15 Best Dog Leashes of 2023 for Dogs of All Sizes
You can’t own a dog without owning a reliable dog leash.
Because if there’s anything your four-legged friend loves more than you, it’s going with you on long walks.
And for that, you need a dog leash.
Fortunately, there have never been more options on the market. So, no matter how big or small your dog (or budget) is or what type of walk or run they enjoy the most, you won’t
What to Look for in a Dog Leash – 4 Important Factors
When choosing a leash for your dog, there are four boxes you should tick to keep you and your pup happy.
- Available in the Right Size
Here is why each of these points are important when choosing a leash and what to look for in each category.
The best dog leashes should be strong enough to last for years despite constant use. Whether or not they’re up to the challenge all comes down to their design.
The material the leash itself is made from needs to last long-term. That means it should be resistant to the elements, so that it doesn’t wear down over time. The most common materials are nylon, synthetic rope, and coated metal.
A note of caution, though: while nylon is durable, it’s not chew-proof. If your dog has a tendency to chew on its leash, synthetic rope or coated metal is a much better option.
Coated metal is the strongest of these options but does make for a heavier experience. This is perfect for larger dogs but overkill for a dog that’s not very strong.
Durability is also important in other parts of the leash, especially the clasps. There’s no point buying the world’s strongest metal leash if the carabiner comes loose! Make sure that any exposed elements such as clasps and carabiners are rust resistant.
Finally, the handle itself needs to be both durable and comfortable. That ensures that even when walking a very strong dog, the leash holds up. Of course, this becomes even more important if you plan on lots of runs with your dog, as an uncomfortable leash can become a major problem for both you and your pup when the pace picks up.
And if you’re still on the fence, we offer a lifetime warranty to put your concerns to rest. While we truly believe this is the best dog leash on the market, we want to make sure you’re 100% confident when you order, too.
A good dog leash can be all that stands between your dog and its death. Dramatic as it sounds, a fragile leash won’t stop your dog from running into the road if it really pulls. For that reason, safety features are even more crucial with large, strong dogs.
The safest leashes are designed with both the dog and dog walker in mind. Retractable leashes are popular for their convenience but aren’t the best option. They tangle easily, and the mechanism can break under pressure.
Instead, go for leashes that have specific safety features. These could include double clips, a traffic handle, or strong carabiners. That way, you and your dog stay safe even if it tries to suddenly run toward a dangerous situation.
3. Available in the Right Size
Leash size is about more than just length.
Leashes designed for the safety of larger dogs are wider. This spreads the force if the dog suddenly pulls, making the leash far less likely to break.
On the same note, smaller dogs can use slimmer leashes and be just as safe. But there’s nothing wrong with buying a bigger leash for a small dog if its other features are just that good.
Lastly, while it might be the MOST important factor to consider in your dog leash, there’s nothing wrong with wanting one that looks good as it performs. After all, you’re going to (hopefully) use this leash every single day, so you might as well pick one that will represent you and your dog well.
While you may want to splurge on a wild option or two, for the most part, leashes should come in classy neutrals like blacks and grays.
But don’t worry, if you like a little more variety, we’ve included leashes that come in multiple color options below.
Consider More Than One Leash for Your Dog
While the criteria above was definitely our main priority when deciding which dog leashes to include on our list, we did try to include enough options that you could potentially purchase more than one.
Why would you need more than one dog leash?
You probably don't NEED two, but many dog owners enjoy having a shorter, nylon leash they can use when they want more control over their pup (i.e., when walking around the city) and a longer one they can use when their dog has a little more room to roam, sniff, and explore.
Again, this is hardly mandatory but something to think about.
The 15 Best Dog Leashes of 2023 – Options for Every Dog and Budget
Now that you have a better idea of what to look for in a leash for your dog, let’s go through all the best options currently on the market in 2023.
As you’re about to see, you have plenty of options to choose from. We narrowed it down to just 15.
Whether you want something functional like a hands-free leash, you’re looking for something fashionable that will show off your four-legged friend’s style, or some combination of the two, you’ll have no problem finding a couple of attractive options below.
1. Runners Hands-Free Dog Leash - $29
We’ll start with our own dog leash, the Rove Reflective 5-1 Hands-Free Dog Leash.
