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8 Best Short Dog Leashes for Training

Leashes By Kate Brunotts 12 min read January 24, 2022

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best short dog leashes for training

Many owners understand the importance of training our furry friends off-leash, but what about basic walk etiquette? Taking the time to train your pooch proper pacing, how to heel, and not to pull on a walk can be an excellent investment in your dog’s safety and your sanity. 

Six-foot leashes are generally considered the standard for routine walks, while very long leashes (potentially exceeding 50 feet or more) are helpful for giving your pupper some extra room to run. But very short dog leashes can be helpful in some cases, such as training sessions (most notable, working on a heel cue). 

We’ll explain why short leashes can be helpful for training your pooch and identify eight of the best short dog leashes for training below! 

Best Short Dog Leashes For Training: Quick Picks

  • #1 Leashboss Short Lead [Best Overall Short Dog Leash]: Made from durable 1-inch-wide nylon webbing, equipped with a padded neoprene handle, and assembled in the USA, this is simply the best short dog leash on the market.
  • #2 FAIRWIN Leather Training Leash [Best Leather Short Dog Leash]: This is the perfect pick for owners who are willing to pay a few more bucks to enjoy the combination of strength and comfort leather leashes provide.
  • #3 Didog Anti-Bite Chain Leash [Best Short Dog Leash for Chewers]: Made with high-strength metal chain, this 28-inch-long option is the perfect short training leash for dogs who can’t resist chompin’ on everything they can reach.

How Short Is Short? What Do We Mean by a “Short Leash?”

If a standard leash is typically 6 feet long, a short leash can be considered any leash under 4 feet. And most are even smaller, spanning a mere 18 to 24 inches in length. 

There are also standard leashes that come with secondary handles positioned closer to the clasp. These offer the best of both worlds, allowing the leash to function as a long and short leash at the same time, depending on your needs.  

Short leashes like those detailed below are primarily used for training purposes, such as when teaching a dog to heel, practicing for obedience trials, or training a service dog.

Short leashes can also be helpful in other situations, such as when navigating crowded areas, or tight spaces with extra doggie distractions around that might make it challenging to keep your dog close.  

Most short leashes are made from nylon webbing, but you might also find varieties in leather or rope. You can find short leashes with various types of handles for better ergonomics and control while training your pooch.

The 8 Best Short Dog Leashes for Training

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite short dog leashes for training your furry friend. Be sure to select a leash that meets your individual comfort needs and dog’s needs equally. 

1. Leashboss Short Dog Leash

About: Made with 1-inch-wide nylon webbing and premium hardware, his short lead from Leashbosh is not only strong and dependable, but it is also quite comfortable to use, thanks to its padded neoprene handle. It’s also available in sizes ranging from 12- to 30-inches to meet your specific needs. 

Best Overall Short Leash for Training

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Leashboss Short Leash

Leashboss Short Dog Leash

A high-quality short leash featuring durable nylon webbing, premium hardware, and a padded neoprene handle.

Features:

  • Comes in 12-, 18-, 24-, and 30-inch sizes 
  • Assembled in the USA
  • Padded loop handle for comfort
  • Available in both black and red versions 
  • Metal rotating swivel clip for easy clip on and off

Pros

  • Strong enough to handle big dogs and pullers
  • The padded handle is comfy and durable
  • Works well in a variety of situations
  • Available in three different lengths
  • We love that it is assembled in the USA

Cons

  • Dogs can easily chew through this leash if left unattended
  • It doesn’t feature reflective stitching
  • This leash is a bit more expensive than similar models made overseas

2. FAIRWIN Leather Training Leash

About: Nylon and chain are great materials for short leashes, but some owners want a leash made of something else — like imported Italian leather. If that sounds like you, you’ll want to check out this fashionable leather lead from FAIRWIN. It will not only keep your pup safe, but it’ll look great (and remain super comfortable) while doing so.

Best Short Leather Leash for Training

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FAIRWIN Leather Short Dog Leash 12' - Short Dog Traffic Lead Leash for Large Dogs Training and Walking ( Width: 3/4') (Brown-New)

FAIRWIN Leather Dog Leash

A premium short dog leash for training that’s handmade from Italian leather and equipped with premium hardware.

