The most used tool in your puppy training arsenal: the leash!
Let’s talk about the best training lead to get for your particular pup.
Is there a difference between dog training leads and normal leads?
I tend to always use what many will call a ‘training lead’ all of the time, whether I’m walking my dog or training them.
Dog training leads typically:
- Are longer than regular dog leads – they can be from 1.5m and up
- Have rings and clips to adjust them at different lengths
- They allow for two points of contact on the dog – having one clip on the front and one of the back of the harness allows for good balance on the dog. There’s a good reason as to why this is important; behaviourist Sarah Fisher talks about it in her article.
- Can be attached to your waist for hands free walking – look mum, no hands!
- Are able to be attached round a chair leg for teaching puppy settle training
What you can also see out there are ‘recall training leads’, but they’re just a fancy way to say long lines. These vary in length from 3m to 50m, and give you a glorious peace of mind when teaching your puppy to come back when you call them. There’s nothing worse when they don’t come back. And they run in the opposite direction.
What to look for when choosing a dog training lead
The best dog training lead for teaching loose lead walking will be:
- Comfortable to hold – if it feels rough, you are NOT going to want to use it on your dog. Unless you want second degree friction burns on your hands.
- A good length that can be adjusted by clips and rings.
- Has a narrow width and isn’t too heavy on your puppy.
- Good quality and secure – you won’t want to get a heart attack from a snapped lead or a faulty clip!
- Easy to clean. Or you’ll end up with muddy stripes everywhere.
Best dog training leads
1. Halti Training Lead For Dogs, Double Ended Dog Training Lead
🏆 – Best puppy leash 2021
- Available in two widths – we recommend the narrow for puppies and small dogs.
- Two triggers clips for two points of contact.
- Soft and comfortable in your hand.
- Available in black and red. I’d personally go for red, just saying.
- Inexpensive – love it when things don’t empty my wallet.
2. Julius K9 Supergrip Double Leash
- Colourful training leads – available in pink, blue, red, black.
- Non-slip material provides a great grip.
- Comfortable to hold.
- Two trigger points for two points of contact.
- Easy to clean.
- Available in various widths – we recommend the 14mm for small dogs and puppies.
3. Meg Heath Multi Length Lead Small Dogs & Puppies
🐶 – Best lead for small breeds
- 19mm wide – perfect for puppies
- Available in blue and pink – they say ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ colours which is a bit cringe in my opinion, but the leads are still nice, if you can look past that!
- Small clips – nice and lightweight.
4. Tuff Stuff Double Hook Lead
♻️ – Most durable leash
- Trigger clips at each end for two points of contact.
- Made from cushion web or soft tactile webbing.
- Available in many different colours and personalised embroidery available
5. Wolters Double Ended Training Leads
😬 – Best for Chewers
- 3 different adjustable lengths.
- 3 widths available – we recommend narrow for puppies.
- Soft and comfortable in your hand.
- Available in 13 colours – loving the colours. Really cheers up a cloudy day to be honest.
- Matching collars and harnesses available.
6. Flexi Neon Tape Lead
🦮 – Best Retractable LeadSo, here’s the deal. In my experience, retractable leads can teach a puppy to pull as they get used to the feeling of tension on their harness – which in the long run, is something we don’t want to happen. On the other hand, retractable leads are very useful in some circumstances like these ones:
- Going to the park and letting your puppy sniff around freely while still being safely on the lead. Let’s let them sniff the chips dropped on the floor but not actually get to them, shall we?
- Having a dog on lead in areas where it says they must be kept on one – got to respect the rules.
- When they’re in post recovery from surgery so they have the freedom to look around but are still under control.
- Retractable lead extends to 5 metres.
- Reflective neon can be seen at night.
- Should be used with a harness for safety – never a collar!
- Tape is safer to use than cord – the cord will give you a mighty burn if run against your leg. The tape is stronger too, so less chance of lead snapping.
- The ergonomic handle (fancy name isn’t it?) is much comfier to hold than other retractable leashes.
- Quick stop braking system – got to stop them from getting into people’s private picnics. You’re probably not invited to those, sorry.
- Multi box to store poo bags and treats can be attached to lead as an optional accessory – super handy.
7. Hand-Made Claytons Leather Police (Training) Dog Lead Bleed Knot and Stitched
- Clips at both ends to provide two points of contact
- Adjustable length to suit your needs
- Available in black or brown leather
- Brass or Nickel fittings
- Comes in 3 widths – we recommend the ⅜ for a puppy or small dog so it’s not too heavy
- Can be worn hands free, around your waist or across your body
- Leather is naturally oiled so very comfortable in your hand
- Made locally in the UK
- Great price for a handmade leather dog training lead
- Matching collar available
8. Houndability Houndagrip Super Grip Dog Training Lead
- Double ended lead allows for two points of connection
- Adjustable length to suit your needs
- Available in 8 colours
- 20mm wide is great for puppies
- Rubber based material provides a great non slip grip, even when wet
- Soft and comfortable to hold
- Custom made to order in the UK
9. Dogs and Horses Rolled Leather Multi-Purpose Adjustable Lead
- 10mm round leather dog training lead
- Lead is made from ultra-strong yacht cord with soft leather bonded over the top
- Available in a variety of different coloured leathers
- Brass or Silver Fittings
- Can be adjusted to different lengths to suit your activities
- Can be worn hands free
- Matching collars, harnesses and accessories available
10. Kurgo 6-in-1 Quantum Dog Leash, Hands Free Dog Lead, Adjustable Waist Belt
- 6-in-1 dog training leash allows for a variety of different adjustment
- Can be worn hands free and converted into a running belt
- Padded handle for comfort
- Reflective material
- Lifetime Warranty
Dog training leads FAQs
We recommend you use a 2-metre training lead, attached to a harness. They’ll give your puppy enough freedom to learn, while still under control – you’ll be able to keep them away from traffic without a problem.
Shock collars are a big no-no. They’re never ethical, nor offer a humane way to teach loose lead walking, so we’re always going to recommend normal collars. You know, those that don’t choke dogs and rather let them breathe.
Check the ZigZag app for the ultimate guide on how to train your dog with positive reinforcement.
Good question. You’ll be happy to hear that you can start lead-training your puppy as soon as you bring them home! By teaching them that close following brings them rewards, they’ll pick up on it in no time. Ok, fine it might take them a couple of weeks. But the earlier you start, the better!
You’ll have to start small. Think baby steps. At first, you’ll start helping them create associations with being next to you when walking. Then, you can add the harness and lead once they get the hang of things. Eventually, treats will go a long way when you can take them out to more distracting environments! They’ll literally become a part of your body. You’ll have them attached to you at all times.
PRO TIP: Keep in mind that teaching them about treats is important before you even go so far as putting a lead or harness on them or taking them out for walks…treats are going to be your foundation for any kind of good training by the way.
Looking for more puppy training advice and tips? Don’t forget to check out the Zigzag app!
Find out when you can start taking your pup out for walks in our guide, next.