How to Choose a Quality Leather Dog Leash
Jul 7th 2020
What should you look for when choosing a quality leather dog leash? What meets the standards required for police and military units?
We get asked this question a lot, and we’ve made a video to show our customers the distinctive aspects of our leather leashes.
The craftsmen at Ray Allen Manufacturing carefully consider four factors when developing our line of leashes, and these factors have consistently added to the functionality and durability of our products that dog handlers and trainers have sworn by since 1948.
(Watch a tutorial on the quality of our leather leashes on our Youtube channel here.)
(Shop our entire selection of leather dog leashes here.)
1. Length and Thickness
We carry everything from a 1-foot traffic lead to keep your dog heeled at your side, to the standard 6-foot leash for walking, to ample 33-foot tracking lines. Regardless of length, we work the leather so it maintains the same thickness throughout, and the quality remains intact regardless of how it is being used, dragged along the ground, pulled, or stretched.
Our heaviest-duty of leather leashes are a quarter of an inch thick. This makes for a big solid feeling in your hands, feels comfortable as you break it in, and feels tough enough to perform for working dogs day-in and day-out.
But we also make smaller, more refined leashes, such as our ¾” braided leash. Though lighter, they’ve suffered no sacrifice to quality and are perfect for smaller hands or smaller dogs who don’t need the weight of a ¼” leash.
(View different lengths in this following video at 0:18)
2. End Finishing
How the end of a leash is capped makes a huge difference in how it handles.
There’s the twist-braided leash- which means there is no metal/hardware anywhere, and no extra holes in the leather, making for a no-frills, uniform leather leash that feels smooth in your hands.
Our knot-braided leashes provide a built-in stopping point at the snap so your hands don’t slide back or lose grip as your dog pulls.
Roll-braided leashes also offer that failsafe of traction for your hands (and look pretty slick!)
Finally, the stitched and riveted leash has a tight fishtail seam with two rivets sewn into each end for consistency. We’ve made our hand crafted products this same way for 35 years!
(View different end finishings at 1:05)
How the leash attaches is just as important as how it looks and feels.
We make leashes with a ring in the handle, giving the handler the ability to clip it around their waist, hook it around their shoulder- overall giving more support for the handler and a multitude of ways to manage your leash- and your dog!
Our bronze snap hardware is load-rated at 500 lbs. and gives a classic look to accompany the leather.
Our stainless steel hardware doesn’t rust and is impervious to saltwater, so you can get it wet in a variety of environments. These are load-rated at 600 lbs.
(View different hardware at 2:26)
4. Choice of Leather
Ray Allen uses hides from cows exclusively bred in the northern U.S. Why? Because the cows’ exposure to the winter and the elements up there causes their hides to toughen, which in turn makes the grain in the leather tighter and more durable.
These hides end up being heavier per square inch, more coarse, and a more robust, thicker grain, making it possible to achieve that ¼” thickness for a good leash. The hide thickness is palpable when the leash is folded in half- there is no cracking or splitting visible in the leather.
And as a nice bonus, all of Ray Allen’s leather is treated and tanned in the U.S. as well, and we choose tanneries that exclusively adhere to waste water regulations.
Our facilities use better water quality treatment and disposal protocols, and do the least amount of damage to the environment. These ‘clean’ tanneries use vegetable-based product to tan our hides, so our leather curing process is eco-friendly, and has been since the inception of the company.
(View leather quality at 3:47)
Want to Learn More?
Ask dog gear experts, we put together our Ultimate Guide to Dog Leashes, Leads & Lines to teach you everything you need to know about leashes, and our Dog Muzzle Buyer’s Guide has all the info you need to buy a quality muzzle. If you're shopping for a new collar, read our guide on choosing a heavy leather dog collar!
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