What’s the Best Type Leash for a French Bulldog?
Follow me if you will the scene of you walking your Frenchie along and something catches their eye. Then “snap” the leash breaks and they run off and get into a dangerous situation before you can catch him.
This isn’t from the latest Wes Craven movie. It’s happening everywhere daily. Therefore, it’s very important to choose a great leash (or lead), so I decided to write this guide to help you through the process and make sure you have the right leash to suit your intended use.
Leashes, Leashes, Everywhere’s a Leash
For everyday walks and exercise, just about any leash is as good as any other, but if your dog has a certain behavior or you’re trying to train a specific skill there are particular leashes tailored to suit what you’re trying to achieve.
There are different lengths, widths, styles and types of dog leash available to suit different breeds, temperament of dog and for different uses in everyday life and training.
But essentially all dog leashes have the same basic purpose, to keep your dog safe and under control while out in public and as an aid for you to manage your pet during dog training.
This article discusses all the factors you need to consider when buying a leash.
What is the Purpose of a Leash?
In many places around the world, it’s a legal requirement for owners to have their dog on a leash when out in public. This is for safety reasons as a loose dog can cause accidents or if it was to become aggressive their owner has some form of control.
There are many benefits from using a dog leash such as:
- A simple and effective way to control your dog during training sessions.
- Prevent your dog from chasing and scaring other animals, children or perhaps people with a phobia of dogs.
- Prevent your dog from wandering and going to the bathroom in inappropriate places.
- Prevent running into the road injuring themselves and perhaps others if they were to cause an accident.
- A means to temporarily tether your dog so they’re safe if you cannot give them your attention for a few minutes.
- A leash is an essential tool to use during the early days of puppy-hood to keep them safe and aid you in training. And it’s a convenient tool for control and management of your dog throughout the rest of their lives.
What are the Different Types of Dog Leashes?
- Standard Leash
- Retractable Leash
- Adjustable Leash
- Chain Leash
- Martingale Lead
- Multiple Dog Leash
- Seat Belt Safety Leash
When deciding on a leash, the things you need to consider are:
- Purpose you’re going to use it for
- Material it’s made from
- Most suitable length and width
- Style and type of fastener of the leash
There’s quite a lot to consider and that’s why there are literally thousands of choices available.
Let’s go through each of these important points so that by the end of the article you’ll know exactly what style, type and size of leash you need and why. Then you’ll be able to buy the right leash with confidence.
The Standard Leash
This is the most common type of dog leash used for everyday walking and basic training.
They’re usually made from nylon or leather, although other materials are available such as cotton and rubber but those aren’t as durable and so are far less common.
Nylon and leather are both tough enough to restrain an adult dog, yet lightweight enough for use with a puppy.
They measure between 4 and 8 feet in length with 6 feet being the most common. This length allowing plenty of room for freedom of movement while being short enough to afford the handler complete control of their dog if necessary.
Retractable dog leashes allow you to vary the length of leash you allow your dog for freedom of movement.
They work much like a measuring tape with a nylon cord that can extend anything from about 4 to 30 feet, with a locking mechanism in a plastic handle that allows you to lock the leash at varying degrees of length.
They then automatically collect up any slack in the leash when you release the mechanism, retracting the line into the handle.
Although quite popular there’s a few things to consider before using one:
- Leash burns.
- Retractable leashes, especially the thin string variety, can very easily cause leash burns. This could happen when you let your pooch race past you with the retractable line zipped up across your bare skin. Unwarranted injuries, however, can be prevented if you try the flat, tape style retractable leash.
- Entanglement or strangulation
- Not only can retractable leashes burn us, they can also get twisted around a dog’s neck or legs. Worse, if your pooch panics and jerks the moment they get hog-tied; it could cause the leash to pull even tighter. Although you can loosen the cords that have wrapped around his neck, the situation could quickly become life-threatening.
- Fatal accidents
- There are times when our dogs dart away all of a sudden, and with a retractable leash on him, your dog might dart even farther, faster. Nevertheless, it’s the reeling that’s a serious issue here. It is possible that Fido may spot a squirrel or anything interesting across the street, and suddenly take off after it. If you’re not alert enough, his abrupt behavior and an un-sturdy retractable leash could put him smack on the road, right in front of a speeding car.
- The leash drops
- Because these leashes rarely have a wrist strap and are sometimes heavy and bulky, dropping them is a regular occurrence. What’s worse, if you drop the handle, the lack of tension can send the heavy handle hurdling toward your dog. Not only could the heavy leash handle smack your dog in the head, if your dog is spooked by the leash handle zipping deafeningly toward him, he may take off running.
- The cord wraps around you
- Poor handling can also cause the cord/tape to twist around you or someone else’s fingers resulting in deep wounds, or worse, amputation.
- The collar breaks or comes off your dog
- The moment this occurs, the leash could retract at top speed while the other end of the line whips around at the same full momentum leading to serious injuries to face, teeth, and eyes.
These dangers aside, the biggest problem I see with retractable dog leashes is they can actually train your dog to pull on the leash!
