Dog leads and specifically dog training leads are a valuable tool for improving dog behaviour and keeping dogs safe during walks, visits and other activities. Choosing the best lead for you and your dog is important as it will be the means of communication between you as the handler (professional or not) and your dog.
What is the best lead for educating a dog? There are many different types of lead that come in a variety of different materials which will the needs of pets and their owners. There are certain aspects which need to be taken into consideration when purchasing a new dog training lead, such as the dog's training phase, the breed, size, personality and character. In this guide, you will learn about the different types of leads, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Dog Training: Our Picks
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about dog training leads
- 4.1 What are the requirements for a good dog training lead?
- 4.2 What are dog training leads?
- 4.3 What dog training lead models are there?
- 4.4 Which training lead model is the most recommended?
- 4.5 What types of dog training leads should be avoided?
- 4.6 Can electric collars replace training leads?
- 4.7 Can the same lead be used for dog training and walking?
- 4.8 How should the owner behave during dog training?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- Dog training leads are made of different materials: nylon, leather, fabric or metal. The material used will determine the strength, durability and ease of cleaning of the lead.
- The shape of the lead can be flat or rounded and the length is variable, they can be less than 50 centimetres long and up to 20 metres in length.
- The best model of lead for training is the multi-position type, the length can be adjusted according to the stage of instruction, the physical space and the need for control over the dog.
The Best Dog Training: Our Picks
A dogs lead is as important as the collar when it comes to safety, comfort and durability for both you and your dog, but many owners do not spend the same time when looking for a lead. Below we recommend the best dog training leads on the UK market below.
Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about dog training leads
Training leads are valuable tools to improve the behaviour of dogs, increase their safety during walks and even improve home coexistence. In the following section, you will learn about the characteristics and uses of a lead for your dog's education.
What are the requirements for a good dog training lead?
- The lead must be strong: especially when you want to train a large dog or a dog that pulls hard.
- It must have strong and robust clasps: which guarantee a secure attachment to the ring(s) of the dog collar or harness.
- The strap must be comfortable: for the owner's use and must also use a material that helps prevent friction burns or chaffing.
- The lead must be long enough: to promote the dog's freedom of movement, but short enough to keep the dog under control. Multi-position straps allow the length of the lead to be adjusted according to the needs at the time.
- They must be made with a material that is easy to clean or wash: it should not not absorb odours or humidity.
- For training at night, the strap must be reflective.
What are dog training leads?
What dog training lead models are there?
- Conventional belts:they are usually flattened and have a length of about 1 metre. They are suitable for walks, but do not have enough length for dog training.
- Belts of 2 metres or longer:this is a conventional belt but much longer. It can have an extension from 2 metres and up to 20 metres. They allow to train the dog for recall or to bring the ball (or another object). These can be flattened or rounded. The straps are rolled up and released manually.
- Multi-position straps:between 2 and 3 metres long. Their special feature is the presence of 2 or more rings on the belt, which allow the carabiners to be hooked and the length of the strap to be adjusted. They are the number one choice of trainers, veterinarians and responsible dog owners.
- Flexi® or extendable straps:they can have different lengths, although the most common have 3, 5 or 8 metres of length. They consist of a ribbon-type lead, which is wound inside a plastic and ergonomic handle, which the dog can extend as it pulls or moves away.
- Slip leads:this model includes strap and necklace and are also referred to as a 'choker' Both are joined by a special "knot" which, when the dog pulls, causes the collar to tighten and, as the name suggests, chokes the dog. They are discouraged because they are both cruel and dangerous.
|Conventional||Economical and easy to use on walks.||The length is insufficient for training.|
|Long||A good choice in advanced phases of training, to teach commands, behaviours, or games that require the owner and pet to be at a considerable distance apart.||Depending on the design and material, they can become rolled up or twisted, making them uncomfortable and difficult to use.|
|Multi-position||The length is easily adjustable according to the needs of the moment.||The maximum length is usually 3 metres, which can be limiting.|
|Flexi®/Extendable||They give freedom of movement to the dog.||Teaches or stimulates the dog to pull the lead. They are unadvisable in case of dogs that have the habit of pulling with force.|
|Slip leads||Neutralise unwanted behaviour by negative reinforcement||Are dangerous to the dog and mistreat the animal.|
Which training lead model is the most recommended?
