10 Best Dog Leashes for Running Fully Reviewed
As far as running buddies go, dogs are about as good as it gets. They aren’t too chatty, they’ll usually match your pace, and they love to wake up to get that early morning run in even when you don’t want to. There’s no better way to spend the time with our furry family members than to get outside together, and there’s plenty of gear available to help you do just that.
To keep you and your dogs safe while on a run, you should always keep them on a leash. Since it can be a little difficult to use traditional handheld leashes while running, there are a variety of great hands-free leashes available that are designed specifically for runners! We’ve put together a list of the best dog leashes for running currently on the market to help you pick one you and your four-legged companion will love.
- Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner
- Lightweight & Durable
- Tuff Mutt
- Two Handles for Easy Control
- For Dogs up to 110 lbs
10 Best Dog Leashes for Running
1. Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Stunt Runner
This lightweight running leash is deceptively strong and lined with reflective tape that is visible up to 500 feet. The adjustable waist belt can be fitted around the hips or over the shoulder and ranges in size between 28 to 49 inches. A black metal D ring connects to an elastic connector that can stretch between 37 and 50 inches. A final loop at the end of the leash functions as a traffic handle to pull your dog close when needed.
This leash is ideal for medium to large dogs who like to pull a bit at the leash. The stretch connector absorbs a lot of the pull and prevents you from being jerked around. Some users feel the leash is a bit short at first but most find it easy to adjust to after just a few runs. For tall dogs that like to run close to your side, you may want an even shorter option. The clip is easy to use but adjusting the waist does take a minute. This means there is no accidental adjustments as you run but it does make sharing the leash with a partner slightly less convenient.
At over 40 dollars, this leash is pretty pricey. Despite the lightweight feel, users find it to be very durable and feel the elastic can withstand years of pulling.
Stretch connector works well for dogs that pull
Great for medium to large dogs
Reflective tape for safety
Waist stays in place
A bit short for dogs that change sides constantly
A bit long for tall dogs who run at your side
Waist does not adjust quickly
Does not fit all waists
2. Tuff Mutt
This leash features an adjustable waist belt with unique gliding belt clip to allow your dog to move from side to side. A bungee section absorbs some force from pulling and allows the 48 inch leash to stretch to 60 inches. Two handles, one at your hip and one at their collar, allows for quick and directed control as needed. And three reflective seams improve visibility and safety.
This Tuff Mutt leash is great for medium to large dogs but maybe a bit too heavy for smaller dogs. The gliding clip, bungee component and two handle options make this a great option for dogs who take a bit more liberties and may wander a bit from your side.
At just over 20 dollars, this leash is reasonably priced. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be the most durable option out there. Some users note their dogs chew through the leash with little effort while others note the bungee gets stretched and loses its elasticity.
Bungee section absorbs pulling
Gliding loop allows dog to switch sides
Two handles for easy control
Reflective seams for safety
Bungee may lose elasticity
Leash is not chew-resistant
A bit too heavy for small dogs
The dual bungee design is 63 inches when relaxed and can extend up to 81 inches. The two D rings on the leash itself can also be clipped to shorten the leash as needed or can be used to attach a bag dispenser or treat bag. Two handles located between the two bungees and next to the collar offer two points for additional control. The waist belt fits waists from 27 inches to 47 inches around.
This dual bungee belt is best for dogs up to 110 lbs. The adjustable length gives owners multiple options for finding the most comfortable distance from their furry friend. Two handles also make leash training and street crossing easier and safer.
At less than 15 dollars, this leash is one of the less expensive options. The leash feels very durable but there are not many reports on how it performs long-term.
Good for dogs up to 110 lbs
Dual bungee leash extends up to 81 inches
Additional D rings allow for adjustable length
Waist belt fits up to 47 inches
4. Mighty Paw
An adjustable belt accommodates waists that are 26 to 42 inches around. The bungee leash is available in a 36-inch or 48-inch length and attaches to a D ring at a fixed spot on the belt.
This leash is best suited for medium to large dogs (between 30 and 100 lbs). The bungee leash makes this a great option for dogs who pull as the elasticity reduces some of the force on your body. Users find that the three-foot bungee works best for dogs who are trained to run at your side while the four-foot bungee gives them more room to run in front of you. The fixed D ring does not allow your dog to move easily from side to side. There is a hand loop near the collar for added control but some users find it is a bit difficult to quickly insert their hand into.
Price ranges on this leash between 15 and 25 dollars depending on color and length.
Bungee leash works well for dogs who pull
Two length options help keep your dog at a comfortable distance
Does not work for small dogs
Hand loop is not easy to grip
5. The Buddy System
The basic buddy system comes with an adjustable waist belt, two belt attachments designed to move around your waist and a leash that can be adjusted from 22 to 40 inches. Additional attachments such as the Lunge Buster, Extend-a-Buddy, or Extra Buddy can be purchased to help combat pulling, add more leash length or add a second dog to your set up.
