You might think a leash is a leash, but certain types of leash will serve you better than others as you walk and train your Boxer dog.
From a braided fleece leash that can double as a tug toy, to a waterproof long line for recall training or a waist-attaching bungee for hands free jogging with your Boxer, different leashes will allow you to do different things.
Always prioritise strength and quality over price, as a reliable leash will last a long time, and is essential for keeping your Boxer safe out and about.
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1. Flat Canvas Leash
A hard-wearing, flat canvas leash is a good place to start for daily use.
The Carhartt Tradesman Leash fits the bill.
Look for a leash that is:
- Strong yet soft
- Fitted with quality fixtures — it’s worth paying extra for hardware that won’t snap or rust
- Not too long — for safety, and for training purposes, you don’t want your Boxer expecting to range too far from your side on walks
Bonus features include:
- Padding in the handle
- Reflective trim for added visibility in low light and poor weather
- Washability (This rules out leather for anything but aesthetic appeal) — Cotton or nylon can go in the washing machine
- Added options you might use, like a D-ring to hold poop bags or your keys
The European-made Julius K9 Luminous leash is also worth a look.
Make sure you use your leash with a front-attaching harness like the , never a collar, to prevent pulling and protect your dog’s neck.
If you do want a collar for certain situations, make sure you choose carefully and remove it when at home so it can’t become caught in things and strangle your pup.
Got a puller? You’re not alone.
Overexcitement can be a Boxer’s Achilles’ heel, a weak spot among many positive aspects to the Boxer dog temperament.
With persistence and the right techniques and equipment, you can teach your Boxer to loose-leash walk.
Think bigger than just the walking — proper socialization of your Boxer will build a more well-adjusted dog that behaves better in all situations.
2. Braided Soft Leash
This soft braided leash out of Canada, by 4 My Merles, is our absolute favorite.
Made from plush fleece, it’s super soft on the mouth and therefore can double as a tug toy for maximum engagement on walks.
It’s the style of leash favored by trainers like Susan Garrett, who wrote Ruff Love: A Relationship Building Program for You and Your Dog
Perhaps the only limitation of this leash is that it’s not great for wet weather and, while it is washable, it takes a bit of drying.
3. Soft Slip Leash
For those times when you just want to run in and out quickly for a potty break or similar.
Distinct from a choker chain … not so much for training but for quick on and off dash outside.
Again, we can’t go past this one by 4 My Merles.
The use of fleece material and the width of the neck loop means this leash will never cut into the sensitive Boxer skin like other rope-style slip leashes may.
The Cesar Milan slip leash is not a bad alternative.
If you’re using this style of lead, make sure the leash runs around the back of your Boxer’s neck first, before passing under his throat.
Otherwise, the pressure will exert on the delicate structures of the throat instead of on the neck musculature.
4. The Long Line
A long line is an indispensable part of your Boxer training toolkit, allowing you to keep your Boxer safe while giving him the freedom to make his own decisions as he learns how to come when called.
We love the at 33 foot (10 meter) Viper Biothane Tracking Lead.
Unlike most long lines, it’s waterproof and won’t knot or tangle as your dog drags it along the ground.
You will need to keep your Boxer on a long line in public until his recall is 100 per cent reliable — which means he will come when called every time, even in highly stimulating situations with lots of distractions.
There’s no need to necessarily buy a long line — a 10 to 15 meter length of rope will work just fine.
5. Waist-Attaching Hands Free Leash
Here’s a leash you may never have thought of.
A leash like the iYoShop Hands Free that attaches to your waist can be highly practical if you like to go running with your Boxer.
The bungee cord provides some shock absorption, reducing the jarring on both you and your dog’s joints.
Two alternate grips give you varying options for steering your Boxer when necessary or taking a tighter rein when crossing roads.
The Worst Leash For A Boxer: The Retractable Leash
They seem like a great idea and can be tempting, especially if your Boxer tugs on the leash.
However, retractable (sometimes called extendable) leashes are not a good idea, for a couple of reasons:
- They encourage your Boxer to pull in order to get where he wants to go (The opposite of what you’re trying to teach)
- They’re dangerous! The thin lines are close to invisible to other pedestrians and cyclists, creating a tripping hazard, and a necking hazard for small children. You do not want to be responsible for the kind of accident these leads can cause
- They’re confusing to your Boxer. He’s not off leash (as is the effect of being on a long line) but, at the same time, the expectations aren’t the same as being on a regular leash i.e. that he keep pace with you, maintaining the “heel” position by your side
- They are confusing to other dogs — if you watch other dogs’ reactions to dogs on extendable leashes you will notice that they often react as though they’re encountering an off-leash dog. Because the line is so fine, it can look to other dogs like your Boxer is off leash, which can cause issues for other owners in managing their dogs. Remember, other unknown dogs may or may not have reactivity or fear issues that can influence their reactions to your dog, particularly when your dog is a Boxer with an in-your-face style
- The mechanism can be difficult to control — a button stops the leash extending and allows you to ratchet the line in, but things don’t always go to plan when you’re under pressure
Other leashes to avoid include:
- Chains (Can swing and hit your Boxer in the eye, nose and other parts of the face)
- Leashes where a fixture like a metal ring is positioned in such a way that it can swing and strike your dog in the face (Often this is the fault of the harness, with some no-pull harnesses having a cinching design that has a metal fixture that jostles about at dog eye-height as you walk. Terrible oversight and a fast way to make your dog skittish on walks!
Don’t hesitate to send a leash back if ordering online and it turns out to be less than safe for your dog.
Leashes are much more than a fashion statement.
Often those that look best, like leather, might be the least functional when it comes to washability and their ability to be used as tug toys in training.
If you only equip yourself with two of the above-mentioned leashes?
A flat canvas leash and a soft fleece slip leash would be our go-tos, assuming you also make your own long line out of a length of rope.