Best dog training leads to teach your pup obedience, heel work and recall

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  • Teaching your pup to walk on the lead is an essential part of training. It is vital for control, safety – and in some places it’s a legal requirement. But there’s plenty of choice when it comes to the best dog training leads. In general, training leads tend to be longer than standard leads to allow your dog to have a certain amount of freedom combined with the certainty for the handler that he can retrieve the dog if he disobeys the recall command. A long-line is the ultimate example of this – they can be up to 20m long and are used specifically for training recall.

    Another type of training lead, the slip lead, is useful for those who want to teach their dog not to pull. It puts pressure around the neck when your dog pulls, and loosens when the behaviour is corrected, thus rewarding him for doing the right thing. These can also take the form of a “figure of eight” lead, which distributes pressure on the muzzle as well as the neck.

    There are other leads out there that need to be used in conjunction with a specialised harness or training collar, but this guide will just address straightforward leads that can be used without any other apparatus, or those that can be attached to any regular collar.

    Leads are simply a training tool, they cannot change your dog’s behaviour by themselves. However, the best dog training leads, in the right hands, will help you teach your dog to behave appropriately and walk to heel without pulling.

    Best dog training leads: what’s the choice?

    Spaniel wearing figure of eight training lead

    Dog & Field Training Lead

    Training focus: Anti-pull | Length: 200cm | Size: One size fits all breeds | Colours: Red or blue | RRP: £14.99 |

    This figure-of-eight lead is a highly effective and proven lead that is designed to make any dog that pulls a joy to walk. It goes over the muzzle and around the neck and applies pressure when the dog pulls hard, releasing when the dog stops pulling.

    Made from super-soft braided nylon and fits all breeds and muzzle shapes. No collar required.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    TagME slip dog training lead

    TagME Slip Lead

    Training focus: Anti-pull | Length: 182.9cm | Sizes: S, M, L (diameter of lead differs, not length) | Colours: 12 colours | RRP: £10.49 |

    Specially designed to help train dogs that pull, this slip lead tightens when your dog pulls and loosens when he stops. It has a foam handle to give you a more comfortable grip, protecting from rope burn if the pulling is very sudden.

    No collar required. It has an adjustable loop which means it’s simple to take on and off. It has a metal lock tab in the collar part to prevent choking.

    It is made from durable braided climbing rope with heavy-duty stitching and the large lead is designed for dogs weighing up to 100kg. Includes reflective threads for improved visibility.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Pettom long line for dog training

    Pettom Long Lead

    Training focus: Recall | Lengths: 5m, 10m, 15m | Colours: Orange or black | RRP: £14.99 |

    This lead is designed for dog recall training, field training, hunting and off-lead stimulation, providing the handler with control while the dog is outdoors.

    It is made from mountain climbing rope, with reflective material, and is durable and lightweight. It is so light it can float on water, which is handy for swimming dogs.

    The tight weave prevents the rope knotting easily or getting hung up on sticks and grooves; it does not entangle easily.

    It has 360º rotating clips on each end so that you can easily tie your dog to a pole or tree if you need to free your hands temporarily.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Total Pet figure of eight dog training lead

    Total Pet Dog Lead

    Training focus: Anti-pull | Length: 187cm | Sizes: Small/medium or medium/large (diameter of lead differs, not length)| Colour: Black | RRP: From £14.99 |

    A padded figure-of-eight design to help teach your dog not to pull. It works by tilting the dog’s head down when it pulls and breaking the line of sight, then releases when it walks to heel. It can also be used as a slip lead if preferred.

    It is made from non-stretchy rope. There is padding around the snout area to provide cushioning on this sensitive area of the dog’s face. The lead can be used without a collar, or be attached to the regular collar for added security if he does manage to escape the figure-of-eight.

    In the UK? View at amazon.co.uk

    Wolfone long line for training dogs

    Wolfone Training Dog Lead

    Length: 5m, 10m, 15m| Training focus: Recall | Colours: Deep blue, red, black, lake green and orange | RRP: From £16.65 |

    A robust long line made from tough nylon webbing and latex silk (with reflective thread), with a super-resistant tear function. The rubberised handle and the lead are non-slip, so you can grab the line anywhere to brake the connected dog.

    It includes an elastic bungee cord extension to help buffer tension when the dog comes to the end of the rope rather than braking suddenly.

    Suitable for training recall and other outdoor activities.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Ancol Vintage Deluxe Leather dog training lead

    Ancol Vintage Deluxe Leather Training Lead

    Training focus: General obedience | Length: 2m | Colour: Brown leather | RRP: £51.49 |

    For those who like a beautiful heritage look, this is an all-round lead which can be extended to give your dog more freedom and shortened for more control. Made from 100% genuine leather and featuring sewn leather fixings for strength.

    It has three rings and two trigger hooks so you adapt it according to the training exercise. For example, you can secure your dog to a fence or picnic table and train him basic sit and stay commands – and good general manners!

    In the UK? View at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk

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