What Is A Leash Law?

What Is A Leash Law
The Importance of Leash Laws – Leash laws define when an owner must keep their animal on a leash, as well as off-leash areas where owners can allow pets to run free. While these laws may seem restrictive, they are in place for many reasons.

Leashes prevent dogs from running away and getting lost or hurt. By using a leash, dogs cannot wander and contract potentially deadly infections. Dogs that are aggressive or skittish could harm or be harmed by another person or animal. Without leashes and collars, a person may mistake a dog as a stray and steal it or take it to a shelter.

: an ordinance requiring dogs to be restrained when not confined to their owner’s property.

What are the dog leash laws in my state?

Several states have state-wide dog leash laws and requirements. These laws are usually referred to as “Running at Large Statutes.” In states without “Running at Large Statutes,” local governments, such as counties, towns, cities, municipalities, and boroughs, often enact their own leash laws.

  • But even where there are state-wide leash laws, it’s often the case that the state government permits local governments to pass their own leash laws.
  • Often, the local laws are stricter than the state laws.
  • If any confusion arises over the leash laws in your home, contact your local government for more information.

Please note, there are many state laws that require dangerous dogs to be on leashes and muzzled to protect public safety. For more information, visit our Dangerous Dog Laws, To learn the dog leash laws in your home state, click on the map or find your state below:

What does leash law mean in a sentence?

Example Sentences – Recent Examples on the Web Cats seem to be a huge problem this spring, bigger than ever — which is amazing considering there is a leash law, — Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 20 May 2021 Dear Mom: Your son is violating the local leash law, the unspoken law of respect between neighbors and – hello – the most important law of all, which is to be nice to your mother. — Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 21 Mar.2021 Worried Mom: Your son is violating the local leash law, the unspoken law of respect between neighbors and — hello — the most important law of all, which is to be nice to your mother. — Washington Post, 21 Mar.2021 Dear Mom: Your son is violating the local leash law, the unspoken law of respect between neighbors and – hello – the most important law of all, which is to be nice to your mother. — Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 21 Mar.2021 Dear Mom: Your son is violating the local leash law, the unspoken law of respect between neighbors and – hello – the most important law of all, which is to be nice to your mother. — Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, 21 Mar.2021 Amy says: Your son is violating the local leash law, the unspoken law between neighbors and — hello — the most important law of all, which is to be nice to your mother. — Amy Dickinson, Star Tribune, 19 Mar.2021 Officers prefer to educate people about the leash law and issue a warning during the first interaction. — Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Feb.2021 This was the second time a proposal for changes in the leash law underwent public comment. — Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Feb.2021 See More These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘leash law.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback,

Is a leash the only way to control a dog?

As observed in Pennsylvania’s law, a leash is not the only way to control a dog. In fact, some owners argue that a dog may be under the control of his or her handler by verbal or hand commands.

What are the leash laws in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island Leash Law – City or town councils may make any ordinances concerning dogs in their cities or towns as the councils deem expedient, pertaining to the conduct of dogs, which ordinances shall include regulations relating to unrestricted dogs, leash laws, confinement, and destruction of vicious dogs. Gen.Laws 1956, § 4-13-15.1 Back to Top

Why are leash laws matter?

3. Leash laws exist to protect others from your dog –

Lessens the chance that your dog will injure someone. Your dog won’t be off leash, and therefore won’t run into old man George and break his hip. Again. Lessens the chance that your dog will scare someone, Your dog won’t be off leash and therefore won’t scare the living bejeezus out of the five-year-old who is terrified of dogs. Lessens the chance that your dog will bother someone. Your dog won’t be off leash and won’t go visit the neighbor to beg for scraps every time they BBQ. Help prevent your dog from damaging property. Your dog can’t mosey on over to your neighbor Linda’s perfect rose garden and attempt to dig to China, thus inducing Linda’s wrath. You can see when your dog relieves themselves, Therefore, you will have no excuse to pick up their shit since you’ll have a first-row seat to the event. Lessens the chances of another person’s dog getting bit, another person getting injured, someone being in an accident to avoid hitting your dog who ran out in the street, and prevents your dog from annoying the neighbors.

Alright, so by now you get that there many excellent reasons to have your dog on a leash.

Are there leash laws in the US?

Summary: This table explores the state laws that address control and constraint of dogs, usually by leash. While most leash laws exist at the local/municipal level, some states do have leash laws during times of rabies outbreaks, after a dog has been declared “dangerous,” in designated wildlife areas, or during the period between sunset and sunrise.