The multi-position leads that are 2.8 to 3 metres long can be used as a belt around the waist of the owner which is great if you need your hands free or if your dog pulls a lot. They are also also useful for walking 2 dogs at the same time. Most manufacturers include a manual for the non-professional trainer to get the most out of this model.
What types of dog training leads should be avoided?
It is also not recommended to use extendable leads, or Flexi® leads, when training a dog. These leads promote the habit of pulling or encourage dogs that do not have this habit to begin doing so. The Flexi® lead can be used for walks or for trained dogs that are in more advanced stages of training.
Can electric collars replace training leads?
There are other equally effective and harmless alternatives on the market and the welfare of your dog much more important that to justify the use of electric collars. Therefore, it is not recommended to use this type of device when training your dog.
Can the same lead be used for dog training and walking?
How should the owner behave during dog training?
|Positive behaviour on the part of the owner||Negative behaviour on the part of the owner|
|Chooses a time when the dog is calm and attentive for the training session.||Forces the dog to learn commands when he is tired, afraid or nervous.|
|Uses treats for dogs, caresses, affectionate words and games as a reward for good behaviour learned or in the process of learning.||Yells, hits, punishes or ignores the dog because it is not learning the command or command you want to teach.|
|Conducts short training sessions, about 5 minutes and then continues with games or walks.||Carries out prolonged training, which tire and annoy the dog.|
|Teaches just one command or order in each training session.||Thinks that the dog can learn several commands in each training.|
The world of dog training leads is huge. It is important that you know the different materials, models and lengths available so that you can get the right product for you and your dog. These are the basic purchase criteria that you should evaluate before buying a lead to train your dog:
Nylon and leather straps are the most recommended because they are lightweight and durable. However, leather can be ruined by washing or moisture and also easily destroyed if the dog has a habit of chewing on the lead. Metal leads are very heavy, difficult to handle and tend to rust over time.
|Price||Intermediate (very variable depending on length and model)||Expensive (varies with length and model)||Economical|
|Resistance||High, even to dog bites.||Very good resistance, although it can break if the dog has a habit of biting the lead.||High|
|Easy to clean||Very easy to clean, most can even be washed in a washing machine.||It is ruined by washing with water or wet rags.||The links retain a lot of dirt.|
|Durability||Very durable||Very durable, if not exposed to excessive moisture.||Tends to rust with water or moisture.|
|Model of belt made with this material||All: conventional belt, long belt, extendable belt or Flexi®, multiposition belt, double belt||Conventional belt, multi-position belt and double belt||Conventional belt|
For the initial phase of training, the ideal lead to buy is a multi-position belt (leather or nylon) or, failing that, a conventional lead of 2 metres in length. During more advanced phases of training, the dog can work with a long lead (more than 10 metres) or extendable/Flexi® (but not if the dog has a habit of pulling hard).
It is important to mention that extendable leads provide virtually no control over the animal and are very dangerous to use. They can be used with very obedient dogs or when training in enclosed spaces with fences. Never choose leads that are too short (less than 50 centimetres) or choke style leads.
The handle should be comfortable and non-slip to prevent friction burns to the owner. Reflective pads are very important for night walks or night training. Carabiner hooks must be strong and must secure well to the dog collar. Any failure in the hook means the dog will escape, which can be very dangerous.
Characteristics of the dog
If your dog is large or tends to pull hard on the lead, you should buy a strong and reinforced product to prevent the lead from breaking or accidents occurring during training. For smaller dogs, it is important to purchase lightweight leads. For dogs that tend to bite, leather leads should be avoided.
Some dog owners think that trying to control their dogs pulling behaviour by using a short lead of less than 50 centimetres would solve the problem whereas the opposite is actually true; the shorter the lead, the more the dog pulls. It is essential to take into account the breed and / or personality of the dog when choosing a new dog training lead.
So as you can see the purchase of the right dog lead is not as straight forward as you would initially assume and it is more than a simple tool to prevent your dog from escaping during walks or jumping up on other people. A training lead, if used correctly, will allow you to educate your dog and communicate with him or her easily. Choosing the right lead is part of preparing for dog training and the responsibility of a dog owner.
Multi-position, nylon or leather leads are our favourite choices for educating a dog and, once this process is complete, will serve as a useful walking lead. Of course, even if you buy the best product on the market, without your time, patience, affection and discipline, the training of your dog will not be successful.
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(Source of featured image: Damedeeso: 24327221/ 123rf.com)