The 10 Best Dog Leashes, According to a Puppy Foster Parent

Take your best friend anywhere with these leashes

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The Rundown
"This double-handled leash with reflective stitching is an excellent everyday option."
"Made from three-strand hemp rope with no dyes or chemicals, this leash is soft but strong."
"Lightweight leash can be clipped around your waist or turned into a padded handle for walks."
"Leash converts six different ways with a handy carabiner for running, walking, tethering, and more."
"Made out of recycled plastic bottles, this leash comes in six colors, three widths, and three lengths."
"Durable, strong leash is created from repurposed climbing rope with minimal packaging and no label."
"A hemp and organic cotton leash is soft and durable and easy to wash."
"Long training leash is great for working on recall and other training."
"This split bungee leash makes it easy to walk two dogs at once."
"This leash has several safety precautions, including an extra collar to prevent the cord from snapping back."

Whether you want to take your dog on a walk, a run, or a fun training adventure, a good leash is key. It’s the way you communicate with your pet and keep them from taking off after a squirrel or some other fascinating distraction.

Leashes come in different lengths, widths, and materials. There are plenty of recyclable and sustainable options, but nylon leashes can also be incredibly durable. Unless your dog is a chewer and destroys it, a good leash can last forever.

Here are our picks for your buddy. Some are specifically for training or for walking two pups at once. One can be used in an impressive six configurations. They’re all popular with dog owners and we’ve personally tried many of them and can vouch for their hardiness and comfort.

What are you waiting for? Want to go for a WALK? Here are the best dog leashes:

Best Overall: Max and Neo Dog Gear Nylon Reflective Double Dog Leash

Max and Neo Dog Gear Nylon Reflective Double Dog Leash

This double-handled leash with reflective stitching is an excellent everyday option. The padded handle is comfortable for even the longest walks and the extra handle is great for when you need to keep your dog a little closer to your side. The leash washes well, is long-lasting yet flexible, and comes in seven colors. Plus, for every product you buy, they donate one to one of the 3,500 rescues around the country they support.

"I’ll admit I’m biased about Max & Neo, but I love this company. All their products are so durable. I foster puppies and I just keep using the same collars and leashes for each one that comes through the door." – Treehugger writer & puppy foster mom Mary Jo DiLonardo

Best Natural Materials: WigglywoosPet Just Hemp Rope Dog Leash

Just Hemp Rope Dog Leash

If you’re looking for something that’s basic and natural, Wigglywoos offers this sturdy hemp rope leash. It’s made from .4 inch three-strand hemp rope with no dyes or chemicals. Although hemp rope feels soft, it’s strong and long-lasting. 

Each leash is slightly different because they’re individually made. They are finished with a decorative hemp whipping twine in one of nine colors including dusty pink, slate, and red. The leash comes in four lengths ranging from 3 to 6 feet and is also available in a thicker .5-inch rope.

Best for Running: Ruffwear Flat Out Dog Leash

Ruffwear Flat Out Dog Leash

You want your hands free when running, so you need a leash that can be worn around your waist. Ruffwear has two really good options. The Flat Out leash is lightweight with a swiveling talon clip for easy movement for your dog. You can clip the leash around your waist or turn it into a padded handle for walks. It can also transform into a short tether when you momentarily need to secure your pet to a tree or a post. The leash is 6 feet long and comes in nine colors and designs.

Ruffwear also has a Roamer leash (view at Ruffwear.com) that is very similar but has a bungee built into the length of the leash. It allows for more exploring and less tugging for your canine sport companion.

Best Hands-Free: Kurgo Quantum 6-In-1 Dog Leash

Kurgo Quantum 6-In-1 Dog Leash

This leash does it all. It converts six different ways, depending on where you place the carabiner. You can loop it around your waist for running, over your shoulder for hands-free walking, turn it into a double-dog leash, a tether to hitch your dog, or it becomes a basic 6-foot or 3-foot standard leash.

The reflective leash has a padded handle that moves depending on the configuration. The leash adjusts from 48 to 72 inches and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It’s available in six bright colors.

