Having a reliable dog leash should be considered mandatory for every pet parent. Leashes are essential tools that help keep pets and people safe while experiencing the great outdoors.
But along with a standard, 6-foot leash, it’s almost always a good idea to have a long — and we mean really long — leash on hand. A long leash will help give Rover a little more room to roam, and it’ll also let you keep control of your canine when he’s a bit further away than usual.
Below, we’ll share some of the benefits of long dog leashes below, explain the best way to use one with your pupper, and share some of our favorite long leash options.
Best Long Leashes for Dogs: Quick Picks
- #1 15- or 20-Foot Hi Kiss Leash [Best for Providing More Freedom During Fun Walks] — Lightweight, easy to use, and super affordable, these leashes are great for giving Spot a little more slack during routine walks.
- #2 30- or 50-Foot Hi Kiss Leash [Best for Use at Dog Parks and Off-Leash Areas] — Ready to provide your pooch with the next step up in long-leash freedom? These high-quality leashes are great to use when playing at the park or romping around with other doggos.
- #3 50- or 100-Foot Hi Kiss Leash [Best for Off-Leash Training and Practicing Recall] — Perfect for pooches who’re learning how to behave off-leash, these extra-long leashes give your dog plenty of freedom, while still allowing you to control him if need be.
What Is A Long Leash? What Do We Mean by “Long?”
So, what is considered a long leash, anyway?
Generally speaking, a standard dog leash is 6 feet long, so a long leash is any leash that exceeds that length. But the term “long leash” or “long lead” usually refers to leashes that are 10 feet long or more. The upper limit for long leash length is generally 100 feet, as it would be very difficult to manage anything longer!
So what’s the point? Why use a lead that may be 10 times the length of a normal leash?
Long leads are designed to mimic the sensation of off-leash fun for dogs, while still providing some extra safety.
Long leashes are pretty similar to standard leashes, in that they typically feature a handle or loop for you to hang on to and a clasp to clip to your pet’s collar or leash. They’re just a lot longer than normal.
But there is one other significant difference: To make up for the extra material (and therefore weight) used to make these tools, most good long leashes are ultralight.
Standard Long Leash Lengths
There are exceptions, but long leashes typically come in several semi-standard lengths:
- 10 feet
- 20 feet
- 30 feet
- 50 feet
- 100 feet
What Are Long Leashes Used For?
There are plenty of ways to incorporate long leashes into your dog’s routine, and they provide value in myriad ways.
A few of the things long leashes are most commonly used for include:
- “Sniffari” Walks: Long leads can give your dog the opportunity to go on more extensive sniffing expeditions, or “sniffaris” as we like to call them. Sniffing around isn’t just fun for your dog, it’s also incredibly enriching. Using a long leash, you can let your dog sniff to his heart’s content while still keeping him safe from a distance.
- Training Practice In Public Areas: One of the best ways to test your dog’s skills is to run through his tricks in public areas, like nearby parks. Long leashes give you security while training in a large open area, and they are particularly useful for commands like “stay.”
- Recall Area: One of the most important skills to build with your dog is teaching your dog to come when called — known in training lingo as “recall.” Long leashes are great for recall work, as you can let your dog wander and sniff until the end of the line, and then call your dog back to your side. If he doesn’t come when called, you can gently pull on the leash to guide him back to you!
- Puppy Training: As you’re expanding your puppy’s range around the house, it may be helpful to have a 10-foot leash trailing behind him. This way, you can gently step on the leash if your pooch is interacting with something he shouldn’t or if he gets into other kinds of puppy hijinks.
- Off-Leash Training: Long leashes allow you to safely practice your dog’s off-leash manners before fully committing to the real thing. If a dog won’t reliably listen to you on a long leash, he definitely isn’t ready for off-leash walks (keep in mind that you should still use extreme caution letting your dog off-leash unless you are in a secured, pooch approved area — even if he “proves himself” on a long lead). Also, read up on the leash laws of your area to make sure you stay in compliance with the law.
