A hands-free dog leash is a great way to offer both you and your dog more freedom when out walking.
What is a hands free leash? In case you’re unfamiliar, a hands-free leash clips to a belt around your waist, so you can walk your dog without having to hold a leash in your hand the entire time. Your hands are then available for other tasks, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your dog will stay close!
Sounds pretty great, right?! Well, as wonderful as they may be, these leashes aren’t necessarily a good fit for every dog.
Wondering if a hands-free dog leash is good for your dog? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of walking your dog hands-free so you can decide whether a hands-free leash is right for your pup!
Pros of Hands-Free Dog Leashes
When you don’t have to hold a leash, your hands are free to do other things, such as carry your grocery bag or a cup of coffee or hold your child’s hand during a walk!
On hikes, freeing your hands up enables you to use them on technical parts of the trail if needed. And, for areas where dogs are not permitted off-leash, a durable dog leash (we recommend the Utility leash!) enables you to give your pup more range to explore while still following the trail rules. It comes in two sizes to accommodate all dog breeds and is adjustable from 4 feet to 6 feet for better control, making it the best dog leash for running or hiking as well. The extra-strength carabiner connects to a dog collar or dog harness and it can be converted to a hands-free experience with the hands-free dog walking belt!
If you’re looking for the best hands-free dog leash for running or for hiking, this combination is for you! Simply add the hands-free dog walking belt to the dog leash and dog collar or dog harness and you can create the best outdoor adventure with your dog.
You can also use a hands-free dog leash to practice obedience skills, such as recall or heeling. Pairing a long lead with your hands-free dog walking belt lets your pup feel as if they are running free but ensures you still have complete control over them during training.
To streamline your dog walking gear further, Canada Pooch offers a variety of accessories that can be conveniently attached to your hands-free dog walking belt. You can clip on a treat pouch, poop bag dispenser, and a dog walking hydration kit, so everything you need is easily within reach at all times!
When walking your dog on a hands-free leash, you can use your entire body weight to control your dog rather than just your arms. Ultimately, this means less strain on your arms. But, since using a hands-free leash means your dog will be directly attached to you, you need to be confident that you can physically control them or that they are very good with staying by your side. This type of leash may not be suitable for every dog.
To help you decide, let’s look at some potential downsides of hands-free dog leashes.
Cons of Hands-Free Dog Leashes
Safety for both you and your dog should be top of mind any time you shop for new gear. With that in mind, consider these points before trying out a hands-free dog leash.
Is your dog prone to pulling? If your dog pulls excessively or tends to dart after squirrels, the neighbour’s cat, or a stray piece of trash blowing in the wind, using a hands-free leash probably isn’t a good idea. A sudden tug from your dog could cause you to lose your balance and fall– ouch! That said, if your dog is small (say, under 15 pounds), this could be a non-issue.
Can your dog keep pace with you? If your dog’s pace is inconsistent, the hands-free leash may become wrapped around their legs, causing them to trip. When you hold a leash in your hand, you can easily control the tension and prevent your dog from becoming tangled. If you constantly have to untangle the leash from your dog’s legs, a hands-free leash may not be ideal!
Are you physically capable of controlling your dog in any situation? If you have a large-breed dog, think carefully about whether you can control them. Even a well-trained dog could take off suddenly if they get spooked, and since a hands-free leash is directly attached to you, there’s a good chance you’ll be pulled over in this situation. If you aren’t confident that you can control your dog, a hands-free leash probably isn’t a good fit.
Is a hands-free leash right for your dog?
While hands-free leashes have many advantages, they aren’t right for every dog. They work best for well-trained dogs, who will reliably walk on a loose leash, and who respond well to voice commands. If your dog is prone to pulling or spontaneously lunging after squirrels and the like, a hands-free leash may not give you sufficient control, and your dog might even pull you over by accident.
Are hands-free dog leashes safe?
Hands-free dog leashes are only recommended when you have the body strength and balance to fully control your dog. A hands-free leash may not be a good fit if your dog weighs more than you or is strong enough to pull you over. Even a well-trained large dog could pull you over in an emergency and cause accidental injuries.
There are some major benefits to hands-free dog walking, and even if your dog isn’t a good fit for a hands-free leash at the moment, that doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future. Many dogs can graduate to hands-free walking after some consistent training!