Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big dragline test 2021. Here we present all the towlines we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best dragline for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy a dragline.




Summary

  • A drag line serves as an extended arm for the dog owner to always have the dog under control.
  • There are three types of drag leashes: biothane, nylon or leather.
  • Depending on the dog's level of obedience, the towline can be used and held differently.

The Best Dragline: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a towline

What is a drag line and what do I need it for?

A drag line is the same as a normal leash. However, drag leashes have lengths of up to 20 metres and are therefore much longer than normal leashes.

A drag leash is much longer than the usual dog leashes. (unsplash.com/Jackson Jost)

Many dogs have a strong hunting instinct or are not reliable when called. In order to have the dog under control in every situation - but still give him the freedom he wants - the drag leash comes into play. Dogs have the feeling that they can move freely with a drag line.

Therefore, they are well suited for many activities with your four-legged friend. However, if the dog is disobedient, the master or mistress can tug on the lead or pull it towards them if necessary, which means that the dog can always be controlled.

When does it make sense to use a drag leash?

Drag leashes can be helpful in a variety of situations. For example, during a normal walk. Because if your dog cannot refrain from his hunting instinct, he will only be visible from a distance when unleashed and will not be able to be called off. So drag leashes can help to prevent your dog from wandering off.

Or if your dog constantly eats things while you are walking, you will always have control over your four-legged friend by using the drag line. Drag leashes are versatile. Whether for walking, training or hunting. A drag leash can also be useful for training.

Especially when the recall command is being newly learned, a tug on the lead at the right time can teach the dog the obedience exercise well. In certain cases, a drag line is also desirable during the hunt. This prevents the dog from unintentionally jumping after a prey and keeps the dog close to the owner at all times.

How do I use and hold a drag line correctly?

Depending on the problem and the dog's level of obedience, a drag leash can be used in different ways. Generally, there are three different ways to use a drag line. If your dog is already very obedient and can only be called off in a few cases, the drag line can simply be laid on the ground and pulled by the dog.

This way, in the worst case, the lead can be stepped on to prevent him from leaving. However, if the recall command does not yet sit reliably or the hunting instinct is very strong, the end of the lead can be taken in the hand.

Some drag leashes have a loop at the end so that the leash can be easily held. With this use, your dog has a lot of freedom, but should he want to run away, you have him under control immediately.

If your dog needs to be kept even more under control and there is immediate direct leash contact, there is a third way to hold the drag line.

This is coiled up and only given to the dog as much as he is away from you. If your dog comes closer again, the line is tightened again. This way you can take your dog to you at any time.

Is a drag leash worn with a collar or harness?

In principle, a towline could be attached to a collar or harness by its carabiner. However, it is strongly recommended that the tow line is attached to the harness.

If the dog is wearing a collar and runs off abruptly with the drag line attached, it will give the dog a very strong jolt. Depending on the speed, this can even cause serious injuries to the dog's neck vertebrae.

When using a drag line, it is essential to put a harness on the dog, otherwise injuries to the spine may occur. So when you buy a drag line, you should buy a harness that fits well but is not too tight.

How much does a drag line cost?

Drag lines can be of different materials and lengths. The price also varies depending on the type. The following table gives an overview of the different towline materials and their prices:
Material Price
Biothane 14€ - 50€
Nylon 5€ - 20€
Leather 25€ - 80€

What alternatives are there to the dragline?

Besides the dragline, there are of course other types of leashes that fulfil other functions. Here is a brief overview:
Lead Description
Lead Of course, the classic must not be missing. With a length of 1 to 3 metres, leashes are particularly suitable if you want your dog to stay close to you. However, the free-wheeling possibilities created by the drag leash clearly fall by the wayside with a conventional leash.
Flexi leash It is also known as a retractable leash and is very often used in urban areas for walking. The automatic retraction function prevents the leash from tangling, and the dog has up to 8 metres of freedom of movement.
Retriever leash This is the shortest leash variant. Here the collar and leash are connected. It is particularly suitable for owners who hunt with their dog or do agility training.
Leash for guide dogs guide dogs have the task of leading their owners safely through everyday life. Therefore, a particularly safe leash is necessary. This leash must always be worn with a fixed harness and is also closely connected to it.