This leash system works great for most people. Three size options accommodate waists of 22 inches up to 60 inches around. Between the regular system and small dog system, this setup can accommodate dogs of any size. The adjustable leash length and option for attachments help to further customize your system for dogs who pull or those who like to stick close by your side.
Starting at around 25 dollars for the basic system, this leash is not too expensive. However, the price may add up when customizing and adding attachments.
Customizable system to fit your needs
Two sizes for small or large dogs
Three waist belt sizes for humans
Bungee attachment reduces force from pulling
Adjustable leash keeps your dog at a distance that works for you
Belt loops allow your dog to move from side to side
Attachments are not included
No traffic loop
6. Paw Lifestyles with Smartphone pouch
In three eye-catching colors that are combined with reflective threading, the durable nylon material will help extend the life of your leash. The bungee cord hangs at 48”--which may be a little too long for some dogs--and extends to 70”, helping to mitigate any force or pull on the leash. There are sturdy D-ring and clip combos as well as a zipper system with easy to access zipper pulls and a quick-release tab on the waist belt.
The Paw Lifestyle leash is fairly popular for a reason and has plenty of satisfied customer reviews. The basic constructions works just like it should, and all of the extra features are practical. The unique Smartphone pouch is a great addition with dual expandable pouches that will fit any model of phone, even with bulky or heavy-duty cases. This leash works with dogs up to 150lbs and the bungee is long enough to use with smaller dogs as well.
This hands-free leash has a zippered pocket that sets it apart along with plenty of other worthwhile features and functions. The price is fairly modest compared to other choices on this list, so it’s great for those who need a reliable and useful option but are on more of a budget.
- Expandable zipper pouch
- Fits all Smartphones, even in cases
- Dual handles
- Reflective fabric
- Heavy-duty clip and D-ring
- Bungee that expands up to 70”
- Available in three different colors
- For dogs up to 150 lbs
- Bungee may be too long for some
7. Golden Tail
The adjustable belt on this hands free leash can be adjusted to fit waist sizes from 28 to 42 inches around. The bungee leash is tied in a knot but can be extended to 4 feet and features two easy grip handles for added control. Gliding clip moves around the belt allowing your dog to switch sides easily. Reflective stitching in both the belt and bungee increase visibility during night walks.
This bungee leash works well for big and small dogs alike. Small dog owners find that the longer length and elasticity of the bungee allows their dog ample room to walk alongside them. Runners with dogs trained to run right next to them may find this leash has a bit too much length.
Around 16 dollars, this is a good value for a quality hands-free leash.
Good elasticity on the bungee
Works for small dogs and big dogs
Two handles for increased control
Gliding clip allows your dog to switch sides
May be too long for some runners
The adjustable waist belt can expand to a 48 inch waist and can be attached to one or two leashes at fixed D rings. Each bungee leash is 4 feet long and features two safety loops for easy control when needed.
This leash works well for a variety of dogs. The option for a one-dog or two-dog belt is a nice addition and users find the safety loops easy to grab quickly. The 4-foot bungee gives your dog some more space to run in front of you but the fixed D rings make it difficult for him to switch sides. The belt is also compatible with a water bottle holder and zippered bag to hold treats or doggy bags.
This leash ranges in price between 20 and 30 dollars. Users find it very durable. The clips stand up well to constant pulling and the leash itself is difficult for your dog to chew through.
Options for one or two dog belt
Compatible with water bottle holder and zippered bag
4-foot bungee keeps dog at a comfortable distance
Accommodates up to a 48 inch waist
Durable bungee and clips
2 Safety loops are easy to grip
Fixed D rings don’t allow dogs to switch sides
This TaoTronics leash has a dual bungee design with two hand loops for added control. The leash extends up to 63 inches but can be looped through the fixed D ring a second time to shorten it. Luminous reflective stitching enhances safety when running or walking at night.
The customizable length of this leash works great for any type of dog. The strong bungees are built to handle dogs up to 150 lbs but the 63 inch length makes this leash a great option for small dogs too. Despite its adjustability, some people still find the leash to be too long for dogs that run close.
At under 20 dollars, this leash is a great value and is very durable.
Dual bungee design for better shock absorption
Strong enough for dogs up to 150 lbs
Longer leash works for small dogs
Reflective stitching for safety
Leash is too long for some
Bungee is a bit rigid
This weather-resistant leash is made from durable material. An adjustable waist can fit up to 48 inches around. Bungee cables are available in 36-inch and 48-inch lengths to find the length that works best for you and your pet. A looped handle is built into the end of the bungee and can be attached so it is close to your waist or close to their collar. Reflective stitching along the length of the leash adds another element for safety.
In practice this leash works great for medium to large dogs and accommodates a larger human waist size than most. The two length options for the bungee is convenient to keep your dog at a comfortable distance for running. However, some users feel the bungee is a bit too stiff and the plastic clips have a tendency to break when strong dogs take off unexpectedly.
At under 20 dollars this leash is fairly inexpensive. It is a good value option but strong dogs that pull a lot may burn through the plastic clips on this leash fast.
