One of the many pleasures in having a dog in your household undoubtedly comes any time you put on your jacket and shout “walkies!”. Your dog’s reaction is generally comparable to nothing other than a child on Christmas morning who has been awake since 1am waiting for a “reasonable” time to come and wake you up to see if Santa has been. It doesn’t matter how many times you ask them not to come until 8, when your child wakes up at 1 they’ve done a cracking job if they can wait until 1.20am. Anyway, I digress……..
The sheer euphoria in your dog’s body language means this is absolutely worth it. Yes, you may be heading out into the mother of all storms to trudge through a muddy wood somewhere near your home, but it’s what your pooch wants to do. So, on goes your jacket, and you pick up the lead and head out into the oft-times great unknown. So choosing the right lead to keep your canine companion by your side is essential.
Depending on where your dog is at with their obedience and general walking habits, maybe you need something to help train them to walk to heel. Or perhaps your priority is something with plenty of extension so they can play a fairly unrestrained game of fetch with you in the park, while you are able to retain control should something go awry. Maybe you just want something attractive, ready to turn heads should you bump into some other poor, unfortunate souls dragged from the comfort of their own homes in order to allow their dogs to muddy up the couch when they get home.
Whatever you are after, we’ve gathered together the top 10 dog leads for you and your pooch for 2021.
The KONG Ultimate Retractable Dog Leash ticks several boxes for things you may be looking for in a lead. It is retractable, so suitable for pavement walking and letting him run somewhat free in the park. It comes in different colours including an attractive bright red, meaning you shouldn’t have too many problems following the lead with your eye to make sure he hasn’t managed to break free (also makes it easier to track him during those dark-hour walks) and it has a soft grip handle to you’re your hands comfortable during those longer outings. It also supports dogs up to 70kg, so there’s a good range of pooches who can benefit from using this one.
The EzyDog Zero Shock lead is perfect for when you are walking in close quarters, though it is also compatible with the company’s harnesses for training and also for closer control. The soft Neoprene handle makes it comfortable in the hand, while the soft touch webbing on the lead helps to absorb the shock from any sudden jolts or pulls from either the owner or their dog himself. The larger model also comes with a second handle for traffic control as well, making it an ideal and versatile lead to equip for walk time, and it comes available in a selection of attractive colours to suit yours – and your dog’s – personality. Especially suited for dogs that like to pull.
If your dog is completely au-fait with walking and style has become more your go-to priority when shopping for leads, take a look at Wainwright’s offering. It is made from tweed and leather, and would look great on a larger breed perhaps. It is easy enough to clean, though it is sponge-clean only, and of course given the materials regular inspection should be made in case any defects have developed. It looks simply great.
Halti is a go-to make for training your dog in the art of walkies, and so having one of these in your arsenal when you welcome a new pup into your home is pretty much essential. The lead comes with two trigger clips, which allows for two connections to other accessories like a harness or a headcollar to aid with control (and steering). The lead comes in varities suited to small and medium dogs, and another which helps with larger breeds too. It is also a versatile offering which allows you to potentially walk two dogs from one lead and helps with all forms of walking training.
The Flexi Giant is an incredibly well-reviewed product, and offers some incredible range on its retractable leads – with 8m options in the M, L and XL Tape range, with an incredible 10m offering in the L Tape as well, allowing your dog to roam as free as a bird in the park trying to fetch that stick you keep throwing away for some unknown reason. The tapes are also brightly coloured, helping others see your dog giving them a wide berth and hopefully helping them avoid getting wiped out by the makeshift trip wire. Incidentally, Flexi’s Neon range offers even more protection on this front.
Ruffwear is a UK-based company which makes a whole range of dog leads, harnesses and accessories, and if you are a keep-fit fan who wants to take your dog out on runs, then this is the lead for you. The webbing allows the lead to stretch as your dog roams – maybe getting a lead (pardon the pun) on you so he can have a sit and wait for you – and the padded handle can also be waist worn (up to 48 inches) or could be secured around a tree or post to keep your dog in the vicinity while you take a well earned sit down.
If you are after a more budget-friendly lead, then the Bingo Trade Dog Lead is an absolute must. The strong lead is 5ft long and has reflective threads, helping you with walking in lower-light conditions, has a soft padded handle so you won’t be feeling the effects of the walk long after returning home and comes in two colour options – black or pink. It is made of the same nylon braided rope you will find in mountain climbing equipment, with the clip rotating on a 360 degree axis to present the rope tangling up.
MOKCCI make the Truelove Reflective Dog Lead, which is compatible with their range of harnesses as well. The lead, which measures at 78 inches, is strong and durable for those rougher walks, while also holding reflective properties to aid walking early in the morning or evening / nighttime outings. The clip is easy to apply and remove from your dog’s collar or harness, and while this option is more of a no-frills alternative it should help keep your and your beloved pooch safe whilst away from home. Comes available in five different colour options – Grass Green, Fuschia, Gray, Purple and Teal Blue.
This lead is offered up as an incredibly versatile option for multi-dog households. With a high density EVA sponge handle, it should be comfortable to hold while you take your pets out for their beloved walks. With pre-purchase combination options for taking two, three or four dogs at a time with just the one handle, this lead is great for training more than one dog at a time, or just keeping all of them safe while you accompany them out for their mad-time at the park, and with three colours to choose from (Red, Blue and Black) there is surely an option for anyone who has more than one dog in their household.
The Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash is almost universally praised, making it the number 1 dog leash for 2021. The 8ft long lead – which is coloured nice and brightly for safety – also possesses a second traffic handle for close control when crossed roads or walking through a tight fit. The company have also upgraded the strength of their clip and made the thumb release knob thicker so it should last much longer, and this lead is perfect for medium to large dogs (though some smaller dogs may be able to work with it as well). This can also be paired with an appropriate harness if required for even greater control and safety as well.