Best Dog Leash
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Finding the Best Dog Leash
With so many leashes to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the one best suited for your lifestyle. We've done all the research for you by consulting hundreds of reviews from dog owners and experts.
Check out the FAQS

Best Standard Flat Leashes

Standard flat leashes are great for all dogs, so a high-quality option can make all the difference to your comfort and your dog's safety.

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Our Top Pick
What Dogs Love:

It's strong enough to keep dogs safe yet lightweight enough that it won't weigh them down.

What Humans Love:

Made from a tough double-layered nylon, this leash will last for years.

What You'll Love:
  • Strong
  • Padded handle
  • Reflective option
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More Info
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What Dogs Love:

It's strong enough to keep dogs safe yet lightweight enough that it won't weigh them down.

What Humans Love:

Made from a tough double-layered nylon, this leash will last for years.

    What You'll Love:
  • Strong
  • Padded handle
  • Reflective option
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Our Budget Pick
What Dogs Love:

Due to the varying lengths available, dogs can get just the right length for their size, balancing room to roam with safety.

What Humans Love:

It's available in both 4-foot and 6-foot lengths with various width options.

What You'll Love:
  • Affordable
  • Various size options
  • Colorful
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More Info
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What Dogs Love:

Due to the varying lengths available, dogs can get just the right length for their size, balancing room to roam with safety.

What Humans Love:

It's available in both 4-foot and 6-foot lengths with various width options.

    What You'll Love:
  • Affordable
  • Various size options
  • Colorful
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Our Most-Durable Pick
What Dogs Love:

Dogs can feel safe on this leash because it's strong enough that it won't give out.

What Humans Love:

Thanks to the dual handle design, it's easy to get close control of your dog when you need it.

What You'll Love:
  • Double-handled
  • Highly durable
  • Reflective stitching
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More Info
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What Dogs Love:

Dogs can feel safe on this leash because it's strong enough that it won't give out.

What Humans Love:

Thanks to the dual handle design, it's easy to get close control of your dog when you need it.

    What You'll Love:
  • Double-handled
  • Highly durable
  • Reflective stitching
The Bottom Line on Standard Flat Leashes

Standard flat leashes are the most commonly used type of leash. They’re great for general dog walks to and from the dog park or along trails, keeping your dog safe and relatively close to you, since most flat leashes measure between 4 and 6 feet long. All our top picks are strong and reliable, so you won’t have to worry about your dog getting loose. You may like to choose a leash with a padded handle to make it more comfortable to hold, especially on long walks. You can see more detailed reviews of our top picks, along with some of our other favorites in our full guide to standard flat dog leashes.

The Bottom Line on Standard Flat Leashes

Standard flat leashes are the most commonly used type of leash. They’re great for general dog walks to and from the dog park or along trails, keeping your dog safe and relatively close to you, since most flat leashes measure between 4 and 6 feet long. All our top picks are strong and reliable, so you won’t have to worry about your dog getting loose. You may like to choose a leash with a padded handle to make it more comfortable to hold, especially on long walks. You can see more detailed reviews of our top picks, along with some of our other favorites in our full guide to standard flat dog leashes.

Best Retractable Dog Leashes

While you must use them responsibly, retractable dog leashes can be great tools to use in uncrowded environments to allow your dog to wander farther when it isn't possible to go off leash.

Our Top Pick
What Dogs Love:

Extending up to 16 feet, it gives dogs plenty of extra room to roam when safe to do so.

What Humans Love:

The bright yellow leash and reflective handle give better low-light visibility.

What You'll Love:
  • One-handed brake
  • Three sizes
  • Strong
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

Extending up to 16 feet, it gives dogs plenty of extra room to roam when safe to do so.

What Humans Love:

The bright yellow leash and reflective handle give better low-light visibility.

    What You'll Love:
  • One-handed brake
  • Three sizes
  • Strong
Our Budget Pick
What Dogs Love:

This leash comes with a free travel bowl so dogs won't want for water on long walks.

What Humans Love:

Thanks to the no-tangle retraction, the leash won't get tangled up or trapped when you're trying to retract it.

What You'll Love:
  • Affordably priced
  • Strong
  • Comfort-grip handle
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

This leash comes with a free travel bowl so dogs won't want for water on long walks.

