A leash is a vital tool in the training, safety and exercise of your dog. The vast amount of collars and leashes available can be overwhelming without understanding and guidance. Responsibility, control and safety are all key attributes of any correct leash for your dog no matter what quality it is. The best leash in the world won’t matter if your dog is untrained or the owner unprepared; it is not meant to be a substitute for the relationship formed through positive reinforcement training sessions.
A simple leash and collar suits content, well-trained dogs who are both easy going and obedient. These leashes can be made from a number of materials, each with their own attributes. Nylon is the most common material as it is cheap, strong and colourful. However it can easily hurt the owners hand with leash-burn if your pooch tugs at it fast and hard with a lunge. These types of leashes are ideal for indoor use as they are lightweight and less salient to the dog, allowing an easy transition from on-leash to off-leash behaviour. They are suitable for any weather including rain, snow and wet climates.
Chain leashes have long been an option for leash-chewers but are not recommended as they easily may harm both dog and owner with their heavy and cumbersome nature. Leather leashes are quite popular with both their strength and gentleness on the hands, becoming even more comfortable over time.
Retractable leashes allow your dog the room and freedom to explore their environment but with such freedom, the dog may end up controlling the pace. Again, these leashes are not recommended for untrained dogs.
Ultimately choose a comfortable leash that works for both you and your dog. Keep in mind that the context and environment in which you are utilizing the leash will effect the appropriateness of your selection. For example, walking in crowded places or the vet’s office would suit a better controlling leash such as a short leather one against a retractable leash for park walks and exploration.
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