So, we don’t recommend the use of these leashes, except for dogs who are already trained to walk nicely on leash.
Adjustable leashes try to fill the gap (if there is one) between standard leashes and retractable leashes by offering you a leash that you can adjust the length of.
Adjustments are usually available from between 3 and 6 feet using the addition or removal of loops, or extra clips along the length. These can allow you a shorter leash to use for training such as heel work when you want your dog very close, while giving the option for more freedom if out on a walk.
This type of leash is a replacement for the standard leash, very useful in the training of your dog because it gives sound reinforcement. Alerting your dog for behaviors that you don’t want. They are available in various weights and thicknesses so are suitable for all sizes of dogs.
The Martingale Lead
This type of leash is an all in one combination of a standard style leash and a martingale collar.
They’re used as a training aid when trying to prevent a dog from pulling. It tightens around the dog’s neck when it pulls, not choking your poor dog, but putting just enough pressure on their neck to act as a deterrent, making it uncomfortable if they do pull. Therefore, discouraging the behavior.
Multiple Dog Leash
This type of leash is used to walk multiple dogs on the one single leash.
You have the one handle and a leash to your first dog, with a second leash (and maybe more) coming off from a coupler to allow you to attach another dog.
For well-trained dogs that walk nicely and don’t jump around or pull, these are quite effective and useful for owners with multiple dogs. We’ve found that it is very difficult to use anything more than a double dog leash, but it is possible.
Seat Belt Safety Leash
Seat belt safety leashes are a short leash with a clip at one end to attach to your dog’s collar and a seat-belt clip the other end so you can secure your dog in the car.
This prevents them from climbing around and distracting you when driving. It also prevents them wandering off in case of an accident as they’re secured to the car.
While some might not think of a harness as a type of dog leash, it absolutely is! Many dogs will benefit from using a harness instead of a traditional style dog leash because it gives the owner a firmer amount of control over a dog that needs guidance.
On top of that, dog harnesses are thought to be more comfortable and easier for dogs to adjust to. Making them a win-win for many Frenchie owners. A no-pull harness is one of the most popular items for owners who have headstrong French Bulldogs who like to pull. Harness-type leashes come in back clip and front clip styles. They each have their benefits, but back clip harnesses are better for well-trained dogs, and front clip harnesses are better for dogs who may jump or pull.
Choosing the Right Material for Your Leash
Dog leashes are available in many different materials that each have strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the most common:
Nylon is a relatively cheap material, yet sturdy and strong. So, for a very reasonable price you get a good, durable leash. Being a man-made fiber, it’s available in a wide variety of colors and even multicolored patterns. So, a nylon leash offer you tons of individuality if you fancy a leash that looks a little different.
Nylon doesn’t shrink when wet and dries out easily. It’s also easy to clean making it a good all-around material.
Leather leashes are more expensive than their Nylon counterparts, but with that you get a very durable and comfortable leash. Leather leashes can literally last a lifetime.
They aren’t impervious to chewing, but are very strong. They are far more comfortable to grip because leather isn’t as abrasive as nylon on your skin.
Leashes made of metal or alloy chain are the not very popular of leashes available but are well suited for dogs that will not stop chewing their leash. They can be quite heavy, but with proper training and commands can be a good starter chain for your puppy.
Reflective or LED Leashes
Like a standard leash, reflective leashes are usually made of leather or nylon but with the addition of a reflective material stitched into the leash. LED leashes are also nylon but have bright LED lights embedded into the leash.
These leads, in combination with a reflective or LED collar, are good to use for owners that walk their dogs along roads at night. They can alert oncoming traffic of your presence and provide a little more safety for you and your dog.
Deciding Which Clip is Right for You
Well, we’ve covered leashes and all leashes come with clips to attach to a collar or harness. The clip must be strong and reliable because the best and strongest leash in the world is useless if it doesn’t stay attached to your dog’s collar.
You want to buy a leash with a good quality metal clip. Avoid plastic clips at all costs! Preferably made of stainless steel to resist corrosion and avoid weakening over time.
Here are two of the clip styles we recommend:
The Bolt Snap Clip
The Trigger Snap Clip
Which is the Best Leash to Buy for My Frenchie?
When choosing a leash, first think about where and how you will be using it. Is it for everyday use? For leash training, are you using it indoors or out? Are you considering a leash for distance command training?
For Everyday Use:
The best dog leash to use is a traditional, 6-foot nylon leash. 6 feet is long enough to provide freedom of movement while keeping your dog close and under your control. Avoid materials such as cloth and rubber as they aren’t as durable.
When Training Indoors:
The best dog leash is a rounded nylon leash is the most suitable because it’s very light and is the one least likely to get stuck under the furniture in your home.
When outdoor training:
We recommend a 6-foot leather leash. Unless you are training distance commands (for which you should get a 30 to 50-foot nylon bungee-style lead). Leather provides the comfort you need for your hands and is strong enough to be effective.
We’ve put together a selection of the highest quality leashes suitable for use with French Bulldogs, during training and everyday use, that you can see by clicking here.