Dogs and kids. Family members that we love unconditionally and would do anything for. They tend to be the number one priorities in our lives and we sometimes sacrifice things that we would like to do simply because the needs (and wants) of our family members come first. One of the first things to suffer might be your fitness routine. Trips to the gym, daily runs, workouts at home. You might not have the time or the tools to let you keep these up.
Let’s have a look at those runs you love to take. There are products on the market that let you pound the pavement or fly over the fields with your dog safely by your side. Obviously, your dog has to want and be capable of running with you. Your Dachshund with his shorter legs might be wishing he was elsewhere while you are feeling the burn. Your sedate, stoic Bulldog might refuse to be dragged even a few yards if your speed is not to his liking.
If your precious dog is up for it, what should you consider when looking for the best running lead (do not use a retractable lead) to take your dog for a jog. You probably choose your exercise outfits carefully looking for style and functionality. The same should apply to your dog lead for running.
Best Dog Running Leads
A lightweight hands-free dog running lead suitable for dogs up to 60 pounds that fits waist sizes from 28 inches to 48 inches. There is a D-ring clip that slides around the waist belt to help the lead always be in the perfect spot while you run.
The lead stretches from 3 feet to 4 ½ feet with 20 inches of “spring” built in to absorb any shock. Reflective stitching on the dog lead and also the waist belt is a key safety factor helping you stay visible at night.
A useful feature is a 2-compartment, padded pouch on the waistband for the items you have to have with you. 2 compartments allow you to have those essential poo bags in one and your smartphone in the other.
This product is great for all dogs from 9kg (approximately 20 pounds) and up. People who reviewed the product commented on almost forgetting it was there. Comfortable and offering great core support with a sliding D-ring clip to allow the lead to be where it should be during the run.
It also offers shock absorption with a well designed ‘bungee’ effect. The PupRepublic waist belt adjusts up to a 48-inch waist.
Remember you may be adding more clothing on winter runs, so flexibility is key. Tough, strong, weather resistant fabric with triple lines of reflective stitching on the entire set. There are 2 handles and a useful grab knot to give you the feel of total control during the run. It is also sturdy enough to add a 2nd clip if pooch number 2 wants to come along as well. Comes with a free ‘poo bag pouch’!
The Prosper Hands-Free fits waist sizes from 26 inches to 50 inches. The lead is 54 inches when relaxed and extends up to 68 inches at full stretch. A bungee feature helps absorb any shocks as you run.
The lead is tough, durable, and weather-resistant. The reflective stitching helps keep you and your partner safe in the gloom. The jogging dog lead is generally used for dogs of 25 pounds or more and is suitable for medium to larger dogs. Finally, there are 2 handles for security if you like to hold them while you run. It also doubles as a great walking lead with this feature.
This is a tough running lead, suitable for dogs between 30 pounds and 100 pounds. Strong material and a stainless-steel connector will withstand all that the weather can throw at you for years. The waist is adjustable from 26 inches to 43 inches. Good for different people in the family to take the dog (no excuses) or good for a few extra layers in cold weather.
When not stretched, the lead is 32 inches. Fully stretched it is 47 inches. The built-in elasticity helps take the strain out of any pulls or tugs. Reflective stitching is incorporated for the safety of both of you.
The Fypo running lead is hands-free and fits waist sizes up to 47 inches. The extension on this lead is longer than most, stretching up to a maximum of 75 inches. The bungee feature is built in to help absorb shock if your dog pulls playfully or changes direction chasing Squirrel number 73. Heavy-duty nylon lead for years of use. There is a useful pouch to store treats, i-pod, mobile phone, poo bags and anything else you need.
The Bunty running lead comes in 3 different sizes and a range of colours for that style conscious dog! The lead is adjustable in length from 100 cm (40 inches) to 170cm (68 inches). The waist size depends on which product you choose. Small is 22 inches – 39 inches. Medium is 28 inches to 50 inches. Large is 31.5 inches to 57 inches. Easy to unclip from your waist belt while running if you need to assume total control.
If running isn’t your thing you may want to bike with your dog.
The NUOLOX Running Dog Lead is a comfortable, easy to use lead that will fit waists 65-110 centimetres and is suitable for dogs that weigh 30-100 lbs. It is made of strong nylon with a stainless-steel connector and is of high-quality construction so it will keep you and your pet safe. Due to the fact that it fits around your waist, you can run hands-free, making the running more enjoyable for you, and your dog can either walk in front of you or beside you. Because of that, he will not get used to walking or running close to you.