Best Recycled: LupinePet Eco Recycled Dog Leash

LupinePet Eco Recycled Dog Leash

Made out of recycled plastic bottles, this leash from LupinePet’s eco line has a comfortable padded handle and is available in six colors, three widths, and three lengths. You’ll find one for the tiniest puppy and there’s sure to be an earthy hue to match your pet’s favorite color scheme.

This small company is based in Conway, New Hampshire, where it has all on-site manufacturing. Everything is made by hand in the same building, a company spokesperson tells Treehugger. They make only what they need and have very little wasted material. Like their collars, leashes have an “even if chewed” lifetime guarantee.

Best Rope: Mountain Dog Original Clip Leash

Mountain Dog Original Clip Leash

This durable leash is made from recycled climbing rope. It keeps the material out of a landfill and repurposes it for your daily walks. Climbing rope is strong and comfortable and we think it looks pretty cool too.

All Mountain Dog products are made by hand and are intended to last a lifetime. Packaging contains recycled material and as an extra nod to minimalism and sustainability, there’s not even a product label.

Best Sustainable: The Good Dog Company Hemp Dog Leash

The Good Dog Company Hemp Leash

Good Dog Company leashes and collars are made of 55 percent hemp and 45 percent certified organic cotton. The fabric is softer than nylon, yet very durable. The softness is key if you happen to grab the leash on occasion. You won’t get that nasty leash burn.

The products are machine-washable. They have heavy-duty stitching on the edges to help prevent fraying. They come in a rainbow of nine earthy colors ranging from marigold to avocado, that match the collars. The collars and leashes won’t get smelly, even if they get wet.

Best for Training: Leashboss Long Dog Training Leash

Leashboss Long Trainer

If you have a new puppy or a new dog, it’s always a good idea to work on recall. One way to do that is to put your dog on a long training lead and reward them when they run back as you call their name. These long leashes can be heavy and unwieldy and difficult to store, but they’re a super training tool.

This 15-foot version from Leashboss is the length that many trainers recommend. It comes with a handy strap to keep the leash from unfurling when you’re not using it. It’s also handy for hiking when you’d like your dog to have freedom without the dangers of actually being off-leash.

Best for 2 Dogs: Mighty Paw BungeeX2 Nylon Reflective Double Dog Leash

Mighty Paw BungeeX2 Nylon Reflective Double Dog Leash

Trying to take two dogs for a walk at the same time can be part gymnastics and part ballet. Logistics are so much easier with a dedicated double-dog leash like this one. You hold a leash with a padded handle that connects to a split attachment with two bungees, one for each dog.

There’s also a swivel attachment that prevents tangling and reflective thread to help with visibility. There are three sizes depending on the weights of your walking companions. The double-dog design reduces stress on your wrist and shoulders.

Best Retractable: Flexi Neon Nylon Tape Reflective Retractable Dog Leash

Flexi Neon Nylon Tape Reflective Retractable Dog Leash

Most dog trainers aren’t fans of retractable leashes because it can be hard to control your pet in an emergency or you may find yourself painfully reaching for the cord to pull your dog to you. But if you love retractable leashes, this is from the German company that invented them. It has several safety precautions including an attached safety collar to prevent the leash from snapping back in case your dog’s collar breaks.

The leash has a one-handed breaking system, smooth-rolling neon tape for easy visibility, and an ergonomic handle. The appeal of the Flexi is that it gives your dog freedom to roam but you can bring them back in closely when you need more control. Just be sure to keep your hands away from the tape and never let it wrap around any part of your body.

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Max and Neo Double Handle Heavy Duty Dog Leash (view at Amazon) because it's rugged, has two handles, and the company will donate an item to a rescue with every purchase. For a sustainable choice, check out the Wigglywoos Just Hemp Rope Dog Leash (view at Etsy). It’s made from strong yet soft hemp rope with no dyes or chemicals.

Why Trust Treehugger

The proud mom of a rescue dog, Mary Jo DiLonardo has fostered more than 30 dogs and puppies. She’s walked a lot of puppies and dogs during that time so she relies on sturdy yet comfortable leashes.

For more than 25 years, Mary Jo has covered a wide range of topics focused on nature, pets, health, science, and anything that helps make the world a better place. She has spent six years with Treehugger, formerly under the Mother Nature Network brand.