What Humans Love:

Thanks to the no-tangle retraction, the leash won't get tangled up or trapped when you're trying to retract it.

    What You'll Love:
  • Affordably priced
  • Strong
  • Comfort-grip handle
Our Most-Durable Pick
What Dogs Love:

Dogs can roam up to 16 feet, giving them room to sniff and play when they can't be off-leash.

What Humans Love:

It's available in three sizes and even the smaller models have wide tape leashes, instead of a thin cord.

What You'll Love:
  • Easy-lock system
  • Tangle-free
  • Durable
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

Dogs can roam up to 16 feet, giving them room to sniff and play when they can't be off-leash.

What Humans Love:

It's available in three sizes and even the smaller models have wide tape leashes, instead of a thin cord.

    What You'll Love:
  • Easy-lock system
  • Tangle-free
  • Durable
The Bottom Line on Retractable Dog Leashes

Retractable dog leashes aren’t perfect and you must know how to use them properly. However, when used safely, they’re great for allowing dogs some extra leash length while still being able to keep close control when walking near roads or other hazards. We’ve chosen retractable dog leashes that are safe and reliable with easy locking and braking systems, so you can always quickly regain control of your canine companion. Consider the length of any retractable dog leashes you’re interested in to make sure it gives your dog ample space for roaming without being overwhelmingly long. Read out full guide to retractable dog leashes to learn more about our three favorites along with a range of other great choices.

The Bottom Line on Retractable Dog Leashes

Retractable dog leashes aren’t perfect and you must know how to use them properly. However, when used safely, they’re great for allowing dogs some extra leash length while still being able to keep close control when walking near roads or other hazards. We’ve chosen retractable dog leashes that are safe and reliable with easy locking and braking systems, so you can always quickly regain control of your canine companion. Consider the length of any retractable dog leashes you’re interested in to make sure it gives your dog ample space for roaming without being overwhelmingly long. Read out full guide to retractable dog leashes to learn more about our three favorites along with a range of other great choices.

Best Double Dog Leashes

Double dog leashes split off into two leashes part way down the length of the leash, allowing you to walk two dogs simultaneously.

Our Top Pick
What Dogs Love:

There are three sizes for dogs of different weights so almost all dogs are catered for.

What Humans Love:

The bungee design helps absorb shock from dogs pulling on the leash.

What You'll Love:
  • No-tangle design
  • Reflective stitching
  • Free leash hanger
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

There are three sizes for dogs of different weights so almost all dogs are catered for.

What Humans Love:

The bungee design helps absorb shock from dogs pulling on the leash.

    What You'll Love:
  • No-tangle design
  • Reflective stitching
  • Free leash hanger
Our Budget Pick
What Dogs Love:

This leash is designed to help stop two dogs from getting tangled up together.

What Humans Love:

Thanks to the neoprene-padded handle, this leash is extremely comfortable to hold.

What You'll Love:
  • Low price
  • Bungee leashes
  • Reflective stitching
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

This leash is designed to help stop two dogs from getting tangled up together.

What Humans Love:

Thanks to the neoprene-padded handle, this leash is extremely comfortable to hold.

    What You'll Love:
  • Low price
  • Bungee leashes
  • Reflective stitching
Our Most-Durable Pick
What Dogs Love:

It's strong yet lightweight and dogs won't get tangled up together.

What Humans Love:

You can choose from two leash designs: one holds dogs up to 120 lbs and the other holds dogs up to 150 lbs.

What You'll Love:
  • Reasonably priced
  • Rugged
  • Free poop bags and holder
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

It's strong yet lightweight and dogs won't get tangled up together.

What Humans Love:

You can choose from two leash designs: one holds dogs up to 120 lbs and the other holds dogs up to 150 lbs.

    What You'll Love:
  • Reasonably priced
  • Rugged
  • Free poop bags and holder
The Bottom Line on Double Dog Leashes

If you walk two dogs at once, you may find it easier to use a double dog leash, rather than two separate leashes. Our top choices have tangle-free designs so your dogs won’t get tied up together, no matter how often they switch sides. You may also like to choose a double leash with a shock-absorbing bungee design if your dogs often pull on the leash. It’s important to remember that, if your dogs have a large weight disparity, always choose a double leash that’s suited to the weight of the larger dog. You can find out more about our top choices and see some other favorites in our complete guide to double dog leashes.