Decision: What types of drag leashes are there and which is the right one for you?

Drag lines differ in various respects. Basically, the material from which the towline is made plays a decisive role. Therefore, a distinction is made between the following three types of drag lines:

  • Dragline made of Biothane
  • Nylon drag line

The following sections go into more detail about each type and describe the advantages and disadvantages in more detail. This will help you find the right lead for you and your dog.

What are the characteristics of a Biothane dragline and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Biothane drag leads are made of polyester on the inside and are covered with a protective polyurethane layer. This was originally used as an alternative to leather and is therefore very robust. Due to its tensile strength and weather resistance, a biothane towline has all the important properties.

Tow lines made of biothane can therefore withstand any pulling on the line. The seams are also well made and cannot tear. The surface is very smooth and is therefore water resistant. In addition, dirt does not stick to it and it is easy to clean. Only the partly very smooth material can make you slip a little when holding the leash.

Especially when the towline gets wet, it can slip through your hand. The most important advantages and disadvantages are listed below:

Advantages
  • Tear-resistant
  • Water-resistant
  • Water- and dirt-repellent
  • Easy to clean
Disadvantages
  • Slippery in places
  • Can be a little more expensive
  • On the whole, biothane drag lines are very popular and the secret favourite among drag lines.

What distinguishes a nylon drag line and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Nylon drag lines are also very popular and have a lot to offer.However, beforehand, nylon drag lines should be rubberised to be non-slip. If not, when the dog pulls on the lead, the nylon can slip in your hands and leave nasty injuries. Depending on the type, you can literally burn your hand.

However, if you pay attention to this when buying, a rubberised nylon drag line leaves nothing to be desired. It is very light, easy to hold and can even be washed in the washing machine.

Although the line dries quickly, it can become heavy once it is wet. This is because the nylon absorbs some of the liquid. Here again, the advantages and disadvantages of a nylon towline are listed:

Advantages
  • Rubberised, good grip
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to wash
  • Dries quickly
Disadvantages
  • Can cause hand injuries if not rubberised
  • Not water repellent
  • Can become heavy if soaked with water

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate draglines

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate draglines. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular dragline is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Length
  • Diameter
  • Ends
  • Coating
  • Colour

In the following sections, we will go into more detail about the individual criteria. In this way you will learn what to look for when buying a towline and find the right one for you.

Length

The most important factor is the length of the towline. Not every length covers the same needs and is not equally suitable for everyone (and every dog). Standard lengths of towlines vary from 5 metres to 10 metres, 15 metres and 20 metres. In rare cases, even 30 metre long leashes can be purchased.

Normally, however, 10 metre lines are purchased. Which length suits you and your dog must be decided very individually. Basically, you have to ask yourself how much free space the dog is allowed. 5 metres is relatively little and dogs cannot let off steam with the same freedom when walking.

On the other hand, 20 metre leashes can lead to uncontrollability of the dog. Furthermore, the handling of such a long leash can be difficult and should be practised.

How long the tow line should be depends, among other things, on how it will be used. (unsplash.com/Justin Veenema)

An additional factor that is essential for the length of the towline is the size of your dog. In principle, shorter leashes should be bought for larger dogs. This is because the dog can be held - and therefore controlled - better. However, it should be noted that long leashes are often very large and then too heavy for small dogs.

Therefore, you should pay attention to the size of your dog and the existing obedience of your dog in order to find the suitable length of drag leash.

Diameter

The size and weight of your dog is important to find the right diameter of the lead. Small dogs should only be led on leads with a narrow diameter. The larger the diameter, the heavier the lead.

Since the dog pulls on the leash depending on the training, it has to carry the entire weight of the leash and for small dogs this can be very strenuous or even damaging if the leash is too heavy and large. In comparison, drag lines with larger diameters should be chosen for large, strong dogs. This is because narrow lines can tear, depending on the material and the dog's pulling weight.

