Long Lines: Are They Worth The Hype?

Long Lines: Are They Worth The Hype?

Whether you call them long dog leads, training leads, long lines or long line leashes; they’re all the same thing. An obnoxiously long leash that is a pain in the tail to coil up and store neatly, so you just end up rage-throwing it into the boot of your car until next time.

At which point, future-you curses past-you, as you untangle the mess so you can use it again.


Just us?

Okay, so maybe we have kind of a love-hate relationship with long dog leads.

Why do we use them? What are they good for? Are they an overrated tool? Despite the fuss of dealing with them, a long line dog leash is an indispensable training tool – especially for new dogs and puppies!

Let’s go over it together. 

graphic of dog lead

What is a “Long Line”? 

A long line for dogs is essentially just a leash with an extended length, a "longer line" hence the name. You can make a long line from quite a variety of materials, with the most common being a cotton webbing. You will also find rope, leather, or our personal favourite, BioThane!

We love our BioThane webbing, it has the advantage of being waterproof, weatherproof and incredibly strong! A biothane long line wont soak up the gross stink mud your dog loves to roll in. Plus, and truly the most important aspect, it comes in some amazing bright and fun colours.  

biothane dog long lines

Your long lead can come with or without a handle on the end, and will be available in a variety of standard lengths. Though there is no set length that they have to be, usually you will find the leads in 3m, 5m or 10m.

Some long dog leads are in a retractable style, but we try to avoid those. Other than that, long dog leads pretty much just look like someone stretched out a normal dog leash.  

What are Long Lines Good For? 

Right, so the question on everyone's mind, are they actually worthwhile!

Short answer: yes, they are absolutely worthwhile. The long and short of it (har har) is that a long line lead is your new best friend when it comes to recall training!

Or if you want to give your dog freedom to adventure and explore when they may not otherwise be able to do so. Using a long dog lead basically allows your dog the freedom to just be a dog.

dog chasing frisbee

With a long line attached, your dog can freely explore. Sniffing, running and rolling in all the stinky things without any of the off-leash risks. Whether they have yet to master their recall, or perhaps it’s just a trail or park that requires dogs to be on a leash. This allows you to do so, while still giving your dog the ability to get all the exciting stimulation they need. 

In situations where dogs are allowed off-leash, you can still use your long line as a safe option. Even if your dog has good recall – using a long line will keep your dog safe in a range of scenarios. From a nearby busy road, or other questionably-behaved dogs around

As a training tool, you can utilise your long line when teaching your dog recall. The length of leash allows you to encourage follow through on recall, even when you dog is at a distance. Followed up by some tasty treats of course.

Or, simply use it for peace of mind while still letting your dog roam around. Both options are valid and valuable uses of the long line.  

cartoon of man walking a dog 

What are the drawbacks? 

Long lines don't have much in the way of downsides, if we’re being honest. With any long leash, there is potential of rope burn (ouch!). There’s also the aforementioned difficulty of a noodley tangled mess. Though this is manageable if you coil it correctly, and perhaps use a storage basket in the car to keep it contained. 

One risk to think about is neck injury. This can happen if your dog is running fast with a long line attached to their collar and they hit the end. For peace of mind, we suggest utilising a Y front harness in this situation. This means even if your dog gets away from you; there's no fear of neck injury from impacting the end of the lead

Additionally with a long line, you can see exactly how much length you’ve got at any given time – so you’re able to manage and prevent a neck-jerk situation before it gets to that point.

This is one of the reasons why we recommend the use of a long dog lead, over a retractable leash in these situations. With a retractable lead, you can’t tell how much is leash is left, before you dog hits the end. Plus, they are often fiddly or difficult to retract, which isn’t ideal when you need to reel in your buddy without delay.  

cartoon of dog doing zoomies

Ultimately, we feel that the benefits far outweigh any potential risks, and the usefulness of long lines is just far too good to dismiss! As with any piece of dog gear, or dog toy, you’ll get the best possible value and use out of it when it’s used correctly and safely.

Perfect for sniff walks, and recall training; we’ll always choose to use a long line here at Wildhunde! 

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