Features:

  • The leash is made from genuine Italian leather 
  • Looped design for comfort and control 
  • Equipped with strong copper-alloy clasp hooks
  • Available in 12- or 16-inch sizes
  • Comes in brown or black

Pros

  • Owners loved the look and craftsmanship of this short leash 
  • Pet parents found the leash’s leather handle was supremely comfortable
  • Owners report that the this leash was super durable and strong enough for pullers 

Cons

  • Leather isn’t the best material for owners from rainy regions 
  • This leash isn’t ideal for little waggers

3. Didog Anti-Bite Chain Leash

About: While chewing typically isn’t an issue with short leads, some dogs do still manage to destroy short leashes with their teeth. If that sounds like your dog, you may want to try this chain leash from Didog. Made with durable metal chain links (and a padded handle for your comfort), this short training leash can take anything your doggo can dish out.

Best Short Training Leash for Chewers

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Didog 28 inch Length Heavy Duty Anti-bite Dog Giant Chain Leash with Leather Handle

Didog Anti-Bite Chain Leash

A 28-inch-long training leash made with durable chain links and a padded handle that’s great for chompin’ canines.

Features:

  • Heavy-duty chain collar designed to deter and withstand chewing
  • Measures 28 inches long  
  • The chain links are guaranteed not to rust or break
  • Choose between 5 different color combos 
  • Features a comfy leather loop handle

Pros

  • The metal chain links should stand up to most canine chompers
  • Owners were impressed with the durability of the leash
  • This leash is a bit longer than some other “short” leashes, which may be helpful in some cases
  • The connector bolt exceeds industry strength standards

Cons

  • This leash is heavier than comparable nylon models
  • A few owners found the leather handle a bit stiff

4. Kruz Short Rope Leash

About: If you prefer leashes made from rope rather than chain, leather, or nylon, this model from Kruz is certainly worth considering. It’s not only made from high-quality braided rope but is also features reflective stitching, a comfortable loop for easy gripping, and a locking carabiner for extra safety. 

Best Short Rope Leash for Training

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Kruz Short Traffic Leash - KZROPE5020-01L - Soft Silicone Grip - Click & Lock Snap - Heavy-Duty Reflective Dog Rope for Security, Safety and Control - Walking, Running, Training - Black - 1/2' x 20'

Kruz Short Traffic Leash

A high-quality, rope-style short leash with several nifty features, including a locking carabiner and silicone stitch covers.

Features:

  • Rope style leash with heavy-duty hardware
  • The leash measures 20 inches long 
  • Reflective stitching for added visibility
  • Available in 4 different color options 
  • Locking carabiner clasp provides extra security
  • Silicone stitching cover helps protect the threads and increase durability

Pros

  • We really like all the advanced features in this leash, such as the stitch cover and locking carabiner
  • Owners found the rope handle quite comfortable
  • Appears to be quite sturdy and dependable

Cons

  • There were a few complaints about the stitch cover sliding around
  • Some owners simply don’t find rope leashes comfortable
  • It won’t hold up to unattended super-chewers
Got a Houdini Hound on Your Hands?

If you’re worried about your dog escaping or think a locking carabiner is a good idea, you may also want to look at some of the best escape-proof dog harnesses.

Some dogs simply seem 100% dedicated to slipping free during walks, so make sure you’ve covered all of your pet-security bases.

5. DMISOCHR Short Dog Leash

About: You know what’s better than one affordable yet functional dog leash? Two great leashes for the same price!

That’s right: These short training leashes by DMISOCHR are sold in packs of two for about the same price as some of the other budget-priced leashes on the market. But you don’t have to compromise on quality or features, as these nylon leashes are well-built and feature high-quality hardware.

Best Short Dog Leash Value Pick

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DMISOCHR Short Dog Leash with Comfortable Handle, Reflective Soft Nylon Heavy Duty Dog Leash for Training, Walking, 12' Short Lead Dog Leash for Small, Medium, Large Dogs

DMISOCHR Short Dog Leash

An attractively priced two-pack of short training leashes, featuring a sturdy O-ring and reflective stitching for safety.

