How to Choose the Right Leash and Collar for a Strong Dog?

February 3, 2024

Hello dog lovers, today we’re talking about a crucial aspect of pet ownership and training, that is sometimes overlooked: selecting the right leash and collar for your strong and active dog. This isn’t merely about style or color—it’s about your dog’s safety, your control, and the comfort of both of you. We’ll be exploring the different types of leashes and collars available on the market, and how to ensure you pick the best one for your furry friend.

Understanding the Importance of the Right Collar

Before we dive into the specifics of choosing the right collar, it’s essential to understand why this choice is so critical. The right collar is more than just a fashion statement. It’s a tool for identification, control, and training. A collar that is too tight might choke your pet, while a loose one might slip off. So, how do you find the ‘Goldilocks’ collar that’s just right for your pet?

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Start by measuring your dog’s neck and then add 2 to 3 inches for the proper adjustment. When you put it on, you should be able to slip two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.

Materials also play a significant role. Nylon collars are durable, lightweight, and generally inexpensive. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, making them a popular choice among pet owners. On the other hand, leather collars are more durable but tend to be pricier. They soften over time and are less likely to cause irritation or hair loss around your dog’s neck.

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Picking the Perfect Leash for a Strong Dog

Just as with collars, choosing the right leash is pivotal for your dog’s safety and your control. Leashes come in various lengths and materials and are designed to meet different training needs.

Standard leashes, usually made from nylon or leather, are typically around 6 feet long. This length offers a good balance between control and freedom for your pet to explore. For strong dogs that pull, a shorter leash might be a better option to maintain control.

The retractable leash is another popular choice, offering adjustable length. However, it’s crucial to remember that these leashes can pose a danger if not used correctly. They might be suitable for open spaces, but not recommended in crowded areas as they can easily get entangled.

Slip leashes, also known as training leashes, are a collar and leash in one. They are excellent for training purposes as they provide more control. But remember, they should be used responsibly as they can harm your dog if misused.

The Role of a Harness in Controlling a Strong Dog

A harness can be a game-changer in dealing with a strong dog that tends to pull on the leash. By distributing the pressure across the dog’s chest and back, it reduces strain on the neck and allows better control.

Harnesses come in different styles: back-clip, front-clip and dual-clip. A front-clip harness can discourage pulling by redirecting your dog towards you, while a back-clip harness might encourage it. Dual-clip harnesses offer the best of both worlds, and can be useful for training.

Shopping for the Best Collar and Leash

Now you understand what to look for in a leash and collar, it’s time to shop. You might be tempted to go for the first cute leash or collar you see, but remember, functionality and comfort should be your priority.

Consider your dog’s behavior and strength when selecting the right gear. If your dog pulls, a sturdy leather or nylon leash combined with a harness might be a good solution. If your dog is well-behaved, a standard nylon leash and collar might suffice.

Different shops offer different types of leashes and collars. Some specialize in durable gear for larger, stronger breeds while others might cater to smaller, less forceful dogs. Take the time to explore local pet stores, online retailers, and specialty shops to find the best match for your pet.

Overall, choosing the right collar and leash for your strong dog will make walks more enjoyable, improve training and enhance the bond between you and your furry friend. We hope these tips will guide you in making the right choice for your beloved pet. Happy shopping!

Using a Hands-Free Dog Leash

One type of leash that’s increasingly gaining popularity, especially among active dog owners, is the hands-free dog leash. This leash ties around the waist or over the shoulder, allowing the owner more freedom and mobility while keeping the dog secure.

Hands-free leashes are an excellent option for those who enjoy running or hiking with their dogs. They provide a way to exercise together without sacrificing safety or control. The length of these leashes can usually be adjusted to suit the activity, whether you’re running on a trail or walking in a crowded area.

While hands-free dog leashes are a convenient tool, they’re not recommended for dogs that pull excessively or are still in training. Dogs need to be well-behaved and responsive to commands as the owner doesn’t have the same level of immediate control as with a traditional handheld leash.

Materials and construction also matter when choosing a hands-free leash. The leash must be strong enough to withstand your dog’s strength and durable enough for the type of activities you enjoy. Look for features like bungee sections that can absorb sudden movements, adjustable lengths, and quick-release mechanisms for safety.

The Use of Head Collars and Retractable Leashes

Head collars are another training tool that can help manage a strong dog. Unlike traditional collars that encircle the dog’s neck, head collars go around the dog’s muzzle and back of the head. This design allows you to direct your dog’s attention and gently guide its movement.

While head collars can be effective training tools, they should be used correctly. Incorrect or prolonged use can cause discomfort or injury. It’s always best to consult with a professional dog trainer when considering a head collar.

Retractable leashes, on the other hand, offer a different level of flexibility. These leashes can extend to allow your dog more freedom to roam. However, they should be used with caution. Retractable leashes can quickly unspool, leading to potential accidents. They’re best suited for well-behaved dogs and open, safe environments.


In conclusion, selecting the right leash and collar for your strong and active dog is not a decision to take lightly. It impacts your dog’s safety, your control over it, and the comfort of both of you. From hands-free leashes to head collars and retractable leashes, the market offers a wide range to cater to various needs.

Remember, the best dog leash or collar is the one that fits your dog’s size, behavior, and training level. Be sure to measure your dog’s neck correctly, consider the material, and think about functionality over style.

Whether you’re shopping at a local pet store or online at Shop Chewy, take your time to explore all the options. After all, your dog’s leash and collar are essential tools for dog training and daily life.

By making an informed choice, you’ll ensure a more enjoyable walking and training experience for you and your strong dog. Here’s to many happy, safe walks with your furry friend!