Dog Training Leash – Steppin’ Out in Style

Medical review by K9 Healthcare Council of America (K9HCA). Intended for educational purposes only. Always seek medical advice from your veterinarian.

What is a Training Leash for Dogs?

Every dog needs a leash to stay safe and under control on walks. Even if your dog walks perfectly to heel without a leash (which, let’s face it, is a rare talent), many areas have leash laws requiring dogs are kept on leashes on public land.

A dog training leash—or ‘training lead’—is a specific leash to help teach your dog how to go on walks properly, reduce pulling and stay in a heel position. Whether you are leash training a puppy or an adult dog, these training tools can often be game changers.

Training dog to walk on leash
With so many leashes to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the one best suited for your lifestyle. It’s important to consider both your own needs, the needs of your dog and the purpose intended when searching for a dog leash.

Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a dog training leash:

Leash Length – Unless you are practicing recalls or distance work, most training leashes should be short and easy to hold in the owner’s hand. Six feet long is generally the best length for a standard training leash as it keeps the dog close to the owner while training and when walking on sidewalks.

Longer leashes up to 30 feet long are best for recall training or allowing them to run while knowing they’re still secure.

Leash Material – You should pick a training leash that’s both durable and lightweight, so it won’t tug on your dog. It should also be comfortable in your hands for easier handling and comfortable for the owner to hold. Most short leashes are made from nylon webbing or rope, but you might also find “higher end”, expensive varieties in hand-crafted leather.

You can find short leashes with various types of handles (padded, looped. etc.) for better ergonomics and control, especially on long walks or if your dog pulls a lot during early training sessions with your pooch.

Types of Dog Leashes

You’ll find plenty of different types of dog leashes on offer, and it’s important to choose the best one to suit you and your dog. You should consider factors such as your dog’s size, weight, and strength, plus any specific requirements you might have (hands-free options, double leashes, etc).

You can use several different types—harness leashes, slip leashes, gentle leaders and others. Here’s a review of some of the primary types of dog leashes:

Standard Flat Leash – Standard flat leashes are the most commonly used type of leash. They’re great for general dog walks to and from the dog park or along trails, keeping your dog safe and relatively close to you, since most flat leashes measure between 4 and 6 feet long.

Short Leash for Dog Training – A short lead is a strong and reliable leash, so you won’t have to worry about your dog getting loose in traffic.

Chain Dog Leashes – Most dogs don’t need chain leashes, but they’re ideal for dogs who bite at or chew on their leashes while walking (or are prone to finding and chewing their leashes at home). Unlike leather or nylon leashes, chain leashes are chew-proof.

Retractable Dog Leash – Retractable dog leashes aren’t perfect, and you must know how to use them properly. However, when used safely, they’re great for allowing dogs some extra leash length while still being able to keep close control when walking near roads or other hazards.

Hands free dog leash
When not training your dog, a hands-free leash is convenient while jogging to keep your dog safely at pace.

Hands Free Dog Leash – Hands-free dog leashes are great for hiking, running, or when walking your dog while trying to push a stroller.

Short Leash for Dog Training

Unlike a traditional leash for walks, a short leash for dog training is meant to keep a dog close to you while they adjust to using one. A good training leash should be both comfortable for your dog to wear and for you to hold.

What Do We Mean by a “Short Leash?”

If a standard leash is typically 6 feet long, a short leash can be considered any leash under 4 feet. And most are even smaller, spanning a mere 18 to 24 inches in length.

Short leashes are primarily used for training purposes, such as when teaching a dog to heel, practicing for obedience trials, or training a service dog.

Dog training leash
A short traffic lead style leash gives you close control over your pup when you need more immediate feedback than a regular leash.

There are also standard leashes that come with secondary handles positioned closer to the clasp reducing the distance between your control hand your dog’s collar. These offer the best of both worlds, allowing the leash to function as a long and short leash at the same time, depending on your needs.

Short leashes can also be helpful in other situations, such as when navigating crowded areas, or tight spaces with extra doggie distractions around that might make it challenging to keep your dog close.

Best Training Leash for Dogs

Leash training takes time and patience, but with consistent use, it can be an effective process.

Introduce your puppy to wearing a collar or harness and leash so they can get used to the feel of it. Then teach them a specific cue, like “yes” or “come,” and then reward them with a treat. This way, your pup will soon associate the leash with fun and food.

Practice with your puppy inside your home before making a move outdoors.

Leash training dog
When training your dog, a leash should be available to keep your dog close to you or prevent your dog from getting hurt. However, you don’t want to use excessive force on your dog to make them behave. Instead, your leash should be loose, and you should use positive reinforcement methods to teach your dog.

A Step in the Right Direction

You’ll be using your dog leash to walk your dog every day, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for both of you. In some cases, you may need more than one leash.

For instance, you might use a short leash for dog training but also have a standard flat leash for a trip to the dog park (since your dog can go off-leash once you get there) but prefer a retractable dog leash for walking trails where your dog must be kept on leash.

Whatever you choose, it’s worth spending a few extra bucks on a quality leash that will last years to come. For dog owners looking for a sturdy, compact high-quality lead for dog behavior training that’s comfortable, durable and easy to care for–I recommend the short leash for dog training offered by K9 Medibles.

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