Leashes come in all shapes and varieties. One of those varieties is the hands-free leash. Hands-free leashes, as the name implies, require no hands. A hand’s free leash generally has an attachment to either some sort of belt of a wrist wrap. In either case, the leash requires no hand to hold it. It simply attaches to a ring on the article of clothing that comes with the leash.
I decided to write an article on this type of leash because I’ve been seeing it more and more in the forums these days. I’m not a huge fan of them because they drastically reduce the amount of control you have over your dog, but in some instances, they can work. Here’s a run down on the hands-free leash and when – and when not – to use them.
Related: Slip Leashes – Should You Use Them?
Hands-Free Leashes – Only for Well Trained Dogs
A hand’s free leash requires an exceptionally well-behaved dog. With this type of leash, your control is limited, which is understandable, considering you aren’t holding on to the leash. You’ll essentially be walking with your dog instead of being physically in control of your dog, so he needs to be super well behaved for some reasons.
To begin with, if he takes off, you’re going to take a fall. Guaranteed. Even if you don’t fall, going from a slack leash to a full-on break is going to gag your poor dog. So basically, unless your dog can follow voice commands fairly well and is not prone to taking off after every interesting thing he sees, you really don’t want a hands free leash.
Hands-free leashes are, however, an option for people with well-behaved dogs. Extremely well behaved dogs. It’s practically the only way that you can successfully navigate the world without your hand actively guiding your dog’s leash.
This next point is very important. No matter how well behaved he is, a large breed dog should never be walked with a hand’s free leash. Hands free leashes are just too loose for a big dog. Try to imagine walking a St. Bernard while he’s attached to your waste. One excited outburst, and you’re going for a ride.
Pros and Cons of Hands-Free Leashes
If you do have a dog you can trust – and who isn’t too big – hands-free leashes can be a good alternative to normal leashes. But that’s ONLY if your dog is very well behaved. Be aware that you still have to be vigilant in case you ever need to reign in your pooch.
- Hands free (obviously)
- Many hands free leash designs feature belts with pockets for easy storage of items such as potty bags and cell phones
- Easier to multitask
- Dog MUST be extremely well-behaved
- Dog MUST understand and follow voice commands
- Big dogs might not be the best for these leashes
Hands Free Leashes can be Good or Bad
For those who have super well behaved dogs, hand free leashes can be a good option. However, they’re a good option ONLY for extremely well behaved dogs, and anyone who walks their dog with one should be ever vigilant in case their dog goes nuts for some unforeseen reason. If your dog fits that bill, you could give a hands free leash a try. Just be careful.