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Dog Leads, Harness, Slip Lead, Flexi Extending Leash and Gentle Leader
Dog leads, dog collars and dog harness
Dog leads or leashes as they are known around the world come in many shapes, sizes, material and prices. Dog leads are used for many different purposes for example standard dog walking, dog show leads, dog , working dog leads and training leads.
Dog collars and dog harness come with the same variety.
Choosing the correct lead is vitally important for the control and comfort of your dog.
Having tried many of them to varying degrees of success I felt it would be useful to explain what the different types are, how and why they are used and the main advantages and disadvantages of each.
It is not my intention to make recommendations because owners and believe it or not dogs will have their own preference; hopefully at the end of this dog lead article you will be better informed to choose the right lead for you and of course your dog.
Puppy dog leads
Puppy dog leads
Walking on a lead for the first time is a big deal for a puppy, choosing the correct lead is very important.
The main points to consider when picking your puppies first lead are strength, comfort, length and colour.
- Strength-don't buy a cheap poor quality lead as they have been known to snap
- Comfort-it is likely puppy will pull on his first lead so it should have a padded handle
- Length-puppies are small and low to the ground, the wrong length can put additional strain on your puppies neck
- Colour-bright colours will distract your puppy from walking
Buy quality but don't spend too much on a puppy lead as your puppy will grow out of it very quickly.
Although harness are available for puppies we would warn against them for very young puppies as they can put a strain on growing bones, if you do decide to use a harness it must have plenty of padding and even weight and strain distribution.
Standard fixed length dog leads
Fixed length dog leads
Fixed length dog leads come in rope, nylon, chain and leather.
Whatever material you choose it must have a solid clasp at one end and a comfortable padded handle at the other.
Fixed length dog leads are ideal fro growing puppies and mature dogs.
Points to consider when choosing a fixed length dog lead
- Quality of material
- Strength of material
- Correct length
- Sturdy clasp
- Comfortable handle
If you choose the correct lead it can last a lifetime.
It is advisable to buy the best lead you can as dogs in the early stages of training pull on the lead, poor quality leads always run the risk of snapping.
Retractable dog lead and Extending dog leads
Retractable dog leads and Extending dog leads
Retractable dog leads are a fairly new phenomenon in the dog world.
Extendable leads come in a wide variety with the world leader Flexi leading the way in quality and design innovation .
These leads are an ideal way of exercising your dog without actually letting them of the lead
A good quality retractable lead should have these attributes
- Comfortable handle
- Solid construction
- Geared braking system
- One hand brake control
- Easy recoil action
The lead can be of any length as long as you are comfortable with the distance between you and your dog. The lead material will be tape or nylon again this is a matter for you as they are both suitable for most dogs.
Dog Slip leads
Dog slip leads are an all in one lead were the lead itself creates the loop which slips over your dogs head.
Slip leads are commonly used by handlers with their working dogs for ease of putting on and taking off.
Rope slip leads are the most popular and varying thickness are available.
Matching the lead to the size of your dog is the main concern when choosing a slip lead
Some dogs pull excessively when walking, a slip lead is suitable for training purposes however if the dog is stubborn to train out of pulling it is advisable not to use slip leads as they can damage the neck.
If you do use a slip lead fit it correctly so when the dog is not pulling it should automatically loosen.
Dog training leads
Dog training leads
It may sound obvious but a training lead is just that, it should only be used for training and not standard walking.
Training leads are much longer in length and are used for controlling your dog at different distances than normal.
Long line training leads are ideal for recall training giving you the ability to encourage your dog back in the right direction from much further away.
Training leads are used also in sniffer or search training giving your dog a wider search area whilst still under your control.
Quality is the key consideration when choosing a training lead as it will be tested to it's fullest capacity.
Dog harness are predominantly used for dogs who simply refuse to walk to heel as they can be chest fitting with a head control.
More and more pet owners are using dog harness because the design and comfort have improved drastically over the last few years with glitzy bright colours being the favourite of toy dog owners.
There are more specialist dog harness on the market
- Safety dog harness
- Dogs with mobility issues
- Support dog harness
- Fashion harness
Dog collars like leads come in every conceivable colour, material and design.
Some are practical and some are plain old fashion statements.
Collars come as stand alone or as part of a lead and collar set.
Collars can be one plain material or a mixture with reflective materials becoming very popular.
It has been known for collars to be studded with real diamonds costing thousands of pounds however for most dog owners comfort and strength should be more important than being a pointless accessory.