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If you’ve got a Golden Retriever, you need a leash!
It’s one of the most used pieces of dog gear you’ll ever own, so it’s worth getting a leash that suits both you and your dog.
Now, you may be thinking, isn’t a leash just a leash? How much variety can there really be?
There are actually many options out there, and you may be surprised to experience what a difference the right leash can make for walks with your Golden.
So whether you and your dog are the adventurous explorer types, or you prefer a chill walk to the nearby park and back, this list will help you discover the best leash to suit your needs.
Best Leashes For You And Your Golden
Here’s a preview of the different types of leashes you’ll learn about here:
- Leather leashes
- Multi-functional leashes
- Rope leashes
- Traffic handle leashes
- Double connection leashes
- Biothane leashes
- Long leashes
Plus, in the end, you’ll learn about which leashes to avoid for Golden Retrievers.
Best Leather Leash
It’s hard to beat a classic leather leash.
Leather feels great in your hands and it has a polished, timeless look that suits Goldens very well.
It also offers a great grip and won’t burn your hands if your dog suddenly pulls, which is very common with nylon leashes.
While they’re not exactly waterproof, a quality leather leash will hold up well to the occasional wet walk.
And with some easy care, a leather lead can last your dog’s lifetime.
These are perfect for neighborhood walks as well as town and city adventures.
Here are some of the best leather leashes for your Golden Retriever:
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Best Multi-Functional Leash
If you’re looking for a leash that can do it all, look no further than the 8-Way Lead from Bold Lead Designs.
This is the swiss army knife of leashes and can come in handy for a variety of needs and situations.
It can quickly be configured into several leash lengths, so it’s easily shortened or lengthened depending on what you need.
What’s really cool, is that you can wear it across your body, for a hands-free option.
Check out the Bold Lead Designs website to see a video demo on all the ways this leash can be used.
It comes in two lengths (6 and 8 feet) and two varieties:
And if you’re wondering what harness might be best for your Golden Retriever, check out this roundup of all the best harnesses for Golden Retrievers.
Best Rope Leash
Looking for something simple, yet stylish?
A rope leash might be just what you need, and the Mendota Pet Snap Leash is the best there is.
It’s a no-fuss design made from quality braided rope so they’re easy on your hands and lightweight.
The material is waterproof and comes in a delightful range of colors.
While simple, it’s also very durable and is built to last your dog’s lifetime.
Best Traffic Handle Leash
A traffic handle is a loop near where the leash clips onto the collar, which gives you more leverage in controlling your dog.
Sometimes it’s helpful to have a traffic handle just in case a squirrel runs by or your Golden decides they really need to dash over to say hi to the neighbor.
You can walk your dog as normal with the typical 6 feet of length, and then if the situation calls for it, just reach down and grab ahold of the traffic handle.
Here are the best traffic handle leashes for Golden Retrievers:
- Kong Max HD Traffic Handle Quick Control Leash
- Max and Neo Double Handle Traffic Leash
- Leerburg 2 Handle Leather Leash
Best Double Connection Leash
If you need some extra support and security, the Freedom No Pull Leash has got you covered.
This ingenious design is created to attach to harnesses that have both a front and back clip, offering you more control.
A double connection leash is great for situations when you need to keep your dog close by.
It features a floating handle, which keeps the leash balanced between the two points of connection.
The leash can also be configured so that it’s attached to only a single point if desired.
For Golden Retrievers, the 1-inch width is the way to go.
Best Biothane Leashes
If you haven’t tried out a biothane leash, you are missing out!
Biothane is a coated webbing material that feels like soft leather in your hands.
This super lightweight, waterproof leash is incredibly durable even with daily use on large, strong dogs.
It’s super easy to clean too!
Simply run some soapy water in the sink, let the leash soak for a couple of minutes and then wipe dry.
Do you ever notice that your regular leashes can smell a little…funky?
Biothane never takes on any weird smells, no matter how much you use it!
It also comes in just about any color you could possibly imagine, plus various widths and lengths.
Lastly, it doesn’t knot up nearly as bad as the typical nylon leashes do.
If you enjoy outdoor adventures with your Golden Retriever, a biothane leash is a must-have piece of equipment.
And even if you and your Golden are homebodies, you’ll love the look and feel of biothane for your neighborhood strolls.
Biothane leashes come in a variety of widths.
Depending on how large your Golden is, the ½ inch or ¾ inch widths would work best.
There are many companies that make and sell biothane leashes.
Here are some of the best available:
Best Biothane Long Lines
As if enough praises were not already sung for biothane leashes, it’s time to talk about biothane long lines!
A long line is basically what it sounds like – a long leash.
Why would you want a really long leash, you might ask?
Well, there are a few reasons.
