The 5 Best Dog Leashes For Small Dogs

Fotolia / Maria Sbytova

While there are plenty of advantages to owning a small dog, it can be difficult to find gear that fits your tiny pup. After all, not every collar, harness, or leash will fit them well. That's precisely why the best dog leashes for small dogs are lightweight, adjustable, and are designed to fit dogs from 5 to 25 pounds.

For the best leash for your dog, take time to consider his or her lifestyle, level of activity, and preferences. For walks around the neighborhood, a typical nylon leash might do. But if you're an avid hiker or runner, you may find that a hands-free leash is better suited for you and your dog's active lifestyle. Also, does your dog have any specific problems like pulling or chewing? They make small dog leashes that address those issues as well.

You should also look for a leash that's sized correctly for your dog. Like collars, leashes come in different widths to accommodate the strength and pull of a dog's weight. They are also sold in different lengths, so you have to figure out the right leash length for you and your dog, which could vary depending on whether you're planning to use it for training or long walks (training puppies requires shorter leashes). To help you find the best dog leash for your small dog, I've rounded up some great options below that are made for tiny pups—and they’re all under $20.

1Best Overall

This nylon leash stands out for its two-in-one padded handles — it can function both as a standard handle and a shorter option for walks in crowded areas or when passing children on your walk. This leash also has reflective piping to make your dog more visible in low-light conditions, as well as a swivel lock that won't restrict your dog's movement. Thank to its 5 to 7 millimeter width, this leash can stand up to some light chewing, and even comes with a lifetime warranty that includes damage from chewing. Amazon reviewers, from veterinary technicians to dog owners alike, chime in in the reviews to say, that "they thought of everything with this leash." One thing to note? While this leash comes in sizes from small to large, the small size is the one you'll want to purchase for your pup.

  • Available sizes: S (4-25 pounds), M (25-90 pounds), and L (90-120 pounds)

2Best Retractable Leash

Designed for dogs up to 26 pounds, this retractable leash from Peteast will give your pup more room to roam during your walks, while giving you total control over his or her movements. The design allows you to hold the leash and operate the brake button in one hand, while the ergonomic rubber handle makes it easy and comfortable to grip for long durations. You also don't have to worry about your pup getting tangled up, thanks to the product's durable, plated zinc-alloy clip and a patented leash slot that allows it to operate in all directions. One Amazon reviewer praises it, saying this leash is "lightweight and very study. Locking mechanism works great. Fits comfortably in one hand. Perfect for smaller dogs."

  • Available sizes: XS (10 feet) and M (16 feet). Both sizes are recommended for dogs up to 26 pounds.

3Best For Pullers

A slip-style leash, like this one from Dogs My Love, is a great purchase for anyone looking to control a small dog who loves to pull. It's made of durable and pliable nylon rope with a riveted sliding leather stopper that allows you to adjust the collar part of the lead for a perfect fit. The small 1/4 inch-width is great for puppies and dogs up to 12 pounds, while the medium size should work for slightly larger dogs. At 6 feet in length, your pup will be able to explore without veering too far away from you.

  • Available sizes: Small: 1/4" (6mm), Medium: 3/8" (8mm), Large: 0.4" (10mm), X-Large: 1/2" (12mm)

4Best Hands-Free Leash

If you have an active pup, you might want to consider buying a hands-free leash like this hands-free leash from Buddy System that's made specifically for small dogs under 20 pounds. Instead of holding it with your hands, this leash ties around your waist, making it ideal for exercising, as well as those times when you need to operate hands-free. The leash is made of a sturdy nylon and also includes an adjustable belt as well as belt and collar attachment. The leash itself has an adjustable length that can expand anywhere from 33 to 60 inches, and the handle has a quick release button in case of any emergency. Best of all, it can be converted into a traditional hand-held leash if need be. While Buddy System leashes come in sizes for all dogs (as evidenced by the Golden Retriever in the above picture), this one is specifically designed for smaller dogs, and the one size only sizing chart refers to the size of the waist of the person operating it.

One size only. Accommodates human waist sizes from 27 to 50 inches.

5Best For Heavy Chewers

If you have a small breed dog that loves to chew, it can be tricky to find a metal leash that can withstand his gnawing while not being too heavy to tote around. Luckily, this WATFOON leash is both lightweight and durable. It's made of a tough 4-millimeter braided steel metal that has been successfully strength-tested for small- to medium-sized aggressive chewers. Meanwhile, the handle is constructed of a soft plastic coating, making it comfortable for you to hold on long walks. The leash is also waterproof and even comes with a 360-day money-back guarantee.

  • Available sizes: 2.6ft/80cm, 5.0ft/150cm, 5.3ft/160cm, and 6.0ft/180cm

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