State States that require a leash or that owner exercises control over dog State laws that prohibit dogs running at large or allow municipalities to enact such ordinances State laws requiring restraint for rabies quarantine areas States requiring leashes for dogs in parks, state grounds, or wildlife areas States requiring leashing or confinement of female dogs in heat States requiring confinement/leashing of dogs at night
Alabama All cities and towns of this state shall have the power to regulate and prevent the running of dogs at large on the streets. Ala. Code 1975 § 11-47-110 No dog shall be permitted except on leash within any wildlife management area except per state rule; the owner of any dog at large within any wildlife management area shall be guilty of a misdemeanor Ala. Code 1975 § 9-11-305,
Alaska
Arizona County board of supervisors may, for unincorporated areas of the county, prohibit dogs running at large, except dogs used for control of livestock or while being used or trained for hunting, by ordinance.A.R.S. § 11-1005 The common council shall also have power within the limits of the town incorporated under A.R.S. § 9-101 to regulate, restrain and prohibit the running at large of dogs.A.R.S. § 9-240 In a rabies quarantine area, no dogs shall be permitted at large. Each dog shall be confined within an enclosure on the owner’s property, secured so that the dog is confined entirely to the owner’s property, or on a leash not to exceed six feet in length and directly under the owner’s control when not on the owner’s property A.R.S. § 11-1012 No person in charge of any dog shall permit such dog in a public park or upon any public school property unless the dog is physically restrained by a leash, enclosed in a car, cage or similar enclosure or being exhibited or trained at a recognized kennel club event, public school or park sponsored event.A.R.S. § 11-1012 No female dog during her breeding or mating season shall be permitted at large A.R.S. § 11-1012
Arkansas Municipal corporations shall have the power to prevent the running at large of dogs, and injuries and annoyances therefrom, and to authorize the destruction of them, when at large contrary to any prohibition to that effect.A.C.A. § 14-54-1102 Whenever the proper officials or a government unit are convinced that the situation is conducive to the spread of rabies, the government unit involved may require that all dogs, cats, or other animals in the locality be kept muzzled and restrained by a leash composed of chain, wire, rope, or cable.A.C.A. § 20-19-310
California It is unlawful for any person to permit any female dog which is owned, harbored, or controlled by him, to run at large at any time during the period when the dog is in heat or breeding condition. West’s Ann.Cal.Food & Agric.Code § 30954
Colorado It is unlawful for any owner of any dog, cat, other pet animal, or other mammal which has not been inoculated as required by the order of the county board of health or board of health of a health department to allow it to run at large. The health department or health officer may capture and impound any such dog, cat, other pet animal, or other mammal found running at large and dispose of such animal in accordance with local program policy.C.R.S.A. § 25-4-610
Connecticut No owner or keeper of any dog shall allow such dog to roam at large upon the land of another and not under control of the owner or keeper or the agent of the owner or keeper, nor allow such dog to roam at large on any portion of any public highway and not attended or under control of such owner or keeper or his agent, provided nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit or prohibit the use of hunting dogs during the open hunting or training season. Violation of any provision of this subsection shall be an infraction C.G.S.A. § 22-364 A municipality shall have the power to regulate and prohibit the going at large of dogs and other animals in the streets and public places of the municipality.C.G.S.A. § 7-148(c)(7)(D)
Delaware No dog shall be permitted to run at large at any time, unless the dog is accompanied by the owner or custodian and under the owner’s or custodian’s reasonable control and is licensed in accordance with county ordinances, except that a person who is an occupant of a farm or property containing 20 acres or more on which there are no more than 3 resident dwelling units may permit a dog to run at large between October 1 and the last day of February, next following.9 Del.C. § 908 Unlawful to allow any dog in the designated swimming or sunbathing area of a state coastal beach strand at anytime between May 1 and September 30 (except for law enforcement dogs or guide dogs for the blind). Violators are guilty of a violation with fine of $25 – $50. For each subsequent offense, fine of $50 – $100.7 Del.C. § 1702
D.C. The Council of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to make and modify, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to enforce, regulations in and for the District of Columbia to regulate the keeping and leashing of dogs and to regulate or prohibit the running at large of dogs DC ST § 1-303.41 If any owner or possessor of a female dog shall permit her to go at large in the District of Columbia while in heat, he shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $20. DC CODE § 22-1311
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii It shall be unlawful for the owner of any female dog, licensed or unlicensed, to permit it to run at large while the dog is in the copulating season. HRS § 143-14
Idaho
Illinois The corporate authorities of each municipality may regulate and prohibit the running at large of dogs.65 ILCS 5/11-20-9 The county board of each county may regulate and prohibit the running at large of dogs in unincorporated areas of the county which have been subdivided for residence purposes.55 ILCS 5/5-1071 To prevent the spread of rabies, the Department of Agriculture shall act to prevent its spread among dogs and other animals. The Department may order that all dogs be kept muzzled and restrained by leash. The Department may determine the area of the locality in which, and the period of time during which, such orders shall be effective.510 ILCS 5/14