The NUOLOX Hands-Free Running Dog Lead is comfortable to grip with a quick release and reconnect. It has a short design to avoid stumbling, and it can be adjustable. This Hands-Free Running lead will be a strong, sturdy and high-quality lead that will ensure an enjoyable and comfortable running experience for you and your dog.
The SmarterPaws Hands-Free Running Lead is a sturdy yet flexible lead that is perfect for taking your dog for a run. It will keep him close to you with a high-quality nylon webbed bungee cord while giving him plenty of room to roam free, so no need to worry about him straying too far or having his freedom stifled.
The waist belt is adjustable, so you should find the perfect fit for you that is comfortable for you while you run with your dog. On top of being comfortable and sturdy, it has an added safety feature that comes in the form of reflective stitching, keeping you visible in the dark so cars and pedestrians can see you. Adding to the safety are soft handles that mean you can unclip the lead from your belt and walk normally. The SmarterPaws Hands-Free Running Lead is an ideal lead for a safe, comfortable and enjoyable walk your both dogs and owners.
The SANTON Hands-Free Dog Leash is a quality lead, that has something many dog owners will benefit from. The SANTON Dog Lead comes with two pockets, one for finely divided items like your keys and one for larger objects, such as your mobile phone, making your walk more comfortable and more hands-free. No need to carry your phone, keys, poo bags or treats.
As well as having the useful feature of pockets, the lead has a dual bungee design, protecting your body from fast movements by dogs up to 120 pounds and reflective stitching, making you and your dog visible and safe during walks at darker times. Another safety feature is the dual-handed operation. If you need to hold onto the lead, you can use two hands for added control over your dog, ensuring the walk is both safe and fun. The belt is adjustable so it can fit all dog types. The SANTON Hands-Free Dog lead is sure to make your walk more enjoyable with extra storage space and better control over your dog when you do need to use the lead.
Things to consider when buying a lead for running for dogs
Length and adjustability
It is all about getting the balance right. You will work out the ideal length that works for you and your furry running mate. Your height will make a big difference. Short people will need a shorter lead, because longer leads will lag behind, and if you are taller you will need a longer lead because if the lead is too short your dog will get choked every time there is a rhythm difference between you and the dog.
Adjustability is key to getting the feel and the use right. How do you control the length? Some use elastic, some are adjusted with a button, and some owners keep thing nice and basic by simply tying a knot. Regardless of all of the factors, the main priority is that the lead will fit your running style and will suit how your dog is built. Bear this in mind, and you should be good to go with an adjustable lead.
Will it still fit when you add layers on that cold, winter run?
Adjustability will be a good idea if you are concerned about this subject. If the width can be adjusted, you will be able to choose a measurement that will fit you when the weather is hot in the summer and you are wearing fewer clothes, or in the winter when you are more layers. If the lead is too small, it will feel too tight on you and be uncomfortable, and if the waist size is too big, the lead will be too loose and not secure when you run. For maximum comfort and enjoyment, make sure that the waist size fits you when you run with your dog, both with all those layers or a large winter coat, and when you have them removed for running in the summertime.
Tough is good. The last thing you want is seeing a dog’s behind disappearing over a distant hill and realising it is your dog. A lead should be made of strong materials such as nylon, mountain rope and stainless steel if you want the lead to last a long time. Leads made with low-quality materials will not have much in the way of durability and will just break quicker.
Dog leads for running that are made out of rope will be extra durable, perfect for larger and more active dogs. Nylon is also a high-quality material that is common in most of the leads we have mentioned in this article. For some of the metal components, a popular choice is stainless steel. Make sure you invest in a high-quality durable lead made of strong materials so your lead does not break, particularly while you are walking your dog.
You spend a lot of money looking good in your exercise gear, so make sure your pooch matches in style! An additional thing to bear in mind with colour is that there is a colour coding system for leads, collars and harnesses, with each colour identifying a behavioural problem, warning or character type, such as nervous, blind, deaf, caution and more. Each collar or lead has a colour and a written word if people or other dogs have any reason to be careful around your dog. Even if that is not the case, make sure the lead does not look mismatched with you in your expensive running gear. You do not want to look silly when you went to all that effort to look good in your exercise gear.
