includes an O Ring to attach poo bag holder, clicker and collapsible bowl.

HuLuBB Dog Leads Training Leash (10m/33ft – Black)

This dog training lead is a 10 metre lead and is strong enough to support the handling of large sized dogs (up to 50kg in weight) but not too heavy for smaller ones.  The lead will allow your dog freedom to wander and practice recall  training.  It has a trigger hook for easy attachment to your dog’s collar and rotates 360 degrees to allow you dog to play safely.

It is made from high quality nylon with durable trigger hook and is also suitable for other training and activities such as swimming, playing fetch, hiking, camping etc…

Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about dog training leads

Training leads are valuable tools to improve the behaviour of dogs, increase their safety during walks and even improve home coexistence. In the following section, you will learn about the characteristics and uses of a lead for your dog’s education.

dog looking up to owner waiting to go walkies

Training leads are a valuable tool for improving dog behaviour and increasing dog safety during walks.
(Source: Damedeeso: 24327220/ 123rf.com)

What are the requirements for a good dog training lead?

There are new models and materials for dog collars and leads which are constantly emerging. As the owner and the person responsible for your pet, it is important to understand what is the right product for you and your dog and not be influenced by clever marketing. The lead need to meets certain requirements for uses, comfort and safety:

  • The lead must be strong: especially when you want to train a large dog or a dog that pulls hard.
  • It must have strong and robust clasps: which guarantee a secure attachment to the ring(s) of the dog collar or harness.
  • The strap must be comfortable: for the owner’s use and must also use a material that helps prevent friction burns or chaffing.
  • The lead 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 needs at the time.
  • They must be made with a material that is easy to clean or wash: it should not not absorb odours or humidity.
  • For training at night, the strap must be reflective.
Victoria StilwellEnglish Dog Trainer, Author and Television Presenter

“Positive training puts the emphasis on teaching dogs what to do, not continually punishing a dog for not doing what we want”.

What are dog training leads?

Dog training leads are elements designed to control and, above all, to educate dogs. They consist of a strip, rope or chain, with a metal clasp at one end to be attached to the dog’s collar or harness. At the other end, it should have a handle or loop so that the handler can keep control of the dog.

Group Of Dogs With Owners At Obedience Class

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

What dog training lead models are there?

As we have already mentioned, on the market there are many different options available when it comes to leads 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 the models currently available:

  • Conventional belts:they are usually flattened and have a length of about 1 metre. They are suitable for walks, but do not have enough length for dog training.
  • Belts of 2 metres or longer:this is a conventional belt but much longer. It can have an extension from 2 metres and up to 20 metres. They allow to train the dog for recall or to bring the ball (or another object). These can be flattened or rounded. The straps are rolled up and released manually.
  • Multi-position straps:between 2 and 3 metres long. Their special feature is the presence of 2 or more rings on the belt, which allow 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 metres 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 leads:this model includes strap and necklace and are also referred to as a ‘choker’ 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, behaviours, 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 metres, which can be limiting.
Flexi®/Extendable They give freedom of movement to the dog. Teaches or stimulates the dog to pull the lead. They are unadvisable in case of dogs that have the habit of pulling with force.
Slip leads Neutralise unwanted behaviour by negative reinforcement Are dangerous to the dog and mistreat the animal.

Which training lead model is the most recommended?

The multi-position lead 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 or both you and your dog. They can be made of two different materials; nylon or leather.

The multi-position leads that are 2.8 to 3 metres long can be used as a belt around the waist of the owner which is great if you need your hands free or if your dog pulls a lot. They are also 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 leads should be avoided?

In no way should you use choke or slip leads, commonly recommended for dogs that pull with force. 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.

Professor Noel FitzpatrickSupervet

“The love we feel for our pets is incredibly special but after two decades of working with animals, I believe that it pales in comparison to the love they have for us”.

Can electric collars replace training leads?

No. There has recently been calls by the RSPCA to ban these type of devices because it is considered cruel and unnecessary. Electric collars are necklaces 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.

There are other equally effective and harmless alternatives on the market and the welfare of your dog much more important that to justify the use of electric collars. Therefore, it is not recommended to use this type of device when training your dog.

Profile shot of a young guy walking his dog in a park on a sunny autumn day

Training straps consist of a strap, rope or chain, with a metal clasp 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, this is a great advantage of multi-position leads, once training is complete, they can be used for walking your dog. Often during the beginning stages of dog training, or training a young dog, the process will be quite short so changing the lead after just a few minutes would be inconvenient, the multi-position leads are also multi-purpose saving you the inconvenience of switching leads after training.

Dog-training-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 lead 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 still, this process takes some time.

Positive behaviour 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 you 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.

Shopping Criteria

The world of dog training leads 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 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, extendable 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 metres in length. During more advanced phases of training, the dog can work with a long lead (more than 10 metres) or extendable/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.

Mature Couple Taking Golden Retriever For Walk

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 pads 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 lead, you should buy a strong and reinforced product to prevent the lead from breaking or accidents occurring during training. For smaller dogs, it is important to purchase lightweight leads. For dogs that tend to bite, leather leads should be avoided.

Some dog owners think that trying to control their dogs pulling behaviour by using a short lead of less than 50 centimetres would solve the problem whereas the opposite is actually true; the shorter the lead, 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 lead.

Summary

So as you can see the purchase of the right dog lead is not as straight forward as you would initially assume and it is more than a simple tool to prevent your dog from escaping during walks or jumping up on other people. A training lead, if used correctly, will allow you to educate your dog and communicate with him or her easily. Choosing the right lead 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)

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