The larger the dog, the wider the diameter of the towline should be.

You must therefore decide individually which diameter is right for you or your dog. However, the following sizes are typically found: 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 9mm, 13mm, 20mm or 25mm.

Ends

The ends of a towline can be made differently depending on the material. For example, there are many nylon drag lines that have a loop to hold the line well and firmly. In comparison, biothane drag lines are often without a loop and will not get caught anywhere when the dog pulls on the line.

Which end you prefer depends mainly on the use and obedience of your dog. If you have to hold the leash non-stop and it is not uncommon for your dog to try to make a run for it, you are better off with a leash that has a loop.

If you have to hold the lead at all times, a loop at the end of the lead is recommended. (unsplash.com/Wade Austin Ellis)

If, on the other hand, your dog is quite obedient and you let the leash drag on the ground, loops can be cumbersome because they get caught on tree roots, for example.

In general, it is recommended not to buy a towline with multiple loops. Some models have loops in the middle (or even 3 to 4 additional ones). However, these will only hook in when walking and are not only cumbersome but can even be dangerous.

In addition to loops, there are some tow lines that have a second carabiner. Such a tow line is only recommended when attached to a jogging belt, for example. However, the second carabiner should never be pulled behind by the dog.

Coating

Some drag lines are rubberised to give the owner better control over the line. If, especially nylon drag lines are not rubberised, they can slip out of the hand in the worst case.

This means that the dog is not held back and the whole principle of the drag line is for nothing (or for the dog). However, if the drag line has a protective rubber layer, you can hold the line better, even if the dog tries to sprint.

Colour

Of course, it can be said that the colour of a dragline is secondary and that you should choose one that you like. However, neon-coloured drag leashes have an important role to play.

If you are out walking and meet other pedestrians, they will always see that the leash is on and where it is. This prevents you from accidentally standing on it. In addition, you can see immediately if the leash gets tangled and can react right away.

Drag leashes with bright colours are noticed by other people. Biothane drag leashes in particular can be bought in a wide variety of bright colours.

Which colour you finally choose, however, clearly depends on your taste.

Facts worth knowing about drag leashes

How do I clean a towline?

Depending on the material of the towline, cleaning looks a little different. Drag lines made of biothane are very easy to handle due to their dirt- and water-repellent surface. Often it is enough to simply wipe off the dirt. However, it can also be simply hosed off a little or washed under the tap without any problems.

It is somewhat more problematic with drag lines made of leather. Although cleaning may still not be very difficult, hosing it down with a garden hose is not recommended. This is because the leather gets soaked up with the water and becomes heavy.

Thus, the leather should be dried and only then cleaned with a damp cloth, a soft brush or even special leather grease. Nylon drag lines, on the other hand, are much easier to clean because they can be washed gently in the washing machine without any problems.

To protect the carabiner - as well as the machine - the line can be placed in a pillowcase or similar and washed in it.

Cleaning varies slightly depending on the material of the towline. (unsplash.com/Yuki Dog)

Should towline gloves be worn?

Wearing gloves when using a towline has two major advantages. Firstly, you don't have the dirt that sticks to the lead on your hands all the time. Secondly, certain materials can cause injuries or even burns when slipping through the hand.

If gloves are worn, you can always hold the dog well even when it is running through. Riding gloves, among other things, are well suited for this purpose, as they guarantee an optimal grip.

How do I wind up a drag line correctly?

Unfortunately, there is no basic recipe for preventing the drag line from getting tangled. There is also no secret tip on how to wind up the drag line so that it is not completely tangled when unwinding.

The only encouraging thing is: practice makes perfect! Depending on the length and type of use, the procedure for winding up the towline can vary. You can find out what works best for you by trying it a few times in different ways. Once you have found a technique that seems to work, the next step is to practise, practise, practise.

You will see, however, that after a few times you will find it much easier and better to wind up the drag line and (partly) prevent it from getting tangled.

Picture source: 123rf.com / soloway

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