Indiana
Iowa A dog shall be apprehended and impounded by a local board of health or law enforcement official if the dog is running at large and the dog is not wearing a valid rabies vaccination tag or a rabies vaccination certificate is not presented to the local board of health or law enforcement official I.C.A. § 351.37 If local board of health declares a quarantine due to rabies, any person owning or having a dog in the person’s possession in the quarantined area shall keep such animal securely enclosed or on a leash for the duration of the quarantine period I.C.A. § 351.40
Kansas
Kentucky Every female dog in heat shall be confined in a building or secure enclosure in such a manner that the female dog cannot come in contact with a male dog except for a planned breeding. KRS § 258.255 Any peace officer or animal control officer may seize or destroy any dog found running at large between the hours of sunset and sunrise and unaccompanied and not under the control of its owner or handler. KRS § 258.265
Louisiana No person shall suffer or permit any dog in his possession, or kept by him about his premises, to run at large on any unenclosed land, or trespass upon any enclosed or unenclosed lands of another LSA-R.S.3:2771 The governing bodies of all parishes and municipalities may adopt ordinances regulating dogs running at large. LSA-R.S.3:2731
Maine It is unlawful for any dog, licensed or unlicensed, to be at large, except when used for hunting. The owner or keeper of any dog found at large is subject to the penalties provided in this chapter 7 M.R.S.A. §3901 Municipalities shall control dogs running at large.7 M.R.S.A. § 3948
Maryland See various individual county provisions regarding dogs at large in Maryland’s Local Government Code See various individual county provisions regarding dogs at large in Maryland’s Local Government Code
Massachusetts A person owning, keeping or possessing a dog shall not allow, permit or consent to such dog chasing, hunting, molesting, attacking or killing a deer. The director is hereby authorized to issue an order to restrain all dogs from running at large in any city or town where, in his opinion, such a restraining order is necessary to prevent dogs from chasing, hunting, molesting, attacking or killing deer M.G.L.A.131 § 82 The mayor, aldermen or board of selectmen may order that all dogs shall be restrained from running at large during such times as shall be prescribed by the order.M.G.L.A.140 § 167 Whoever is the owner or keeper of a dog shall restrain said dog by a chain or leash when in an officially designated public highway rest area. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars M.G.L.A.140 § 174B
Michigan It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow any dog, except working dogs such as leader dogs, guard dogs, farm dogs, hunting dogs, and other such dogs, when accompanied by their owner or his authorized agent, while actively engaged in activities for which such dogs are trained, to stray unless held properly in leash M.C.L.A.287.262 A city incorporated under the provisions of this act has, and the council may pass ordinances relating to, the following general powers to regulate and prevent the running at large of dogs.M.C.L.A.91.1 A village has the same authority under M.C.L.A.67.1 It shall be unlawful for any person to own any dog 6 months old or over for any owner of any female dog to permit the female dog to go beyond the premises of such owner when she is in heat unless the female dog is held properly in leash M.C.L.A.287.262
Minnesota Any person may seize, impound, or restrain any unlicensed dog which the person may find running at large. The fact that a dog is without a license attached to a collar shall be presumptive evidence that the dog is unlicensed. The sheriff and sheriff’s deputies or other police officer shall seize, impound or restrain any dog for which no license has been issued and for which one is required M.S.A. § 347.14 The electors of a town, at their annual town meeting, may let the town board pass an ordinance for licensing dogs and cats and regulating their presence, keeping, and running at large in the town.M.S.A. § 365.10
Mississippi The governing authorities of municipalities shall have the power to prevent or regulate the running at large of animals of all kinds, and to cause such as may be running at large to be impounded and sold to discharge the costs and penalties provided for the violation of such regulations and the expense of impounding and keeping and selling the same Miss. Code Ann. § 21-19-9
Missouri The board of aldermen may also tax, regulate and restrain and prohibit the running at large of dogs, and provide for their destruction when at large contrary to ordinance, and impose penalties on the owners or keepers thereof.V.A.M.S.79.400 The Board of Trustees is granted a similar power under V.A.M.S.80.090
Montana A dog found running at large without a valid current dog license tag issued by the authority of a county or municipal corporation may be seized and impounded by any sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, game warden, county poundmaster, or other law enforcement officer MCA 7-23-102 Also see ( 7-23-4101 – Control of animals running at large and 7-23-2108 – County Control of Dogs).
Nebraska The owner of any dog running at large for ten days without a collar as required shall be fined an amount not to exceed $25 Neb. Rev. St. § 54-607 In counties having a population of eighty thousand or more inhabitants and cities of the first class contained in such counties, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation to have any dog which is owned, kept, harbored, or allowed to be habitually in or upon premises occupied by him, her, or it or under his, her, or its control to be at large. Neb. Rev. St. § 54-608 A municipality may regulate, license, or prohibit the running at large of dogs. Neb.Rev.St. § 17-526
Nevada It is unlawful for the owner of any dog to permit such dog to run at large if such dog is actively tracking, pursuing, harassing, attacking or killing any wildlife in a state-owned wildlife management area.N.R.S.503.636