More Freedom of Movement
When you look into the history of Golden Retrievers, you’ll discover a dog that was purposely bred for running through fields and splashing through water, often in difficult terrain, as a hunting companion.
They spent lots of time in nature, and truly love being outdoors.
While there are some people who use Golden Retrievers for their original intended purpose (retrieving a shot bird), most people who own a Golden are not avid hunters.
So while the breed’s “job” may be mostly a thing of the past, those nature-loving genetics are still strong within Golden Retrievers.
Now think about a walk in your neighborhood on a regular, 6-foot leash compared to a day spent as a hunting partner.
A leash walk really just doesn’t offer the same level of physical and mental exercise as a few hours as a hunting partner, does it?
Enter the long line!
This is tool can give your dog more freedom to move their body and explore nature, which helps them feel more satisfied.
It’s like a compromise between being off leash and being on leash – you get all the safety of a leash, but with some of the freedom of being loose.
The more your dog gets to move, the more tired they will be, and a tired, content dog is a good dog.
More Sniffing Opportunities
As humans, our primary sense is sight.
But our dogs live in a world of scent, as their sense of smell is their primary sense.
You know how your dog wants to stop and sniff 50 times while you’re walking and it’s super annoying because you just want to keep walking?
Well, that’s because they’re getting interesting information through sniffing.
For them, stopping and sniffing is like reading a really good book, or getting an exciting email from a friend.
Sniffing is excellent mental exercise, which can wear your dog out as they process all the information their olfactory system is taking in.
Studies show that sniffing also is calming for dogs, actually lowering their heartrate.
Letting dogs sniff is actually one of the best and easiest ways you can improve their quality of life.
Using a long line opens up the world a bit more, so they can access more interesting sniff spots.
They can check out the sniffs on that tree, or make their way to the fire hydrant, or stick their snout in that rodent hole without hitting the end of the leash.
Your dog will be so happy to enjoy more sniffs, and your shoulder will be happy it’s not getting yanked on.
For some dogs, simply having a longer leash can eliminate or reduce leash pulling.
This isn’t a magical fix for every leash puller, but it can work really well for some dogs.
Dogs often pull because they want to sniff something that’s out of range, or they want to move at a quicker pace than their human.
Giving them a little more room to sniff and move can actually prevent them from pulling on you.
Again, this is not a cure-all, and some dogs may need some additional training to understand how to walk without pulling, but it can reduce a lot of frustration both in the dog and the owner.
Using a Long Line
While there is so much to love about a long line, it’s not always the best tool for the job.
If you’ll be walking your dog in a crowded place, a long line will be a recipe for disaster and you’ll probably accidentally trip someone.
Depending on where you live, it could work well for neighborhood walks, but you want to be considerate of your neighbors and not let your dog walk right up to their front door.
Long lines are amazing for walks in nature or larger open spaces, such as a park or soccer field.
At first, you might feel a bit clumsy handling a long line, because, well, it’s more leash to deal with than normal.
But with some practice, you will get used to reeling your dog out and reeling them in as they enjoy their walk.
Of course, if you’ll be passing other hikers on a trail, or other folks at the park, you’ll need to reel your Golden in so they don’t invade someone else’s space.
If you’re just starting out with a long line, a 15 or 20-foot length is best.
As you hone your skills, you could try a 30 footer, though a line that long is best for spacious environments like nature trails or the beach.
The ½ inch width is perfect for a long line for Golden Retrievers.
Where to Buy Biothane Long Lines
Here are some of the best biothane leashes out there:
Leashes to Avoid for Golden Retrievers
You may notice that all the recommended leashes include a snap that attaches to your dog’s collar or harness.
While the slip lead style leashes may be convenient, it’s best to avoid that type of leash for Golden Retrievers.
This is because the design allows for the leash to be continually tightened when there is tension on the lead.
You can imagine how much pressure this could put on your dog’s neck, which is a pretty fragile part of the body.
Such intense pressure on the neck could cause a collapsed trachea or other health issues.
It’s best to stick with leashes that attach to another piece of equipment, to avoid a potentially painful or harmful situation for your dog.
This keeps everyone safe and happy while out enjoying adventures together, however big or small.
Have any questions about these leashes?
Let us know down in the comments!
And if you liked this article, you’ll like this post about the best harnesses for Golden Retrievers.
P.S. Getting a Golden Retriever puppy? Check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook.
- 5 Best Vacuums For Golden Retriever Hair
- Best Dog Beds For Golden Retrievers
- Golden Retriever Puppy Supplies: 17 Essentials For Your New Puppy
- How To Teach Your Golden Retriever To Walk On A Leash (Without Pulling)
About the author:
Alisa Healy is a professional dog trainer in the Chicago suburbs, with a wide range of training experience from shelters to in-home training to dog sports. She is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and is passionate about helping people and dogs live fulfilling, harmonious lives together.