- Reactive Dog Training: Long leads can be helpful when working with reactive dogs, as the longer lead enables them to feel freer than they would on a short line. This is because your four-footer might experience heightened aggression, fear, and frustration if he feels “trapped” on a short lead. Many owners find that their dog’s reactivity is much worse when using a short leash, though these dogs can’t be allowed to roam completely off-leash for safety reasons. Long lines make excellent substitutes, as they let your dog feel less restricted when faced with a trigger. When in doubt, consult with your dog trainer to make sure it’s a good fit for Fido.
- BAT Work (Behavior Adjustment Training): BAT Training is a practice that aims to reward a dog’s calm behavior with increased freedom. This positive reinforcement technique can help your canine cooperate better while loose leash walking and standard walks. In practice, you will hold the entire 10- to 20-foot-long leash in your hands (with no leash trailing on the ground). You will then feed out and take in the leash as your dog moves, to give him the sense of being off-leash. This means your dog gets rewarded with the opportunity to sniff and explore in exchange for his calm behavior.
Best Long Dog Leashes for Different Needs
Not all long dog leashes are crafted with the same intended purpose. Next we’ll detail which type of long leash is best for you and your buddy, depending on your goals.
1. 15- or 20-Foot Hi Kiss Leash
About: If you’re just looking to give your dog a bit of extra freedom on walks, a 15- or 20-foot leash like this Hi Kiss Leash will certainly do the trick. Anything longer and your walk can get more cumbersome than necessary, given all the extra line slack you’ll have to lug around.
This is also the best length for working with a reactive dog, engaging in BAT training, or any situation where you don’t want to be dropping the line on the ground, but instead want to hold the end of the long lead in your hand.
- ¾-inch-wide, lightweight leash
- Durable nylon design
- Embedded swivel-style bolt helps prevent twisting
- Long lead still provides freedom for Fido while being compact enough to carry
- Great for BAT training and reactive dogs
- Very affordable (they’re not much more expensive than standard leashes)
- Versatile leashes that’re helpful for many applications
- Not the best pick for dogs who like to roam far and wide since it provides the least slack compared to the other options
2. 30- or 50-Foot Hi Kiss Leash
About: For playing and training practice at parks, a 30- to 50-foot leash like this Hi Kiss model is a great option. I like to use a 20-foot-long model for walks and the 50-foot version for playing at parks.
The 50-foot-long model provides a great amount of freedom for your dog, and in most spaces you can just drop the line and let your dog run around as he pleases. Then, if you need to restrain Fido, just grab the leash (or simply step on it with your foot).
- A lightweight leash that gives your four-footer the feeling of freedom
- Bright-colored options make these leashes easy to keep track of
- Suitable for most dog breeds
- Can be easily tied and untied
- Lightweight for its length
- Perfect for letting Fido roam free
- Flexible and effective for use in several different scenarios
- Too long for focused behavioral training sessions
- Some owners may find it annoying to grapple with a leash of this length
3. 50- or 100-Foot Hi Kiss Leash
About: There are some really long leashes on the market (some measure 100 feet or more) and they can be very helpful in some cases.
Any lead from 50- to 100-feet in length (like this 50-foot-long, Hi Kiss model) is great for practicing long-distance recalls or other types of “kinda off-leash, but not completely off-leash” work.
Just keep in mind that 100 feet of leash is a lot of line to wield and control, so if you plan on holding the leash, you’ll have to constantly be winding and unwinding it. However, if you just drop the line and let your dog run around, you can just step on it when you need to stop your dog.
- Ultra-long lead keeps pets safe and secure from afar
- Features a durable nylon design
- Can be used with large and small doggos alike
- Perfect for play sessions and recall training
- Great for dogs who like to run and explore
- Well-suited for training at a distance
- Helps give your dog the sense of being off-leash, while still being safe
- This long leash can tangle easily, but this is the case with any lengthy leash
4. Lynxking Long Lead
About: The lynxking Check Cord Dog Lead is a little bit different than the other leashes discussed here, as it’s built a bit differently: It’s made of a heavy rope-like material instead of the nylon webbing used in most other long leads.
The big benefit of this type of long leash is that it’s easier to step on with your foot because the leash features a round (rather than flat) shape, making it easier for your shoe-covered foot to “grab.”
This isn’t to say you can’t step on a flat long leash — you can, but some might find this material a bit easier to stop securely. However, some trainers use this style of long leash when socializing questionable dogs, as they may need to stop the four-footer and reel him back in quickly.