New Hampshire A dog is considered to be a nuisance, a menace, or vicious to persons or to property if a dog is “at large,” which means it is off the premises of the owner or keeper and not under the control of any person by means of personal presence and attention as will reasonably control the conduct of such dog, unless accompanied by the owner or custodian (excluding hunting, supervised competition, exhibition, or training dogs with restrictions; also a dog which is guarding, working, or herding livestock, with restrictions) N.H. Rev. Stat. § 466:31 The city councils shall have power to regulate the keeping of dogs and their running at large, require them to be licensed, and authorize the destruction of those kept or running at large contrary to the ordinance.N.H. Rev. Stat. § 47:17 In the case of a rabies epidemic, the mayor and aldermen of a city or the selectmen of a town may order that all dogs within the limits of the city or town shall be muzzled or restrained from running at large during the time prescribed by such order.N.H. Rev. Stat. § 466:29 It is unlawful for the owner or custodian of any dog to permit such dog to run at large in territory inhabited by game birds or quadrupeds, or on lands where livestock is pastured, at any time of the year (with exceptions for hunting and farm dogs) N.H. Rev. Stat. § 466:33
New Jersey The governing body of every municipality may make, amend, repeal and enforce ordinances toprohibit or regulate the running at large of dogs.N.J.S.A.40:48-1
New Mexico Each municipality and each county shall make provision by ordinance for the seizure and disposition of dogs and cats running at large.N.M.S.A.1978, § 77-1-12
New York Any municipality may enact a local law or ordinance upon the keeping or running at large of dogs and the seizure thereof, provided no municipality shall vary, modify, enlarge or restrict the provisions of this article relating to rabies vaccination and euthanization McKinney’s Agriculture and Markets Law § 122 No owner or trainer of a dog shall allow it to run at large in fields or woods inhabited by deer outside the limits of any city or village, except on lands actually farmed or cultivated by the owner or trainer of the dog or a tenant of such owner or trainer. McKinney’s ECL § 11-0923 The governing body of any municipality may at any time by order require that all dogs in such municipality shall be securely confined between sunset and one hour after sunrise during the period of time designated in the order, or, if no time is so designated, until the order is revoked McKinney’s Agriculture and Markets Law § 121
North Carolina No person shall allow his dog over six months old to run at large in the nighttime unaccompanied by the owner or by some member of the owner’s family, or some other person by the owner’s permission. Any person intentionally, knowingly, and willfully violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and shall also be liable in damages to any person injured or suffering loss to his property or chattels ( N.C.G.S.A. § 67-12 ).
North Dakota
Ohio Ordinances or resolutions to control dogs include the restraint of dogs, except that such ordinances or resolutions shall not prohibit the use of any dog which is lawfully engaged in hunting or training for the purpose of hunting while accompanied by a licensed hunter. RC § 955.221 Whenever rabies is deemed prevalent, the director of health shall declare a quarantine of all dogs in the health district or in a part of it. During the quarantine, the owner or keeper of any dog shall keep it confined on the premises, except that a dog may be permitted to leave the premises if it is under leash or under the control of a responsible person. RC § 955.26 No owner, keeper, or harborer of any female dog shall permit it to go beyond the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer at any time the dog is in heat unless the dog is properly in leash.R.C. § 955.22
Oklahoma The board of county commissioners of any county with a population of 200,000 or more may regulate or prohibit the running at large of dogs within said county, and cause such dogs as may be running at large to be impounded and disposed of.4 Okl.St.Ann. § 43 Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may enter a state park with a dog, unless the dog is on a leash, or permit any dog to enter a state park or recreation area under the jurisdiction of the Commission.74 Okl.St.Ann. § 2217
Oregon If the governing body of a county by ordinance, or a measure approved by the electors in an election prohibits dogs from running at large, the county shall give notice, by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county. After 60 days from the date of the notice, every person keeping a dog shall prevent the dog from running at large in any county or city where prohibited. A person who is the keeper of a dog commits a Class B violation if the dog runs at large where prohibited O.R.S. § 609.060 A dog is a public nuisance if it is a female in heat and running at large O.R.S. § 609.095
Pennsylvania Confinement and control.-It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any dog to fail to keep at all times the dog in any of the following manners: (1) confined within the premises of the owner; (2) firmly secured by means of a collar and chain or other device so that it cannot stray beyond the premises on which it is secured; or (3) under the reasonable control of some person, or when engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition, performance events or field training.3 P.S. § 459-305 Municipalities have the power to regulate or prohibit the running at large of dogs and to cause such as may be running at large to be impounded and sold, to discharge the costs and penalties provided for the violation of such prohibition, and the expenses of impounding and keeping the same and of such sale.53 P.S. § 23143 53 P.S. § 56530, 53 P.S. § 66530 and 53 P.S. § 37410 provides the above powers to First Class, Second Class, and Third Class Townships, respectively. Any police officer or State dog warden may humanely kill any dog running at large in a rabies quarantined area without any liability for damages for such killing.3 P.S. § 459-301 It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any female dog to permit such female dog to go beyond the premises of such owner or keeper at any time she is in heat, unless such female dog is properly confined or under control.3 P.S. § 459-304
