The right leash for your dog -

The right leash for your dog

Leash laws vary across the country. But our pet pro, Luciano Aguilar, says that no matter where you live, being able to control your dog in public is a fundamental responsibility of dog ownership. 

"Dog leashes come in a variety of styles, materials and sizes. But the most important thing to remember is that a leash is a training tool. It's used to keep your dog under control and communicate what you want him to do." says Luciano.

The most commonly used leashes are made of nylon, leather or metal chain. They come in different lengths, but a standard four to six-foot leather or nylon leash is great for basic obedience exercises and walks. It allows your dog to do a little exploring, but keeps him well under your control.

You want to make sure the leash is strong enough for you to restrain your dog as necessary. A good rule of thumb: The bigger your dog is, the wider his leash should be. Some leashes come with a handle sewn in the middle, which gives you something to grab onto and quickly bring your dog closer if a situation arises.

"I don't recommend using a chain leash unless your dog has a problem biting the leash," Luciano says. "But if you do, be careful, because a dog's hair can easily get tangled up in the chain links. And neither of you want that to happen!"

There is another type of leash that has become more and more popular, and that's the retractable leash. Retractable leashes come in lengths up to 30 feet and are a great training tool – especially when teaching your dog the 'stay' command.

"I don't recommend them for walks," warns Luciano. "They're made with a cable and the average person's reaction when their dog tries to run ahead is to grab the cable instead of hitting the brake on the housing."

Grabbing the cable while a dog is in a full sprint can cause serious injuries. It's also easy to get tangled up in the cable and get a nasty skin burn.

At the end of the day, the right leash for your dog is the one that you and he are most comfortable with. But be sure to keep safety in mind before you buy!

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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