While we designed our version specifically for people who like to take Rover for a run, our hands-free leash has proven just as popular with owners who prefer a casual walk with their pups, too.
Whatever the case, this six-foot-long leash is ideal for dogs of any size. Just adjust its length with the middle ring to make it perfect for your particular pooch.
It’s also durable enough to handle a dog who might like pulling - or even biting - on their leash. We actually made it by using a ½-inch thick nylon rope designed for mountain climbers! So, yeah, it can put up with anything your four-legged friend throws at it.
And because we added a rotating clasp, the leash can move along the included Cint belt without any help, ensuring you can run in total comfort - and so can your dog. The clasp can even be used to attach to a fanny pack if your dog prefers longer walks that might require you to bring a few essentials with.
Finally, we know it may get late - and dark - during your walks, so we added a luminous reflective stitching throughout the leash to make sure you and your buddy stay visible.
2. Tuff Mutt Rope Leash - $22
The Tuff Mutt Rope Leash keeps things simple. It is 5 feet long and made from polypropylene, which is strong and durable.
Though unassuming in design, this leash really gets the basics right. The handle is tubular in design, which is comfortable even on long walks or if your dog pulls on the leash.
A swiveling mechanism on the carabiner that attaches to your dog’s collar is also a touch of genius. Never again will the lead get caught at an awkward angle.
Each component is built to last. The carabiner, for example, can withstand 1,000 lbs. of force, which makes it suitable for dogs of all sizes. That’s why the manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee.
The leash comes in three colors:
- Neon Green
For walking at night, the neon green option is particularly beneficial, as it has reflective stitching woven into the rope.
And if you’re looking for a little more control, the leash also comes in a double handle design. That allows you to keep your dog close to you in crowded areas.
3. Max and Neo Double Handed Heavy Duty Reflective Leash - $17
The Max and Neo Double Handed Heavy Duty Reflective Leash ticks all the boxes without breaking the bank. It’s made from durable nylon that the manufacturer reckons will last you a lifetime.
And if it doesn’t, there’s a lifetime guarantee for a free replacement.
The reflective quality makes this leash a good investment for night-time walking. Cars and other vehicles will be able to see you and keep their distance.
The two-handle design serves several purposes, which makes it a very versatile leash. They allow you to easily swap from casual rural roaming on the longest length to a short leash in busy areas. They also help keep you in control if your dog pulls on the lead when you walk.
The handles are designed to be comfortable even if your dog is pulling, but they’re still slim enough in design that you could hold multiple leashes if you needed to.
If two handles aren’t enough for you, Max and Neo also offer a Triple Handle version of their leash. This gives you more control over the leash length.
The leash comes in two lengths: 4 and 6 feet. There are also seven color options, including everything from plain black to bright purple.
4. Ruffwear Roamer Bungee Dog Leash - $40
As you can tell from our number 1 pick, we love hands-free dog leashes. They allow super-active pet owners to comfortablyrun or even hike with their pups by their sides.
At the same time, they make for an easier walking experience overall. They keep both of your hands free for bags, children’s hands, and of course picking up their business.
We think the second-best hands-free leash out there is the Ruffwear Roamer Bungee Dog Leash. The handle can easily adjust from being hand-held to going cross-body.
Best of all, the leash has a shock-absorbing design.
Especially with a hands-free leash, it’s more likely a strong dog could pull you off your feet. The bungee-style material massively decreases that risk. Instead, the leash takes the strain if your dog suddenly gets too excited.
Additional features include a traffic handle at the end of the leash for more control in busy areas. And the clasp only requires one hand.
On top of that, the leash is thick and durable. Sadly though, it only comes in two sizes, both of which are bulky. For that reason, the leash is definitely overkill for a smaller dog.
But if you’re looking for a versatile hands-free solution for a big dog, this is a great pick.
5. ZEE.DOG Airleash - $46
The ZEE.DOG Airleash is the most unique leash on this list. It’s the only one with a shock-absorption mechanism!
The Flowtex feature means that even if your dog tugs and pulls, the force doesn’t transfer to the dog walker. That makes for a much more comfortable walk for you. And its anodized aluminum hook can easily take the strain.
On top of that, the leash is made of 2.3 cm wide nylon that can comfortably restrain even the biggest dogs. More than that, the nylon uses elastic webbing so that the leash has more give and can take more strain. And the fabric itself is waterproof for easy cleaning.