Rhode Island City or town councils may make any ordinances concerning dogs in their cities or towns as the councils deem expedient, pertaining to the conduct of dogs, which ordinances shall include regulations relating to unrestricted dogs, leash laws, confinement, and destruction of vicious dogs. Gen.Laws 1956, § 4-13-15.1
South Carolina It is unlawful in any county or municipality adopting penalty provisions pursuant to the provisions of this article for any dog or cat owner or other keeper of a dog or cat to allow his dog to run at large off of property owned, rented, or controlled by him. Code 1976 § 47-3-50 It shall be unlawful for any person at any park or facility under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism to bring a dog or any other animal into the park or facility unless it is crated, caged, or upon a leash not longer than six feet or otherwise under physically restrictive control at all times. Code 1976 § 51-3-145
South Dakota The board of county commissioners of each of the counties of the State of South Dakota shall have the power to regulate, restrain, or prohibit the running at large of dogs. SDCL § 40-34-5 The board of county commissioners of each of the counties of the State of South Dakota may provide that if any person owning or keeping more than five dogs shall fail to keep such dogs within the confines of his own property, such failure shall amount to a public nuisance. SDCL § 40-34-4 Any person who permits a dog to run at large in a state park is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. SDCL § 41-17-18.1
Tennessee The owner of a dog has a duty to keep that dog under reasonable control at all times, and to keep that dog from running at large.T.C.A. § 44-8-413
Texas This subchapter does not prohibit a municipality or county from adopting leash or registration requirements applicable to dogs.V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 822.007 The owner of a dog has a duty to keep that dog under reasonable control at all times, and to keep that dog from running at large.V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 822.012 The owner or person having control of a dog at least six months of age in a county adopting this subchapter may not allow the dog to run at large unless the dog the dog is registers and is wearing an identification tag.V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 822.031
Utah Any dog not muzzled found running at large in a quarantined area or any dog known to have been removed from or escaped from such area, may be killed by any person without liability therefor.U.C.A.1953 § 26-6-11
Vermont
Virginia The governing body of any locality may adopt ordinances requiring that dogs within any such locality be kept on a leash or otherwise restrained and may, by resolution directed to the circuit court, request the court to order a referendum as to whether any such ordinance so adopted shall become effective. The results of the referendum shall not be binding upon the governing body of the locality but may be used in ascertaining the sense of the voters Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6539 The governing body of any locality shall also have the power and authority to pass ordinances restricting the running at large in their respective jurisdiction of dogs and cats that have not been inoculated or vaccinated against rabies and to provide penalties for the violation thereof. VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6522
Washington The council of said town shall have power to prohibit dogs running at large, and to provide for the killing of all dogs found at large and not duly licensed. West’s RCWA 35.27.370 It shall be the duty of the sheriff or any deputy sheriff to kill any dog found running at large (after the first day of August of any year and before the first day of March in the following year) without a metal identification tag. West’s RCWA 16.08.030
West Virginia Dogs or cats vaccinated in compliance with the provisions of this article may run at large in any area or locality: Provided, That the commissioner of agriculture may, pursuant to article nine of this chapter, exercise his discretion to establish a quarantined area or locality and to require all dogs and cats within the limits of any quarantined area or locality to be confined as provided in article nine.W. Va. Code, § 19-20A-8 It shall be unlawful, during the continuance of such quarantine, after notice as aforesaid, for the owner of any dog to permit such dog to run at large in any such quarantined locality W. Va. Code, § 19-9-18 It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly allow a dog owned by him to be upon the grounds of the capitol buildings or governor’s mansion unless such dog is under control by leash ( W. Va. Code, § 5A-4-4 ).
Wisconsin A dog is considered to be running at large if it is off the premises of its owner and not under the control of the owner or some other person. A dog that is actively engaged in a legal hunting activity, including training, is not considered to be running at large if the dog is monitored or supervised by a person and the dog is on land that is open to hunting or on land on which the person has obtained permission to hunt or to train a dog. Dog running at large or untagged dog subject to impoundment. An officer shall attempt to capture and restrain any dog running at large and any untagged dog.W.S.A.174.042
Wyoming A board of county commissioners may declare the running at large of any specified animals in unincorporated areas within the county limits a public nuisance.W.S.1977 § 11-31-301 (Also see § 15-1-103 : The governing bodies of all cities and towns may regulate or prohibit the running at large within the city limits of any animals, impose a license fee for the keeping or harboring of dogs and establish and provide for the operation of a pound).
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Are Dogs Allowed on leashes?

