What Length Should a Dog Leash Be?

What is the Best Dog Leash Length for Running?


  1. Why Dog Leash Length is Important
  2. Mistakes in Dog Walking on a Leash
  3. Dog Behavior Problems Caused by a Wrong Dog Leash Length
  4. The Best Dog Leash Length for Running
  5. How to Keep a Dog Under Control in Walking

Why Dog Leash Length is Important

Dog leash length is a very important link in the relationships of a dog and the owner. When a dog and its owner go walking outside they face a lot of irritants that affect physical and mental state of the both of them. Many dog owners ignore that fact and demand complete obedience of their pet in any circumstances.

It is considered that a dog should walk always by your side. Obedience to a command to walk by your side is something that goes without saying for dog training at walking. Based on this belief many dog owners pay a lot of attention training a dog to walk by their side and usually use a short lead for dog walking.

Mistakes in Dog Walking on a Leash

Majority of dog owners just get used to pull a dog behind. Of course, a short dog lead is more comfortable for it, than a long one. You would hardly like walking with your friend if he always turned and pulled you in that direction instead of telling you. And what if in addition he would pull your neck and roared at you as if you did not understand. This is the way your dog sees you walking when you are always pulling it and do not train to walk in a proper way.

Here also a dog feels a lot of other stresses, as well as it suffers from many other problems you even cannot imagine. This way the problems with your pet at dog walking appear.

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Tell the truth, have you ever thought what length a dog lead should be? How long should a dog leash be? Any time I watch dog owners walking with their pets, it seems that they do not care of the dog lead length and how much of space it allows to the dog.


Dog Behavior Problems Caused by a Wrong Dog Leash Length 

In fact dog lead length plays a great role for both a dog owner and a pet. With the help of this, so called, little thing, as a dog lead, we can create a lot of problems without admitting it!

1. Dog pulling on a leash. A dog pulls stronger at a short dog lead, than on a long one. A dog always wants to smell something, mark the territory, etc. And you will not stop its instincts. On a short lead will not stop a dog, and a dog will pull only stronger.

2. Sometimes a dog simply have not enough of space to keep a definite distance from its owner and other dogs and objects. The feeling of a definite distance, its own territory is very important for a dog. And anyone can't determine this very distance instead of a dog.

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3. Dog aggression. Meeting other dogs, your pet would like to greet, smell, or at least walk by with dignity. In dog language it means to walk across, not straight, but around. It means that they have peaceful attitude to each other. They use many signals to sign their friendly intentions. They lick itself, look aside, walk slower etc. If a dog owner is keeping a dog on a too short lead, pulling on it, it interrupts a dog to keep to all these rules and creates a stressful situation that may lead to a dog aggression and misunderstanding by other dogs. In the result, you will have problems with your dog and a quarrel with another dog owner. If such situation will repeat, a dog will become aggressive to other dogs. Your walks may become the source of stress and aggression for both you and your pet.

4. Choking. A short dog lead in combination with a dog collar is a choker for a dog. In this case a dog gets a huge loading on its throat, neck muscles and bones. In 70% of dogs such actions lead to dog pain in back and behavior problems.

5. Stress. Many people suppose, that by commanding a dog to walk close by their side and pulling with a short dog lead they can get dog obedience very fast and easy. But a dog will be very nervous being afraid to be punished.

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A dog lead is not a tool to rule a dog. It is only a means of a necessary control at definite places or for some circumstances when it cannot walk free. A well trained to come by calling dog will follow you if you just call it. Thus, such dog will follow you on a short lead also without pulling and stress.

The Best Dog Leash Length for Running

Finally, what length should a dog leash be?

Try to walk a dog on a 6 ft dog leash. 6 ft is an average dog leash length for running that allows your dog anough space to explore the surroundings but not get entangled at some obstacle on its way.

4 ft dog leash length is better to control a dog in crowded places and in a high traffic like city surroundings. This dog leash length is also a good choice when your dog just starts training to walk by your side.

8-10 ft dog leash length is a choice for a well-trained and controlled dog to let him explore the surroundings free in walking still keeping it under your control. This dog leash length also allows to use it for dog training and tracking.

If you wish to have the both possibilities of a short and long dog leash in one, try adjustable dog leash with two snap hooks. Adjustable dog leash length has two options of 5 and 2.5 ft or 7 and 3.5 ft (when folded twice). It has also many other oprtions, which you may see in the video below.

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How to Keep a Dog Under Control in Walking

Just call your dog each time you need to change the direction. This communication should include only gentle voice and eye contact. Then a dog will learn to follow you independent on a dog lead length and will do it with pleasure.

You may train this type of communication also at home. You should call a dog with a gentle voice and give a treat each time it obeys. At the second stage you may train a dog to follow you. If there is a good relationship between you and a dog, you will succeed. Very soon your daily dog walking will become one more friendly joint between you and your dog.

Of course dogs may be too irritated, and active at walking. Then you should get to know the reasons of this behavior before training to friendly contact dog walking.

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Author: Julia Bosenko, experienced manager and customer support ForDogTrainers UK dealing with your needs & questions.