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Dog leashes

Dog Leashes – Materials

Dog leashes are made of a wide variety of materials, ranging from very strong and sturdy to merely decorative. The basic design is a strip of material with a handle for you to hold, and a means of fastening the other end to your dog, usually to his collar. When deciding upon the basic material for your dog’s leash, you need to especially keep in mind his size. A leash that’s suitable for a Chihuahua is probably not going to work for a Bull Mastiff. Conversely, a leash designed to restrain a St. Bernard will probably weigh so much that a little Yorky might not even be able to hold up his head if you attach it to his collar.

Also keep in mind any conditions that might affect the performance and wear of the leash. For instance, if you live in an area with high humidity and salt air, you might want to consider something with rust and corrosion resistance. Or if you’ll be walking your dog mainly at night, you might think about visibility.

Here are some of the materials available for dog leashes:

– Cable. Cable leashes are made of steel cable, usually covered with soft plastic, similar to the familiar bicycle cable locks. These are extremely strong, though somewhat less flexible than some other materials.
– Chain. The simplest chain leads are just lengths of familiar galvanized chain with a handle attached at one and a clip at the other. Others are made of nickel-plated links for a nicer appearance, with handles made of leather. Some are combination chain and leather.
– Fabric. Fabric leashes come in a large variety, and include rayon, cotton canvas, handwoven fabrics, braided fiber and hemp. Some are merely decorative, but others, like the heavy-duty canvas ones, can be quite sturdy.
– Leather. Leather leashes are the classic training leash, and still preferred by many dog owners. But don’t be fooled – leather can and does come in a variety of thicknesses, strengths, styles and colors. There are the thick, flat latigo training leashes, and then there are fancy patent leather toy dog leashes glittering with rhinestones, and a lot of variations in between. Don’t assume that just because a leash is leather, it’s going to be strong or suit your purpose. Be sure to check out its practical properties as well as its appearance. Rigid or semi-rigid handles designed to work with service dog harnesses are usually constructed of rolled and stiffened leather.
– Nylon. Nylon strap or webbing is another popular choice for an attractive and relatively inexpensive but sturdy leash. It also comes in various widths, thicknesses and strengths. Nylon line or cord is another option.
– Plastic. Plastic or “Pleather” leathers simulate the appearance of leather, and are mostly decorative, not to be used for serious restraint.

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