The 8 Best Dog Leashes of 2022 We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about, If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. The Spruce Pets / Chloe Jeong When you hit the sidewalks or the trails with your dog, the isn’t just a restraint, but instead the best way to communicate with your pet.

  1. A good leash helps guide your dog and keep them from bolting in an exciting or scary situation.
  2. Leashes come in different configurations of materials, sizes, and features, like added handles for maneuvering or loops for hanging poop bags.
  3. This makes different leashes appropriate for different scenarios.

Dog trainer, a Certified Training Partner of the Karen Pryor Academy (KPT-CTP) and owner of Denver’s Perfect Pals Dog Training, often recommends two different leashes, beginning with a heavy-duty nylon leash for regular walks or, “They’re durable and safe and don’t get tangled as easily,” she told The Spruce Pets.

“The 10-foot leash allows our dogs to sniff and explore without feeling restricted, but also keeps them close enough so they are not able to run too far ahead, into the street, or to get into anything dangerous. The shorter the leash, the more you see pulling.” She also suggests a longer leash for more relaxed “decompression” walks.

“This is when our dogs have the space to explore, sniff, and go in any direction they want,” Gianella says. “These decompression walks help reduce stress, lower heart rate, and keep them mentally stimulated.” Here are the best dog leashes, covering a variety of walking scenarios. What Is A Leash Law Material: Nylon | Color: Black, blue, pink, red, purple, teal, orange What We Like

  • Two padded handles
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Lots of color choices
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What We Don’t Like

This leash has no clear negative qualities

This double-handled leash is a sturdy choice for everyday walks or for more rugged hikes. It has what is known as a traffic handle—a second padded handle about 18 inches from your dog. This makes it easy to get control of your pup quickly, like when you’re crossing the street or in a crowded place. What Is A Leash Law Material: Nylon | Color: Black, raspberry pink, red, purple, royal blue, apple green, deep purple What We Like