Just keep in mind that since this leash is slightly heavier, it may not give your dog that same sensation of off-leash adventuring that a lighter-weight leash will.
- Thicker lead may be easier to handle and control quickly
- This lead comes in 15-, 30-, and 50-foot models
- This leash can be used in water
- Woven, loop-style handle provides comfort for the handler
- Durable design that’s easy to step on and control
- Lead doesn’t absorb water, so it can be used while your dog is swimming
- Swivel hooks help prevent tangling
- This won’t give your dog the same “off-leash” feel that some other leashes provide
- It’s a bit heavier than nylon leashes of the same length
5. Viper BioThane Long Lead
About: If you’re looking for a long lead that can withstand a variety of weather conditions, the Viper BioThane Lead is a great choice (BioThane leashes are essentially made from nylon webbing cores and then coated with PVC outer layers).
This long lead is made in the USA and comes in sizes ranging from 15- to 33-feet, making it well suited for training sessions, or giving Spot some more slack while on walkabout. Because it has a waterproof coating, this leash can be used in water or throughout any season. It’s also built with solid brass hardware so it shouldn’t rust over time.
Finally, you can simply wipe off this leash when it gets dirty since it isn’t absorbent. This makes it one of the cleanest long lead options available (which is important to consider, as some leashes will get pretty grody after dragging on the ground all day).
- The leash is waterproof and non-absorbent
- The leash is made in the USA
- Comes in bright, highly visible colors and earth tones
- Durable, long-lasting design
- Available in several sizes
- Great for a variety of outdoor activities
- Easier to clean than other long leads
- Perfect for scent-work as they won’t absorb odors
- May be heavier than other long lead options, so it might not give Fido the feeling of full freedom
- Not chewproof at all
Long Leash Tips & Tricks
Using a long leash is quite a bit different than using a standard, 6-foot model, and you’ll often have to practice a bit with it to get comfortable using it. But there are a few things you can do to help speed up this process.
Here are a few long leash tips and tricks to ensure you have a great experience while exploring with your four-footer:
- Knot so fast! Not getting much traction when you step on your flat long line? Tie a couple of knots in the leash every 10 feet or so.This way you’ll have an easy spot to step on to stop your dog.
- Use a back clip harness. It’s important to use a back-clipped harness in conjunction with a long dog leash. This is because your dog can do some serious damage to his throat if he is able to run full-speed and build up momentum, only to slam to a complete stop via a gigantic tug on his neck. The back clip also allows the leash to flow off the back of your pup and is therefore less likely to get tangled up in his legs compared to using a front clip (no-pull) harness.
- Avoiding applying tension to the long line. For most purposes, the goal of using a long line is to provide the sensation of off-leash freedom. In order to do this, you don’t want to put tension on the long leash. In fact, it’s best to drop the long leash, let it drag, and simply walk alongside your dog or walk near the long line dragging on the ground so that you can grab it if need be (as long as circumstances mean this is safe to do so).
- Don’t use retractable leashes. One of the key principles of long-line training is that for much of the time it is allowed to trail on the ground, not held in your hand. Retractable leashes are not suitable for this purpose and shouldn’t be used as a replacement.
- Watch out for snags. If you plan on hiking or walking in wooded areas, keep in mind that long lines can easily snag on trees, branches, and debris. If you plan on using a long line in these settings, you may want to opt for a BioThane leash, as they don’t tend to snag quite as easily. Also, BioThane leashes (like the Viper model recommended above) often come in bright colors that are easy to see amidst the forest floor.
- Things may get messy. Keep in mind that any leash left trailing behind your dog, especially in a wooded area, is bound to collect dirt or become stained. Accordingly, you’ll want to clean it regularly and store your long leash separately from your standard walking leashes.
- Introduce your dog to the long lead indoors. If you’re not sure how your dog will react to the long lead sensation, test it out indoors preemptively. Have your dog run around and step on the lead periodically to see how he reacts. Once you’re sure that you and your dog feel secure, you’re ready to put the long lead to good use outside.
A long dog leash is an excellent piece of dog training equipment that should be in every dog owner’s arsenal. Long leads give your dog the feeling of sweet freedom, while still keeping everyone safe and sound.
Do you have a long leash for your pooch? What’s your favorite way to use it? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!