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9 Best Dog Leashes

Need a great leash for your dog? Here are our 9 top-rated picks and why we chose them.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Girl playing with a dog on a leashWestend61/Getty Images

Buying a Dog Leash

If you are in the market for a dog leash, then you are well aware that there seems to be an infinite number of options available. The variations of length, color, size, material, clips and style may make choosing the best dog leash overwhelming.

Do you need a collar and leash for your dog? Yes! Here’s why:

Foremost, a leash keeps your dog safe when outdoors. It prevents them from running off after squirrels, people, cars and other dogs. You should always use a leash to keep your dog under your control. Not only is it safe — in many places, it’s the law.

When deciding what kind of leash is right for you, think about the needs, personality and temperament of your dog and your lifestyle. If your dog is just learning to walk on a leash, opt for a shorter one to give you more control. Once they are trained, you can advance to a longer lead.

Nylon is the cheapest option, though it may wear and fray sooner than other materials. Leather is another popular choice. More expensive but extremely durable, leather leashes get bonus points for style as well.

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Best Overall Dog Leash

Our top pick is the Dutchy Brand Heavy-Duty Dog Leash. It’s suitable for almost any dog breed. This leash is made from double-layer nylon, so it’s strong enough to hold the biggest German Shepherd and light enough not to weigh down the most delicate Cavapoo.

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Best Premium Leash

Imported from Japan and made of lizard skin, this leash is a real splurge. The Petio Lizard Leash is sleek, elegant and completely one of a kind. Plus, it is an extremely durable dog accessory. You’re getting a leash that will last a lifetime.

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Best Budget Leash

This Frisco Solid Nylon Dog Leash is a no-frills leash. It’s effective, affordable and comes in a variety of attractive colors, with lengths of four and six feet. It’s an ideal leash for puppies.

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Best Leash for Running With a Dog

When you are on a run with your dog, you do not want to be slowed down by their leash. For a safe, hands-free leash option, we recommend the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Hands-Free Dog Leash. It comfortably attaches to your waist, adjusting to your body type and the position of your dog.

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Best Leash for Dogs That Pull

If you have a large dog breed that might yank your arm out of its socket every time it sees a squirrel, we recommend this Shock Absorbing Leash. The soft, grippable handle and woven design prioritize comfort for you and your dog.

Note: You should also get a pet harness for your dog so they don’t injure their neck by pulling on the leash.

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Best for Dogs That Chew

If your dog loves to chew its leash, make sure the leash is plenty strong. Many dogs can easily chew through and destroy nylon leashes. So VirChewLy came out with their Indestructible Leash for Dogs. The manufacturer claims the steel cable has a more than 900 lb. breaking limit. Yet this leash is light, flexible and easy to connect to a dog collar.

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Best Waterproof Leash for Wet Dogs

Maybe your dog isn’t a big chewer, but LOVES being in water. Nylon leashes dry easily but grow smelly over time. This Stunt Puppy Dry Leash is pet odor proof so you never need to worry if it gets wet. If your dog rolls around in the mud, that’s OK too. The leash cleans up with a quick rinse.

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Best Leash for Night Walks

We love this reflective leash from Ruffwear for walking at night. Made of sturdy reflective rope (inspired by rock climbers) and featuring a comfortable handle, this leash also fastens with a carabiner clip for extra security. If you regularly walk early in the morning or late at night, you can’t beat the safety of a reflective leash.

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Best Multi-Function Dog Leash

If you need a leash that does it all, the EzyDog Multi-Function Dog Leash is the way to go. It’s a long leash, hands-free leash, traffic leash, double leash, long tether and short tether — all in one! Its versatility and durability cannot be beat. And its reflective trim is great for pet safety and visibility at night.

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All prices and links were current as of publication.

John Woods
John Woods is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and has been a dog lover since he was 13 years old. He is also graduate in animal welfare and behavior and a recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.