7 Hands-Free Dog Leads Perfect for You and Your Active Pup · The Wildest

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7 Hands-Free Dog Leads for Running (or Texting)

Because you never want to drop that flat white

by Sean Zucker
31 October 2023
A stylish young woman wearing a white jumpsuit walking her Dalmatian dog with a light blue hands-free leash made by the Fable brand
Courtesy of Fable

I never thought I’d be the type of person to wake up for a pre-work jog, but my dog, Banshee, loves to exercise, and she’s an early riser, so it’s become part of the routine – the things we do for our kids. Beyond my less-than-middling cardiac fitness and her dedication to spontaneous bowel movements, there have been some challenges. Her enthusiasm has an unfortunate tendency to manifest itself in the form of zig-zagging from one side of me to the other – plus, I need to carry a large water bottle to battle my previously stated weak heart. After some minor googling, one solution presented itself: a hands-free lead.

Of course, like any cautious parent, I asked a doctor before trying something new. “The hands-free lead only works well if the dog knows how to heel properly. If the dog is not good on a regular lead, they’re probably not going to be good on a hands-free lead,” says vet Dr John Iovino.

He notes that while hands-free leads can be a great option for many dog parents, there are a few stipulations to consider. If a dog is erratic or aggressive with a standard lead, they’ll still require the same attention with a hands-free option and the possible hazards will probably be more severe.

Length is also a key consideration, especially for jogging. Dr Iovino recommends using a shorter lead to help secure the dog to your side for the duration of the exercise. However, it’s not just the dog’s safety you should consider. “I think having something around your lower back with a dog, especially if it’s a larger dog, I can definitely see that becoming a potential for injury,” says Dr Iovino.

There are two methods of strapping a hands-free lead to yourself. You can either strap it over the shoulder or wear it around your waist. While he gives a slight edge to the off-the-shoulder option for safety reasons, Dr Iovino cautions that both can cause possible back damage. And the bigger the dog, the bigger the risk.

That being said, if your dog is well-behaved on a lead and you stay actively aware of your surroundings throughout, Dr Iovino agrees that a hands-free lead could be a great option for walking and running. Below, the best leads that’ll give you the ability to hold a drink, eat food or document the entire experience for Instagram while you do it.

Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)

Sean Zucker

Sean Zucker

Sean Zucker is a writer whose work has been featured in Points In Case, The Daily Drunk, Posty, and WellWell. He has an adopted Pit Bull named Banshee whose work has been featured on the kitchen floor and whose behavioral issues rival his own.

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