The leash is also reflective and comes in seven color combinations.
Though a unique and stylish option, it’s definitely not the cheapest one out there. If your dog doesn’t have a tendency to pull, its main feature may not appeal to you. But for those with larger dogs, it can be a game changer in comfort.
6. Fable Magic Link Leash - $65
The Fable Magic Link Leash is one of the most versatile hands-free leash options.
It doesn’t clip onto your belt but loops around your body. That could be around your waist or across your body, like a satchel. If you want even more control, you can shrink the loop around your wrist for a more traditional leash.
We also love the collar-free design of this leash. While the clip can attach to a collar, it’s also able to slip on and off of your dog’s neck.
Plus, the leash is waterproof, which makes it easy to clean after hiking a muddy trail. And the cord and aluminum combo should last for years.
The only reason it's ranked this low on our list is the cost. While it's a great leash, many leashes offer similar benefits for a quarter of the price.
7. Wilderdog Waterproof Dog Leash - $29
At first glance, the Wilderdog Waterproof Dog Leash is very basic.
There are no extra handles.
It isn't reflective.
And there’s no way to adjust the length.
But what it does do, it does well.
For example, it’s coated with rubber. No level of waterproof nylon is even going to be as waterproof and dirtproof as rubber!
This leash is specifically designed for dogs who love to jump into puddles and hike muddy trails. Cleaning your dog may be a nightmare, but your leash doesn’t have to be. Take this leash biking or even camping, and it will never start to smell.
On top of that, the handle is designed for maximum comfort. And the clip at the end of the 6-foot leash swivels to stop tangles.
It may come in four colors, but there’s only one length available. But if you have a big dog that likes to get mucky, this leash was made with you in mind.
8. PetSafe Nylon Leash - $8
The PetSafe Nylon Leash is as basic as a dog leash gets. Boasting absolutely no bells and whistles, it’s on our list for one reason and one reason only: value for your money.
With varying lengths and widths ranging between $5-$10, it’s one of the cheapest dog leashes out there by far.
Despite that, it still delivers a lot of bang for your buck. The leash stands up in durability tests, especially the thicker versions.
Of course, the simple nylon leash isn’t resistant to chewing. The handle is also as basic as possible, which isn’t particularly comfortable.
It won’t last a lifetime by any means, but it is designed to comfortably keep dogs over 75 lbs. in check! And for just $8, we had to share it with you.
9. Ruffwear Just a Cinch Dog Leash - $30
The Ruffwear Just a Cinch Dog Leash is a simple but elegant solution to your dog-walking needs. While it isn’t loaded with features, it does what you need it to do.
One of our favorites is the adjustable slip-on collar. Moving the silicone bumpers up and down easily tightens or loosens the slip-on leash.
The leash is made of kernmantle rope with reflective stitching. That’s a durable material, as well as an added safety bonus for walking at night. And it comes in four color options:
This leash’s handle is also ergonomically designed to be comfortable even if your dog pulls.
A great leash overall, the only reason it’s so low on our list is its lack of other features. Many leashes at a similar price point have double handles or carabiner attachments that make them more versatile. But if you’re looking for a simple, no-fuss, slip-on leash, it’s a solid choice.
10. Carhartt Pet Durable Webbing Leash - $35
The Carhartt Pet Durable Webbing Leash is another offering with bungee-style shock absorption. What makes this one special is its multiple attachment options.
The leash has a gated clip and slotted D-ring attached. That means you can quickly adjust the leash’s length and grip.
Best of all, all of the metal clips are designed to be usable through thick winter gloves. So, you don't have to get your hands cold when walking in running in winter with your dog. The clips are sturdy but still responsive.
The handle is cushioned for comfortable use. And there is reflective stitching throughout the nylon leash for safety.
Eleven colors are available but not all of them have shock absorption webbing. The leash is also designed only for big dogs, coming exclusively in a 6-foot-long design. But you can choose whether you’d like it to be 3/4 inch or 1 inch thick.
It’s a good middle-of-the-pack leash but won’t suit everyone.
11. Primal Pet Gear Double Handle Dog Leash - $15
Another double-handle entry, the Primal Pet Gear Double Handle Dog Leash is designed for the strongest of dogs. The handles are uber cushioned, so that your hands won't feel too much strain if and when your dog pulls on the leash. Whether you’re using the longer handle for a relaxed walk or the shorter one for busy areas, it should be a comfortable experience.