The Bottom Line on Double Dog Leashes

If you walk two dogs at once, you may find it easier to use a double dog leash, rather than two separate leashes. Our top choices have tangle-free designs so your dogs won’t get tied up together, no matter how often they switch sides. You may also like to choose a double leash with a shock-absorbing bungee design if your dogs often pull on the leash. It’s important to remember that, if your dogs have a large weight disparity, always choose a double leash that’s suited to the weight of the larger dog. You can find out more about our top choices and see some other favorites in our complete guide to double dog leashes.

Best Chain Dog Leashes

Chain leashes are highly durable, too, so they often last longer than standard leashes.

Our Top Pick
What Dogs Love:

This leash is extremely strong and reliable so dogs feel secure when walked on it.

What Humans Love:

You can select between 3 mm and 4 mm chain, depending on the size and strength of your dog.

What You'll Love:
  • 4-foot and 6-foot length options
  • Padded handle
  • Heavy duty chain
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

This leash is extremely strong and reliable so dogs feel secure when walked on it.

What Humans Love:

You can select between 3 mm and 4 mm chain, depending on the size and strength of your dog.

    What You'll Love:
  • 4-foot and 6-foot length options
  • Padded handle
  • Heavy duty chain
Our Budget Pick
What Dogs Love:

Smaller dogs will love the thinner chain options, since large chain leashes can weigh down little dogs.

What Humans Love:

There's a choice between red or black handles, plus either 4-foot or 6-foot leash lengths.

What You'll Love:
  • Three chain sizes
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable handle
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

Smaller dogs will love the thinner chain options, since large chain leashes can weigh down little dogs.

What Humans Love:

There's a choice between red or black handles, plus either 4-foot or 6-foot leash lengths.

    What You'll Love:
  • Three chain sizes
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable handle
Our Most-Durable Pick
What Dogs Love:

It looks so good that dogs will love all the extra attention they get from passers-by.

What Humans Love:

Not only does this chain leash look great, it's also strong and well made.

What You'll Love:
  • Rugged chain
  • Riveted leather handle
  • 18 karat gold plating
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

It looks so good that dogs will love all the extra attention they get from passers-by.

What Humans Love:

Not only does this chain leash look great, it's also strong and well made.

    What You'll Love:
  • Rugged chain
  • Riveted leather handle
  • 18 karat gold plating
The Bottom Line on Chain Dog Leashes

Most dogs don’t need chain leashes, but they’re ideal for dogs who bite at or chew on their leashes while walking (or are prone to finding and chewing their leashes at home). Unlike leather or nylon leashes, chain leashes are chew-proof. Our top chain leashes are all rugged and well made, though it’s important to check whether a leash has a maximum weight limit. As a rule, the thicker each link of the chain is, the more durable the leash. Don’t hesitate to head over to our full article on chain dog leashes if you need further information or more recommendations.

The Bottom Line on Chain Dog Leashes

Most dogs don’t need chain leashes, but they’re ideal for dogs who bite at or chew on their leashes while walking (or are prone to finding and chewing their leashes at home). Unlike leather or nylon leashes, chain leashes are chew-proof. Our top chain leashes are all rugged and well made, though it’s important to check whether a leash has a maximum weight limit. As a rule, the thicker each link of the chain is, the more durable the leash. Don’t hesitate to head over to our full article on chain dog leashes if you need further information or more recommendations.

Best Hands-Free Dog Leashes

Hands-free dog leashes are great for hiking, running, or when walking your dog while trying to push a stroller.

Our Top Pick
What Dogs Love:

The easy-glide clip means dogs can more easily move from side to side.

What Humans Love:

The bungee section helps prevent being jolted by dogs when they pull.

What You'll Love:
  • Wide range of colors
  • Dual handles
  • Easy to adjust
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

The easy-glide clip means dogs can more easily move from side to side.

What Humans Love:

The bungee section helps prevent being jolted by dogs when they pull.

    What You'll Love:
  • Wide range of colors
  • Dual handles
  • Easy to adjust
Our Budget Pick
What Dogs Love:

Thanks to the double bungee design, the leash extends even further, giving dogs some extra length for exploring.