  • Lightweight and soft
  • Lots of colors
  • Three widths and two lengths

What We Don’t Like

Easy for teething puppies to gnaw

Many trainers suggest a lightweight, basic leash like this without any extras, which lets you take your dog out on walks without any added weight or complications. The nylon of the PetSafe Premiere leash is soft, with a comfortable loop handle. Plus, the metal clasp is on a swivel to prevent tangling. What Is A Leash Law Material: Rope | Color: Lichen green, aurora teal, red sumac, obsidian black, hibiscus pink, blue moon What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Many colors
  • Locking carabiner

What We Don’t Like This simple rope leash is lightweight and durable, making it easy to pack on hikes or camping trips. It comes in assorted interesting colors and has a sturdy locking carabiner attachment for extra security, which can come in handy if your dog is a bit of a Houdini Houdogi and escapes traditional clasps.

There’s an additional loop near the webbing handle where you can tie poop bags or other accessories. The Ruffwear Knot-a-Leash is only available in a 5-foot length, placing it on the shorter side of the leash spectrum. It does come in two different widths, however, with a thin version that’s 7 millimeters wide, and a heftier, 11-millimeter model which is more appropriate for large or strong dogs.

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Material: Nylon | Color: Black, royal blue, brown, rose pink, purple, raspberry, red, turquoise, teal, burgundy, hot pink, navy, neon green, neon orange, kelly green, silver, rust, yellow, tan What We Like

  • Two attachment points
  • Lots of colors

What We Don’t Like If your dog pulls when you go for a walk, a harness won’t be a magic solution and training your dog to walk nicely beside you will still be necessary. However, a no-pull harness is a good tool on the way to better behavior. The 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Harness comes with a double-connection training leash that attaches on both your dog’s chest and back One end is hooked to a spot on your dog’s chest and another on their back, for more precise and gentle guidance. What Is A Leash Law Material: Leather | Color: Brown, black, tan, red, pink, blue, green, gray, orange, yellow, purple What We Like

  • Full-grain leather
  • Soft, but strong
  • Several sizes and colors

What We Don’t Like

May have a chemical smell from dyes

Made from a single piece of full-grain leather, this leash looks high-end, with nice stitching and a nickel-plated brass clasp. But it’s not all for show. The maker says it has been tested to withstand more than 245 pounds of pulling force, yet it’s still lightweight at only about 6 ounces. What Is A Leash Law Material: Nylon webbing | Color: Coastal blue, barn red, grass green, raspberry, orange, barn red/blue What We Like

  • So adjustable
  • Lots of colors

What We Don’t Like

Can be bulky as a short leash

This very versatile leash has six different ways to use it, depending on where you hook the carabiner. You can go hands-free by looping it around your waist for running, or loop it over your shoulder for walking. It can also become a tether to hitch your dog, or can be used as a standard leash or training leash in 6-foot or 3-foot lengths. What Is A Leash Law Material: Cotton | Color: Black, blue, green, orange, pink, red, hunter green, light gray, rainbow, reflective black What We Like

  • Swivel snap
  • Lots of colors
  • Various lengths

What We Don’t Like A very long leash is great for teaching your dog “recall”—coming when you call their name. It’s also a safe way to let your dog go exploring while still keeping track of your pet. This cotton lead comes in several lengths, starting at 15 feet and going up to 200 feet long. What Is A Leash Law Material: Nylon and plastic | Color: Neon yellow What We Like

  • Neon color
  • Tape instead of cord

What We Don’t Like

Safety issues with all retractable leashes

FIrst, a disclaimer: Most dog trainers will advise against using a retractable leash. They offer little control over your pet, especially in startling or dangerous situations. The cord can get wrapped around your pet, your legs, or burn your hands if you try to grab it.

  1. The handle can scare your pet if you drop it and it races clattering after your dog.
  2. That said, if you’re certain a retractable leash is best for your needs, then the Flexi New Neon is your best pick, with a one-handed braking system that’s easy to use, plus smooth-rolling tape and a neon handle for better visibility.

It comes in several sizes and either a 10-foot or 16-foot length. Just be mindful to keep your hands away from the tape and don’t let it wrap around any part of you or your dog. Final Verdict The durable nylon Max and Neo Double Handle Heavy Duty Reflective Leash () is a great overall choice with reflective stitching, a second handle, and a D-ring to hang poop bags and gadgets.

