Sheltie Planet

What is The Best Dog Leash?


By Rebecca Turner

Decide which is the best leash for your dog: the standard leash, the retractable leash, or the halter leash. Includes tips on dog training and obedience.

There are three types of dog leash covered here and the best one for your Shetland Sheepdog is variable - it all depends on your dog's needs, for example:

  • Are you leash training a puppy or adult dog?
  • Do you trust your dog and want to give him more freedom?
  • Do you have a dog who pulls constantly and needs correction?

The material of a dog leash is important too. For dogs who love to chew everything, a metal chain link leash will last longer although they do rust if you get them wet. Meanwhile, nylon leashes are strong but can chafe or cut into your skin. Many dog professionals choose leather leashes because they are soft, strong and flexible.

The Standard Dog Leash

Standard Dog Leash for SheltiesA standard dog leash is ideal for everyday use and basic dog leash training.

They come in 4 foot, 6 foot and 8 foot lengths, where the shortest variation is probably best for a Shetland Sheepdog. Make sure the attachment is made from metal and not plastic, as this will have to suffer wear and tear. The standard leash clips on to your dog's collar and away you go! We use standard leashes for Howard and Piper and they work great. You can use them to leash-train a puppy or dog with consistent practice, remembering never to let the dog be the boss by pulling, dragging or walking in front of you.

The Retractable Dog Leash

Retractable Dog Leash for SheltiesA retractable dog leash is ideal for giving well-behaved dogs a longer range, or when training your dog to come (the recall command).

Retractable leashes offer the dog a lot more freedom than any other kind of leash; this can be a good or a bad thing. They essentially allow your dog to roam as he pleases up to a range of 26 feet - although you can reel him in or lock the leash at a certain length with a button.

Although retractable leashes are very popular, beware that they merely give the illusion of control. If your dog is naughty and roams wherever he pleases without listening to you, it could be a very exhausting process pulling him back and reigning him in. Bear in mind it takes more than a few precious seconds to reign the dog in if he goes charging into the road. So it's definitely not for naughty dogs...

However retractable leashes are handy for well-behaved dogs in a safe environment when you want to give them extra freedom to sniff about but can't let them off leash altogether. They are also very useful for training the recall command: allow your dog the full length of the leash then call him (and offer a treat) while reigning him in.

 

The Sporn Halter Leash

Sporn Halter Leash for SheltiesA halter leash is ideal for dogs who pull on the leash and need correction.

A dog who isn't leash trained has a tendency to pull hard on the leash, which creates tension on his neck via the collar. This is uncomfortable for the dog and blocks airflow through his windpipe. That's why strong dogs often "hack" when they pull too hard on the leash.

A halter leash redirects this tension to the area behind your dog's front legs. This is a sensitive area and so the dog is far less inclined to apply pressure through pulling. Instead he'll be far more comfortable walking at your pace. I haven't used a halter leash although they are recommended for dogs of all sizes including Shelties.

About The Author

Rebecca Turner is the creator of Sheltie Planet where she writes about her love of Shetland Sheepdogs, inspired by her two Shelties, Howard and Piper. Learn more about Rebecca. Chat with our online Sheltie community on Facebook, Twitter and our Sheltie Forum.