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A leash (also called a lead, lead line or tether) is a rope or similar material used to control an animal by attaching to it or to a separate object on it; some leashes clip or tie to a collar, harness, or halter, while others go directly around the animal's neck or head.

Leashes take many forms; for example:

Cat leashes and harnesses are also available on the market and are convenient for people who are not comfortable letting their pet free.

Dog leashes are used to walk the dog in public places. Having the dog wear a leash is a way of protecting the dog and other persons (e.g., if the dog runs away and bites someone). Also, the length is one of the important aspects of the leash. The length of the leash must be chosen according to the size of the dog and it is important because it allows a good control. Leashes should not be either too long or too short. Too long leashes do not provide good control of the pet which can result in unpleasant accidents with more aggressive dogs whereas too short leashes are uncomfortable for both the dog and the owner. The perfect leash can restrain the dog but at the same time is not viewed as a punishment for the pet.

High quality dog leashes have a good quality metal clip and they can be made of leather, nylon or even chain. The metal clip must securely fasten to a metal ring on the collar in order to maintain good control of the dog.[10] The material of which the leash is made of is not of great importance as long as the leash does not show evidence of wear or fraying. Therefore, leashes should be periodically checked to ensure they are maintained in proper condition.

An important aspect of dog leashes is their sturdiness. Although rope leashes are quite cheap, they are vulnerable to chewing and fraying and are not amongst the most recommended types of leashes. However, it is considered that a better type of leash is the one made of nylon because this material provides a bit of elasticity which is meant to result in more comfort for the dog. On the other hand, nylon leashes can cause chafe or can cut into the skin of the dog.

Leather leashes are often preferred over the nylon ones because of the resistance of the material and because it becomes more flexible with age and it is softer. Leather is however more prone to be chewed when compared to nylon.

The retractable dog leash is one of the most comfortable leashes for the dogs because they allow them to go as far as they want as long as the owner does not consider it a danger. Retractable leashes are usually made of nylon and the retractable device is made of plastic or a stronger composite. Although these leashes can be convenient for both the dog and the owner as it allows some control, they make it difficult to keep an aggressive dog under control which can result in persons or other dogs being attacked. Aggressive dogs should not be walked with such a leash, and puppies should be kept closely to ensure their protection from various dangers such as cars. Dogs with a tendency to bolt without warning should be walked with caution, as a retractable lead can allow the dog to accelerate to significant speed before being stopped suddenly presenting the possibility of injury to both dog and owner.

Some leashes are made of reflective materials and are suitable for walking the dog at night. They are convenient because they make the dog and the owner much more visible in the traffic, reducing the likelihood of accidents.

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