Types of Dog Leashes and Collars

Types of Dog Leashes and Collars

Sep 21, 2021
15 min

Options for dog collars and leash are abound in the market. If you’re looking for a collar and leash that’s suitable for your pooch, the options can certainly be overwhelming. To help you pick the best one for your pet, here are some of the most common types of dog leash, harness, and collars. If you are not sure about which one is right for your dog, it is best to speak to a veterinarian or a dog trainer for recommendations.

Types of Collars for Pet Dogs

Flat collar

This is the most common type of dog collar around. Most are made of nylon or leather and are gentle on a dog’s neck when used properly. One concern with flat collars is that dogs whose necks are often larger compared to their heads, such as Whippets and Greyhounds, can easily slip out of them. Also, dogs that tend to pull on their leash can choke themselves without realizing it. Flat collars are generally adjustable and are available in various sizes and colors.

Martingale collar

The Martingale collar is often used as a tool for dog training. It’s like a flat buckle collar that can exert pressure like a slip collar. The collar has a large knot where the dog’s head fits into, and a small loop where the leash is attached. A dog that pulls may feel the larger loop tightening around his neck to prevent him from slipping out of the collar. However, the pressure is not strong enough to choke the dog. The Martingale collar is often viewed by many dog trainers as a safer alternative to a standard collar or a choke chain collar. It’s ideal for narrow-head breeds, like Greyhounds. A dog should only wear a Martingale collar when the owner is around to keep a close eye on him. It can cause damage to the neck in dogs that pull excessively frequently.

Slip collar

These are the collars that are often used at animal shelters and vet clinics in dogs that need to be restrained, most of which are unwilling to be restrained. The collar is especially handy when overpowering a strong dog that is untrained. Damage to the neck can possibly occur in dogs that pull or lunge frequently.

Head collar

A head collar’s design is like a horse halter. The collar is fastened over the dog’s snout and clips behind the ears. When your dog is wearing a head collar, you can gently redirect his attention when he starts pulling. A head collar also has a calming effect on dogs, making it easier to manage dogs during leash walks. However, some dogs hate wearing a head collar and will try their best to get it off. Frequent wear can also wear away the fur on the face.

Prong or pinch collar

This collar is mainly used in dog training. However, its use is highly controversial. Some believe it’s a valuable training tool, while there are those that claim using the collar is abusive and inhumane because it can hurt the dog especially if it’s not properly fitted and positioned. According to dog training experts, the prong collar can only be used to correct undesirable behaviors during training. The collar is also a self-correcting tool for dogs that tend to lunge or pull.

Types of Harnesses for Pet Dogs

Harness (back-clip)

A harness is designed to fit a dog’s chest and is especially beneficial for brachycephalic breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs, as well as toy breeds. It does not put pressure on the dog’s neck. A harness is also ideal for dogs that are prone to tracheal collapse. Most harness designs clips on the back. A downside to a harness is that dogs that haven’t been completely leash-trained are encouraged to pull. The design gives dogs enough leverage to pull hard which can possibly hurt their back and make it a challenge to control them.

Harness (front-clip)

A front-clip harness is designed to clip over the dog’s chest. Compared to the back-clip harness, this type of harness can help prevent a dog from pulling or straining, thus the owner has better control over the dog’s movements. A front-clip harness is recommended for dogs that are still being trained for loose-leash walking.

Types of Leashes for Pet Dogs

Standard leash

This is the most common type of leash that is used in dogs. It is available in a variety of colors, fabrics, widths, and lengths. Most have a loop at one end for easy gripping. Some are made with reflective fabric which is a great safety feature for evening walks. When buying a standard leash, consider your dog’s size and the weight of the leash. A heavier leash will provide better control for larger dogs. A rope leash is one of the most common designs of standard leashes used by pet owners. It’s made of the same material that is used for making ropes which are used in mountain climbing.

Retractable dog leash

A retractable leash allows you to have a say in how much length of leash you allow your dog to give him freedom of movement. The length of retractable leashes can extend from 4-30 feet and are equipped with a locking mechanism inside a plastic handle. The mechanism allows locking of the leash at various lengths. Releasing the lock automatically collects up any slack and retracts the leash into its handle.

Adjustable dog leash

The leash is designed with loops or clips along its length allowing for easy adjustment of its length. Adjustments are usually between 3 to 6 feet. A shorter leash is handy for training, while longer lengths are ideal for leash walks.

Chain leash

A chain leash is ideal for dogs that chew and destroy their leashes. There’s a chain leash for all sizes of dogs as this type comes in various weights and thickness.

Martingale lead

The lead combines the designs of a standard leash and a Martingale collar. The leash is used as a tool when training a dog to stop pulling. When a dog starts to pull, the leash tightens around his neck– tight enough to put pressure on the neck and discourage the behavior, but not too tight to cause choking.

Bike leash

This is great for dog owners who love to take their pets along while taking a spin. A dog leash for bike can be attached to the bike’s frame and is long enough to give your dog enough distance from the bike. With training, your dog will be able to jog alongside while you bike without the fear of him pulling or running away.

Bungee leash

The leash is designed for dogs that are heavy pullers. As the name implies, the leash is made of the same material bungee ropes are made of. The bungee absorbs shock when the dog pulls hard so the jerk intensity is reduced. You can also the dog leash with poop bag holder that makes the life easy for you when hanging out with your poop.

Are rope leashes good for dogs?

Yes, the rope leash material is good for dogs because it is comfortable and durable. Because it’s not as elastic as other materials, it can protect a person from arm and shoulder injuries when a dog pulls hard on the leash.

Are bungee leashes good for dogs?

While it could be beneficial in dogs that are hard pullers, there could be a problem when the dog gets to the end of the leash and there’s no more shock absorption, which means the jerk becomes much more like that of a regular leash.

Are harnesses better than collars?

A dog harness makes it easier for dog owners to control and manage their pets, even those that are not yet fully leash-trained. Unlike collars, a harness won’t exert undue pressure on the delicate organs and tissues of the dog’s neck when they pull. A harness is also a good leash-training tool for puppies.