It all started because we needed new leashes for our dogs. Facebook is my first stop when it’s time to go shopping – my friends always have great advice – so I posed this question on the GoPetFriendly fan page … what’s your favorite leash and why?
The suggestions poured in, extolling the virtues of each recommendation, and I spent the next several days visiting websites and reading about features I’d never dreamed of. I was floored by all the options … how was I going to make a decision? I wanted to try them all! And then it came to me …
I contacted all the leash companies my friends had recommended and invited them to participate in a leash challenge. They’d send us a leash to try with Buster and Ty, we’d post pictures of the dogs using each leash on Facebook, and at the end we’d announce which was our favorite. Nine companies stepped up to the challenge. Buster and Ty have had a great time perfecting their modeling skills, and now it’s time for the results!
First, let me introduce you to each of the contestants. In alphabetical order, they are:
This one-piece martingale collar and leash combo is fully fleece-lined and extremely comfortable – for Ty and for me! The leash is machine washable inside a pillowcase and should be line-dried. The warranty is great, with repairs due to normal wear and tear (including towing your car with it) done for free and damage from chewing fixed at a minimal cost.
These leash/collar combos cost $30, and for an additional $10 you can customize the colors. We also noticed that they sometimes offer clearance items on the Chuckle Pup Facebook page. One thing I’d change: I’d prefer a clip so I can use it with the dogs’ harnesses.
The unique characteristic of this leash is easy to identify … it lights up! Durable nylon is sewn around high-efficiency LED bulbs that will last for 150 hours on a single battery, and can be set to burn steady or flash. The leash is light-weight, weather resistant, and visible up to 1,000 feet away. It’s great for walking after dark … or when you want/need to stand out in the crowd.
Leashes and collars are sold separately for between $23 and $30 depending on size. Buster’s modeling the green camouflage, but they offer a great variety of fashion designs and college logos. The Dog-e-Glow Facebook page has a lot of fun photos to peruse. One thing I’d change: The leash is stiff and not very comfortable to hold.
The earthdog leashes are made of 100% hemp canvas, which makes them very earth-friendly. My favorite part about this leash is the snap hook that connects to the harness. Ty has a knack for shaking off the regular spring-loaded clasps, and this one is safer for him. According to the gab on the earthdog Facebook page, their leashes get softer and more comfortable the more you wash them. And washing them is easy – just throw them in the washing machine and dryer.
These leashes run between $22 and $30, depending on length. You’ll find them, along with collars, beds, toys and more products made from hemp on the company’s website. One think I’d change: A secondary handle to keep the dog close would be great.
Is it possible that Krebs knew I am a Green Bay Packers fan when they sent me this green and gold leash? I can’t say for sure … but what I do know is that upcycling used climbing rope into dog leashes is very cool! The rope used by mountain climbers has to be strong and durable – and for safety reasons it’s usually retired after one season. But there’s still a lot of life in these ropes, and they’ll serve as great dog leashes for years. They are light, comfortable in your hand, and can easily be tied in a knot to keep your dog close.
Washing them is as simple as throwing them in the machine, and if anything goes wrong with the leash, Krebs will replace it. Their leashes cost around $15, and based on the chatter on the Krebs Recycle Facebook page, I’m not the only one in love with them. One thing I’d change: Switching from the standard spring-loaded clasp to a safety clasp.
The Quantum Leash from Kurgo is the most versatile leash we reviewed. Want an over-the-shoulder or around the waist hands-free leash? Done. Want a leash that will adjust from 3 feet to six feet, with lots of stops along the way? Done. Want a leash that can be easily configured to walk two dogs? Done. If you can imagine it, it seems the Quantum Leash will do it!
The fleece handle makes this leash comfortable to hold, and the carabiner adjustment means you can tether your pup to your chair at a pet friendly cafe, without removing his leash. The Quantum Leash costs $20 and comes with a lifetime warranty. If you’re interested in more photos of what this leash can do, check out the Kurgo Facebook page. One thing I’d change: In the shortest position the leash is basically doubled up and it’s like having an extra leash flopping around.
