Every dog parent should have a leash on hand, even those with young puppies who may not be ready for elaborate adventures yet.
But picking a leash for your new puppy isn’t as easy as leashing up an adult.
You have to consider things you normally don’t with most grown doggos, like the lead’s weight and its “dental durability,” to ensure you get a safe and effective leash.
Below, we’ll talk about the things you’ll want to think about when picking a leash, we’ll share a few of our favorite leashes for puppies, and we’ll talk about a few leads you may want to avoid.
The Best Leashes for Puppies: Quick Picks
- #1 PetSafe Nylon Leash [Best Standard Leash for Puppies]: Like most PetSafe products, this leash is well-constructed, competitively priced, and gets the job done — if you just want a standard puppy leash, this is your best bet.
- #2 Leash Links [Best Chewproof Leash for Puppies]: Short leash with a stiff, ultra-durable section closest to the puppy’s mouth to absorb and deter leash-biting.
- #3 AEDILYS Dog Leash [Most Affordable Leash for Puppies]: Honestly, most puppy leashes are pretty affordable, but if you’re in an every-dollar-counts situation, this one will save you a couple of bucks.
- #4 Oneisall Leash [Best Multi-Function & Hands-Free Leash for Puppies]: This puppy leash is great for owners who want to be able to walk their pooch in hands-free fashion, and it also doubles as a tie-out.
The Nine Best Leashes for Puppies
To make it easy to find a lead for your new pupperino, we’ve retrieved some of the best leash options for puppies.
We’ve tried to pick an assortment, so that there’s a little something for every owner, from fans of leather to those needing a chewproof dog leash.
Here are some of our favorites:
1. PetSafe Nylon Leash
PetSafe Nylon Leash
A safe and durable nylon leash that’s available in multiple lengths and widths.
About: PetSafe’s Nylon Leash is a straightforward leash that gets the job done without any extraneous features (and it does so at a great price, too). You don’t need to worry about it weighing your puppy down, either, as this lead is lightweight and comfortable for both you and your dog. This basic PetSafe lead also makes our list for the best general dog leashes too!
- Made of nylon
- Hardware is nickel-plated zinc
- Easy to spot-clean as needed
- Manufactured in Vietnam
Options: Offered in seven colors and 4-foot and 6-foot lengths in ⅜ inch, ¾ inch, and 1-inch widths.
- Lightweight, flexible, and comfortable
- Perfect lengths for training and walking
- Very affordable
- Can fray easily if you have a serious chewer
- Not the comfiest handle
2. Leash Links
Sturdy chewy-proof leash with stiff PVC and stainless steel cable to block biting
About: The Leash Links Chewproof Signature Walker is a uniquely-designed leash perfect for puppies who won’t stop biting and chewing on the lead! This short training leash actually has two components – a steel cable housed with a high-quality, non-toxic PVC cover sleeve, which then clips to the secondary component – a comfortable, biothane handle.
- Two-part design with primary “link” (leash) and a detachable biothane handle
- Choose your favorite color combinations, with the option for 6 different colors
- Comfy biothane handle is waterproof and odor-proof
- Quick-connect swivel snap clips make it easy to hook up your pup
- Leash measures about 18.5 inches long; handle is about 10.75 inches long, with a total length of about 2.5ft – perfect for keeping easy control of a mischevous puppy!
- Unique design discourages chewing and holds up under baby shark teeth
- Fun selection of mix-and-match colors
- Short length allows for better control over your pup
- Some owners may still prefer to have a secondary longer leash
- Color customization only available on manufacturer’s website
3. Oneisall Handsfree/Multifunctional Lead
About: The Handsfree/Multifunctional Lead by Oneisall takes customization to new heights, allowing you to select the wear style and length that work best for you. This means you can use it as a hands-free leash or a traditional, handheld leash instead. The metal hardware also swivels, preventing tangles on the go.
- Made of ⅝ inch thick black nylon
- Can be lengthened up to 8 feet or shortened as needed using the adjustable ring
- Mesh velvet handle for comfortable gripping when in use
- Manufactured in China
- Multifunctional use is always a win, letting you go from training class to walking with ease
- Allows for a great deal of control
- Comfortable wear for handler
- Heavier than other options
- A bit on the thin side, especially if you have a chewer
4. AEDILYS Dog Leash
About: The AEDILYS Dog Leash is a great choice for owners on a budget, as it is sold directly by the factory that manufacturers it, thereby allowing you to skip the middle man. Although it lacks some of the bells and whistles that other leashes have, it does what you need it to do and is available in multiple sizes and colors.
