What leash do you use?

Today let’s talk about leashes!

Funny enough, this is a somewhat common topic that I get asked generally after people take my online orientation to start training with me. So today I wanted to break the good, the bad, the ugly of the dog leash options out there.

Here we go.. let’s talk about length!!

4ft leash - not a bad choice, can be good for a walk around the block, not so great for training as it is not long enough to move away from your dog to proof a stay.

6ft leash - a good choice for all-around use, great for daily walks, good for training as you can move a little bit from your dog.

10ft leash - excellent for training, you can really proof your stays, and is a must-have for Nose Work. But a little bit more challenging with that much leash trying to not get tangled up going for a walk. Though…in most cases, this is what I use.

10ft plus leash - great for proofing your long stays, can be laid out on the ground and used as a “dummy leash” allowing you to get control if your dog decides he is done playing your game. Not good for trying to do regular work, as it is just too much in your hands.

How about type…

Leather - oooooh good leather makes working with your leash so nice in your hands. You can’t go wrong with leather.

Cotton - also a great choice, though harder to find in some cases. Soft in the hands, and if your dog pulls it will also not burn you like the next choice.

Nylon - the most common of leashes on the market. They come in lots of pretty colors and designs, but honestly not the best as they can be hard in the hands AND if your dog pulls or jerks the leash in your hand, it can burn you. I have had it happen!

Chain Leash - I am just not a fan, these are getting popular again, but honestly, they are super hard on the hands, which leaves you generally holding the handle, giving you less control of your dog when needed. Many choose these because their dogs will bit the leash, and yes, they will normally not bite the chain, but I would argue that we should train the dog not to bite the regular leash instead.

There is one more type of leash that I want to chat about today and that is the retractable leash.

These tend to be popular for many reasons, but I am going to cover why they are not so great. BUT with that said I do own them and I do use them for certain circumstances and I will share what that is in just a sec.


The major issue with these leashes is they do not give you much if any, control. If your dog takes off and hits the end of the line, the hard-plastic handle will more than likely fly out of your hands and start retracting and bouncing on the ground “chasing” your dog as it goes.

If you are lucky enough to hold on, then the next problem of trying to wind it back up is more than a challenge. It is like fishing without the pole and hopefully, no water is involved.

I have witnessed more issues when it comes to retractable style leashes than I care to share, and IMO they should not be used for daily walks, and definitely not for training.

Though I did mention that I own and use them in very select ways. When we travel, a retractable leash can be helpful for those dogs that do not like to go to the bathroom on a leash. In this case, and in this case, only, I will use one so that my dog can be away from me and still get the job done.

But I will be honest, even I have been tangled up by these leashes and one should always be careful when using them.

So with all that said, my favorite option for an everyday leash would be a 6-10ft leather option.

I am curious, what is your favorite leash to use? Make sure to pop onto my Facebook Business page Pawsitive Principles with Bree or my Instagram account and share with me!

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That’s all for now, see you next week!

~ Bree



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