Finding the perfect dog leash can be a daunting task, especially given the different types, sizes, lengths, and intended uses. The perfect leash for you and your dog will be one that suits their size and weight, offers you control, is comfortable on your hands, is made of quality materials that are durable, and has a tensile strength that can hold your dog even if they pull.
We’ve tested countless leashes in pursuit of finding the best of the best for all dog sizes and breeds, so these reviews of our top picks will help you find a leash that allows you to walk your pooch safely and confidently — and maybe even offer a little style too!
A Quick Comparison of our Favorites
|Best Overall||ZippyPaws Climbers Mountain Rope||
|Best Value||Frisco Solid Nylon||
|Premium Choice||TUG Retractable Tape||
|Flexi Classic Retractable Tape||
|Remington Rope Slip||
The 10 Best Dog Leashes – Reviews 2021
1. ZippyPaws Climbers Mountain Rope Dog Leash – Best Overall
The ZippyPaws Climbers Mountain Rope Dog Leash is one of the sturdiest ones we’ve ever tested, and the quality and durability are obvious from the first time you pick it up. It’s made out of rock climbing rope, which is meant to support humans safely and has a tensile strength that will hold any dog, regardless of their size or power. The leash is ⅔ of an inch thick, which means it’s bulky enough to be highly secure and stand up to some chewing, and, for most people, it’s not so thick that it’s uncomfortable to hold. Owners with smaller hands may find the leash too thick to be comfortable, however.
The connection for your pup’s collar is an equally sturdy snap hook that feels like it will last for quite some time, even under heavy stress. This leash comes in multiple colors, as well as 2 different lengths: 4 feet and 6 feet. The leash is also rather heavy, but we’d expect the weight given its durability.
2. Frisco Solid Nylon Dog Leash – Best Value
The Frisco Solid Nylon Dog Leash boasts a ton of quality while keeping the price tag lower than most others on the market. It’s made of durable nylon that will stand up to pulling, and the bolt snap collar connection is strong and feels like it will also last for years. The leash comes in many different thicknesses, lengths, and colors, so you can get one that matches your taste and style as well as your dog’s size and weight. The nylon material is flat and comfortable to hold, but it will fray fairly easily if your dog is a chewer or simply after some extended use. As such, these leashes may not be best for puppies or particularly mouthy dogs. Given that it won’t stand up to chewing as well as our number one spot, this leash falls at number two, but we still think it’s the best dog leash for the money given its low price.
The TUG Retractable Tape Dog Leash the first leash on our list that is retractable, which means it can extend to varying lengths for different purposes. This leash is made of very high-quality materials that feel like they will last for years, and the lead itself is made of a durable nylon tape that will handle pulling with ease. It does fray with chewing, so this leash may not be best if your dog thinks their current leash is a chew toy. The retraction is very reliable which reduces the likelihood of frustrating jamming. The handle is very comfortable and ergonomic, and it allows for control in any direction, so you’ll maintain control even if your dog meanders while you walk. The lever for locking the lead length is also very sturdy and easy to trigger even while maintaining full control.
The higher price tag on this leash and the fact that it won’t stand up well to chewing kept this out of our top two spots on this list, but this is still an excellent, premium leash that offers a lot of control and freedom for your pooch.
4. Flexi Classic Retractable Tape Dog Leash
The Flexi Classic Retractable Tape Dog Leash is another retractable leash that offers a similar amount of control to the previous one on our list. The mechanism for allowing 360 degrees for control is simpler and can lead to more bunching, but you’ll still feel in control of your pooch even if they explore while on walks. The handle is rather small and only allows for a three-finger grip, which does feel less secure and fairly uncomfortable, especially on extended walks. The handle is made of durable material, and the lead itself seems like it will hold up to some regular pulling. This leash features one-handed operation which is very convenient, and it allows you a temporary “brake” on the leash retraction with the simple push of a button. The leash comes in a variety of colors to match your style, and as a whole, it is sleek and fashionable.
