A leash is one of the most important items you’ll need as a dog owner. Dog leashes come in various styles and designs, and many people opt for hands-free leashes. Taking your dog with you while going on a run or a leisure walk is easier when the leash is hands-free.
Your hands are free to pick up the poop, wave at a friendly neighbor, or hand your dog treats. Some consider them unsafe, while others think they are safe. The bottom line is that hands-free leashes can be safe if you use them properly.
What to Consider Before Getting a Hands-Free Leash
Using hands-free leashes may be convenient, but there are some things you should consider before getting one.
One of the most important things you should consider before buying a hands-free leash is the size of your dog. You should never walk large breed dogs with a hands-free leash. They are too loose to be used for bigger dogs.
Well-trained dogs are perfect candidates for using a hands-free leash. You have less control over your dog than a regular leash, so you should use a hands-free leash on one that can obey voice commands. If your dog can’t obey commands but excitedly takes off down the street with you on the other end of the leash, you will fall.
A leash that suddenly snaps may be a disaster for both the dog and the dog owner. Doing adequate research about the product you’re buying is vital. You want to buy a leash you can be sure won’t snap no matter how much the dog pulls.
An excellent dog leash should have great shock absorbance. A leash with excellent shock absorbance will competently absorb any strain from the dog pulling. Investing in a leash with great shock absorbance can help prevent future injuries.
Since your leash will be attached to your waist, you should choose one that will be comfortable for you. The leash should be adjustable and lightweight. You don’t want to have a heavy leash attached to your body or that of your dog. There are leashes with lining or padding on the part that goes around the waist. Such leashes help you avoid chafing and are more comfortable.
Hands-free leashes are convenient, but there are chances of using the leash with a dog that excitedly chases after bike riders or other dogs. You could be yanked off your feet and forced to join the chase rather unpleasantly! Some hands-free leashes have a quick-release safety feature that allows you to quickly unhook your dog in an emergency. Others come with knotted sections or handles you can quickly grab to stop your running dog or stop it from pulling.
How Safe are Hands-Free Leashes?
Many dog owners wonder how safe hands-free leashes are. Hands-free leashes are perfectly safe to use with leash-trained dogs. But you have to use the leash properly. Dogs that are leash-trained to walk or run beside you without pulling are great candidates for hands-free leashes.
You may rethink your choice of using a hands-free leash if your dog pulls a lot or tends to lunge after bike riders or go after other dogs or cats. A lunging dog can yank a human off its feet by pulling hard on the leash. If your leash has a quick-release feature, you can quickly unhook your dog before you get injured. There are also leashes with fixed handles that allow you to control your dog better.
Pros and Cons of Using a Hands-Free Leash
If you have a leash-trained dog, hands-free leashes may be a good option. You should note that you still have to be conscious of your environment and be ready to rein in your charge if the need arises.
- Your hands are free to do other things.
- Many belt designs have pockets to store accessories like cellphones and potty bags.
- Multitasking is easier.
- Should only be used with well-behaved dogs.
- You don’t have as much control as when using a regular leash.
- It’s harder to practice heeling.
- Cannot be used with larger breed dogs.
Tips for Using a Hands-Free Leash
Wear the waist belt the same way you would wear the traditional belt. The belt should be around your waist, not your hips, and snug, not loose. Having the belt allows you to maximize the strength and balance you get from your body’s core.
The O-rings should be in the center of your back, while the buckle should be in the front.
If you’re wearing multiple layers of clothing, fit the belt on the outermost layer. Doing this will give you easy access to any accessory attached to the belt. It will also make it easy for you to handle or adjust while going on your run or walk.
Avoid clipping the lead to the upper half of the O-rings, as this will make the waistbelt twist. Clip to the lower half of the O-rings instead. If you’re walking multiple dogs, evenly distribute the leads between the O-rings.
Use a short lead for easily distracted dogs and position them next to you. Gradually lengthen the lead as the dog learns to obey commands.
When walking in a public space, keep your leads generally shorter for safety reasons. In addition, be respectful to other pedestrians by making sure your dogs don’t pester them.
Use leads of a longer length when jogging.
Ensure your hands are free enough to quickly grab the leash if need be.
Leashes are used to keep dogs safe while out in public. They are also used as a training aid to keep dogs under control. Many dog owners have leash preferences, and some will only work with a hands-free leash. Hands-free leashes can be safe if used the proper way. You should never use a hands-free leash with larger breed dogs. Use the tips given above, and you’ll find out how amazing it can be to have your hands free while walking or running with your dog.