25 June, 2012

Most dog owners love to walk their dogs.  It is a great way for you and your dog to get exercise, spend some time together and practice the basic training tips.  One of the most common questions among new dog owners is how to find the best type of leash, collar or harness for walking.

With so many leashes on the market, it is sometimes difficult to know which is best.  Dog harnesses, collars, and halti-leads are all effective walking tools if used correctly.   But they also should be used with commands, rewards, and patience.

Leashes can also range from length, material and type (flexi verses standard). It’s best to use the leash that you feel comfortable holding and that helps you have the most control over your dog.

Leather and Nylon leashes

Leather and nylon leashes are some of the most common types of leashes dog owners use and they are the easiest on their hands. Nylon leashes can cut into the hands a little more than leather and cause “leash burn” if a dog pulls hard.   However, these leashes hold up well in all weather and are great for any type of walk.

I love being walked!

And if you like to get fun, decorative items for your dog, there are so many different designs and colors available for collars and leashes that your dog can be in style all the time.   See my review of the “Laughing My Tail Off” leash.

Chain leashes

Chain leashes are heavier than nylon or leather ones and look nice. They can also work well with dogs that are bigger, stronger, and tug hard on walks. However, because of their weight, using a chain leash with a small or medium dog can add weight to their neck.

Another disadvantage is that you can’t wrap the leash around your hand if you need to shorten it as it might injure your hand. During the summer months, chain leashes and chain collars can become hot from the sun; therefore, with big dogs, try swapping the chain for a nylon or leather collar and leash during the sunny months.

Flexi leads

Flexi leads are great for walks in the park where it is safe for your dog to roam a bit further away from you than on a sidewalk. They aren’t good for high traffic areas or in dog parks. The line can get wrapped around your dog, your leg, or someone else and cause injuries.

Those are the basics regarding different leashes.  Every dog is different and will ‘take’ to different leashes.   Walking you dog is great.  However, remember to be careful with your dog as pulling on a leash can be stressful and dangerous. A quick, unexpected tug and you’re on the ground and your dog is off and running.   But, with time and practice, walking your dog will become second nature.

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