Best Dog Training Leashes

Updated July 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
9 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
307 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best dog training leashes

Last Updated July 2019

Recall is one of the most vital of all commands your dog should know. It's important that he can reliably come when called, pulling him away from dangerous situations, even when he's in the middle of playing or investigating. But teaching recall can be difficult without putting him in situations where he might not come and could get hurt as a result. Using a dog training leash lets you practice recall in open areas with plenty of distractions without the risk that your canine companion could bolt.

Picking the right dog training leash takes some careful consideration. You'll need to think about what length of training leash you require, the material it's made from, the width, whether you'd prefer a rolled or flat leash, the type of handle it has, and how comfortable that handle is to hold. This buying guide will tell you all you need to know to find the best dog training leash. If you’re ready to purchase a dog training leash, we invite you to check out our top recommendations.

Always use a harness with a training leash rather than a collar. If your dog runs at full speed as far as the leash will allow and then jerks on the end, he could injure his neck while wearing a collar. A harness is safer.

Key considerations

Length

Dog training leashes are available in a range of lengths, from 15 feet to 200 feet. You'll want to find a leash that gives you enough distance from your dog to work on the behaviors you want to improve without becoming unwieldy. For recall training, a leash that's somewhere between 20 and 30 feet long is often preferred, though some people may want a training leash of up to 50 feet to work on recall at a distance.

If you're looking for a leash that's suitable for reactive dogs to try Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) or similar, a shorter leash of about 15 feet will give you more control. For the vast majority of pet parents, any dog training leash over 50 feet is overkill.

Width

Flat dog training leashes generally measure between 3/4 inch and 1 1/2 inches wide. Cord leashes can be narrower — 1/2 inch or even slightly less — but they have an even width all the way around. While a leash between 3/4 inch and one inch wide is fine for the majority of dogs, extremely large or strong dogs may be more secure on a leash that is 1 1/2 inches wide. In that same vein, for exceptionally small dogs, a leash with a slightly thinner cord may be best.

Hardware

The majority of dog training leashes feature a strong bolt-snap swivel clip to attach to the D-ring on your dog's harness. The bolt-snap is extremely secure and won't come undone no matter how hard your dog pulls on the leash. The swivel mechanism makes it easier to untwist the leash.

Some leashes also feature a D-ring by the handle, so you can loop the leash through the D-ring on your dog's harness and clip the end to the D-ring by the handle to cut the length of the leash in half.

EXPERT TIP

You might see dog training leashes referred to as "long lines," "tracking leashes," or "check cords.” These terms all describe the same item


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Material

Webbing is perhaps the most common type of dog training leash material, as it's strong yet lightweight and also inexpensive. Cotton and nylon webbing are popular choices. You can also find some high-end dog training leashes made from biothane, a completely waterproof material that mud just doesn't stick to. If you're concerned about your leash getting wet and mucky, this is the better option.

Rolled vs. flat

Dog training leashes can be made of flat webbing or rolled/round rope-like material. In fact, some round leashes are made from actual rock-climbing rope. Rolled leashes are often slightly more durable than their flat counterparts, but the difference is negligible, so choose whichever you prefer the look and feel of.

Super strong

Thanks to its biothane construction, the Viper Long Line is exceptionally strong and won't soak up water or get coated in mud, no matter how many puddles and streams it's dragged through. The leash is stitched with heavy-duty wax thread that won't be damaged or weakened by water. You can buy it in lengths between 10 and 30 feet as well as a range of thicknesses.

Color

Although it's probably the least-important factor, you can find dog training leashes in various colors, so you might want to choose one that matches your dog's collar and/or harness.

Handle

A padded handle will be more comfortable to hold, but the fact is, you won't often be holding the very end of a training leash. In fact, some training leashes don't have a handle at all for this reason.

Try to keep the training leash loose at the side of your dog's body rather than between her legs. If you notice the leash wrap around a leg, stop and untangle it right away.

Dog training leash prices

Basic: Dog training leashes vary in price depending on length, material, and overall quality. Basic training leashes between 15 and 20 feet can cost under $10. An extra-long leash (think 200 feet) may cost $25.

Mid-range: Dog training leashes made from thicker materials with padded handles vary between $15 and $35, depending on length.

High-end: High-end biothane dog training leashes cost between $20 and $50, depending on leash thickness and length.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

If your dog is reactive, has a high prey drive, or has an unreliable recall, it may be safer to walk him on a training leash for the long term.

Tips

  • Use "high value" treats when training your dog on a long-line leash. Your pup is much more likely to do what you say if she's got an extra-tasty treat to work for (as opposed to the familiar treats she regularly gets).
  • Exercise common sense if your dog starts to bolt. There are times when it will be safer to drop the end of your training leash than to try to stop your pooch, risking rope burns on your end and jerking your dog on the other. Obviously, you’ll need to weigh the dangers around you. Dropping your end would be fairly safe in an enclosed park, for instance, but it wouldn’t not be a good idea near heavy traffic.
  • Consider how dirty your training leash is likely to get. You might choose a waterproof biothane option if the leash will be trailing through mud and water on a regular basis.

Simple solution

It might be simple, but the Hi Kiss Dog/Puppy Obedience Recall Training Agility Lead provides an exceptional value for your money. It's available in lengths between 15 and 100 feet with a solid 3/4-inch thickness. Choose between four color options.

Other products we considered

There are some other excellent products you might wish to consider. The Justzon Dog Training Lead is made from strong cotton webbing with a sturdy swivel bolt snap. You can choose from five lengths between 15 and 100 feet. A similar choice is the Downtown Pet Supply Dog/Puppy Obedience Recall Training Agility Lead. The webbing is made from nylon, which is even more durable than cotton. It's available in six colors for pup owners who want to spice things up a bit.

If you'd like a more durable option, the Signature K9 Biothane Long Line is a high-end choice that's strong enough for regular all-day use and requires little to no cleaning or maintenance.

When not using your dog training leash, wrap it up in loops to prevent it from becoming tangled. Untangling a 50 foot leash is not particularly fun!

FAQ

Q. What types of training can I use a dog training leash for?
A.
Perhaps the main use for a dog training leash is recall training. The length of the leash allows your dog to get some distance from you, thereby building up his recall at a distance. Furthermore, there's no chance that he could run away.

A training leash can also be useful for training your four-legged friend not to pull on the leash (since there's plenty of slack to be had), for teaching "stay" at a distance, for practicing nose work or tracking, and for working on BAT with reactive dogs.

What’s more, a longer leash allows pups who can’t be let off the leash to enjoy a bit more freedom to roam while out on walks.

Q. Is a training leash always needed for recall training?
A.
We highly recommend using a training leash when you begin recall training. You might have an enclosed yard that you can practice in, but even if your dog's recall is 100% at home, it can be a different story when you're out and about with other dogs around — not to mention a host of additional distractions. A training leash will keep your canine companion safe from all manner of hazards until her recall is completely reliable, even with distractions present.

Q. Can I machine wash my dog training leash?
A.
It's best to keep a dog training leash loose, so it often trails on the ground, getting wet and muddy. Luckily, the majority of training leashes are machine washable. You might want to put it in with a load of regular laundry or at least with a couple of towels to prevent the clip from clanking around. Once it’s clean, air dry your training leash.

The team that worked on this review
  • Daniel
    Daniel
    Writer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey