When it comes to choosing the best leash for trail walking, hikers often say that durability, strength, and practicality are the biggest points of consideration. While many select nylon or leather leashes out of habit, there is a new material on the scene that is rapidly increasing in popularity. The biothane long leash is becoming a worthy competitor to the standard leash while out on the trail – and for good reason!
What Is A Biothane Long Leash?
A biothane long leash is exactly what you would expect it to be: a longer-than-usual leash made of a synthetic, patented material called biothane. The leads come in a variety of styles and lengths. A typical biothane long leash is about 10 feet long, though some can even be up to 100 – 150 feet long!
Long leashes are specialist tools that are popular for hiking and recall training in unfamiliar settings. They provide your dog with both freedom and safety, allowing your pup to better explore their environment, further develop their judgment skills in new spaces, and improve their recall abilities.
Why Choose Biothane For Walking The Trail?
Biothane is created from polyester webbing. It is designed to be flexible, durable, easy to clean, and weldable.
It is this durable nature that makes biothane so popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts. Unlike leather or nylon leashes, biothane long leads won’t absorb any water or dirt while dragging along the ground. This makes them perfect for denser trails, where traipsing through puddles and leaf litter are common occurrences.
For aesthetic purposes, it is also less likely to fade and can withstand the impact of UV exposure better than other popular materials.
An added bonus for some owners? The polyester that is used to create biothane also makes it a non-allergenic material.
It is the perfect material for dogs with sensitive skin, preventing irritation from occurring during longer walks and training sessions. This means that any dog is able to get out and hit the trail!
Is Biothane Waterproof?
Yes! Biothane is a waterproof material.
If you frequently walk trails that involve river crossings, or just enjoy being outdoors no matter the weather, a biothane leash will make for a much more pleasant experience. No more winding up a wet, stinky leash upon your return to the car.
While biothane leashes will not absorb water, however, they can get a little slippery when wet. A strong grip is needed when the leash has been exposed to large amounts of water. Luckily, it’s quite simple to wipe down. This can be done on the go.
Biothane Long Leads Vs Retractable Leashes: Which Is Best For Walking Trails?
Choosing between a retractable leash and a biothane long lead can be difficult, and depends entirely on your dog and their walking style.
As the dog walks, the owner can choose whether or not to unlock the cord. If unlocked, the cord will extend itself as the dog pulls forward, causing the leash to lengthen and allowing the dog increased amounts of freedom. The owner can also choose to retract it back into the handle, shortening the lead length and bringing the dog back towards them.
This can only occur if the leash is slack. At any point, the owner can ‘lock’ the leash, preventing any adjustments from being made.
Unlike retractable leashes, long leashes are not adjustable. They are set in their length, meaning that if they are not being pulled against, they will drag along the ground while in use. This can make them a hindrance in certain terrains.
However, they allow for greater levels of exploration and are perfect for practicing recall while out and about. Long leashes provide the owner with a greater level of control, as the dog does not have the ability to impact their range.
When To Use Long Leads For Dogs
A long leash is best used by experienced owners who are looking to improve their dog’s behavior on the trail or add a new level of excitement to their regular walks.
Long leads are fantastic tools to use while working on your dog’s recall. If your dog can not recall 100% of the time, it is best to keep them on a long lead and continue working on the skill until they are more confident.
Trail walking can be risky, and you need to know that your dog will recall when told, no matter what might be happening around them. There are a number of situations when recall might be needed: from spotting a wild animal in bear country to approaching a precarious ledge while walking alongside a cliff. Situations like these can be disastrous for an off-leash dog who refuses to recall or – even worse – actively runs away when called.
Walking trails are very different environments for socialization when compared to places such as puppy preschools or obedience classes. Young puppies venturing out for the first time are likely to encounter a variety of people and wildlife, as well as leashed and unleashed dogs of all temperaments.
Long leads provide puppies with a taste of freedom, while still allowing the owner to take control of any encounters with other dogs and hikers.
Trialing a new hiking trail? Even for dogs with perfect recall, it’s still best practice to explore any new trails on a leash first.
After all, you never know what might be around the corner! Long leashes provide both freedom and safety in unfamiliar terrain.
Choosing The Best Biothane Long Leash For Your Dog
Decide On Your Training Goals and Needs
Before choosing which length of leash you will need, consider why you are investing in this tool.
Are you hoping to work on recall training? In that case, a longer biothane leash will give your dog more freedom and increase the difficulty of the training. I recommend starting with a shorter length and working your way up as your dog improves.
If you’re simply wanting to give your dog more freedom on the trail, however, I would opt for a mid-length lead straight away.
Size and Weight
Biothane leash lines come in a wide variety of lengths and widths. The best lead for your dog will depend on their size, weight, and breed. You will want to make sure that the leash is not too heavy for your dog, as a lead that is too thick can cause neck pain if worn for extended periods of time.
Small dogs are best suited to shorter, lighter leads that won’t weigh them down or restrict their movement any more than necessary. Larger dogs tend to be stronger and will require a more heavy-duty lead to ensure that you can still maintain an appropriate amount of control.
Practicality and Comfort
It’s important to think of your own comfort as well when shopping for a lead. What feels comfortable in your hand? Will a heavy, long biothane lead prove to be too bulky and difficult for you to navigate a trail with?
Temperament and behavior also come into play when choosing a practical lead length for your dog. Boisterous, confident dogs are more likely to become tangled in longer leads. A shorter length can help to prevent this while you work out any issues.
Our Top Three Biothane Leash Lines For Dogs
Choosing a leash can be difficult! For your convenience, we have carefully curated our top three biothane leash lines. Each of these leashes has its own strong points and a long list of benefits that make them worth considering during your search.
1. Viper Biothane Long Line Leash – Best All Round Biothane Leash Line
If you’re looking for a biothane leash that can do it all, the Viper Biothane Long Line Leash is the perfect investment! Choose your ideal long leash from the fifteen length and width combinations available, plus fifteen stylish color combinations.
In combination with the durable biothane material of the leash, the Viper also features solid brass hardware for added durability. You’ll certainly be leading with purpose with the Viper in your hand.
2. Tockfit Waterproof Dog Leash – Best 50-Foot Dog Leash
The Tockfit Waterproof Dog Leash is a high-quality 50-foot leash that sits at an excellent price point. Its comfortable length and 5-inch width make it extremely versatile, allowing it to grow alongside your dog’s confidence. Sold in three beautiful shades, the Tockfit has been built to last.
It is able to withstand up to 750 lbs of pull force and is reinforced with double-sewn joints for extra support. You’ll enjoy extra peace of mind knowing that it comes with a lifetime warranty on top.
3. Signature k-9 Biothane Long Line Lead – Most Budget-Friendly Biothane Lead
Striking the perfect combination of affordability and quality, the Signature k-9 Biothane Long Line Lead has it all. Choose from twelve length and width combinations, all designed to meet the standards of military-grade training equipment.
The best part? Despite its fantastic price point, it’s entirely made in the USA. The Signature k-9 shows that you really don’t need to sacrifice your budget to secure a high-quality leash.
Final Thoughts: Using a Biothane Long Leash When Walking the Trail
The benefits of exploring trails with a biothane leash in your hand are endless. Offering an increased sense of freedom, great training opportunities, and a crucial safety factor, a biothane long leash is the ultimate trail walking companion for you and your dog!