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4 Vital Features of the Best Working Dog Leashes

If you walk your dog several times per day, or you have a large-breed dog who's a challenge to control while exploring your neighborhood, you need the best dog leash available. Here are four features to look for when choosing your new dog leash. 

1. Durability 

Strong dogs require tough leash material. Select the best leash for your bouncy pup by examining the construction and durability of a variety of leash types before you buy.  

Leashes may be made of braided, webbed, or woven nylon. Thick, braided cotton, woven bamboo, top-grain cowhide-leather, and climbing-rope-style leashes offer both comfort for the dog walker and strength to manage burly, energetic dogs. 

Look for material that won't unravel, wear at the hardware points, or snap in the middle of the leash. When available, choose a leash that's advertised as chew-resistant for a dog who regularly shreds their leashes and toys. 

Check the tags on leashes to see if the products have been tested for strength. Some leashes withstand up to 1,000 pounds of force and are the best choices for rambunctious, hard-to-contain dogs. 

2. Reflective Surfaces 

Do you routinely walk your dog in the evenings or late at night? Reflective features on leashes help illuminate you and your dog for nighttime drivers and cyclists who run with lights on after dark. The reflective surfaces on your leash allow people to see your dog's location during the nighttime hours and avoid potential accidents. 

Some leashes offer reflective strips down the entire leash length. Other leashes are outfitted with small patches of reflective material, or the leash material itself is made of a completely reflective fabric. 

Choose a reflective leash that corresponds with the darkness of your routine walking locations. If you often walk along busy roads with few streetlamps, choose a highly reflective leash for your dog-walking adventures. 

Reflective leashes have another purpose for those who love their dogs. The reflective features on your leash help you locate your runaway dog at night, since the leash throws back a bright glow when exposed to either headlights or flashlights. 

3. Double Handles 

Modern leash manufacturers create comfortable leashes with optimal control, like new double-handled leashes in a variety of styles. Double-handled leashes include leashes that have strong, comfort-lined wrist loops and easy-grip leash handles lower on the leash. Other styles of double-handled leashes offer a glove-type human handle at the walker's end of the leash and an easy-grip hand-hold close to the dog's end of the leash. 

Double handles give you twice the control while remaining comfortable in your finger grip. The hand-hold that's closest to the dog end of the leash helps you manage an excitable dog in a harness or standard collar without your having to coil up or retract the entire leash. 

If you walk several dogs at once, invest in a leash with double or triple leads on one main line. Leashes for multiple dogs include styles with anti-tangling devices and extra handles for each separate dog.

4. Good Hardware 

Dog-leash hardware is made from a variety of materials. Most often, the hardware is metal. Cheap leashes may have plastic snap hooks that aren't pull-proof or long-lasting like metal snap hooks. 

Metal used in dog-leash hardware includes the following: 

•   Brass

•   Stainless steel

•   Cast metal steel

•   Aluminum

Aluminum hardware components are fine for leashes intended for smaller dogs, but are not recommended for controlling large, muscled dogs. Choose a dog leash with hardware that's beefy and well-attached to the lead.  

Metal clasps and snaps should close and open easily. Always purchase leashes with swivel mechanisms that keep the leash from twisting at the hardware point, and check the pivoting swivel mechanisms for smooth operation. 

Purchase and use a leash with the above four features, and you can feel secure knowing you and your dog will have easier, safer adventures on all of your walks. When you find the perfect leash for your dog-walking journeys, buy a backup leash of the same type for your car or RV. That way, you'll always have a trustworthy leash wherever you and your dog travel.

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