All About Leashes
In this article, you will hear about the several different types of leashes, where to buy them, and how to use them. You might be thinking, "Can't I get a regular leash for a couple of dollars at Wal-Mart?" or, "I know how to use a leash! It's easy! Hook it on to my dog and then lead him where I want to go." For a lot of people, using a leash with their dog is not that easy.
Reading this article will give you the basics as you learn about giving your dog the best. Most places have laws which state that all dogs must be kept on a leash in public. This restrains your pet from frightening other people, jumping on things, destroying objects, or running away. Yet some cities have established dog parks that allow dogs roam and run free.
What Kind of Leash to Get?
There are several different kinds of leashes. Some leashes hook on to a dog's collar, while others simply are wrapped around a dog's neck.
The most common leash style is a “Nylon Webbing Leash.” These hook on to a metal ring on your dog’s collar, and usually is about 4-6 feet long.
However, some people prefer using a retractable leash, which allows the owner to let the dog run ahead, or to keep it close.
A much more cheaper leash seems to look much like a lasso - A simple rope with a loop for the head to slip through. This might be used for training or competitions, where it can be slipped off quickly.
Even though it is not a leash, the Gentle Leader®, is worth mentioning. The Gentle Leader is a headcollar, and fits around the top of your dog’s neck and around his muzzle. The strap that is across the muzzle doesn't restrict airflow, or manuverability. The dog can open his mouth, breath, bark, eat and drink - whatever he wants to do with his mouth. It's important to note that this is not a muzzle, but since it is strapped to the bridge of the nose, it lets the dog know that he isn't in control. This is used often for assistance dogs for this purpose.
What do the leashes cost, and where can I get it the cheapest?
The cheapest leash would be the rope - you can make it yourself. The most casual (as well as popular) leash would probably be the Nylon Webbing. For a small dog, you can get one for about $5. A larger dog might need a double layer in the leash, and they are about $7. Retractable leashes are a bit more expensive. A 26 lb. and under dog can get by with one for around $12. $15 for a 26-44 lb. dog, and for 44-110 lbs, a retractable leash is avg. $22.00.
You can purchase the Gentle Leader ® for around $20 in your local pet store, however, you can also order one from Amazon for $12.
How do I use a leash so both my dog and myself are comfortable?
Letting your dog pull on the leash makes him think he is the leader, which make dogs uncomfortable. It makes yourself uncomfortable, too. Try walking “Loose Leash” with him. Make sure you reward your dog for walking Loose Leash with special treats, such as bacon or chicken.
Some people train their dog with “Choker Leashes.” I do not recommend these because it is possible to inflict throat injury, which could lead to the death of your dog.
If you use the Gentle Leader, make sure you read all the instructions thoroughly before use. You could damage your dog’s neck because of pulling on the leash.
In the end, almost any leash/lead is fine to use (except that I do not recommend the choker leash), but you have to learn how to use each method differently. Make sure you reward your dog when he is doing what you want him to do.