- Sold directly by the factory, allowing you to avoid retailer markups
- The factory advertises a 24-hour turnaround on all customer inquiries
- Clasp allows for one handed operation
Options: Available in 4 colors and 3 widths: 1-inch, 3/5 inch, and 4/5 inch.
- One of the most affordable puppy leashes on the market
- Despite its low price, the leash earned high marks from owners
- Comes with all the basic features you’d expect from a standard leash
- Several owners expressed durability issues
- Some complained that the fabric was quite stiff
- Probably not sturdy enough for big puppies
5. Soft Touch Leather Braided Dog Leash
Soft Touch Leather Braided Dog Leash
Stylish leather leash with unique braided design and has a comfortable padded grip.
About: Soft Touch’s Leather Braided Dog Leash is any leather lovers’ dream lead thanks to its buttery soft feel and durability. Best of all, it’s strong enough to handle adult dogs, too, so you won’t need to replace it once your pint-sized pup starts growing. While it’s a great mix of style and utility for chiller pups, it might be too temping to chew for some feistier youngsters.
- Handmade using real leather
- Comfortable padded grip
- All hardware is solid brass and finished in lacquer to prevent rust
- Made in Ukraine
Options: Comes in 5 color combinations and 3 length/thickness combos: 4 feet x ½ inch, 6 feet x ½ inch, and 6 feet x ¾ inch.
- Quality gets a paw’s up from pup parents
- Comfortable “feel” as it breaks in
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- A bit heavier than other options
- Not a good choice for leash chewers
6. CollarDirect Floral Dog Leash
CollarDirect Floral Dog Leash
Strong and flexible nylon leash available in your choice of 5 different designs.
About: CollarDirect’s Floral Dog Leash shows off your fur kiddo’s fashionable side in bright, eye-catching patterns you don’t see commonly in most standard leashes. Suitable for everyday and training use, this lead is flexible and lightweight.
- Made of nylon
- Each leash is 5 feet long
- All hardware is carbon plated
- Handmade in Europe
Options: Offered in ⅝ inch, ¾ inch, and 1-inch widths in 5 fun patterns.
- Reasonably priced
- Comfortable feel for you and your dog
- Unique patterns available
- Not ideal for hardcore chewers
- Bright coloring may fade with repeat cleaning and time
7. Illumiseen LED Dog Leash
About: Have added peace of mind during nightly walks with Illumiseen’s LED Dog Leash, a bold and bright safety lead that can shine bright or flash to make your presence known. With a built-in rechargeable battery pack, you won’t need to run to the store for replacement batteries, either. If you go with this option, consider grabbing a glowing LED dog collar to match!
- Made with a flexible woven fabric and metal hardware
- Provides five hours of light per one-hour charge
- Comes with three light settings: steady, slow flashing, and rapid flashing
- Made in China
Options: Offered in 4- and 6-foot lengths, this leash also comes in 6 fun colors, including cotton candy pink and royal blue.
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- Provides plenty of visibility in low-light settings
- USB rechargeable battery
- While weatherproof, it’s not waterproof
- Some owners reported longevity issues, though this may be a manufacturing defect covered by the lifetime guarantee
8. VirChewLy Indestructible
About: Prevent leash damage from curious chompers with VirChewLy’s Indestructible Leash. Made from lightweight vinyl-wrapped metal, this lead is relatively tangle-, rust-, and odor-proof.
- Made of vinyl-coated steel
- Easy to clean
- Can double as a tie-out if needed
- Made in the USA
Options: Available in 5 colors and 9 length options, ranging from 4 to 5.6 feet.
- High weight limit that follows your puppy into adulthood with ease
- Versatile, can be easily shortened to a traffic lead as needed
- Extremely lightweight
- Some found the clasp to be weak, though this could be a one-off manufacturing defect
- Heavy-duty chewers may still do a number on it (or any leash)
9. Mendota Pet Snap Leash
Mendota Pet Snap Leash
A comfy, waterproof rope leash that’s available in several sizes and colors.
About: Mendota’s Pet Snap Leash is the ultimate pick when it comes to a rope leash for your new pup. Made with a flexible braided rope, this leash won’t weigh you or your doggo down as you practice your leash skills.
- Crafted of braided polypropylene rope
- Waterproof and machine washable
- Brass hardware
- Handmade in the USA
Options: Offered in 4 size options, including 4-feet and 6-feet lengths in either a ½ inch or ⅜ inch thickness, and 45 (!) vibrant color patterns.
- Wide variety of leash sizes and colors
- Comfortable grip
- Excellent length options, allowing you to get a walking and training lead if needed
- Not the best choice for chewers
- Some owners found the clip to be a touch heavy
10. Barkless’ Cute Small Dog Harness & Leash Combo
About: Containing a collar, harness, and a leash, Barkless’ Cute Small Dog Combo delivers on cuteness and convenience. Made specifically for small breeds, this set is petite enough to keep most puppies on track as they learn leash manners 101. Plus, it’s just plain adorable.
