Since I’ve been running a lot of other people’s dogs lately, I’ve dealt with every leash variety possible, mostly nylon, Flexi and leather. There is no leash perfect for everyone, it just depends on each individual dog.
But if I had to pick a general leash to fit the needs of most dogs, it would be the standard, 6-foot leather leash. I’m not even going to compare this leash to a Flexi, because you all know how I feel about Flexi leashes. They’re not even worth discussing in this post. Instead, I’m going to compare leather leashes to nylon leashes.
Leather leashes are easy to grip.
When a dog is pulling during a walk and I am trying to keep him at my side, nylon leashes will sometimes give my hands blisters from the constant pulling. This won’t happen with leather. Leather is easier to grip, and it won’t burn or slip from my hands. Another thing I like about a leather leash is how it becomes soft after a few months’ use. Lately I’ve been using the leather leash from Mighty Paw.
Leather leashes will not wear out.
With time, a nylon leash begins to fray or weaken. Nylon leashes cost about $7, so of course they aren’t going to last a dog’s lifetime. If you think I’m wrong, it’s probably because you don’t walk your dog very often. A leash can last forever if you use it once a week.
But a leather leash can last for years even when it’s used for hours a day. I actually like how the leather becomes softer with time.
Leather leashes are more durable.
Some dogs can chew through a nylon leash, especially the really thin kind. The thick nylon is harder for a dog to chew, but when it’s that thick, it’s not as convenient for walking because it’s so bulky. With a leather leash, I don’t have either problem. Of course, some dogs can chew through leather leashes too, but not as fast or as easily.
That’s actually one negative side to leather: A lot of dogs like to chew leather (although many will chew nylon as well). The very first time I left Ace loose alone in the apartment he ate about a foot and a half off his first leather leash. Not chewed, but ate. So now I make sure to always keep his leash in the closet when we’re not using it.
Six feet is the perfect length for training.
Six feet is plenty of room to give my dog a little space when needed, such as while training sit and stay. It also gives him enough room when I want to give him some time to smell the grass or casually walk. But when it comes to heeling, the six-foot length doesn’t become too cumbersome when I want to keep my dog close. Of course, nylon leashes come in the six-foot length as well.
They come in all colors.
Most leather leashes are brown or black, but you can find them in any color. If you are one of those people who choose leashes based on fashion over usefulness, they even make pink, bejeweled leather leashes, so get excited.
I’m not totally against nylon leashes. They’re fine for walking small dogs, well-trained dogs or to use for a quick trip outside. I will use them myself for walking and running my dog or other people’s dogs. But for training or walking a dog that’s pulling, leather is the way to go.
What is your favorite kind of leash? (If it’s Flexi, you should write me a guest post on why people actually use those things.)