Features:

  • Leashes are made from high-quality nylon webbing
  • Reflective stitching provided for safety
  • The two pack is available in 12-, 18-, or 24-inch lengths
  • Looped, lined handle for comfortable control
  • Available in your choice of 5 different colors
  • Metal O-ring for attaching waste bags 

Pros

  • This two-pack provides incredible value
  • Owner reports were glowing — they simply seem to work well 
  • You’ll have a ready-to-go backup on hand if something causes one to break
  • The reflective stitching appears very visible in low light conditions

Cons

  • Not every owner will want or need two leashes
  • The loop handle isn’t padded

6. VIVAGLORY Short Dog Leash

About: Need a leash that matches your sense of style? Have a fashion-conscious four-footer in need of a short training leash? Well, this short dog leash from VIVAGLORY may be just what you’re looking for! Available in five snazzy color options and three different lengths (12-, 18-, and 30-inches long), you should be able to find one that is the perfect pick for your pooch.

Best-Looking Short Dog Leashes for Training

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Vivaglory Short Dog Leash 30 Inch Double Webbing Nylon Reflective Dog Leash with Padded Traffic Handle for Large Dogs, Grey

VIVAGLORY Short Dog Leash

Great-looking nylon leashes featuring neoprene-padded handles that are available in three lengths and five color combos.

Features:

  • Leashes are available in 12-, 18-, and 30-inch lengths
  • Available in your choice of 5 different colors
  • All colors feature reflective stitching for safety
  • Neoprene-padded handle provides a comfortable grip
  • Included O-ring for waste bag attachment

Pros

  • Owner reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and most raved about the leash’s quality
  • The color options look great and provide fashion flexibility
  • The padded neoprene handle provides a comfortable grip
  • These great-looking leashes are also attractively priced

Cons

  • This leash will not stand up to the teeth of power-chewing canines
  • A very small number of owners complained about the clasp’s durability

7. Cymiller Short Dog Leash

About: Not sure which short leash length is ideal for your pooch? Or, do you just want to have options at the ready for dealing with different circumstances? In either case, you may want to check out this short leash three-pack from Cymiller.

Not only will you be ready for different kinds of scenarios, but these leashes are also well-constructed, comfortable to use, and available in several different colors. You can also get them in rope or nylon versions.

Best Short Leash Multipack

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Cymiler Short Dog Leash,3 Sizes Nylon Short Traffic Leash with Padded Handle,Dog Short Training Leash with Highly Reflective Threads for Small Medium Large Dogs (Wide-Blue-New)

Cymiler Short Dog Leash

An affordable three-pack of leashes that comes in several colors and is available in both rope and nylon webbing varieties.

Features:

  • Leash pack is sold in sets of 3
  • These leashes feature reflective stitching for nighttime visibility
  • You can select rope or nylon webbing versions
  • Choose between padded and non-padded handles
  • Available in 8 different color options

Pros

  • Getting three leashes for a low price provides fantastic value
  • The different lengths allow you to be prepared for any situation
  • We love the number of options available

Cons

  • Some owners wished that the grip loops had more padding
  • The rope versions don’t seem as durable as the nylon versions
  • The manufacturer’s provided lengths appear inaccurate

8. Mighty Paw Leather Leash Tab

About: You may have noticed that we already recommended one leather short leash, but we couldn’t help but include this elegant little model from Mighty Paw. It is a truly top-notch leash that will keep your dog safe thanks to its high-quality leather and super-strong carabiner. Plus, it appears to be one of the most comfortable short leashes on the market for owners to use.

Most Comfortable Short Training Leash

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Leather Leash Tab, 12” Short Dog Leash with Carabiner Clip, Training Traffic Lead for Large Dogs (Brown, 12 Inch)

Mighty Paw Leather Leash Tab

A dependable short leash that’s made in the USA with genuine leather and a aviation aluminum carabiner clip.

