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By Liss Scott

Choosing the right leash for your canine companion

One of the most important items for a dog owner to have is a leash for their pet. The question is, which type of leash should they purchase for their dog? After all, there are a number of options, and a new dog owner may not know what will work best for their furry friend.

Size matters

Is your dog a tiny toy type or more of a friendly giant? The leash that works for one will not necessarily work for the other. The thin leash made for a tiny toy type will not fair well restraining a larger dog, and the clip-on the leash for the friendly giant will not mesh with the ring in a small dog's collar. Be sure to choose something size-appropriate for the dog in question.

Basic leash

With a basic, everyday leash, the width of the leash should be roughly the width of the collar. Length with this type of leash will range from four to six feet and there will generally be a loop at one end to help the human's grip. Some leashes include a second handle closer to the dog so the human may decide how much leeway the dog has. These are especially useful if the dog is prone to jumping or lunging.

Retractable leash

A retractable leash is made of a thin cord that winds up inside a spring loaded, plastic handle. The closer the dog is, the shorter the leash. The further the dog is, the longer the leash. These are not recommended for bigger dogs as the cord is very thin, and a strong dog could easily snap it if it got excited. This leash also allows for minimal control over any dog at best, as they decide how close or far away from their human they wish to be.

Long line leash

A long line leash is typically used in dog training to give the dog some freedom while the human is still in control. They could be thin nylon or plastic cords or flat leashes made of leather, nylon or cotton. Long line leashes are very useful in teaching commands such as "come," for example. The length of these leashes tends to be between ten and sixty feet, so it would be best to keep the training in a space such as a field or a backyard or anywhere away from a busy street the dog could run into.

Slip lead leash

Slip leads look similar to an everyday leash, except instead of a clip at one end, there is a metal ring and at the other is the usual loop handle. The handle goes through the ring to form a loop with the whole leash. The dog's head is then placed through this loop in place of a collar. If the dog pulls on the lead, the lead then tightens around their neck, meaning the human of the pair must exercise extreme caution with this type of lead or risk injury to the dog.

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