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Choosing the Right Dog Leash

Posted on May 15 2024


When it comes to the connection that matters most, Ruffwear goes all-out. Every dog leash we make is strong and reliable by design, built to enhance and celebrate the journeys you and your dog take together.

And because every dog-and-human duo is different, we’ve crafted a variety of leashes to choose from so you can find one that’s right for the paths ahead for you.


Leashes all start with the same purpose: keeping you and your pup connected.

From there, different leashes can excel for certain applications based on factors like the activity, your preferences, your dog’s personality, and even your height and your dog's height.

Those are the things we consider when designing each of our leashes, and those are the things you get to consider when choosing one.



When choosing a leash length, make sure to account for your height, your dog’s height, and the space you want in between. Depending on the height of both the dog and the human, a 2.5 ft (.79 m) leash can create vastly different experience than that of a 5 ft (1.5 m) leash, like Heather and Jackson with our Knot-a-Long™ on the left and the Knot-a-Leash™ on the right.


A single leash can also have different experiences for different duos. The same size medium Roamer™ Leash fits differently for Liz and Bernie (left) as it does for Travis and Atlas (right). While it provides plenty of room and stretch for Liz and Bernie to run together, Travis and Atlas might need a little more room and opt for the longer size large Roamer™ Leash

Looking to find the sweet spot for you and your dog? You can use a piece of string to play around with finding the optimal length for you and your dog, and then measure that. Or, opt for a leash with an adjustable length. Shorter leashes help keep your dog closer in high-traffic zones, like crowded areas, shops, or busy streets. Our shortest leash, the Front Range Short Leash is also helpful in making quick transitions.


For a more interactive connection or a dog that needs a little guidance on leash, go hand-held. You'll be able to help direct or guide your dog a little easier.

Hands-free is great for freeing up your hands while running, hiking, or walking. Hands-free leashes are also great in the winter – they free your hands to stay warm in your pocket rather than exposed to the cold elements.

The other perk of a hands-free leash is you can still use it hand-held. The distance between you and your dog will be shorter when worn around the waist compared to using it hand-held, like Nate and Winston (left) and Liz and Bernie (right) demonstrate with the Flagline™ Leash.


  • Looking for a hands-free running leash? The Roamer™ Leash has bungee-like Wavelength™ webbing that absorbs shock, and the Flagline™ Leash is lightweight with some extra length.
  • Looking for an everyday walking leash? The Front Range™ Leash and Hi & Light™ Leash are both lightweight, strong, and a great mid-range length for everyday use. Bonus: they have matching harnesses and collars.
  • Looking for a hiking leash? The Crag™ Leash, Crag™ EX Leash and Switchbak™ Leash both have adjustability and versatility – not just in length, but in also using both hand-held and hands-free. They'll adapt to any trail ahead.
  • Looking for an off-leash leash? The Quick Draw™ Leash can be worn around your dog's collar when not in use, and the Patroller™ Leash can be worn around your waist when not in use, and the Front Range® Short Leash can be used for quick transitions.
  • Looking for a long line? The Hitch Hiker™ Leash is adjustable up to 12 ft (3.65 m).