Best Double Leashes

Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for Best double leashes

Walking your dog should be fun for both you and your furry friend. You need to be able to control your pet while still allowing it enough room to explore. If you have two dogs, a double leash is a useful tool for walking both animals safely at the same time.

A double leash allows you to control a pair of dogs simultaneously while still giving each one enough space to enjoy the walk and do their business. You hold one handle, but the leash splits into two leashes, one for each dog. Double leashes are best used with well-trained dogs, but with patience, you may be able to train your dogs to be comfortable walking calmly together.

Double leashes come in various sizes, materials, and colors. There are a couple of different types available, and most are adjustable. Our buying guide explains how double leashes work, what to know when using one, and how to find the right one for your dogs. We’ve also included a few of our favorites to get your shopping started.

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Dogs thrive on routine and familiarity. They will eventually grow more accustomed to walking with another dog, especially if the walks occur at the same time each day.

Key considerations

Pros and cons

Pros: A double leash is used when you need to walk two dogs at the same time. It’s meant to limit tangling and prevent the dogs from going in different directions, which they might be more apt to do if they’re on separate leashes. What’s more, you only have to hold one handle instead of two, making it easier to manage both dogs.

It’s best if the dogs are familiar with each other and well trained at walking on a leash. Double leashes are intended to keep the dogs walking together and not veer off. Each dog can be trained to stay on its side, and some dogs become conditioned to doing this even when walked alone. 

Cons: A double leash is less desirable in open spaces like parks, beaches, or forests where dogs are more inclined to wander and explore. What’s more, some dogs may not be comfortable walking so close to another dog, especially an unfamiliar dog. Double leashes do not offer the same control over each dog as a single leash does because pulling back on the double leash affects both dogs equally.

Type

There are two main types of double leashes: one-piece leashes and couplers.

One-piece leashes: You can buy a double leash that has a handle connected to two branching leashes, one for each dog.

Couplers: These are a popular alternative to one-piece double leashes. You connect the coupler to two regular leashes that you already own. The advantage of a coupler is that you can easily remove it when you just want to walk one dog.

Swivels

The most important components of a double leash are the connection points. These keep the leashes from tangling when the dogs are walking. There are three swivels on a double leash: one where the leashes branch off and one where each leash hooks up to a dog. These swivels should be made of durable stainless steel. Inspect them to make sure they move freely.

Length

The ideal dog leash is 6 feet long, which offers control for you and space for each dog to explore on its own. Most double leashes are at least this long.

You can adjust the length on most double leashes. You can adjust the main portion of the leash up to the coupler and the individual lead of each dog. This is helpful if you're walking dogs of different sizes or if one dog prefers to walk slightly ahead of the other.

Material

Most double leashes, like collars and standard leashes, are made of nylon, polyester, or leather. 

Nylon is inexpensive and lightweight. While it's fairly strong, it can fray over time. If it gets wet, the color may bleed, and if it’s submerged, it can take a while to dry. Nylon can also retain odors. 

Polyester is also light and breathable. It’s a little more durable and fade resistant than nylon too.

Leather leashes offer impressive durability and a long lifespan provided they’re well taken care of. They aren’t ideal for use in inclement weather, however, and they tend to cost more.

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Staff Tip
Take a clicker and some tasty dog treats on walks. They can help capture your dogs’ attention and refocus them while rewarding them for good behavior.
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Features

Color 

Double leashes come in a wide range of colors. In most cases, you have a choice of solid colors if you want to match a collar, harness, or your dog’s coat. Though less common, you can also find double leashes with various patterns or designs like florals or American flags. Most couplers are a solid color, however.

Safety

Some double leashes are lined with reflective material to provide greater visibility in the dark. However, if you regularly walk your dogs at night, and you have a black dog or two, it’s recommended that you invest in LED collars, reflective vests, or other safety devices.

Extras

Some double leashes come with handy extras, such as a roll of poop bags and a holder to attach to the leashes. Others include a portable water bowl or even a small light that attaches to the leash to help guide the way at night.

Accessories

Dog collar: Blueberry Pet Essentials Classic Collar
A simple, flat dog collar is often the most effective, and this nylon option by Blueberry Pets is breathable and comfortable and comes at a low price. It’s also available in a variety of colors.

Dog harness: Kurgo TruFit Smart Harness
Most dogs enjoy the comfort of a harness, and owners like the added control. This option by trusted brand Kurgo adjusts easily and also has a front clip to deter pulling.

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Did You Know?
A double leash can also be used for double-leashing in which one dog is controlled by two different points of contact, typically on the collar and harness. This is useful for training large dogs that pull and react.
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Pricing

Inexpensive: You can find a basic nylon or polyester coupler to use with your own leashes for $15 or less. 

Mid-range: Most double leashes cost between $15 and $25. These come in a variety of sizes and colors.

Expensive: The largest double leashes cost $25 or more. Some of these come with useful extras.

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Staff Tip
If a double leash isn’t working out for the human and dogs involved, don’t get impatient or angry. Dogs sense anxiety and frustration and may grow nervous about walking on a leash.
Staff
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Tips

  • Inspect the leash before walks. Leashes can wear out from regular use and weather. Be sure the leash is in good condition before going on walks.
  • Train each dog alone. Before working up to a double leash, both dogs should be trained to walk on a leash by itself. It shouldn’t pull or react, and it should respond to your commands.
  • Exercise caution when walking two dogs. There are any number of stimuli in the world that can trigger even the most well-behaved dogs. It’s important to maintain control of the leash and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid retractable leashes. Retractable leashes are not recommended for walking dogs in cities or suburbs and can be problematic when used with a coupler. They limit the amount of control you have over your dogs.
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You can begin training a puppy as young as six to eight weeks old to walk on a leash indoors. Once it’s fully vaccinated, it can start training on short walks outdoors, gradually working up to longer excursions.

FAQ

Q. Should dogs be walked with a collar or harness?

A. Calm, well-behaved dogs can walk with the leash connected to a collar, but most are better off with a harness. A collar pulls on the neck, potentially harming the dog, especially smaller dogs. A harness evenly distributes the pressure across the animal’s chest to improve both control for you and comfort for the dog. Harnesses are also harder for a dog to slip out of than collars. Some harnesses have both a front and a back clip as well as a handle to control or lift your dog as needed. That said, a martingale collar as well as a dog gentle leader both offer control and comfort when walking your dog. These are popular training collars that prevent dogs from pulling. 

Q. Can a double leash be used for training?

A. Double leashes are not effective tools for training mainly because training a dog should be done one-on-one. Two dogs trained together can become confused as to which one is being directed and what behavior is being asked for. It can also create a negative association with the double leash if one dog is holding back or disrupting the other.  

Q. Are double leashes safe for dogs?

A. Double leashes are best used on well-trained dogs that walk in step with their owner and follow commands. A dog that reacts to its surroundings or is eager to pull can disrupt or even harm itself or its canine companion or you by tangling the leash and tripping you. It’s also harder to control one dog individually, so it’s important that both pets are obedient.

It might take time for some dogs to adjust to walking with another dog. Some may not enjoy it, especially if they’re used to walking on their own and being able to explore. Assess the temperament and behavior of your dogs on walks before using a double leash.

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