5. Remington Rope Slip Leash
The Remington Rope Slip Leash doesn’t require the additional purchase of a collar and can be put on and taken off quickly. It’s made of a durable braided nylon that feels sturdy, and it’s accented by leather that makes the leash as a whole very stylish. The slipping mechanism is a bit difficult to slide which means the ease of using a slip leash is lost a bit, and for something fairly difficult to put on and take off, we would opt for a locking leash instead for the added security. This leash is fairly large and isn’t suitable for small dogs, and it only comes in one size. The leash doesn’t feel like it will hold up to chewing, but it’s sturdy enough to handle some pulling even from powerful dogs.
6. OmniPet Chain Dog Leash
The OmniPet Chain Dog Leash swaps out the nylon lead in our previous choices for metal links; this means it is fully resistant to dogs who chew through their leashes, but it also means that it’s significantly heavier than many other leashes. The links are strong and sturdy, and they will easily stand up to pulling, but the thin leather strap makes it very uncomfortable to hold. The collar attachment is durable and strong, but the clearance to clip to your pup’s collar is very small, so you may find that this leash is unusable with your dog’s current collar. The clasp is also rather small, which makes it difficult to connect to your dog’s collar even if its loop is small enough.
7. Mighty Paw Reflective Double Dog Leash
The Mighty Paw Reflective Double Dog Leash is designed to be used with collars as well as an additional leash, so this is not a standalone product. Instead, it serves as an attachment to walk two dogs simultaneously. The materials are sturdy and durable, but the connection between the two leashes is very heavy and tends to drag unless your dogs don’t walk next to each other. The weight makes it unsuitable for small dogs, and the leash itself isn’t rated for more than 100 pounds total, meaning you should only use this with two medium-sized dogs each weighing up to 50 pounds. The attachment swivels to allow easy control of both dogs, and the entire leash includes highly reflective thread that will help keep your dogs safe and visible in the dark. The nylon material is strong and will hold up to pulling, but it can fray if your dog chews on it.
8. Leashboss Padded Handle Short Dog Leash
The Leashboss Padded Handle Short Dog Leash is extremely short, which makes it a good leash for training and high control, but it also means that you’ll find yourself stooping down or being pulled easily if your dog explores scents on the ground during walks. It does offer a great amount of comfort, as the inner handle is nicely padded and cushy. The leash only comes in one color, but there are 2 sizes to choose from depending on the size of your dog as well as your height.
We do wish there were additional options, as the 12- and 18-inch leashes may not fit you and your dog conveniently. The nylon itself is strong and will hold up well to pulling, but the clasp doesn’t feel as sturdy, so we would worry that it would be prone to breaking over time.
9. Prima Pets Dual-Handle Reflective Dog Leash
The Prima Pets Dual-Handle Reflective Dog Leash offers two different handling options, one at the full length of the leash for normal walking, and one about halfway up the leash for crowded areas or additional control. There is a D-ring near the furthest handle for accessories, which is a nice feature. The material is said to be reflective, but we found that it was very minimally reflective, so not much safety or visibility is added. The clasp seems sturdy, and the nylon is strong. However, the nylon doesn’t appear to be reinforced, so any small amount of damage will result in the leash fully unraveling. Therefore, the quality is good, but durability is very low, and it will not hold up to chewing of any kind. The leash only comes in one length, which is fairly short and may not fit you and your dog properly.
10. PetSafe Hands-Free Dog Leash
The PetSafe Hands-Free Dog Leash is designed to be used while running, so it’s a fully hands-free lead that straps to your waist. In theory, this is a great idea, but the human end of this leash fastens with Velcro. While this is far more comfortable than having a buckle dig into your skin, it visibly loosens with any pulling, and we were nervous that it would unlatch during each of our test runs with this leash.
If you do use this for running, we highly recommend you don’t use it to walk with dogs who pull, as the Velcro is very likely to come loose with pulling or lunging. Even with the Velcro, it’s fairly uncomfortable if you wear it around your waist as intended. The leash itself and the collar attachment on the canine end does seem sturdy, but we do wish the leash was longer to allow a bit more distance between the user and the dog for safety while running.
Whether you purchase one of the above leashes or continue searching for a different leash, there are a few different things you’ll want to consider, as well as some features you should look for. These apply to ease of use for both you and your dog, so finding a leash that optimizes these few features will make your life significantly easier during walks and outdoor exercise with your pooch. Read our buyer’s guide on how to narrow in on the perfect leash for you and your pup.
Durable Leash Material
The first thing you’ll want to look for is, of course, a leash material that will allow you to control your dog and keep them secure while exercising. This may seem like an obvious thing for a leash manufacturer to consider, but you’d be surprised by how weak some leashes can be! To optimize durability and keep the overall weight down, a nylon material or other very strong fiber like polyester is an excellent option. Often the fibers are braided or weaved for additional strength, and you can check the tensile strength of a leash you’re considering to ensure it can hold up against some pulling.
Not all leashes are created equal, and while some can resist chewing and damage from other sharp objects like rocks and sticks, others can rip, fray, and deteriorate faster than you can finish your walk in some cases. For a fully chew-proof leash, metal links are the only readily available option. However, some nylon and polyester leashes are made with very dense fibers that can take some chewing without becoming damaged. You’ll want to choose your leash based on the material and how much your pup tends to chew.
Comfort of Use
Durability is extremely important for keeping your pooch safe during exercise, but no matter how durable your leash is, it won’t see much action if it isn’t comfortable for you to use! Most leashes are made with both the dog’s safety and the user’s comfort in mind, but many sacrifice comfort for durability and cost. Make sure the leash you choose has a handle that is made of a material comfortable enough to hold, and also keep an eye on how thick and how large the handle is; some handles won’t allow you to use a proper grip if they’re too small, and others may cut into your skin or cause discomfort if they aren’t made of a user-friendly material.
Leash length is incredibly important and needs to be chosen based on you and your dog. Long leashes can be good for dogs who are well behaved on walks and can be great for tethering, but shorter leashes generally offer more control. A leash that is too long can get tangled easily if your pooch explores during walks, and a leash that’s too short can lead to you having to lean or stoop if you have a small dog, or if your larger dog bends down to investigate a scent or grab a stick off the ground. You may consider a retractable leash for a variable length, but then you’ll also need to make sure that the retractable leash is durable enough for your pooch and that it’s moving parts won’t cause additional issues or frustration for you.
Room for Accessories
While this feature isn’t a necessity, it can certainly make your life easier! Some leashes are designed with additional D-hooks for the user to clip accessories onto. These can include reflective strips, clean-up bags, or a travel bowl or treat holder.
Color and Style
This is another leash feature that isn’t totally necessary, but the option for different colors and accent materials is a nice benefit to a leash. You may find the perfect leash to fit your needs as well as your dog’s needs, but if it’s hideous and only comes in one color, you may find yourself opting for another one. Colors, patterns, stylish leather accents, metal beading…sure, we don’t need them, but options never hurt anyone!
And here you thought choosing a leash would be easy! We know this is a lot of information, but finding a leash that suits you and your dog well shouldn’t be based on chance. We’ve tested countless leashes on all sizes of dogs, so these reviews should help you narrow down your leash search quite a bit.
Our top pick for comfort, durability, and strength is the ZippyPaws Climbers Mountain Rope Dog Leash. This leash is strong and will last you many, many miles on just about any trail, no matter how adventurous you are. If you’re looking to save some money but still want a quality and durable leash, we would recommend the Frisco Solid Nylon Dog Leash; this leash offers serious durability and a very affordable price tag.
- A Quick Comparison of our Favorites
- The 10 Best Dog Leashes – Reviews 2021
- 1. ZippyPaws Climbers Mountain Rope Dog Leash – Best Overall
- 2. Frisco Solid Nylon Dog Leash – Best Value
- 3. TUG Retractable Tape Dog Leash – Premium Choice
- 4. Flexi Classic Retractable Tape Dog Leash
- 5. Remington Rope Slip Leash
- 6. OmniPet Chain Dog Leash
- 7. Mighty Paw Reflective Double Dog Leash
- 8. Leashboss Padded Handle Short Dog Leash
- 9. Prima Pets Dual-Handle Reflective Dog Leash
- 10. PetSafe Hands-Free Dog Leash
- Buyer’s Guide