Selecting the Best Dog Leashes start with a simple, and reliable design, but should not be designed with simple materials. Your dogs leash is its lifeline between you and harm’s way. Selecting the best dog leash is important. With so many different styles available how does one make an informed decision?
Below are a few choices of some of the more popular materials used in building dog leashes. Not complete, but hopefully it will help you better select a quality leash that would work best for you, and your dogs.
A quality leather dog lead is the choice for many Police, professional handlers and dog trainers. These will last for years if properly maintained.
They don’t do well in or around salt water. The salt removes the tanning oils that preserves the leather, and will cause it to dry and crack. The use of a leather conditioner is a good idea to maintain this type of dog leash.
Braided leather leashes tend to be stronger than those sewn or stitched but it may not mater if you are unsure of the type of leather or its quality. Not all leather leashes are made from quality full grain leather.
Finding a quality braided leather leash can sometimes be difficult. If you find one buy it. You’re not likely to find one in any of the major pets stores with the exception of an overpriced, poorly constructed with cheap hardware and that won’t due.
Polypropylene is a good choice of rope if you live on or around the water. Resistant to rot & mildew and won’t absorb water like other materials and allowing it to float.
It’s Ideal as a second leash stowed on a boat or an extra long leash allowing your dog to get some swim time when you’re walking on the beach.
Available in a variety of colors and inexpensive, however it will fade in the sun if a UV stabilizer is not incorporated into the fibers.
When the fibers start to wear the polypropylene rope can be a bit abrasive when pulled through your hand. Braided polypropylene has a softer feel and a better choice.
Nylon and Polyester:
The best dog leashes in our opinion use nylon and polyester, these are excellent choices for dog’s and puppies needing a quality walking or training leash. Dog collars and harnesses made from the same material can last for decades. A variety of styles, strengths and color patterns are available.
Climbing rope is one of the best materials to use in building custom dog leashes. Unfortunately most of what is available at major pet stores is common utility ropes made to look like climbing rope. Genuine climbing rope is CE rated. Terms like “inspired by climbing rope” is a dead give away that a lesser quality rope is used.
We use both static and dynamic climbing ropes made in America. These are the same ropes used by mountain climbers, military, police and search & rescue agencies worldwide.
Climbing ropes have a tightly woven jacket designed with a variety of interesting patterns and colors protecting the inner core from abrasion against rocks, tree’s or other rugged objects.
The inner fibers are comprised of multiple individual bundles giving the rope its incredible strength. This is the ideal material to use in the design of a strong and reliable custom dog leash.
Snap Hook: 3.5 inch 316 Stainless Steel Swivel Clip
Most dog leashes use inexpensive nickle or chrome plated snap hooks, also known as a snap clip or clip. Rarely will you find these made of stainless steel.
Pet store dog leashes almost always sell leashes made with the least expensive, and low quality material at a maximum profit. We always use a Marine Grade 316 Stainless Steel. Its stronger, has better corrosion resistance, and a longer life expectancy then the cheaper chrome plated clips. These are typically used in a marine environment where a lesser quality clip would eventual fail.
Many prefer this traditional style clip. It’s a simple design that last for years. It’s stronger than similar styled clips made from lesser quality metals. It’s standard on all our custom rope leashes, and used on the best dog leashes designed for medium to extra large dogs.
A drop of lubricating oil worked into the slide mechanism helps keep the clip / snap bolt working smoothly.
Carabiner: 3.5 inch Compact Locking Carabiner CE/UIAA Certified
Designed for use in both rock and mountain climbing, carabiners are lightweight, durable and strong. These work well when used as part of a custom dog leash. These don’t swivel like other clips or connectors but they are superior in strength and safety.
We like using these attached to a harness worn by medium to extra large dogs already trained to walk on lead. The carabiner allows more flexibility in how a leash is used. The leash handle can be clipped into the carabiner shortening the leash by half converting a six foot lead into a temporary three foot traffic lead.
Always clean and lubricate locking carabiners when they have come in contact with saltwater.
nanoSwivel: 2.5 inch nano swivel works with a Carabiner for 360° rotation.
The nanoSwivel is used in many application most notably in climbing sports and mountain rescue. Any application where a small lightweight and compact swivel is needed to help keep climbing rope from the twist and tangles sometimes encountered. This awesome swivel works great when combined with a small compact carabiner incorporated into a custom climbing rope dog leash.
For those with large to extra large dogs wanting the additional safety provided by a leash equipped with a carabiner but want the added ability to swivel 360°, this nanoSwivel may be a good option.
Check out our Ultimate Dog Leash for more info and pictures for this swivel.
Don’t settle for just any dog leash. Dogs deserve the best. Remember, a dogs leash is its lifeline between you and harms way.