How Long Should A Dog Leash Be?

Choosing the right size leash for your dog can be confusing and we understand this. There are many different sizes of leashes available that can confuse any new pet owners. but, you dont have to worry about it. In this guide, we have tried to cover a complete guide related to dog leashes. and, what type of leash you need for which scenario.

Types of Dog Leashes

  1. Standard/normal leash: As the name says these are the most common and most used leashes with an average length of 4-6 feet and used in almost every aspect.
  2. Retractable leashes: These retractable leashes ranging from 8 to 20 feet are useful as they provide a sense of freedom to your dog. It comes with a locking mechanism that allows dog owners to set a length limit for the safety of others and your dog as well.
  3. Chain leash: These types of leashes are made of metal and are mostly for heavy and larger dogs which are difficult to handle with standard leashes. But these are less common due to their heavy weight and discomfort.
  4. Traffic leashes: As the name says, these leashes are used to keep your dogs close to you either in a crowded area or while crossing a road as they are 1-3 feet in length and offer supervised control.
  5. Bungee leash: These leashes of course are not used for bungee jumping but they do have an elastic component that is helpful to absorb or nullify the effect of a shock or sudden jerk in a movement without harming the dog.
  6. Hands-free leash: Suppose you are out for a jog or hiking or maybe while on a bicycle, then this leash is perfect for you as they are worn around the waist, and you can easily do your chore.
  7. Martingale Leash: These leashes are supplied with a martingale collar which is helpful for training the pup not to pull on the leash.
  8. Multi-dog leash: These are good to use when you must walk around multiple dogs but with one leash. So, with a single leash, multiple leads are connected, and it is handy as well.
  9. Safety-belt leash: These leashes are for traveling purposes as they can be attached to the buckle of the seatbelt. They have a body harness attached which provides a firm grip.

Thick Vs Thin Leash

Thick and thin dog leashes each have their own distinct advantages to consider.

Thick leashes are ideal for large-sized dogs, running with a dog that pulls, or if you are running with a dog that is heavier than you. For this situation, thick leashes can be considered. but, most pet owners like to avoid thick leashes as they are heavyweight, costly, and require more storage compared to thin leashes.

On the other hand, most pet owners prefer to have thin leashes as they look good too, don’t require much weight to carry, and are portable.

Whether you choose a thick or thin leash it depends on your dog. if you have a smaller dog, are well-behaved, and don’t require much control you can use thin leashes and if everything is the opposite, then you need to carry that heavyweight thick leashes.

Standard Leash Length For Average Dogs

The ideal size for an average dog for regular walks is between 4 to 6 feet and 1/2 ” to 3/4 inch in width. This size works well for most dogs and offers a good balance between comfort and strength.

The weight of the width depends on your dog’s weight. if your dogs weigh over 50 lbs select 1/2 inches width and if your pup is under 50 lbs, you can go for 3/4 ” width. 

These standard leash sizes allow your dog to move around freely without feeling restricted. They can explore the world, meet friends, and sniff around wherever they want. and, you can control it easily with just a small pull from your side if see any danger.

Make sure of one thing leashes should not be very tight so that they’ll leave marks on the collar. Always leave a space one to figures. It shouldn’t be that tight they can’t breathe, nor too loose that they can open it easily.

Best Leash Length For Different Scenarios.

  1. Small Dogs: A 4 to 6-foot leash is generally suitable for small dogs, providing them with some freedom while maintaining control.
  2. Medium Dogs: Similarly, a 4 to 6-foot leash is also a good choice for medium-sized dogs. This leash length provides a balance between maintaining control during walks and allowing your dog some freedom to explore
  3. Large Dogs: For larger dogs, a 6 to 8-foot leash can provide them with more freedom to move.
  4. Puppies: When training puppies, a 6-foot leash is ideal to help them learn basic commands and behaviors.
  5. City Walking: In crowded urban areas, a 4 to 6-foot leash is recommended for better control and safety.
  6. Running with Your Dogs: Consider using a hands-free leash system or a longer leash (6 to 10 feet) for running with your dog, allowing them to run alongside you comfortably.
  7. Bikejoring: Bikejoring typically requires a long towline (10 to 12 feet) to allow your dog to run in front of the bike safely.
  8. Agility Training: Shorter leashes (4 to 6 feet) are preferable for agility training to ensure precise control and quick response to commands.
  9. Reactive Dogs: A shorter leash (4 to 6 feet) is necessary for reactive dogs to maintain control and prevent sudden lunges or outbursts.
  10. Basic Obedience Training: A 4 to 6-foot leash is suitable for basic obedience training sessions.
  11. Trick Training: A 4 to 6-foot leash is also sufficient for trick training, providing control while allowing your dog some room to move.
  12. Hyper Dogs: A shorter leash (4 to 6 feet) is advisable for hyperactive dogs to prevent excessive pulling and maintain control.
  13. Aggressive Dogs: Aggressive dogs should be on a short leash (4 to 6 feet) to ensure close control and safety during training and walks.
  14. Scared Dogs: Scared dogs often benefit from a shorter leash (4 to 6 feet) to feel secure and stay close to their owner during walks

Average Leash Length for Smaller Dogs

So, for smaller dogs, it is recommended to use a 4-foot-long leash or even smaller than that depending on how small your dog is. It is excellent when teaching your small pup to stay by your side, and it’s always recommended for any dog who needs a little more guidance.

  • Shorter leashes are also recommended for dogs working on pulling and jumping, teaching them to stop biting the leashes and other basic exercises. This short leash allows you to keep your dog close by when in crowded places so that he does not become distracted by other animals or people.

Best Leash Length For Dogs That Pull

When training a dog that pulls a lot, it’s a good idea to begin with a shorter leash, about 4-5 feet long. This shorter leash allows you to have better control over your dog and helps in gradually reducing their pulling habit.

On a longer leash, a dog has more chances to keep pulling because they can keep moving forward even if they pull hard. With a shorter leash, their forward movement is limited when they pull, which makes them less likely to continue pulling

Best Leash Length For Recall Training

Recall training means teaching your dog to come back to you when you say so. It’s a good idea to use a long leash for this because it lets you control your dog’s movements.

For this purpose, The long leash helps you guide your dog if they don’t come back right away. You can gently steer them back to you without pulling or chasing them.

You should start this training when your dog is young because they learn new things quickly. Make recall training a happy experience for your dog by giving them treats. This builds trust between you two.

Begin with the long leash in places with few distractions, and then try it in more challenging places as your dog gets better at it.

With a long leash, you can gradually increase the space between you and your dog as they get better at coming when called. This helps you train them in different places and with more distractions.


Your choice of the ideal leash should align with your dog’s size, training needs, and specific activities. Always prioritize your dog’s safety and ensure that the leash you choose allows you to maintain control and keep your dog safe during walks and outings and others as well.

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