If you're reading this you probably love running, and you're a dog lover too and would love nothing more than to bring your four-legged buddy along with you when you go running. Your dog seems ready, he's eagerly waiting at the door wagging his tail in anticipation but there’s a problem, your dog leash isn't the best for running; in fact, it barely passes as a regular leash.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to ditch that old dog leash and dig deep in your pockets (or not so deep) and buy a new leash or harness that your furry running partner will love. Not sure which is the best leash for running with your dog? Don’t fret because I've done the legwork for you and picked out some top-rated dog leashes for running - trust me your dog will love one of these!
Before we get ahead of ourselves let’s look at what turns a regular dog walking leash into an upgraded running leash - yes, there’s a difference!
What to Look for in a Good Dog Running Leash
Not all dog leashes are equal, in fact, you can find some pretty crappy ones, you know the ones that snap the first time you use them or the retractable leash that NEVER retracts!
Well, the same holds true when choosing the best dog leash for running, there are some great buys and some, well, not so great. To help you make the right choice when buying a leash for running, I have jotted down below some qualities to look for when you're getting your first leash or harness.
Length (Does Leash Size Matter?)
Sure, the length of your dog leash is super important it can make or break a good run with your dog! If you're vertically challenged (I mean a shorter person) buying a long dog leash will not do you any favors. Why? Well, it’s most probably going to be dragging on the ground where it can become entangled in your feet, and the extra slack means that your pooch can get ahead of you - you’ll be playing catch up (not fun!).
On the flip side, if you're a taller person a longer leash will serve you better. If you're tall and buy a short leash, there's a good chance it will swing your K9 friend into the air every time you take a stride (poor dog!).
When choosing the best leash for running with your dog, I recommend testing it out in the pet shop first. Place the leash on your dog and then lift your arm up and out so that your arm is horizontal. If you still have a few inches of slack, the leash is perfect, but, if you find you're tugging on your dog look for a longer leash. Also, keep an eye out for a hand's free dog harness which is a better alternative for running (more on those below).
The adjustability can help you out if you find that your dog leash is either too small or too big. Most good dog leashes are adjustable, and some top-rated options can be adjusted in about seven different ways.
You can find leashes that can be adjusted by a simple press of a button, some are elastic, and others retractable. Dog leashes have come along way from back in the day when you used a piece of rope and wrapped it around your hand!
Durability should be your number one concern when buying a good running leash. Let’s be honest, the last thing you want is for the leash to snap and your dog to run away or worse still be pulled under a passing car.
When you're shopping for a new leash, give it a thorough inspection. Look at the stitching and the material used - there's nothing wrong with putting one end of the leash on the floor under your foot and pulling on the lead to see if it's strong - just don't pull too hard you don't want to break it!
Reflective or High-Visibility
Being reflective will play an important role and some of the best dog harnesses for running have bright reflective surfaces that make your dog (and you) more visible in lower light conditions.
If you're a runner or jogger than leaves in the early hours or if you prefer to run after work having a reflective or high-visibility dog harness is definitely a good option to keep in mind. With that said you can also find bright colored leashes that can also help your pooch to stand out, and you can upgrade almost any dog leash by adding reflective tape or bike reflectors.
Hands-Free vs. Not Hands-Free
I mentioned this leash earlier if you remember, and it's actually a neat little invention that's perfect for runners. The hand's free dog leash enables runners to run while keeping their dog close by and secure. In fact, these little gizmos have become pretty popular in the running community because you're not restricted and can run properly with both hands.
Because this type of dog leash is targeted at runners and joggers, you'll find that many of the best come adorned with LED lighting, bright reflective colors and other benefits that a regular dog leash doesn't have - they also are much more robust and come in a wide range of size options for dogs.
Harness vs. Regular Dog Leash
Besides the specialized dog running leashes, you can also find dog harnesses. Which type will be the best for you depends on you (and your dog) but from my experience harnesses are applauded by some, and loathed by others, but they are definitely worth checking out.
Personally, I prefer a harness when running but not when I regularly walk my dog. When I’m walking, I prefer more control which I can get with a regular leash - not so much with a harness.
Best Dog Leashes For Running With Your Canine Friend!
As promised I have done the legwork for you and hand-picked some great options for you and your four-legged furry friend next time you both go for a run - trust me these are the finest I could find.
Take your dog walking to the next speed level with one of these dog running leashes!
Durable elastic material that can stretch from 37 to 55 inches
Extremely flexible but still allows you to control your dog
Primal Pet Gear
Perfect for running, hiking or any regular casual walk.
Extremely flexible, durable and built to last
Hands-Free dog leash that comes With a LED
* More details on each dog leash can be found at the bottom of this article
Running With Your Dog: Expert Tips
Running with your dog takes practice so don't expect your pooch to play along when you give your first tandem run a try. But don't blame your dog it's all new to him, and he'll get the hang of it especially if you follow some of the below tips.