Features:

  • The leash measures 12 inches long
  • Aviation aluminum carabiner is designed to support up to 850 pounds of force(!)
  • Handle is designed to be soft and comfortable on your hands
  • Premium leather used in the construction
  • Made in the USA 

Pros

  • It’s one of the few US-made short leashes on the market
  • It features one of the strongest carabiners of any short leash we could find
  • Pet parents raved about the leash’s durability
  • The leash’s comfort drew tons of praise

Cons

  • This leash is slightly more expensive than most others
  • There were a few complaints about the leash’s odor

The Benefits of Short Dog Leashes: When Should You Use a Short Dog Leash for Training? 

Short leashes are most helpful for dogs who’re still learning the training ropes, but they can even be helpful for mature, well-trained pooches at times. While you probably don’t want to use one of these leashes constantly, they can be helpful in a select few situations: 

  • You’re trying to help your hound build good walking habits. Short leashes can help your dog learn to stay close to your side on walks. These leashes can make great stepping stones before dogs graduate to a standard leash size. 
  • You need some extra control for a reactive dog. Keeping control over a leash reactive dog while out in public is essential for safety (not to mention your sanity). Short dog leashes make it much easier to keep your pooch calm and prevent him from flipping out.
  • You need to teach your doggo good people manners. While your dog is learning essential people skills, short leashes can help keep everyone safe. This is especially helpful for big ‘ol doggos, who haven’t quite learned their size. 
  • Your walks often occur near cars and traffic. Perhaps the most common reason owners opt for a short dog leash during training, these tiny tethers are very helpful for keeping Spot safe while walking near cars and other vehicles. 
  • You need to negotiate tight spaces with your dog. If you live in a crowded urban area, short leashes can help keep your pooch safe and prevent him from harassing strangers you pass on the sidewalk.
  • Your dog performs service or therapy work. Shorter leashes may be helpful for service or therapy dogs who need to stay close to their handlers in order to be effective and avoid causing problems.

No matter why you want to use a short dog lead, it’s vital that you learn how to hold your dog’s leash correctly. Failing to do so may cause minor issues like hand discomfort, as well as safety issues, such as dropped leashes and serious injuries.

How to Pick a Short Dog Leash for Training 

short leashes for dog training

When it comes to selecting a short leash for your furry friend, quality craftsmanship and strength should be your top priorities.

After all, these leashes are primarily used for training, so it’s likely that your pooch may pull you around or otherwise pose a bit of a challenge on the leash. 

So, whether you want one of the best rope leashes or you’d prefer one made from nylon, make sure your leash of choice is made out of durable, long-lasting materials.

You’ll also want to consider your own comfort and seek out an option with a padded handle (and if you struggle with joint issues, you may want to consider one of the best leashes for arthritic hands). But whether your grip is healthy or hindered, you probably won’t want to use a leash that isn’t comfy in your hands — something that’s crucial for teaching your doggo his walking manners.

You should also think about the features the leash comes with. For example, locking carabiners provide additional security for escape-prone pooches, and reflective stitching will help keep your visible in low-light conditions. 

One last recommendation: You’ll have to keep your dog’s height in mind when picking a short leash.

A Great Dane’s harness will be closer to your hand than a Chihuahua’s. This means that — counterintuitively — you will need a longer leash for smaller dogs, as their harnesses or collars will be farther from your hand.

A Word of Warning: Stay Away From Retractable Leashes

While they may seem convenient, retractable leashes are best avoided.

They will teach your dog that pulling on the leash earns him more freedom, and they also fail to provide as much control over your pooch as a standard leash does. For that matter, retractable leashes often cause serious injuries to humans (warning: Those are graphic photos).

You can consider using them after your dog has learned rock-solid leash-walking manners, but even then, they should only be used with extreme caution.

DIY Short Leash for Training: A Homemade Alternative

Honestly, given that most short dog leashes are quite affordable and there are some fantastic options on the market, we think it’s easiest to just buy one.

But, if you’re a crafty canine parent and you’d like to make a DIY dog leash yourself, check out the video below! It’s not likely to save you very much money, but it will give you the chance to customize the colors.

***

Short leashes can make excellent training tools that just many best buddies can benefit from. Hopefully, this guide will help you find the perfect short lead for your sweetheart!

Have you tried any of these short leads? What do you use a short leash for? We’d love to hear about it in the comments! 

best leashes for puppies
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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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