2 options for leash length
Bungee design absorbs some force
Fits up to 48 inches around waist
Looped handle can be placed at waist or collar
Bungee is a bit stiff
Plastic clips may break
Too heavy for small dogs
The Metrics We Used to Determine the Best Dog Leashes for Running
There are many leashes out there with convenient features such as bungee cables to reduce pulling and convenient loops to allow for easy control. To narrow down our list to the best of the best, we put together specific criteria that we could measure each leash against. So that you can better understand our selection we share those metrics with you below. Whether you’re browsing from your computer at home or looking for recommendations in-store, we hope that this information will help you feel confident in your buying decision.
When running with your dog you want to be able to focus on your run while also knowing you and your dog are safe and comfortable. For this purpose, hands-free leashes are the way to go. Most hands-free running leashes will have an adjustable waist belt that the runner can wear that attaches to the leash itself through either a fixed D ring or a gliding loop. Many leashes feature a bungee cable to help absorb some of the force from your dog pulling. Some also have one or more hand loop on the leash to provide some more direct control when you get close to traffic or if your dog is easily distracted.
We looked for leashes that used these fundamental designs while incorporating high-quality materials, sturdy hardware, and considered the safety of both the runner and the dog. Strong clips and D-rings, durable materials like nylon, and shock absorbing bungee designs all got high praise from our reviewers. We tried to avoid hands-free leashes that were missing important safety designs like dual-handles and reflective threading.
No matter how aesthetically pleasing a leash may look, it is worthless if it doesn’t perform well when you’re actually running with your dog. We looked through hundreds of real customer reviews to see how well each product worked when actually in use, what kind of dogs it worked best for, and what running styles worked best for each one.
We also searched for leashes that had plenty of extra features that made hands-free running even easier and more enjoyable. Some of the leashes on our list have things like pouches for keys and phones, quick-adjust waist belts, and different color options that are super visible as well as trendy.
The cost of a good running leash can be anywhere from 15$ to 50$, but cost isn’t everything. Sometimes shelling out for a more expensive leash can mean higher quality and performance, but getting a low-cost leash doesn’t mean it will be a bad one. It is important to measure the construction and function of a dog leash for running against the price and your needs to see what kind of value it has.
You’ll want something that fulfills most, if not all, of your needs while meeting your budgetary restrictions and performing well. The value a leash might have looks different for everyone, but we tried to choose a range of costs that could accommodate a variety of variables.
Other Things to Consider
Human to Dog Size Ratio
Obviously, you will want to consider your waist size and your dog’s size when choosing a leash. You need to have a waist belt that will fit comfortably while you are running and your pal needs a leash that is strong enough to hold him but not too heavy or long. It is also important to consider your height vs your pet’s height when choosing the right length for your leash. A taller person with a shorter dog will need a longer leash to reach down to their furry friend while a shorter person and taller dog do not need much room at all.
Dogs and their owners will vary in how they run together. If you have a dog who likes to wander or run in front of you, give them a bit more length on the leash so they don’t end up tripping you. For dogs that are trained to heel and will stick right by your side, you may opt for a much shorter leash as too much length will hit them on the back or drag between you. If you are new to running with your dog or training a new puppy, leashes with adjustable lengths and multiple handles are great options for adapting as you both get used to running together.
We spend a lot of time considering what we need when we go running. We invest some money in running belts or hydration packs to ensure we have all our snacks and drinks readily available when we are out on the trail or road. But it doesn’t make sense find a hands-free leash only to fill up your hands with doggie bags and treats. Many leashes come equipped with extra clips so you can attach these items to your belt and remain hands-free to enjoy your run.
Q: How do I train my dog to run with me?
A: First you will want to check with your vet to make sure your dog is healthy and able to start running. Not all breeds are built for distance so do some research before you hit the trail. Once your friend is approved as a running buddy, you can begin slowly introducing running to your daily walks. Much like humans, dogs need to build their endurance and unlike us, they cannot tell us when we are pushing too hard. Be aware of your dog’s behavior and back off if they are panting very hard. Dogs that walk well on the leash will transition most easily to running so, start training early during walks and you should have no problem when they are old enough to run.
Q: How do I find the right length for my running leash?
A: The length of the leash depends on your size, your dog’s size and how close you want them to run to you. Three or four feet seems to be the best starting point unless your dog is very well trained and you are similar heights. If you are unsure of the best length, consider a leash that can be adjusted so you can figure out what works best for your duo.
Q: What other kinds of running gear are out there for me and my dog?
A: There is plenty of cool gear and gadgets that you can tote with you that will make running with your dog fun and convenient. For water and treats you can bring along collapsible bowls or drawstring bowls that will have attachments that work great with hands-free leashes that have D-rings or sturdy clips. Consider investing in a good harness that will put less strain on your dog than a collar and will provide more comfort or even saddlebag storage. For those going to more extreme places there are even padded “shoes” for dogs that will protect from more rough terrain.