Who guarantees their leashes, even if they’re chewed? Lupine does! And they make strong leashes from durable woven nylon in bright colors and fun patterns. Their padded handles are very comfortable – even if your dog pulls – and the snap hooks they use are easy to attach to the harness, but hard for naughty, wrinkly dogs to shake off!
Lupine leashes cost around $18, and you can throw them in the washing machine (warm water) when they get dirty. Just don’t put them in the dryer … or you may end up with a shriveled leash. If you have one of their products, you should know that they love seeing pictures of your pets on the Lupine Facebook page. One thing I’d change: Buster and Ty would appreciate some more masculine designs to choose from.
The Flat Out leash by Ruffwear combines several great features. The design of the talon clasp makes it easy to use – even with gloves on – and Ty wouldn’t be able to shake it off in a million years. The padded handle is comfortable, and has a buckle you can easily tether your pet without removing the leash, or wear it like a belt when you want to be hands-free. The leash is six feet long, but a built-in loop, down by the clasp, allows you to keep your dog close in traffic.
The Flat Out leash should be hand washed and line dried. It costs $30, and comes in several colors. Ruffwear guarantees their products against manufacturing defects, but not chewing or normal wear and tear. If you’re ever looking for inspiration, the Ruffwear Facebook page has tons of photos of adventure dogs having fun in their gear. One thing I’d change: It would be great if the leash were offered in different lengths.
Far and away, the best customer service I’ve ever received was from the folks as RUN-Devue – and I wasn’t really a customer! This leash is unusual in that it offers several configurations … not for the person, but for the dog. It can be used as a simple loop collar, an over-the-nose head lead, or a no-pull harness. All of their leashes are 100% guarantee for life – including damage from chewing – despite the fact that they encourage you to use the handle as a tug toy! They also have a “pull no more” challenge – they will give you your money back if you don’t see immediate improvement in your pulling dog after using their PAC1 leash.
This leash costs $30, and is made of tough nylon that is machine washable and should be line dried. They have some very enthusiastic fans – many of whom are using these leads for agility competitions – and you can meet them on the RUN-Devue Facebook page. One thing I’d change: I would have trained my dogs on this leash as puppies so they’d be accustomed to it now.
This is the most unusual looking leash of the bunch. Utilizing the flexibility of natural rubber, this leash stretches to twice it’s length and relieves stress on the human and the dog. The colorful exterior covers a reinforcing safety line to keep the leash from stretching to far and to protect against breakage. The extra-large size we received had the talon-type clasp that Ty can’t shake off, and the secondary handle down by the claps provides complete control when needed. We even learned first-hand how easily the leash wipes off, after Buster rubbed it up against seeping creosote on a telephone pole. Oops.
This leash costs between $20 and $30, depending on size, and is covered for one year against manufacturers defects. For those with latex allergies, this leash is not for you – but if you’d like to avoid the jolt the next time your dog lunges after a squirrel, this may be just the thing. You can find out more on the WACKYwalk’r Facebook page. One thing I’d change: The traffic loop should be longer for shorter dogs, so you don’t have to bend over to use it.
Comparing the leashes was a lot tougher than we expected! There were things we liked about each of them, and things we wish we could change. Depending on your dog and the activity you’re doing, each one has it’s advantages. Choosing one leash is like only having one pair of shoes … you just can’t do it! And, as much as I’d like to wiggle out of this, I know you won’t stand for it … so, our favorite leash is … the WACKYwalk’r!
We’re going to give all these leash contestants to you! To enter, leave a comment below telling us which of the leashes you’d like to win and why.
This contest is now closed.
Disclosure: We received at least one free leash from each of the companies participating in this challenge. The opinions expressed here are my honest assessment of the products based on my personal experience using them. I will be sending these leashes to the winners of the contest.