The Best Dog Leashes of 2023

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7 min read
7 min read

Updated - May 24th, 2022

Trying to find the best dog leash for your dog? Whether you need a no pull leash for your puppy still in leash training or a nylon dog leash with reflective threads for your four-legged jogging partner, we’re talking about the best dog leashes for every situation, and why.

Which is the best dog leash for my dog?

Just like every person, every dog is unique – so the best dog leash for your pooch will depend on their needs.

Your dog’s size and breed are important to keep in mind when shopping for a leash. Large dogs and small dogs will typically have different body types, levels of strength, and demeanors that can dictate leash length and material.

Which leash you choose will also depend on your dog’s age and behavior. If your dog is in their early days of dog training, for example, they may benefit from a shorter leash made of durable nylon. Or maybe you have an obsessive chewer who needs a heavy-duty dog leash that won’t fray.

Whatever the reason, there are many factors that go into buying a high-quality leash. Next, let’s talk about the different types of leashes on the market, the pros and cons of each, and which ones we think are the best.

What are the pros and cons of a retractable dog leash?

One of the biggest questions amongst dog owners is whether or not they should use a retractable leash. Let’s put aside the conversation about brand and material for a minute and talk about the pros and cons of retractable leashes. 

If you’re new to the dog world, a retractable leash is just like it sounds – the leash extends and retracts as your dog walks. It’s usually comprised of a padded handle that holds a long leash, as well as a button on the handle that locks the leash into your desired length. It works a lot like a retractable tape measure. 


  1. These are great for letting your pup out to do their “business” in a public space. Retractable leashes have a much longer reach than a typical leash, and it moves with your dog as they move.
  2. There is a “stop” button on the handle that halts the extension of the leash whenever you push it. 


  1. Retractable leashes teach dogs that they get to decide where to go as well as how far and fast they walk because they have so much reach. It’s definitely not helpful for leash training. 
  2. Retractable leashes can get tangled around stationary objects, people, and your legs because of the long reach.
  3. Though it can be a comfortable handle, it’s hard to grip a retractable leash and can easily be dropped if your dog pulls or runs.

Speaking from personal experience, my friends and I have become very frustrated and even gotten injured from using a retractable leash for walks. I’d recommend only using a retractable leash in situations where you need to keep your dog on a leash while they go to the bathroom or are potty training in a small area.

What is a rope leash?

Rope leashes usually come highly recommended, which might have you wondering, “Why are rope leashes better?”

Rope leashes are typically round instead of flat and are very durable. This is an especially good leash for pullers, large breeds, or active pups who love to hike, walk, or jog alongside you. Rope leashes come in different lengths but typically go up to 6 feet, which helps your dog learn to walk with you and prevents a tangled mess.

Pet Pro Tip: When shopping for products for your dog, make sure to also help protect your pooch with best-in-class dog insurance or puppy insurance plans for accidents & illnesses.

What is the best leash for walking a dog?

Some dog leashes are better than others depending on the situation. For example, some are functionally better for certain outdoor activities or training, while others might just better suit your style preferences – it really just depends on what you’re looking for. When in doubt, you can always ask your dog trainer or vet for advice.

Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite dog leashes to help you find the best leash for you and your dog. 

Best retractable dog leash

TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy-Duty Retractable Dog Leash


If you are looking to purchase a retractable leash, the TUG 360° is very popular with a 4.6-star rating from over 67,000 people. It’s listed as an “Amazon’s Choice” product and comes in seven different colors and four different sizes. 

This retractable leash also has an ergonomic handle, a quick lock-and-unlock feature, a heavy-duty internal coil, and a “tangle-free 360 degrees tape movement.” This is supposed to help the tape’s continuous movement, no matter which way your pup goes. 

Best rope dog leash

Tuff Mutt Rope Dog Leash


The Tuff Mutt Rope Dog Leash is made from a durable 5-foot rope with reflective stitching for better safety at night. This rope dog leash also comes with a heavy-duty carabiner to clip onto your dog’s collar. You can pick from a single handle or double handle leash. Plus, this “Amazon’s Choice” product has a 4.6-star rating from over 400 people. 

Best slip dog leash

Ruffwear Just-a-Cinch Dog Leash


For a slip dog leash, my favorite is the Just-a-Cinch Dog Leash by Ruffwear. The whole point of a slip leash is that it just slips over your dog’s head. This one keeps your dog’s safety top of mind as it has two sliding silicone bumpers to help you adjust the tightness of the loop as needed. This way, you can keep your dog’s neck safe by preventing choking while ensuring they can’t slip out of the dog leash.

Best double dog leash

U-pick Dual Dog Leash


If you have two pups that you’re trying to walk together, you may want to try out a dual dog leash. The U-pick Dual Dog Leash has a 4.4-star rating on Amazon from over 8,000 people. It splits off in a Y-shape to connect to both dogs’ collars, and the top half of the Y is actually a shock-absorbing bungee, to help prevent your dogs from yanking at each other’s leashes and collars. Plus, its reflective material will help others to see you walking at night or early in the morning.

Best hands-free dog leash

Ruffwear Hitch Hiker Dog Leash


This is my absolute favorite hands-free dog leash! The Ruffwear Hitch Hiker Dog Leash has a stow bag – a.k.a. a fanny pack – with a durable, adjustable rope leash attached to it. It features “a light, strong, lockable Crux Clip to attach to a collar or harness and 12 feet of strong, supple, reflective kernmantle rope for a secure connection.” 

You can even strap the stow bag to a tree or post and use it as a hitching system to tie up your pup outside. This is perfect for anyone who hikes with their pup and wants to stop partway to enjoy the scenery. 

Best overall dog leash

Ruffwear Crag Reflective Dog Leash


The Ruffwear Crag Reflective Dog Leash has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon from almost 600 people. This high-quality leash comes in multiple color styles, and it can be used as a hand-held or waist-worn dog leash. The length is adjustable to be any length from 3.5 feet up to 6 feet, and it has reflective stitching to help others see you better at night. This dog leash is simple but extremely versatile, making it perfect for walking, running, or hiking with your dog. 

No matter which leash you decide to go with, so long as you do your research and keep your dog’s safety front of mind, you can’t go wrong.

We hope our guide helps you in your decision and wish you lots of happy walks and adventures ahead!

When shopping for any product for your precious pup, their health and happiness is always your top priority. At Pumpkin, pets’ health and happiness are our priority, too! That’s why Pumpkin Pet Insurance plans help pay back 90% of eligible vet bills – so you can worry less about cost, and more about care.

Victoria Arnold

Victoria Arnold

Victoria is a freelance copywriter for the dog industry and has two furbabies of her own. She is passionate about healthy dog care-taking, training, and helping dog parents through the ups and downs of pet parenting.
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