What is the best lead for my dog or puppy?

We often get asked this question by customers keen to make the right selection, from the multitude of options available.

There are many things to consider when selecting the right lead, for you and you pup.  It is also worth bearing in mind that you and your dog may need a couple of different leads depending on where you are dog walking and what activities or dog training you will be doing.  The right lead can be the difference between enjoyable and unenjoyable training sessions and dog walks. 

dog on lead in cafe

Whilst essential doggy fashion is important, you ultimately want a lead that is comfortable and safe for both you and your pup.

What types of lead are available?

Below is an explanation of the four main types of leads used for dogs.

Standard clip lead - can be clipped to a harness or collar, usually around 1.2m in length.  Good for both urban and rural environments.

Training multiway lead - a popular choice for many dog owners due to its versatility of being both long, short and having a hands free option.  These leads come into their own when puppy training, walking two dogs and they have the added bonus of  being able to be clipped to a front led harness, due to the clips at either end.

Multiway training lead

Slip lead - a lead with an adjustable loop that fits around the dog’s neck and is mostly favoured by working dog owners, where the dog has mastered walking to heel without a lead first.  These are a popular choice as they don’t require the dexterity of a clip, which is helpful during winter walks, or out shooting when your hands are cold!

Luxury rope slip lead

Extending lead - the thin cord rolls in and out of its casing.  It locks at whatever length you choose and usually has a full length of around 5-8m long. These can be a bit of a trip hazard and have had a bit of bad press of late for cutting through skin, if a dog pulls suddenly. That said they have their uses: if your dog isn’t great at recall, it allows them some controlled freedom.

Drag or training line - not designed to be held but to be dragged behind the dog.  It’s lightweight nature allows the dog to drag the end behind it.  This lead tends to be used for recall training practice. It cannot be safely used in busy areas because they easily get tangled around people’s legs and other dogs, causing potential injury.

What’s the best material for a dog lead?

Luxury Puppy Lead Training lead
Dog leads are made from a variety of materials from leather, rope, fabric, webbing and more recently BioThane.  Also worth mentioning, leads also come in a variety of widths.  Typically, thinner for smaller dogs and wider for strong or bigger dogs, is a good rule to work by. 

A quality lead should have quality metal work, which won’t rust or break when exposed to the elements and be made of a hard wearing material, that can be machine washed and won’t fray or tear when being pulled.

At Oonalfie our luxury rope dog leads are handmade from high quality engineered dock line.  The rope is designed and made with the intention that it will be sat in salt water a lot of the time!  The rope has a high braid count that feels smoother in the hands and reduces the chances of friction burns and injury.  Unlike flat woven leads there are no sharp edges to dig into your hands or your dog’s neck. We create leads in three thicknesses suitable for dogs of different sizes and needs.  All our leads have 100% solid brass hardware to give you a lifetime of use.

The construction of our leads uses the traditional method of hand splicing which is then stitched with heavy duty thread to ensure it says in place and keeps you and your dog safe, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing together.  All our leads (with the exception of the multiway training line) also have a handy o ring on the handle, to conveniently attach dog poo or treat bags to!

Handcrafted luxury dog lead

 Which type of Oonalfie lead is best for a puppy?

Luxury Multiway Training Line

We recommend the Oonalfie multiway training line to new puppy owners. It’s lightweight, adjustable and hugely versatile. The lead uses thinner rope and features lighter solid brass clips, which are less noticeable to a puppy.  This lead can be used for close heel work, sit and stay practice, and initial recall training, ensuring an enjoyable training experience for you and your puppy.  You also have the added advantage that the lead can be worn across the body, allowing you to be hands free in those initial ‘new puppy juggling’ moments. 

The multiway training line is also the perfect lead solution, if your dog is using a front led harness. It features high quality, solid brass, clips at either end which can be attached to the front and back of the harness. The lead also comes into its own if you have two dogs, as one can be clipped to either end!

wondercoat multiway training line dachshunds

Luxury Clip Lead

The Oonalfie Luxury Clip Leads are elegant, very stylish and timelessly luxurious.  Simple to use, the high quality, solid brass clip attaches to your dog’s collar or harness.  These classically designed leads are built to withstand a lifetime of daily use.  

Our clip leads come in three thicknesses, and in a variety of lengths to allow you and your puppy a lifetime of happy moments.  Typically we advise large dogs, or dogs that pull hard, to use 14mm thick clip leads, medium to small sized dogs the 12mm thick lead and small dogs the 10mm thick lead.
When you select a lead you should consider how and where you will be using it.  Will you need to tie your dog up in a restaurant? Do you need them extremely close to you, or do you need to have a lead that allows them a little controlled freedom?  All of these answers will help you decide on the best length dog lead for you and your pup.

Brown and white dog being walked on luxury clip lead

All our leads beautifully compliment our range of luxury dog collars.  Why not explore the full collection here? You can even match your dog with our range of matching human luxury friendship bracelets!

My dog still doesn’t walk to heel.  Should I try a slip lead?

hungarian vizsla working dog ropw slip lead

The short answer is NO.  In order for your dog to walk happily to heel, by your side, they need to see the lead as something to like.  If a slip lead is used too early, they will associate the lead with discomfort and something to flee from, rather than ‘it’s time to focus’ at your side.  We always advise that any long term problems with lead training should be discussed with a qualified trainer. In this instance we would always recommend our standard clip lead and lots, and lots, and lots, of practice!

Oonalfie Luxury Classic Slip leads are perfect for dogs which walk to heel, are being trained to work or have owners with dexterity issues.  They should always be used, putting the dog’s safety and welfare first.  We offer three lengths of rope slip leads, and three thicknesses.  The longer length is better suited to younger dogs, the standard for everyday use and the shorter for keeping your dog close, perhaps during dog agility class.  For medium to large dogs we recommend opting for the 14mm thickness slip lead and for puppies in training, we recommend the thinner, longer length, 10mm rope puppy slip lead.

Bespoke Design Service

We realise that every dog has different needs and that one size does not fit all.  Why not use our bespoke design service to create the lead of your dreams.  Our team loves a good challenge.  Don’t see what you need online? Contact us today about commissioning a custom luxury dog lead? laura@oonalfie.com

Custom Dog lead design service rainbow dog collar and lead

Still Confused?

If you still have questions unanswered contact Laura Shaw, our Head Designer, who will be able to guide you through the process of selecting the right dog lead for you and your pup?