Buy This, Not That: 7 absolute best dog leashes, according to professional dog walkers and trainers


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Walking your dog regularly is good for her health and weight management, but as plenty of dog owners know, it can be tough to find the right leash. So we asked professional dog walkers and trainers which leashes they prefer, whether you have a dog that pulls a lot, need a hands-free walk, prefer a retractable leash, or simply need something durable.

Best retractable leash: Tug Retractable Leash, $19.99 on Chewy (free 1-3 day shipping for all orders over $49)

Lin Belarge, owner of Walkies D.F. a dog walking, boarding and training service in New York, loves this leash, noting that it is super comfortable and rarely ever tangles or snags. “The inner coil is very strong compared to other leashes that you can hear struggling to unroll and reroll while you’re using cheaper ones. It doesn’t lose its shape and ribbon like other leashes do and the brake is rock solid,” she says. She walks 80-pound pit bulls and labs with the medium size of this leash and says she’s never has a control problem. “I trust this leash. The spring clip never gets rusty and the grip is ergonomically correct for my large hands,” she says.
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Most versatile leash: Blue-9 Multi Function Hands-Free Dog Leash, $21.95 on Amazon

Made of washable nylon, this easy-to-clean leash — which easily converts from six feet to three-and-a-half feet — is a top pick of Nicole Ellis, a certified professional dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert for Rover. “I love this leash because of its two clips and multi-attachment points that enable me to turn it into any various length and style,” says Ellis. You can easily loop it or double clip it to a harness, too, and can wear it over your shoulder for a hands-free walk. “This leash is as versatile as they come,” says Ellis.
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Durable and stylish: Leerburg Amish Brown Leather Leash, $25 on Amazon

“My go-to leashes are Amish-made leather with a solid brass buckle. They last forever if you take care of them and they’re strong enough for any size dog. They’re much easier on the hands compared to nylon leashes and they have a timeless look that never goes out of style,” says Miguel Rodriguez, owner and operator of City Dog Pack, a NYC-based dog walking and training company. 
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For dogs that pull a lot: Sleepypod Power Leash, $39.99 on Amazon

Rover’s Ellis recommends this leash for dogs who can be more difficult to walk. The leash is made from high-tensile strength nylon webbing and includes a strong snap hook so that you can control even very strong and determined dogs: “Knowing the materials won’t break under a pulling dog is really important to me,” she says. “An extra built-in loop farther down the six foot leash is extra handy when I need to keep my pup close to me, such as when a skateboard passes us on a walk or when we’re walking across the street.” Added bonus: “Throw in the added convenience of a waste bag slot and you can’t go wrong,” says Ellis.
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For multiple dogs: Mendota Products Slip Striped Dog Leash, from $15.99 on Chewy (free 1-3 day shipping for all orders over $49)

“I primarily do structured pack walks and usually have anywhere from four to 11 dogs in my hand at any given time,” says Hadley Raysor of the Dandy Dog Walker in Alameda, California says. She uses this Mendota slip lead leash, which is a leash and collar in one, on those walks to keep control of the dogs and keep her own hands comfortable. Indeed, the braided rope material is designed to have a broken-in feel that is gentle on your hands.
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Fashionable (and charitable): Found My Animal Cotton Rope Dog Leash, $26 to $64 on

“I was attracted to this leash because it’s beautiful. It’s made in Brooklyn, NY,  from hand-dipped intertwined rope and has a thick bronze clasp that has the most incredible lock safety feature. It’s easy to hold, sturdy and a portion of proceeds go to animals in need,” says Melissa Bacelar, owner of Wagmor Pets, a Los Angeles-based dog rescue. 
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