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The Best Dog Leashes of 2024

From epic hikes to strolls around town and everywhere in between, a solid dog leash will see you through it all. With the help of our furry friends, we pulled, chewed, tangled, ran, walked, and even behaved sometimes to bring you the best leashes out there.
best dog leashesThe Fido Pro Remi Runner is awesome for hands-free adventures like long mountain runs; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)
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If you have a pup, you’ll need a dog leash — even if the extent of your travels is a once-yearly trip to the vet or monthly groomer visit. The best leashes keep dogs safe and out of trouble and allow owners to maintain control in the event of an emergency.

Hundreds of different leashes are available, so it can be difficult to know exactly what to choose for your pet and your lifestyle. We did the research to narrow down the best leashes on the market today so you and your dog (or your whole pack) can get outside and have a worry-free adventure.

Our tester, Kristi Pahr, rigorously tested seven different dog leashes in various environments and weather conditions. She and her four dogs used these leashes on walks and hikes in sunny and rainy weather through different terrains such as woods and farm fields. This comprehensive testing process gives you a clear idea of how each leash performs in different situations. Kristi, who has extensive experience caring for various animals (furry, feathery, scaly, and wet), understands the importance of a reliable leash.

Take a look at our picks for the best dog leashes on the market so you and your dog can start on your next adventure. Learn about what differentiates dog leashes in our comprehensive buyer’s guide and FAQ at the bottom of the article. Our comparison chart can help you make a decision. Otherwise, read our full gear guide below.

The Best Dog Leashes of 2024

Best Overall Dog Leash

Ruffwear Roamer Bungee Dog Leash


  • Price $40
  • Materials Nylon, aluminum clasp
  • Best For Everyday use, hiking, running
  • Unique Features Bungee, hands-free
Product Badge The Best Dog Leashes of 2024


  • Hands-free capabilities
  • Bungee webbing
  • Padded handle


  • Price
  • Might be too heavy for smaller breeds
Best Budget Dog Leash

Ruffwear Front Range Dog Leash


  • Price $20
  • Materials Nylon
  • Best For Small to medium breeds, low-intensity walks
  • Unique Features Lightweight, affordable price
The Best Dog Leashes of 2024


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Locking clasp
  • Traffic handle
  • Padded handle


  • Thin
  • Small clasp
Most Stylish Dog Leash

Orvis x Fishe Wear Leash


  • Price $45
  • Materials Polyester
  • Best For Small breeds, daily use
  • Unique Features Beautiful patterns
The Best Dog Leashes of 2024


  • Lightweight
  • Beautiful patterns
  • Alligator-style clasp


  • Expensive
  • Limited designs
Best Hands-Free Dog Leash

Fido Pro Remi Runner Leash


  • Price $49
  • Materials Nylon
  • Best For Hiking, running, and backcountry adventures
  • Unique Features Hands-free, dual handles, extenders
The Best Dog Leashes of 2024


  • Rugged construction
  • Hands-free option
  • Bungee
  • Dual-handles


  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for small dogs
Best of the Rest

TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash


  • Price $22
  • Materials Nylon, plastic
  • Best For Everyday use, normal walks
  • Unique Features Easy-to-use locking mechanism
The Best Dog Leashes of 2024


  • Smooth retraction
  • Long total length
  • Easy lock/unlock feature


  • Ribbon mesh tends to twist as it re-enters the slot in the body of the leash
  • Smallish hand opening may not comfortably accommodate larger hands or gloved hands in winter

Herzog Silicone Dog Leash


  • Price $56
  • Materials Silicone, recycled ripstop
  • Best For Rainy days, regular use
  • Unique Features Lovely design, waterproof
The Best Dog Leashes of 2024


  • Waterproof silicone construction
  • Ripstop joinery and handle
  • Locking carabiner clasp


  • Expensive
  • Swivel connection feels flimsy
  • Handle is stiff and uncomfortable to hold

