“ Brand: Pets at Home / Type: Dog Lead „
I have a beautiful black leather lead with a brass staffy head and trim in the shed. But the truth is, I can't stand to put it onto another dog. It will likely stay there for ever - unless my husband bins it - which he may have already done. The last time it was used was to take a beloved older dog on his last trip to the vet. I should have left it there. I don't even want another leash like it - ever.
So when Tora came to us a new leash was among the many requirements. As my husband was already off to pets at home for such essentials as a bed, food, toys etc.. this was added to the list. My husband chose this leash. It is definitely the type of thing a fellow would choose. In goes with the staffy image - big chain - powerful dog, but in all honesty it isn't needed. Staffies do tend to pull, but a nylon lead will hold every bit as well as a chain. The weak point on any lead is the clasp - as long as the clasp holds, and the stitching on the handle you have nothing to worry about. It's all a matter of appearances or bling. Personally - I don't really like the look of big chains on staffies, but it is all personal taste.
This leash comes in three different widths - small, medium, and large, for the long lead which measures nearly 40" but keep in mind that about 10" of this is handle. There is also a short lead available. The website says this 50 centimetres, and I'll take their word for it, but will point out that this is an incredibly short lead, with the chain itself almost the same length as the handle. This leash is in heavy chain, and suitable only for someone with a huge dog, like an Akita or Great Dane, that they wish to keep directly in the heel position at all times. This lead would not allow the dog any freedom at all to sniff about, but might be handy for things like vets visits.My husband had originally thought to buy the short lead but quickly realised there was no chance of the leash reaching from the dogs collar to his hand unless we could train her to walk on two feet. So the long lead it was, in the large size at £7.99.
We've had this lead over two years now, but it is sadly on the way out. The handle is padded and comfortable to use, the length is comfortable, and the chain will last many years more, but the clasp is rusting and is very hard to work. It still has life in it, but is now a spare. The clasp is becoming less secure and will eventually break. I am not rating the leash down for this. There is only so much saltwater any lead can take, and this has been badly corroded. We replaced this with a nylon lead, its lighter, cheaper and I prefer it. But I would only expect to get a couple years from the clasp on the new lead as well. This leash has badly rusted for us. But with normal usage - and only limited exposure to saltwater - I would expect a leash like this to last many years - likely longer than the life of the dog.
If you are looking for a chain lead - this is a good one - the links are securely welded, the handle is well stitched and the clasp is a good high quality metal. I think many people mistakenly believe they must have a chain lead for a large or powerful dog though. A poorly made chain is the worst option as a dog like a staffy will easily pull the lengths open. A good chain like this - while highly functional is usually not needed. If you look at powerful horses being led- you will see nylon not chain. If it can hold a horse, it can hold a dog. The only time I would really say a metal chain is needed is for the dog that teethes on the lead as it walks. So choose by your own preference - not because you feel you need for a chain. I also feel a heavy chain often gives people a negative image of the dog.
A small advantage to chain over nylon is you can easily train a dog to come running at the sound of a chain. You can also train them to heel when they hear a rattle of the chain, and of course very different leads can be useful if the dog is trained for different purposes. For instance, many show dogs know that they do not stop to sniff with a show lead on. As show leads will be light leather or nylon, a chain lead can provide good contrast. For most of us though, the main advantage to this lead is the comfort of a leather handle, without the stiffness of leather after going through muck and saltwater at the bottom, and the fact that chain does not mold at least when hung up wet.
*** Safety note - all leads should be checked regularly, especially if there is any chance your dog could bolt. Once the clasp gets loose and wobbly, the stitching for the handle comes undone or any metal rings begin to open at all - it's time for a new lead. In all honesty I wouldn't worry too much as my dog is trained to come when called, and well trained, but most dogs can panic under some circumstances - or perhaps become too interested in a neighbours cat. My son also walks my dog, as does a neighbour girl, and I wouldn't want her to accidentally get loose with some one else, especially as we have a very busy road nearby.