The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Dog Leash for Your Outdoor Adventures

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Dog Leash for Your Outdoor Adventures

Choosing the perfect dog leash is like finding the ideal hiking trail—it sets the tone for an exhilarating journey filled with tail-wagging excitement and joyful exploration. Whether you're trekking through the stunning terrain of the Rockies or strolling through city streets, the right leash can make all the difference in keeping your pup safe, comfortable, and ready for any escapade. 

So, grab your pup's favourite toy and get ready to embark on a leash-selection adventure that's bound to unleash endless tail wags and happy memories!

We have the ultimate guide to selecting the best dog leashes for hunting, fishing, hiking, and more so you can choose the perfect one for your pup’s outdoor adventures. 

Best Dog Leash for Hiking

A woman walking a beagle on a red dog leash in hoodoos trail head, banff

When taking your dog hiking, it's crucial that you have a strong and secure leash that's also comfortable to hold. Locking carabiner clips can keep your pup safe even on the most adventurous trails, while accessory clips or loops are convenient for storing hand sanitiser, waste bags, and other necessities for your trip.

When shopping for a hiking leash for dogs, it's also a good idea to consider waterproof or reflective materials that can be easily seen and resist dirt, odours, and bacteria. For more demanding trails, you may want to try a hands-free leash that will clip to a waist belt. This keeps the puppy near and under your control without requiring you to hold the leash the entire time. 

Read more about how to choose the best dog leash for your next hiking trip here

Dog Leashes That Are Good for Water Activities

nova scotia duck tolling retriever on a biothane leash sitting in the snow with mountains in the background

If your pup loves the water, you need a leash that repels it. The last thing you want to bring home is a soggy leash after a day of fun (especially since you’re already bringing home a wet dog), so it’s a good idea to consider waterproof materials like Biothane. 

Biothane is a type of PVC/TPU material that mimics the smooth, waterproof properties of silicone but provides even more stability and durability for your outdoor adventures. Biothane leashes also come in bright colours to help make your dog more easily visible and are available in varying sizes (5 ft., 8 ft., and 15 ft.) and collars to match. 

See our Mountain Lake rope leash here. These are available up to 15 feet long!

Top Leashes for Walking or Jogging

Beagle standing on top of a rock next to a person in ravens end hiking trail, kananaskis, ab

Hands-free leashes are a must for walking or jogging with your dog. Both rope-style and traditional leashes work well for these activities, but our All Mountain leashes can offer more durability if you have a larger dog.

Reflective leashes are also crucial to use in urban areas where there may be traffic, and a shorter length can help ensure your dog doesn’t have enough room to run out into the road. Our Summit All-Terrain Dog Harness has a reflective trim perfect for this kind of excursion, and can be paired with our All Mountain leash

Good Dog Leashes for Camping

single leash extension

Does your pup love to go camping with you? A quality leash can give you peace of mind that your dog is safe and nearby, whether you’re stoking the fire, going for a swim, or roasting marshmallows.

Look for an everyday-use leash that offers a good blend of function and reliability. Consider clips for accessories, so you always have what you need on hand. Waste bags are especially helpful so you can keep your campsite (and others) clean. A long leash can give your dog the freedom to roam around the camp while staying safe, so consider using a 15-foot leash for your next trip. Our Canadian Rockies Leashes here give you more length for your buddy to roam the campsite more freely.

You can also add our 2-foot leash extender, perfect for those with more than one dog. Combine it with your existing leash for a total of 10 feet of space, providing ample room for walking multiple dogs comfortably.

Dog Leashes for Winter Fun

brown nova scotia duck tolling retriever on a rope dog leash standing on top of a snow covered ground

Winters in Canada are nothing short of iconic, so when the snow falls, it’s time for your pup to play. The season presents unique challenges for dog leashes, and only the most durable and hardy survive. 

Keep in mind that winter doesn’t just bring cold; it also brings wetness. Your leash needs to be as water-resistant for snow activities as it would be if you were heading to the lake. Don’t forget about the hardware on the leash—carabiner clips are also easier to operate with cold fingers than small clasps. 

Check out our waterproof hands-free Biothane leashes and our eco-friendly Squamish rope leash. The latter is handmade from repurposed climbing rope by a small team of people in Calgary and can be used as a hands-free leash with a second carabiner clip. If reducing your carbon footprint is important to you, the Squamish leashes are an excellent choice.

Best Dog Leash for Hunting and Fishing

Ranger All Mountain Dog Leash

For dogs that accompany their owners on fishing and hunting trips, this Ranger All Mountain dog leash with a matching Ranger collar is a great choice. These leashes are inspired by the beautiful outdoor and hunting scenes; they have handle clips for hands-free walking or running and zero-shock stretchy webbing which helps reduce pulling and overall creates a stronger product. 

Leashes with hands-free capabilities are also a great choice, but you may want one that can convert back and forth between handheld and hands-free modes. This can make it easier when getting in and out of a fishing boat or deer stand with your dog while allowing you the option to hold the leash when needed. 

More Tips for Choosing the Best Outdoor Leash

We’ve talked extensively about the type of leashes; now let’s jump a little into other considerations to ensure you both enjoy your time together safely and comfortably:

  1. Consider Your Dog's Size and Strength: Larger and stronger dogs may require a sturdier leash, while smaller dogs might do fine with a lighter one. Match the leash strength to your dog's size and pulling habits.
  2. Length: Leashes come in different lengths, typically ranging from 5 to 15 feet. A shorter leash provides better control and is best for training and socialisation. It lets you control your pup in high-traffic areas or busy neighborhoods. 

A longer leash offers more freedom for your dog to explore. This is best for parks, etc.

The environment your dog will be walking in, their demeanor, and your comfort level will basically determine the appropriate length.

  1. Handle Type: Look for a leash with a comfortable handle, especially if you'll be walking for long periods. Comfortable handles can prevent chafing and provide a better grip, especially if your dog tends to pull.
  2. Training Considerations: If you're in the process of training your dog, consider a leash designed specifically for training purposes, such as a long line or a retractable leash with a locking mechanism.

Our Vote for All-Around Best Outdoor Leash: Biothane Leashes

Biothane Leashes - various colors

Biothane dog leashes are made from a UV and water-resistant material that feels similar to silicone and is just as easy to keep clean. Biothane doesn't stretch or degrade over time, unlike other leash materials, even with an active dog. When paired with a durable collar or padded chest harness, your pup stays comfortable and you maintain control no matter what activities you decide to do. 

Check out our available Biothane leashes here

We also love rope dog leashes which come in different clasp options (the Carabiner clasp and the claw clasp) for an all-around great leash to take anywhere you and your dog want to go.

The Mountain Lakes Dog Rope Leash

Shop Our Heavy-Duty Outdoor Dog Leashes Today 

At Rocky Mountain Dog, we take pride in offering the highest-quality dog leashes designed for rugged outdoor use. Each design incorporates the beauty of the outdoors and practical features like handles or clips to make it easier to move around. 

Check out our selection of dog leashes, collars, and other gear and accessories to find durable products made for pups like yours.