The different types of dog leashes

dog leash types

For any dog owner, a leash is a crucial piece of equipment. The different dog leash types can be a little confusing and some owners even decide to have more than one for their pups.

Which type of dog leash is best for you depends on what it’s being used for, your dog, and the material it’s made out of.

Here, we’ve listed the main types of dog leashes so you can decide which is best for you and your pup!

Why does my dog need a leash?

Dog leashes are really important in training your dog and ensuring they obey your commands. They’re used as a way of asserting your dominance whilst also keeping them safe when you’re out and about. 

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If you have a dog, it normally means you’re a dog lover. But don’t forget many people have phobias of dogs. So keeping them on a leash stops them from running up to people who may not want their affection!

Dog Leash Types

Standard Leash

This dog leash is perfect for everyday walks and training. They’re typically made out of strong nylon or leather and have a clip at one end which you attach to the dog’s collar. They’re normally around 6ft long, which is ideal for teaching your pooch not to pull and to obey your commands.

These leash types vary in size. Wider ones are best for large dogs that have a tendency to pull. If your pup likes to chew their leash, a thicker rope one or even a chain one might be a good solution for you. 

Retractable Leash

This leash works by having a rolled-up nylon cord in a plastic handle — kind of like a measuring tape. As your dog pulls away the leash gets longer and vice-versa. It’s also possible to lock the leash at any point and keep it on a set length.

These types of dog leashes are a great middle ground. You give the dog a little freedom to roam, whilst also ensuring that they’re safe and under control. 

It’s important that before you use a retractable dog leash, you train your pup on a standard dog leash type. If you don’t you’ll be encouraging your dog to pull which can be very frustrating for you both.

Even though you’re giving your dog a bit of freedom using this leash, you still need to keep an eye on them. If the leash becomes slack they can get entangled in it which, if unchecked, could be quite serious. 

Adjustable Leash

These types of dog leashes work fairly similarly to standard ones. They’re normally made out of nylon and have adjustable clips and loops along them, so you can shorten or lengthen the leash as you please.

They’re a great tool to use to give your dog some freedom in open spaces and to keep them close by when you’re near roads. If your dog is already well trained, these leashes are great to tie around your body when you’re running or hiking. You can teach them heelwork whilst also letting them learn about their surroundings. 


There’s a lot of debate amongst professionals and dog owners about harnesses vs collars. Whichever you choose depends on you and your dog. A harness leash is attached around the dog’s body and clips onto their back, rather than to the collar. The strain of pulling is taken by the body rather than the neck.

Reducing the strain on your dog’s neck is obviously a benefit and it’s easier to control your dog in a harness. With certain dogs, however, harnesses can encourage pulling. 

The Rubber or Bungee Leash

The bungee leash is somewhat similar to a standard leash but with an elasticated part in the middle. This particular dog leash material protects your dog’s neck and your arm from strong pulls or abrupt jerks. 

Often these leashes are made hands-free, which is ideal for sporty owners who like to run and hike! These are best used on already very trained dogs as they offer less control over your pup than other dog leash types.

Whichever type of leash you choose for your dog, it’s important to think about why you want it and what is best for your doggie. Do they like to pull? Are you wanting to teach them something? Or do you need the leash to train for that marathon? Whichever you choose, it’s one of the most important things for any dog owner!

Which type of leash do you use with your pup? Tell us below!

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