The 6-foot leash is made from nylon but doesn’t have any inbuilt reflective qualities. However, it does come in eight colors, some of which are very bright. You can choose from three black options, all with different handle colors, or five solid color choices.
The manufacturer advertises that the clip on the leash has recently been upgraded to an even stronger model than before. In independent tests, the leash and clip have held up under more strain than most!
Perhaps because of its bulkier design, it’s only recommended for medium to large dogs. The sizeable, cushioned handles are unnecessary for a smaller dog. They would just get in the way.
The leash also comes with a 1-year guarantee. While that’s not the greatest warranty on this list, it’s still reassuring.
12. Ruffwear Crag Dog Leash - $40
The best thing about the Ruffwear Crag Dog Leash is its versatility as a handheld or body-worn leash. You can adjust the leash depending on what works best for you on the day.
When you do wear it around your body, though, the leash becomes significantly shorter. But the variation in length between 3.5 and 6 feet is useful for walking in different settings.
The leash itself has reflective stitching woven in, but it still stands out as unique in design. Its six design options range in graphics from stripes to mountain ranges!
As you would expect from a leash on this list, the handle is designed so that long walks are comfortable. The manufacturer has even paid special attention to the clasp that connects to your dog’s collar, making sure you can use it with just one hand.
For the price, though, we can't say it stands out as particularly special. It's a decent choice and will serve you well, but similar leashes offer the same features for less.
13. Atlas Pet Company Lifetime Leash - $68
We all love the sound of a product that will last a lifetime. The Atlas Pet Company Lifetime Leash apparently makes the cut.
Their claim to fame is using the strongest and toughest materials possible to ensure that you never need to buy another leash. They used dry-treated climbing rope and stainless steel to make it. And they promise to replace their leash even if your dog destroys it.
While this sounds like a good offer, it’s lacking a few key features. Considering it should last a lifetime, and costs more than any other leash on this list, there isn't even a second handle. And it doesn’t come in multiple lengths or have reflective stitching.
It’s a very highly rated leash and it seems to have gotten the basics down to a fine art, but that’s all it offers.
14. Illumiseen LED Light Up Dog Leash - $25
The stand-out feature of the Illumiseen LED Light Up Dog Leash is, of course, that it lights up on command. It shines 10 times brighter than a reflective leash!
This model’s LEDs have three modes:
- Steady Mode
- Slow Flashing
- Rapid Flashing
Though this may seem like a gimmicky design, the rest of the leash shows real attention to detail.
It comes in two lengths, 4 and 6 feet, so you can choose which is best for your dog. The clasp isn’t a carabiner, but it still has a practical swiveling design. And the nylon leash is durable long-term.
Plus, buyers still have a few colors to choose from, both for the leash and the lights. These include the classic neon green as well as blue, red, orange, yellow, and pink.
If you’re not fussed by a light-up design, this isn’t the leash for you. But for those who regularly walk in dark areas, it’s even safer than a reflective leash.
15. TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash - $16-$26
While we said that a retractable leash is prone to issues, they are still the preferred choice of many dog owners.
So, we made sure to include the best one we could find in our list.
The TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash is 16 feet long. This gives owners loads of control over how near or far you walk your dog.
If your dog finds an off-path area they want to investigate, you can stay where you are while you let them explore. But the leash’s 360-degree functionality allows you to safely pull them back from any angle.
To account for varying dog sizes and strengths, the lead comes in four sizes. Their tiny, small, medium, and large models suit dogs under 26lbs, 35lbs, 55lbs, and 100lbs, respectively.
The lead handle is ergonomic, so it should stay comfortable on long walks despite carrying so much leash in your hand. And the handle comes in seven colors, though the leash itself is always black.
Choosing the Best Dog Leash for You
Obviously, we’re a little partial to our own contribution to the dog leash market:the Rove Reflective 5-in-1 Hands-Free Dog Leash.
However, as you just saw, that’s far from the only option you have. We’ll continue updating this list as more leashes hit the market, too. Feel free to drop any notable options in the comments, as well.
But if you need one right away, you have 15 leashes to choose from above – any of which is a great choice for your furry friend.