Last updated: August 29, 2021

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Dog training leads (also known as dog training leashes) are a valuable tool for improving dog behaviour and keeping dogs safe during walks, visits and other activities. Your choice should be careful, as the lead will be the means of communication between the handler (professional or not) and the dog.

What is the best lead for educating a dog? There are several models, shapes and materials available to meet the needs of pets and their owners. Certain aspects should be taken into consideration when purchasing a new dog training lead, such as the dog's training phase, 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.


  • Dog training leads are made of different materials: nylon, leather, fabric or metal. The raw material used will determine the strength, durability and ease of cleaning of the lead.
  • As for the shape of the lead, they can be flat or rounded. The length is also variable, since they can be less than 50 centimetres long and up to 20 metres in length.
  • The best model of leash for training is the multi-position type, as it allows to regulate its length according to the stage of instruction, the physical space and the need for control over the dog.

The best Dog Training Leashes: Our Picks

Many dog owners spend time searching for a comfortable, durable and safe collar for their dog's training, but they don't pay the same attention to the purchase of the leash. The truth is that both elements are just as important as each other. Below we recommend the best dog training leads on the market below.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should 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 leash for your dog's education.

dog looking up to owner waiting to go walkies

Training leads are a valuable tool for improving dog behaviour and increasing dog safety during walks.
(Source: Damedeeso: 24327220/

What are the requirements for a good dog training lead?

New models and materials for dog collars and leads are constantly emerging. As the owner and the person responsible for your pet, it is important not to be persuaded solely by advertising but to select a training lead that meets certain requirements for uses, comfort and safety:

  • The lead must be strong: especially when you want to train a large dog or a very active dog that pulls hard.
  • It must have strong and robust hardware: these will guarantee a secure attachment to the ring(s) of the dog collar or harness.
  • The straps must be comfortable: for the owner's comfort and must also be made of a material that helps prevent friction burns or chafing.
  • The leash 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 owner's needs at the time.
  • Leashes 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 should be reflective.
Dr Lisa WoodThe University of Western Australia
"Pets in general support first meetings between neighbours, and they are often a topic of conversation over the garden fence".

What are dog training leashes?

Dog training leads are elements designed to control and, above all, to educate dogs. They consist of a strap, rope or chain, with a metal hook at one end to be attached to the dog's collar or harness. At the other end, it should have a handle or loop so that the handler can maintain control of the dog.

Group Of Dogs With Owners At Obedience Class

Dog training leads are elements designed to control and, above all, to educate dogs.
(Source: Ian Allenden: 43392488/

What dog training lead models are there?

As we have already mentioned, there are a huge range of options on the market when it comes to leads for dog training. However, very few of these contribute substantially to the dog's training process and, worse still, others can even be dangerous for your dog. These are the models currently available:

  • 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 to answer a call or to bring the ball (or another object). These can be flattened or rounded. The strap slack is 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 extensible 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 collar. 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.
Models Advantages Disadvantages
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®/Extensible 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 Neutralize unwanted behaviour by negative reinforcement Are dangerous to the dog and mistreat the animal.

Which training lead model is the most highly recommended?

As dog leads have advanced over time, the multi-position leash is currently considered the best choice for dog training. The carabiner is easily attached to the corresponding ring, to obtain the desired length. The maximum length is usually 2 to 3 metres. This type of lead is a comfortable, safe, versatile and dynamic. They can be made of two different materials; nylon or leather.

The multi-position leads that are 2.8 to 3 metres long can be used as belts around the waist of the owner and many of them are 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?

In no way should you use choke or slip leads, commonly recommended for dogs that pull with force, such as a pitbull. Two things can happen with this type of lead: the dog stops pulling because of the choking effect, or the dog, even if being choked, does not stop pulling. Some dogs have suffered serious neck injuries from this type of dog lead.

It is also not recommended to use extensible 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?

No. There have recently been calls by the CVMA to ban these type of devices because it is considered cruel and unnecessary. Electric collars are collars used for "wireless" training, as they do not require a lead. When the dog disobeys or does something inappropriate, the owner presses a button and emits an electric shock, vibration or beep.

The cost of the loss of animal welfare is too high to justify the use of electric collars, given that there are other equally effective and harmless alternatives for the animal and owner. Therefore, it is not recommended to use this type of device when training your dog.

Young guy walking his dog in a park

Training straps consist of a strap, rope or chain, with a metal hook at one end to be attached to the dog's collar or harness.
(Source: ljupco: 48277407/

Can the same lead be used for dog training and walking?

Yes, one of the major advantages of multi-position belts is that once the training is complete, they can still be used for dog walks. Often during the process of dog training, which at the beginning only lasts a couple of minutes, a walk is carried out and it can be annoying to have to change the leash.


New models and materials for dog collars and leads are constantly emerging. Choose a training lead that meets the requirements of fit, comfort and safety.
(Source: Keiphotostudio: 78188877/

How should the owner behave during dog training?

A dog training lead is a very valuable dog educational tool, but it is not miraculous. If the owner wants to train their dog instead of going to a professional handler, the owner must be patient, affectionate and disciplined with the training. Dogs learn very quickly, but even still, this process takes some time.

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.

Shopping Criteria

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 or leash 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.

Criteria Nylon Leather Metal
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.
Weight Lightweight Lightweight Heavy
Model of belt made with this material All: conventional belt, long belt, extensible 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 extensible/Flexi® (but not if the dog has a habit of pulling hard).

It is important to mention that extensible 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.

Mature Couple Taking Golden Retriever For Walk

Remember that the training lead must be long enough for the dog to be comfortable at all times.
(Source: Mark Bowden: 71235796/

Security elements

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 leashes should be avoided.

Some dog owners think that with a short lead of less than 50 centimetres, they will be able to control the dog better and discourage the pulling habit of their dog. However in fact, the opposite is true: the shorter the leash, 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.


As you may have noticed, a training lead is much more than a simple tool to prevent your dog from escaping during walks or jumping up on other people. A training lead is a tool that, if used correctly, will allow you to educate your dog and communicate with him or her easily. Choosing the right leash 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.

If you liked our guide, please share it with your friends so they can know a little more about dog training leads.

(Source of featured image: Damedeeso: 24327221/