An overview of the kinds of restraints available for dogs. From leads and leashes to yard trolley systems and tie-outs, learn all about dog restraints.
Even if you have the world's most docile dog, you probably
still need a lead or leash for some situations. Many places require that dogs
be restrained in some way; "leash laws" prohibit dogs from running
free in public places. If your dog is unruly or aggressive, you may need
additional restraints such as a harness or muzzle; these restraints are for the
protection of your dog and those around him.
Looking for leashes
When you look for a leash for your dog, it is important to
think not only about your dog's characteristics, but also the situations in
which you anticipate using the leash. First, you need to know your dog's size
and weight. Leashes and leads are rated for a dog's weight to ensure they can
hold him while being lightweight enough to avoid straining or injuring him. Do
you plan to use the leash only when you go for walks or do you need a lead to
restrain your dog in your yard or another location? What length of lead or
leash do you think you need? Do you prefer the retracting variety or a static
length? You may find that you need multiple leads for different situations. The
following sections will help you find the best leashes for you or your dog.
These leashes were made for walking
Most people just want a leash that will be good for taking
their dog on walks. Leashes are frequently made of leather, metal, nylon and
other synthetics. Any of these leashes can be effective and attractive; as long
as the leash seems strong and has quality materials and fittings, any of the
commonly used materials will probably work for you. Of course, you need to pay
attention to your dog's individual needs. For example, if your dog chews
everything leather, you may want to select another material since chewing can accelerate
fraying. If chewing is not a problem, leather may be desirable since it is
sturdy, yet becomes softer and more flexible over time. Whatever material you
choose, make sure to choose a leash that is appropriate for your dog's weight;
a good product will indicate the recommended weight on the label. In addition,
check your leash for wear and tear regularly and replace any worn out leashes
When you are first training your dog, a basic six-foot leash
will probably serve your needs well. In addition, some leashes offer extra
shorter loops for tighter control, such as in traffic. As your dog becomes more
disciplined, you may want to get a longer leash to give him a little freedom.
Retractable leashes are very handy for this since they allow you to shorten or
lengthen the leash as needed, and they also help keep the length from tangling.
Keep in mind that you have less control over the dog with a retractable leash.
Do you walk your dog in the dark often? If so, you might
want to consider a leash made of reflective material or with reflective
portions. Does your dog like to jog with you? Consider a hands-free leash that
clips to your belt. Hands-free leashes are best for well-trained dogs since
they offer less immediate control.