What Humans Love:

The dual handles allow closer control over your dog when you need it.

What You'll Love:
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Affordably priced
  • Useful extra D-rings
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

Thanks to the double bungee design, the leash extends even further, giving dogs some extra length for exploring.

What Humans Love:

The dual handles allow closer control over your dog when you need it.

    What You'll Love:
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Affordably priced
  • Useful extra D-rings
Our Most-Durable Pick
What Dogs Love:

The bungee section allows an extra 16 inches of extension to the leash.

What Humans Love:

Thanks to the extra D-rings on the leash and waistband, it's easy to carry poop bag holders, water bottles, and more.

What You'll Love:
  • Easy to adjust waistband
  • 3-foot or 4-foot leash options
  • Well made
More Info
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What Dogs Love:

The bungee section allows an extra 16 inches of extension to the leash.

What Humans Love:

Thanks to the extra D-rings on the leash and waistband, it's easy to carry poop bag holders, water bottles, and more.

    What You'll Love:
  • Easy to adjust waistband
  • 3-foot or 4-foot leash options
  • Well made
The Bottom Line on Hands-Free Dog Leashes

If you don’t have full use of your hands or find it difficult to grip a leash for long periods of time, a hands-free dog leash can allow you to walk your dogs when it otherwise wouldn’t be an option. However, you may also want to use a hands-free leash when running with your dog, on tough hikes, when walking your dog while pushing a buggy, or any other time when you might need free use of your hands. All our top hands-free dog leashes are easy to use, comfortable to wear, and can be adjusted to fit a range of waist sizes. You can see some of our additional favorite options and get more details on our top three by visiting our complete guide to hands-free dog leashes.

The Bottom Line on Hands-Free Dog Leashes

If you don’t have full use of your hands or find it difficult to grip a leash for long periods of time, a hands-free dog leash can allow you to walk your dogs when it otherwise wouldn’t be an option. However, you may also want to use a hands-free leash when running with your dog, on tough hikes, when walking your dog while pushing a buggy, or any other time when you might need free use of your hands. All our top hands-free dog leashes are easy to use, comfortable to wear, and can be adjusted to fit a range of waist sizes. You can see some of our additional favorite options and get more details on our top three by visiting our complete guide to hands-free dog leashes.

Finding the Best Dog Leash

It's important to consider both your own needs and the needs of your dog when searching for a dog leash. For instance, you might need a hands-free leash for running but it still needs to be suited to your dog's weight. Luckily for you, we at the AKC have done all the research so it's easier for you to find the best leashes among the hundreds, if not thousands, on the market. Whatever the size, weight, and behavior of your dog, we have the perfect leash options for you.

Expert Tips

A comfortable handle can make a big difference to your enjoyment of a walk, especially a long one. Look for leashes with padded or ergonomic handles. It's a good idea to regularly examine your dog leash for tears, fraying, or other signs of wear that may indicate the leash is no longer safe and needs replacing.

Things to Know

You'll be using your dog leash to walk your dog every day, so it's important to choose one that's right for both of you. In some cases, you may need more than one leash. For instance, you might use a standard flat leash for a trip to the dog park (since your dog can go off-leash once you get there) but prefer a retractable dog leash for walking trails where your dog must be kept on leash. Whatever you choose, it's worth spending a few extra bucks on a quality leash that will last years to come.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What's the safest dog leash?
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Used correctly, almost any type of leash is safe. However, if you're worried about safety, a standard flat leash is probably your best bet, since there's nothing much that can go wrong with it to put your dog in danger.

Are dog leashes machine washable?
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Many nylon dog leashes are machine washable, but leather leashes and chain leashes are not. Even so, you should check the manufacturer's directions first to make sure.

What leash length is best?
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Unless you're buying a long line leash or a retractable dog leash, it's best to opt for a leash somewhere between 4 foot and 6 foot long. In most cases, 6 foot is a good length, as it allows dogs some freedom to explore without getting tangled or dragging on the ground. However, you may want a shorter 4 foot or 5 foot option for especially tall dogs (since it doesn't take as much leash length to get down to your dog's level) or when walking in busy areas where you'll need close control over your dog.

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