Best Dog Leashes for 2022

Best Dog Leashes for 2022

Popular Mechanics Courtesy of Max and Neo

Sometimes choosing the right pet leash is more than a simple choice in terms of aesthetics and color. Depending on your dog’s breed, size, and strength (or cat!), leash length, width, and thickness are important considerations—and those that can make all the difference when it comes to your safety and that of your pet, as well as the safety of those around you. The right leash can literally make or break a fun walk with your canine companion, especially if your animal interacts with other walkers or dogs.

Need help finding the best dog leash for you? Check out our picks for the best dog leashes below, plus expert tips on what to look for before you shop.

Best dog leashes

What to consider


It’s best to have a leash made of solid fiber, which will help reduce the risk of the leash breaking or breaking, even if the dog is turning away from you. Melini Rodriguez, Certified Partner in KPA Training says Let’s talk dog. “For stiffness, ropes, PVC and leather leashes are your best bet.”

While leather leashes may look sophisticated, natural oils, moisture, and regular use cause the leather to crack and odor over time. If you can’t commit to re-waxing and skin insulation, look for a synthetic leash instead. They will hold up better in wet conditions, and are less likely to explode when wet, even if your dog is charging at full speed forward.


Aim for a length of leash that will provide enough freedom for your dog to sniff but still be restrained enough to keep it away from motorists, pedestrians, and other dogs. Rodriguez says six feet is the standard length for a leash, but recommends long lines—more than eight feet—”for distance training, stress-relief walking, and long walks.” The extra slack allows your dog to roam, while the leash acts as a precaution in case he strays too far.

While the extra slack is great for giving your dog more room to explore, avoid retractable leashes – you can easily burn the rope if your dog decides to take off if the leash isn’t locked properly. “Retractable leashes can be used for distance training and provide freedom, but can be dangerous with large or strong dogs. The leash can break easily or the handle can quickly retract or slip out of your hands, increasing the risk of injury,” Rodriguez says.


A smaller leash width – usually an inch or less – is best for small dogs and puppies. Reach for 1-inch-wide leashes for larger breeds and stronger dogs. If your dog is constantly pulling on you, you will need a leash that can handle the constant pull, so the thickness is an added booster to prevent breakage. Keep in mind that weaker or poor quality handlebars will wear out over time, increasing the risk of the handlebar tearing.

How we evaluated

To find the best dog leashes on the market, we reached out to the aforementioned KPA-certified professional training partner, Melenie Rodriguez and consulted online leash recommendations. We’ve also looked at a lot of leashes recommended by competing publications, such as The Strategist and The Spruce Pets. We’ve researched hundreds of best-selling leashes sold at retailers like Amazon, Chewy, and Walmart, and compared users and critical reviews to get you the leashes below, all of which have average user ratings of at least four stars.

Need more goodies to pamper your pup? Check out our picks for the best dog dishes, pet cams, and winter dog coats.

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