The Best Dog Leash Guide | 2018


A handle, a clip and a piece of rope. . Dog leashes are anything but simple nowadays. There are more types than there are dog breeds it seems!

In this guide we cover our top picks from several categories: retractable, paracord, leather, hands free, rope, reflective and LED.  Each type has it’s own further in-depth guide. 

Best Retractable Dog Leash

best retractable dog leash

Verdict: For the responsible pet owner, a retractable dog leash is a must have. Having the discretion and control to choose an appropriate leash-length for your walk is very important. Retractable dog leashes have a lot of fragile moving parts, more than any other leash type.

If you buy cheap, these mechanisms easily break under extreme stress and resistance. The result? Quality is important. Our recommendation takes this into account. If your dog is a puller, make sure you find a heavy duty option! We really like this one here.

Having the discretion and control to choose the appropriate length for your walk is very important. Some of these even extend up to 26 feet. 

For general purpose, we give our top value in this category below:

Flexi is the Goliath in the retractable leash category. They make options for large,small, thick, and tall dogs. If you have a small to medium sized dog, the Flexi New Classic Cord Leash is your best option. 

Best Paracord Dog Leash

Verdict: The paracord dog leash is a cheap extremely customizeable option that can be a fun diy project. 

One of the most versatile materials of the past century. Paracord sure came in handy during WW2 and now it’s being used in dog leashes. Woven together with several strands of nylon, these leashes have a very aesthetic design. They are also some of the most affordable on the list.

However, to bind different colors of paracord together the ends must be spliced. It is commonly joined again only by heat, so the nylon melts together. This leaves a weakness in the “link” between the spliced ends. 

Still, while this leash may not be the sturdiest in it’s common variations, there are some heavy duty versions available. If you’re looking to buy a paracord dog leash, one option stood out for us.  

If you’d like to make your own paracord dog leash we really like the paracord crafting bundle we found on Amazon. 

The Best Paracord Dog Leash Choice

Double Braided Nylon Paracord makes this a high quality option that is very cool. What we really love is that they offer a lifetime money back guarantee. 

Best Leather Dog Leash

Verdict: By nature, leather leashes are very durable. It will last you a long time and there are many great options currently available. 

We love leather, you love leather. Everyone loves leather! If you want something that feels great in your hand, and you know is going to last a long time… this is the choice for you. Unlike fabric leashes, there are no “weak threads”. A leather leash is one consistent piece of material. 

With a wide variety of options to choose from, leather dog leashes can be difficult to sift through. We accounted for value, warranty, and build quality. We ended up choosing the Soft Choice Collars Braided Leather Dog Leash. 

Best Hands Free Dog Leash

The Verdict: Hands Free Dog Leashes are perfect for runners or people who are doing outdoor activities. The lower center of gravity means that if your dog tugs while you’re running, you retain control. If you need to be mobile and not tied up a hands free dog leash is the perfect option for you. 

We go into more detail on all the types and choices of in our review below. 

Our top choice of this category was the TaoTronics hands free dog leash.

Best Rope Dog Leash

The Verdict: rope dog leashes main benefits are the variations of colors, the feel of cotton, and the weight of the leash. You are really in control with a rope dog leash. Our favorite so far is the FMS Rope lead pictured above. 

Best LED Dog Leash

Having the ability to walk your dog at night and increase your visibility is a huge benefit. LED dog leashes are relatively new, but there are already some very good options on the market. Many early morning runners like this option!

Illumiseen LED Dog Leash

Illumiseen offers a high quality option with many variations. It comes in 2 sizes(4 and 6ft) and 6 different colors(orange,blue,pink,green,red, and yellow). 

Most users concerns of LED dog leashes when they hit the market was longevity. There were many cheap options, made with cheap electronics. The reason we chose Illumiseen besides their price point is their lifetime guarantee. Gotta love that. Their leash gives 5 hours of light per 1 hour charge. All for under 25 bucks. 

Best Reflective Dog Leash

Similar to LED Dog Leashes, people want something that illuminates their pet. These may not be as bright as LEDs, but they serve their purpose just the same. Also, there is no electricity to deal with. You don’t have to worry about charging something. 

Chai's Choice Padded 3M Reflective Dog Leash

A very soft leash, we love that they added extra padding. 3M makes quality materials and their reflective weave is what you would expect. With over 400 reviews and 4.5 stars, customers say this works like a charm. Two size variations(3.6 ft, 6.5ft) and 9 color variations to choose from.