Timberwolf Alpine 2-Dog Adjustable Lead


  • Price $50 – $69
  • Materials Double braided rope
  • Best For Walking two dogs at once
  • Unique Features Slidelock, comfortable handle
The Best Dog Leashes of 2024


  • Slidelock coupler
  • Comfortable handle
  • Multiple sizes


  • Expensive

Dog Leash Comparison Chart

Dog LeashPriceMaterialsBest ForUnique Features
Ruffwear Roamer Bungee Dog Leash
$40Nylon, aluminum claspEveryday use, hiking, runningBungee, hands-free
Ruffwear Front Range Dog Leash$20NylonMellow dogs, low-intensity walksLightweight, affordable price
Orvis x Fishe Wear Leash$45PolyesterMellow town walks, daily useBeautiful patterns
Fido Pro Remi Runner Leash$49NylonHiking, running, and backcountry adventuresHands-free, dual handles, extenders
TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash$22Nylon, plastic
Everyday use, normal walksEasy-to-use locking mechanism
Herzog Silicone Dog Leash$56Silicone, recycled ripstopRainy days, regular useLovely design, waterproof
Timberwolf Alpine 2-Dog Adjustable Lead
$50 – $69Double braided ropeWalking two dogs at onceSlidelock, comfortable handle
Not all dog leashes are created equal. We tested the best leashes to meet all your needs; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)

How We Tested Dog Leashes

Our lead tester for this piece, Kristi Pahr, is an OG dog person who currently has four dogs to snuggle with. She understands that different situations demand different leashes and knows there is “the right” leash and “any old” leash for every activity.

Her pack consists of Spanky, a 13-year-old boxer, Ruby and Jade, 3-year-old littermate German Shepherds, and Mr. Pibbles, an 11-month-old foundling mixed-breed. They tested these leashes over two months as they walked, ran, and played. Over the course of numerous walks and hikes, Kristi paid close attention to special features, durability, and function.

GearJunkie editor Chris Kassar’s pup, Nala, also stepped in for some testing, and we enlisted the help of a guest tester named Cache to get another opinion. We took these leashes on walks around town and pushed their limits on big hiking, running, and wandering adventures in the mountains to see how they performed.

After months of tireless testing, we are sure these leashes are the best on the market. We will update our guide as new awesome leashes hit the shelves.

Need a complimentary collar? Check out our guide to the best dog collars. Or, if your dog needs more guidance while on a walk, consult our guide to the Best Dog Harnesses. And, if your pup needs a solid rest after all the adventures you go on, check out our guide to The Best Dog Beds.

Tester dogs like Cache were dedicated to putting these leashes through the wringer and were also pretty good at letting us know when it was time to take a hike; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Leashes

We walk our dogs all the time, so the leash we use is important. Understanding the difference in leashes, how they work, what they’re capable of, and how to best use them can make all the difference in how much you enjoy spending time with your dog outdoors.

A leash that works for strolls around the park may not be the best bet for a rugged backcountry hike. And a leash that works for your German Shepherd is probably not the best choice for your neighbor’s Yorkie.

We loved the lightweight feel and the stylish design of the Orvis x Fishe Wear Leash for mellow walks around the neighborhood; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)

How Will You Use It?

Consider your lifestyle and the activities you like to do with your dog. If your walks consist of a two- or three-times daily walk down the city sidewalk with a mellow pup, the leash that will serve you best is likely something lightweight like the Orvis x Fishe Wear Leash.

Hiking or cross-country skiing? Go for the Fido Pro Remi Runner Leash. Two-dog household? Try a double leash like the Timberwolf Alpine 2-Dog Adjustable Lead. And if your dog loves nothing more than a dip in the lake or a splash in a puddle, a waterproof leash like the Herzog Silicone Leash is exactly what you need.

The Timberwolf Alpine 2-Dog Adjustable Lead allows you to adjust the distance between your two pups; (photo/Kristi Pahr).