Safety first. You will want to be seen in low light, so make sure that you make some way of being seen in low light, such as with reflective stitching or reflective tape. The more reflective elements the better. Reflective elements have fluorescent colours which react with the ultraviolet rays that come from the sun causing a glow that can be seen by cars and other pedestrians. The last thing that you want is to be on an enjoyable walk with your dog in the evening, and a car or bus to hit you. Reflective elements are definitely a must for consideration when you are choosing a dog lead to buy for running.
Hands-free v non-hands-free
A big question. Many of the products reviewed below are hands-free which is becoming increasingly popular. A good hands-free lead that feels safe and controllable can really help your run.
When you are considering how safe the lead is for you to use, also consider the safety of your dog. Make sure you are thinking about the potential strain on the dog’s neck during the run. A hand free lead might pull on your dog’s neck if you are running too fast, choking your dog, particularly if you are tall and on a separate rhythm to your dog. You will also have to have a very obedient dog is you want to use a hands-free lead because if it pulls too far, it might knock you right down.
If you use a good hands-free lead, and your dog is well-behaved you can have a lot of fun getting fit while running with your dog. Make sure you use a good hands-free lead, be careful and make sure your dog can obey voice commands, and you should be ok.
LED lighting will be nice and bright. Nobody can miss a torch in the dark, so a must for consideration would definitely be a form of LED lighting. As we said before, we cannot afford to dismiss safety. Safety is the top priority a pouch for your belongings, different sizes for different breeds and so on. Pouches are also a great idea.
The point of hands-free leads is to give your hands more freedom, and pouches mean that you know your mobile phone for emergencies, your poop bags and any other items you may need are safe and secure. Different sizes come in handy as well as adjustability if you have different dogs or your dog may grow significantly in the foreseeable future. If you want to make sure your lead will fit your dog, you can buy a lead with assorted or adjustable sizes for a higher chance that your dog will fit inside it.
Safety When Running
Make Sure That Your Dog is Healthy and Prepared
You must bear in mind your dog’s fitness and abilities when taking him for a run, as not all breed will be able to run for a very long time. Some breeds will experience health issues if they are made to run too much, including dogs with small snouts like bulldogs and pugs. If you are going to introduce a big fitness change to your dog, please consult your veterinarian beforehand.
If you want to take your dog for a run, you must make sure that he is very well-behaved, and will listen to you in the worst-case scenario. The minimum level of obedience training would be that they are able to sit and stay when they are told so. If you lose control, this will be very useful. After that, you have to teach your dog to walk by your side. Lastly, the ‘heel’ command can be hard to get but will be of assistance in preventing constant pulling and distraction.
Harnesses are a lot safer to deal with as opposed to collars due to the fact they wrap around your dog’s chest, so you are in complete control over their movements. The pressure will be most felt where the body mass is the most concentrated. Using a harness will also help prevent injuries of the neck. There are a large variety of different high-quality harnesses, some with leads or loops paced at the front of the chest part of the harness.
Your dog will need to adjust from walk to run. Start off with incorporating short sprints into walks, then progressively speed up these shorter sprints to push your dog just a little. Eventually, your dog will get used to running long distances with ease. It would also be good to avoid distractions so your dog can run continuously without having his attention divided.
Supervise Your Dog
You must make sure you supervise your dog at all times because they can be prone to overeating. The symptoms could start early in the walk, even before you start sweating. Make sure that your dog is not lagging behind, panting heavily or slowing down. If they are, take them aside, and always make sure that you have some water on hand to help combat dehydration. As well as heavy panting and slowing down, look out for signs of limping, weakness and confusion.
Be Careful of Weather
At all costs, avoid extreme weather conditions. Dogs are highly sensitive to weather and can contract hypothermia in the winter, or could suffer from overheating during summertime. As well as being prone to these conditions, dogs can suffer from body injuries including frostbite and burning. Sidewalk pavements are also easily affected by the temperature, so before you run so feel the concrete with your bare skin and then you can judge whether or not your dog will be able to have a comfortable run.
In conclusion, the ultimate decision in which lead you will use for when you run with your dog is yours to make, but it is best to choose the lead that will suit you and your dog, providing he can handle a run with you. Now that you have seen our picks for the best dog running leads, some of the pros and cons of whether or not to go hands-free, and some things to consider regarding your dog’s health and what dog running lead is right for you, you can now choose a lead that will be perfect for you and your dog.