  1. Another option is the lightweight PetSafe Premier Nylon Leash () that comes in three widths, two lengths, and so many colors.
  2. The type of leash you choose should depend on your dog’s size, says Marissa Sunny, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and senior dog lifesaving specialist for the Best Friends Animal Society.

“The first thing to think about when choosing a leash is your dog. Smaller dogs do best on a lightweight, 6-foot leash, whereas a large dog would do better on a thick 4-to-6-foot leash,” Sunny says. Leashes can be made of nylon, rope, leather, or other materials.

Sometimes they can take some time to break in and feel comfortable. “You want it to be something that is comfortable to hold and won’t cause scratches or blisters if you are walking holding it for long periods of time,” says Sunny. Some leashes also have padded handles that can help make them more pleasant to use.

You can find leashes with extra handles to help control your pet or spots to hang poop bags, lights, or other gadgets. They’re not always necessary, Gianella says. “I think the more simple, the better! You don’t want anything weighing you or the doggy down,” she says.

How do you stop your dog from biting their leash? Dogs sometimes bite and chew on their leash as a way to play or when they’re overstimulated, says Sunny. There are different things you can do to stop the behavior. “If your dog is an avid leash biter, I would recommend to first work on teaching them that biting the leash means we don’t go for a walk,” Sunny says. “Start inside in a secure area, put the leash on the dog, and start to walk towards the door. As soon as your dog bites the leash, drop the leash and walk away. This will indicate to the dog that they won’t get to go for a walk if they continue to bite the leash.” Another option is choosing a leash that isn’t fun or easy to chew like one made of chain or coated wire, Sunny says. She also suggests covering the leash in something that tastes bad, like apple cider vinegar. Biting the leash can also mean the collar or harness is uncomfortable, Gianella says. “I would first make sure the leash is not too heavy for the dog and the harness and the collar are fitting correctly. You should be able to fit two fingers under the collar and harness and it still be a little snug,” she says. If your dog is chewing on the leash out of excitement or frustration when you’re walking, she suggests rewarding the good behavior and not the unwanted activity.”You can mark and reinforce them for attention on you, being by your side, sniffing, or doing anything else other than chewing on the leash,” she says. “The more they are reinforced for everything but chewing on the leash, the less you’ll see it.”

  • Can dogs hurt themselves by pulling on the leash? Yes, they can, both dog trainers we consulted told The Spruce Pets. “This is why I always recommend a well-fitted harness. If a dog pulls on leash and is only wearing a collar, they can do a lot of damage to the neck or spine,” Gianella says. “I also like to do a lot of training where I am reinforcing them when there is a loose leash, when there is no tension on the leash or when they are by my side.” Many trainers will recommend using front-clip harnesses that will turn dogs around when they pull on the leash. Sunny likes “Y-shaped” harnesses that don’t inhibit the dog’s range of motion. “Dogs can hurt themselves pulling on a leash and this can happen even more easily when they are pulling while being walked on a slip collar, flat collar, or a slip lead,” Sunny says. “Constant pressure on a dog’s neck can be painful and dangerous and could even potentially lead to a collapsed trachea.”
  • How do I clean a dog leash? If your pooch’s leash is dirty with slobber, mud, grass, or even feces—it happens—then it needs to be cleaned. Leashes can become very dirty and covered with germs, so an occasional cleaning will help prevent odor. If the leash is leather, mix a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap into a bowl of water, and then use an old toothbrush to scrub the cleaning mixture into the leash, focusing on any especially dirty spots. Let the leash air dry. For leashes made of nylon or rope, soak the leash in a bowl of hot water mixed with a bit of liquid dishwashing soap. Use an old toothbrush to remove any hardened grime. Rinse the leash and then let it air dry.
  • For this story, we consulted with several dog trainers including, KPT-CTP, owner of Perfect Pals Dog Training in Denver, and Marissa Sunny, CPDT-KA, senior dog lifesaving specialist for Best Friends Animal Society. We also talked to many dog owners, fosters, and rescue workers to see what they consider when selecting leashes. has been writing about pets and animals for several decades. She has a rescue dog and has fostered more than three dozen dogs and puppies so she’s tried lots of different leashes. Pet health and safety is very important to Mary Jo and she’s always researching the latest products to keep the dogs in her care healthy and safe. The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

    Kerns, Nancy. “” Whole Dog Journal, Belvoir Media Group, LLC.

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