Not all too long ago we released the first part of this three part series on dog collars, chains, and harnesses, in which the focus had been set on dog collars (if you missed it, you can click here to see it). This time, we shall turn our attention to another important accessory within your dog's life - it's lead. These are very important for most owners - unless you are walking a very well trained dog along a route you both know well, you will definitely need a lead to keep them safe and prevent disaster. However, there are many different types of lead available on the market, and so today we at Pet Food Plus More aim to help you to understand them, and help you to choose the one that is most suitable to you and your dog's needs.
First off is your traditional lead - simple and reliable, but without needing to fuss over the details. These leads can come in a large variety of materials, which will all be just as effective as each other, but are available to fit your preferences. An example of these include metal chains (with a comfier handle, of course), rope, or nylon. Simply take the clip at the end of the lead to and attach it to your dog's collar and you are ready to go. However, be sure to find out what the suggested maximum dog weight that the lead you are looking to purchase can handle! This is influenced partly by how thick the lead is, but also by what material it is made of, as nylon leads typically work better for smaller dogs (below 20kg), leather works best for medium dogs (below 40kg), and metal chain leads tend to be the only ones that can handle the biggest dogs (50kg+). In general though, these basic leads are good for general purpose dog walking, but sometimes you may need a lead that is better suited for your type of dog, the environment you walk them in, and how much control you like to keep over them. Continue reading below about other types of lead and which benefits they confer.
Secondly, you may also be interested in a short lead. As the name suggest, these are just a much shorter lead, and the reason for why you may want one is just as simple. If you walk your dog in an area that is dangerous, or perhaps if you have a dog that can sometimes get too physical with other dogs or people, you may prefer to keep them closer to your side, so that you can make sure that they are kept safe and away from anything that would harm them, or that they may harm instead.
Thirdly, and a popular choice for many, is the slip lead. Unlike your traditional leads, these do not clip onto your dog's collar, but instead you slip it around the dog's head, similar to having a lead and collar joined together in one product. These are fully and easily adjustable, so you will not have to be concerned about buying the right size, but their main function is to act similarly to a half-check collar, as explained in part 1 of this series. That is to say, that the lead is designed to tighten when the dog pulls on it, causing them to halt as it briefly chokes them. It not only stops them then and there, but it also teaches them through conditioning to learn to stop pulling in the future. Because of this, it can be an excellent choice for many people.
Next up, there are also figure-of-eight leads. These are very similar to slip leads, but with an extra catch. These leads not only fit around the neck, but also have an extra bit that fits around the nose and mouth. This type of lead gives the most control out of all other type of leads, as it allows you to control your dog by it's head, and allows you to keep it well within your grasp. They look complicated, but are actually quite easy, as they can be slipped over the head like a slip collar, and then have an additional ring which can be pushed back to make a second part that can be slipped over the nose and muzzle. As such, if you have a large dog that likes to pull and is difficult to control, this type of lead will be the most ideal for you.
Finally, there is the dog coupler lead. These leads are essentially 2-in-1 leads where you will have a handle for a lead that can attach to two collars at once, allowing you to easilly walk two dogs with one hand. These also typically feature a ring on the lead that can be adjusted to balance how far up the lead that it splits into two separate leads. This means that you can easily decide whether you want the dogs to be kept close together (by having the lead's ring closer to the dog's end of the lead) or to give them more freedom to move (by having the lead's ring closer to your end of the lead). Needless to say, these leads will be best for anyone who walks more than one of their dogs at a time. Also, be aware that these leads come in various sizes, from small to large. The reason for this is because, as mentioned above, larger dogs require larger leads to handle their weight. In the case that you have dogs of different sizes (e.g, a small dog and a large dog) it is recommended to get a lead for the larger of the two sizes.
And with that we now reach the ending of this article. In summary, there are a few things to consider, but most of all you will want to think about how much control you will need to exert over your dog and how large they are. Hopefully this article has helped you to better understand your options, and which one is best for you. If you wish to view what kinds of leads we sell, you can click here to view what is on our online store, or you can come and visit one of our stores. If you do, you can bring your pet too, as we are happy to help with a free fitting service that will likely be more reliable than guessing. You can also contact us by clicking here if you have any unanswered questions or need any help with anything.
Don't forget to keep an eye out for the final part of this series, in which we will look at the different types of harnesses you can get for your dog (and how to fit them!). If you haven't already done so, maybe like and follow our Facebook page so that you can get notified when the next part is released, as well as all future blog posts, which will be similarly helpful.
Hope to see you soon in-store!
Henry Jackson, Head of IT for Pet Food Plus More.