1. Ease Into It
All dogs need regular exercise and should be active for at least half an hour two times a day (according to the American Kennel Club). When you first start running along with your dog ease into it slowly - don't be foolish and sign up for a 10K in your first weekend! Baby steps, REPEAT after me baby steps!
Begin with 15 minutes of running along with your dog in the first week and then increase by 10 minutes every other week until your dog has built up more speed and stamina - plus this gives you more time to know each other's habits when out on the run.
2. Pace Yourself - And Your K9 Buddy!
It's common knowledge that almost all dogs can run faster than humans - unless you're Usain Bolt!
Even though your pooch can outrun you it doesn't mean that you have to sprint to keep up. In fact, your dog in most cases will adjust his speed to keep up with you, just go at your normal pace, and you'll find your buddy is right next to you.
When you go running with your pooch, don't forget to bring water not only for yourself but for your K9 buddy too. I recommend the collapsible Canine Hardware Hydro Bowl which is a great compact drinking bowl you can take with you when you run - trust me your dog will love you for buying this!
When you find the weather is too hot, leave your dog at home and run solo you don't want your dog to get heat stroke!
Recommended Dog Leads For Joggers (More Details)
Below you will find more details on each of our preferred dog leads for jogging, running or even hiking.
Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Hands-Free Dog Leash
The Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner is a great hands-free dog leash available in seven bright colors that'll help to make you and your pooch stand out in low light conditions - perfect for early morning or running in the late afternoon.
The design is basic with the Stunt Runner so getting accustomed to this leash and your running shouldn't be an issue. There's an easy adjustable black mount from the belt to the leash which you can position depending on the size of your dog and a neat metal D-ring that slides on your belt depending on how you like to run.
The leash itself is made from a durable elastic material that can stretch from 37 to 55 inches allowing your four-legged friend to dart off in any direction if he needs to.
Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash For Jogging, Walking, & Hiking
The Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash allows for freedom of movement while you're on your run with your dog. The bungee leash if extremely flexible but still allows you to control your dog if needed and the two handles are helpful when you need to reign in your dog.
Unlike other dog leashes that are very restricting the Tuff Mutt uses an easy glide belt clip which allows your canine buddy to move from side to side giving both of you enough space when you're out running. In fact, with the Tuff Mutt, your dog can run out in front of you or beside you without feeling like you will trip over each other thanks to the 48" lead that’s long enough to provide plenty of room.
The leash itself has been made from a reflective sturdy, durable and weather resistant thread that has three seams of bright luminous stitching that really makes you stand out from the crowd and ensuring you stay safe and visible on your late evening runs.
Primal Pet Gear Hands Free Dog Leash
The Primal Pet Gear Dog Leash is another hands-free leash that's perfect for running, hiking or any regular casual walk. The dual handle design (one at the top one at the bottom) allows you to control your dog down near the collar or you can direct your pooch with a gentle tug of the upper handle while you're running.
Just like the other best dog leads for running the Primal Pet Gear has been made with reflective stitching for better visible during the night and of course, increased safety. The waist strap can easily be fitted to anyone with a waist from a 28 to 48-inch waist - so fitting shouldn't be a problem! Once fitted you're completely hands-free so you and your canine buddy can enjoy the run.
Ruffwear Flat Out Hand-Held or Waist-Worn Dog Leash
If you're looking for a durable dog lead for your next run, I highly recommend looking at the Ruffwear offering. This leash has been constructed using the Ruffwear-designed Tubelok webbing that is durable and built to last.
The sturdy adjustable clasp allows for a quick and easy one-handed attachment to almost anything - for example, it can be hooked onto a belt loop, backpack, or a rail and can withstand any impulsive pulls from the biggest of dogs.
Ruffwear Flat Out running leash comes in an array of different colors from earthy greens and browns, to coastal inspired blues and berry reds and pinks!
Roadrunner Running Dog Leash Hands Free With LED Light
My final recommendation for a running dog lead is the Roadrunner Hands-Free that comes With an LED. This is an “Okayish” leash that's worth looking at if your pockets aren't so deep - it's budget friendly!
Just like the others, this is a hand-free dog leash that’s perfect for jogging and running, and because it’s hands-free, you can preserve your running style. They have manufactured it from a strong, durable, tightly woven material and features a quick release and a quick connect mechanism. The waist strap will fit anyone with a waist anywhere from 38 inches to 51 inches. If your waist is slightly smaller than 38 inches, don't fret because you’ll still be able to fit the lead, but it will be looser; but it's still very usable.
One standout feature that this dog leash has over the others is the LED light that comes bundled with the leash. The LED can be attached and detached if needed, for example, when you are running with your dog at night you simply clip the LED to your leash, and off you go!
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