What Lead Is Best for a Puppy? (Solved & Explained!)

The best lead for a puppy is also the most common – a standard, 6-foot nylon lead. Nylon is affordable and it also happens to be soft and durable, making it a great choice for a pup that’s still developing their muscles.

While you could go with a leather one, these are more expensive and a little heavier, and retractable leads can actually reel a small puppy in like a fish. With a nylon lead and 6-feet of space, you have plenty of control while keeping your vulnerable puppy close and this is very, very important at this age.

Remember, until your puppy finishes their vaccinations at around 16 weeks, you need to keep them away from animal feces, other animals, and even pools of dirty water – a short, nylon lead works a treat for this and many are even reflective for night walking.

In this article we’re going to talk more about leads based on a pool of questions submitted by readers just like you! Are leads and leashes the same thing? Are cord or tape leashes the best? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more – details are waiting below!

Which lead is best for puppies first walk?

The strongest leads are nylon and leather, and these are also the most traditional, so this is what you will want to use for your puppy’s first walk. That said, you really need to be careful where you walk them and limit those walks to quick, isolated potty breaks.

This is because the earliest that vaccinations will typically be completed will be around 16 weeks of age. Until then, stagnant pools, other dogs, and animal feces can make your dog quite sick and very fast if you aren’t watchful!

Aside from this, teacup and other especially small breeds are also seen as ‘easy snacks’ by predators, which includes large, hunting birds. Keep your little one close with a 6-foot lead and keep a sharp eye out – until your dog is vaccinated and gets a little bigger, it’s up to you to protect them!

What age do you put a lead on a puppy?

While it’s best to wait until 10 weeks to start getting your puppy used to the collar, if you use a satin strip collar or a whelping collar then you can actually begin their lead training much earlier – as early as 4 to 6 weeks.

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Just be sure to keep sessions brief, only minutes at a time, and consider using a harness rather than a collar. Your puppy is still developing their neck muscles, after all, and even as adults a tug on the leash can be a bit jarring when the pull is felt on a fragile neck.

That said, if you use a harness at an early age like this, you’ve got an excellent head-start on a well-behave dog!

What is the difference between a leash and a lead?

To-may-to, toh-mah-toe, they are really just the same thing. ‘Lead’ is the term that you will find being used most by trainers and animal handlers in general, as this means that the ‘line’ on your dog’s collar is leading them.

‘Leash’ is the more common term for everyone else, but pros don’t like to use it as it is equated with ‘restraining’ an animal, rather then ‘leading’ them around. In other words, ‘a rose by any other name…’ and all that – ‘lead’ is just a nicer name for the same old ‘leash’.

Are rope leashes good for puppies?

Yes, rope leashes are great for puppies and even for adult dogs, and they are also quite easy to maintain. After a few walks you can simply toss it in the washer and dry it up and it’s as good as new.

That said, it is a chewing temptation for many dogs as well, so keep a sharp eye out and be sure to hang it out of reach – otherwise you might just find that you now own 2 rope leashes!

Is cord or tape leash better?

Tape leashes, also called ‘ribbon leashes’, are more durable than cord varieties and thus less likely to snap on you at an inopportune time. Cord leashes look nice, in that they are thinner and somewhat stretchy, but it’s easier for them to break than a robust cord-style leash, so go with a cord if you are choosing between these two.

Do flexi leashes break?

Flexi leashes can break on occasion, although more often the thin cord can cause cuts, ‘rope burn’, or standard, run-of-the-mill tangling episodes.

Flexi leashes are pretty much an interchangeable term for retractable leashes and while they can work well, you’ll need to be careful how much space you give your dog and watch that they don’t get tangled up or far enough to break the overstretched line.

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Should you use a retractable leash with a puppy?

You can, but there are certainly caveats. One common mistake with new puppy owners is to simply buy the most expensive retractable leash, without checking the size of dog that it is rated for. This results in a strong retractable designed for larger dogs, which can actually reel your surprised puppy in like a furry fish!

If attached to the collar, this could give your puppy whiplash, so if you use a retractable then check the size rating and hedge your safety bets by also buying a harness for your pup. That way your pup can walk safely, with no fear of a jarring pull coming suddenly and exerting force on their fragile, developing neck.

How long should a dog’s leash be?

6 feet is just about the perfect length for a leash. It gives your dog enough room to potty when they need to but more important, it gives you control. There are other dogs out there, after all, and your own dog might not like other people yet, either.

Having a 6-foot leash gives your dog enough space to ‘do their business’ but if a human or another animal suddenly come into view or if your dog tries to step onto the street, you’ll still have enough time to make them stop and lead them into safety (or prevent them from eating that surprise stranger!).

Are long leashes safe?

If you’ve got a thick enough leash, then breaking is less of a worry, but there are other considerations with a long leash. Entanglement is the chief one, as an excited dog can easily get tangled-up circling a tree and even get limbs pinched painfully in the process if they trip or jump just the right way.

This can be minor, manifesting as rope burn or a quick pinch, but it can also be much worse. You are better off training your dog with a shorter leash so that you have control and so your dog can’t tie it up in knots when they get excited and want to play with something.

Are retractable leads good?

If your dog doesn’t tend to get themselves tangled up easily, then a retractable lead can be a nice way to give them a little more freedom. That said, you need to supervise them carefully when you do this.

It is very easy for your dog to forget the lead when there is suddenly slack and they can move around, and more often than not even a very clever dog can find themselves in a bit of a jam when they tangle their retractable lead.