Leashes should be strong enough to withstand pulls and tugs but soft enough not to destroy your palms when you hold them. Strong nylon webbing is a great choice that holds together and will keep your dog on the end of the leash instead of tearing across the park or, worse, a busy city street. The Ruffwear Front Range Leash combines form and function. It is a tough leash with a comfortable, padded grip for owners.

Our budget option, the Ruffwear Front Range Dog Leash is made of durable nylon ideal for walks with well-behaved pups like Cache; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)


A backcountry leash doesn’t need the same features as a daily walk leash, though some, like rings for attaching pick-up bags, are ideal for both. Hands-free leashes like the Ruffwear Roamer Leash are great for multitasking, and the addition of a stretchy bungee makes it easy to control your dog without hurting yourself.

Retractable leashes, like the Tug Retractable Leash, are also great when you want your pup to have more freedom, but we don’t recommend these for dogs prone to pulling.

Our best overall choice, the Ruffwear Roamer Bungee Dog Leash is ideal for active pursuits; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)


Will you be using your new leash for training purposes? A long leash is ideal if you’re attempting to teach your dog off-leash obedience. Long training leashes provide dogs with lots of additional space to roam (some even up to 150 feet long, though twenty to thirty feet is more common) while allowing the owner to maintain control. These leashes work well for training, staying at a distance, or giving your dog extra freedom in areas with few people. 

These leads are also great for training working or hunting dogs in the field. Ideally, you’ll get an adjustable leash like the Fido Pro Remi Runner Leash, which allows for freedom in certain situations but also allows your pup to be reigned in when the situation warrants it.

Long leashes can take a bit of getting used to and are not recommended for beginners or use in crowded situations like walks down a busy city street. Ideally, owners will consult with a trainer to learn how to properly use a long leash to avoid frustration and potential injury to the dog. 

Both Nala and her mom (GJ editor, Chris) loved the freedom to run afforded by the hands-free Fido Pro Remi Runner Leash; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)

Type of Closure or Clasp

Most standard leashes have a metal clasp that attaches to the collar. This clasp, called a snap hook, is usually spring-loaded and thumb-operated. These clasps are fine for most dogs, though owners of very small dogs and very large dogs, as well as dogs who pull, should opt for a different closure.

Locking carabiners have grown in popularity because they are generally stronger than snap hooks and lock closed, preventing any accidental escapes. Carabiner leash clasps like on the Herzog Silicone Leash are ideal for hiking and running and also for rambunctious dogs who pull or jump while leashed.

The locking carabiner found on the Herzog Silicone Leash adds extra security while walking your pup; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)

Take your dog’s size into consideration when choosing leashes. A clasp that will accommodate the strength of even a medium-sized dog will likely be too heavy for a toy breed to wear comfortably, and a clasp that is strong enough to keep your Aussie safely on leash will be a piece of cake for a Mastiff or Great Dane to break through. One of the reasons we chose the Ruffwear Roamer Bungee Dog Leash as our Best Overall was because it worked for various sizes, strengths, and breeds.

The Ruffwear Roamer Bungee Dog Leash was our overall pick due to its versatility across dogs and activities; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)


Can a dog get hurt by pulling too hard on a leash?

When a dog pulls too strongly on their leash, it can cause injury to their neck, throat, and sometimes their face or eyes if there is enough pressure. Choosing the right collar can help, but ultimately, pulling is a behavior you want to stop as soon as possible, so consider consulting with a trainer or using a no-pull harness.

Can dog leashes be washed?

Most leashes can be cleaned up with a little warm, soapy water and a good rinse and air dry. Some are machine washable, but check the manufacturer’s instructions before tossing it in the washer to ensure it’s color-safe and won’t shrink or become misshapen.

What’s the best material for a dog leash?

Nylon is always a safe bet when it comes to leashes. The material is tough and durable and able to withstand the elements. Silicone leashes are great for water dogs. Leather leashes are attractive but stretch over time and may become brittle if not cared for properly.

For walks where you’re in and out of the water like this one, the Herzog Silicone Leash (and the matching Herzog collar) make a practical and stylish combo; (photo/Elk Raven Photography)

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