It also serves as a great dog wedding collar for pups who will be walking their parents down the aisle!
- Made out of spot-clean friendly polyester
- Frilly harness hem and bowtie collar for added flair
- Stainless steel hardware
- Made in China
Options: Offered in 4 sizes, ranging from small to extra-large, and 3 polka dot colors: blue, black, and pink.
- Quality got a tail wag from owners
- Lightweight construction
- Excellent option for small and toy breed puppies
- Limited print styles are a bummer
- Runs small, triple check the sizing chart
The Worst Leashes for Puppies: Leashes You Should Avoid
We don’t want to be doggy downers, but some leashes just don’t work out with new puppies. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad options for adult dogs, but they’re certainly not the best for a little one learning to leash up.
We know they’re popular in some circles, but retractable dog leashes aren’t a good pick for a puppy learning leash manners. They teach a dog to put pressure on the leash and pull to get around, which is the exact opposite of what you want a new puppy to do.
Retractable leashes also pose a risk of injury to you and your dog. Lacerations and burns are common among dogs and people, so it’s best to skip these with a puppy.
Long leads are fun for leisurely strolls and sniffari walks when your dog is grown, but they offer little control when you have an overly curious puppy. Keeping a close eye on your fur baby is essential, as puppies are babies after all, and anything interesting goes right in their mouth.
Long leashes are also heavy for you and your puppy to lug around. In the early days of leash training, easy movement is a must, particularly if you’re using the lead in obedience training.
While they look cool, chain leashes are just too heavy for puppies. In fact, they’re a bit of a drag on dogs of all ages and you, the walker.
Chain leashes also get hot in the heat, risking injury, and they aren’t always waterproof, leading to rusting overtime. You’re better off skipping them entirely.
How to Pick the Best Leash for Your Puppy
Picking the best puppy leash requires a few added steps to keep everyone happy, healthy, and safe during leash training. We’ve broken these down into bite-sized portions to make the leash buying process easier.
For starters, you have to select a leash of the proper length. Specifically, you need to avoid purchasing a leash that is too long.
In the beginning, your young puppy will still be learning leash manners and will also be prone to getting into things that she shouldn’t. So, sidestep these problems by keeping her on a relatively short lead that provides you with more control of your little canine.
Typically, this means you’ll want to opt for a leash in the 4- to 6-foot ballpark.
It’s not uncommon for owners to connect their pup’s leash to their waist and never leave the pup in the home unattended. This can prevent bad habits before they become ingrained, stopping many undesirable behaviors before they can begin.
You don’t want to bog down you or your puppy with a heavy, cumbersome lead — especially while she’s still small.
Not only can this hinder movement, but it’s plain old uncomfortable. Instead, stick to lightweight leashes as she’s learning the ropes. She (and your arm) will thank you later.
Don’t forget to keep your comfort in mind — after all, you will be walking your new pooch several times a day. If you choose to tether your pup to your side you’ll be dealing with a leash for most of the day!
A padded handle is very helpful, as holding a stiff loop gets uncomfortable fast.
You’ll also want a leash with a little give to the line, so you aren’t walking stiffly together, which can put unnecessary stress on your arm and lead to a less comfortable walk for your puppy.
If you’re new to walking canines, make sure to also read up on proper leash grip handling to make sure your pup can’t ever jerk away from you!
Strength and Durability
A flimsy leash is a no-go, regardless of how small your puppy is. You need something she can’t chew through with a bite or two.
You also need something that won’t snap if she tugs a little too hard — particularly if she’s a hefty pup.
Added safety features like glow-in-the-dark reflecting stitching or striping go a long way in keeping you and your puppy safe during walks. This is especially important for owners walking puppies, as tiny pooches are much harder for motorists to see.
Other bonus features like poop-bag clips or leashes that work in hands-free fashion can make walks much more convenient (hands-free leashes will also help make it easier to use a clicker and dole out treats when your pooch exhibits good walking behaviors).
While it’s important to purchase a quality product, try not to fork over a ton of money for your puppy’s first leash.
If you have a large breed, you’ll need to upgrade in the future, and almost all puppies test out new things with their teefers, leading to damage. You’re better off saving your money for more important things… like treats.
Finding the best leash for your puppy takes a bit of work, but in the end, you’ll be rewarded with a tool to build your bond with, walk by walk.
Have you used any of the leashes on our list? Do you have another must-have leash for puppies? Let us know in the comments!
Oh, and if you need a harness too, make sure to check out our guide to the best puppy harnesses for the wee ones!