Our Top Choices for the Best Hands-Free Leash (Running, Hiking)

Written by Kellianne Matthews
Updated: November 24, 2022
©

Advertisement


This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species.

Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall hands-free dog leash is the iYoShop Hands-Free Dog Leash with Zipper Pouch.
  • Walking or running your dog is a fun activity and a great way to give your pooch daily exercise. However, sometimes this can get difficult, especially if you are running while trying to handle your dog’s leash. Fortunately, there are many excellent hands-free leashes out there that can help to free up your hands and make your daily runs with your more enjoyable.
  • We’ve done the research and put together a guide of the best hands-free dog leashes, taking into account features like materials, length, and your dog’s size and strength.

Running and walking are some of the best ways to give a dog daily exercise. However, sometimes a hand-held leash may become burdensome to you and your pet, especially on longer or more active excursions. A hands-free dog leash is a great way to keep up your routine while giving you the freedom to pump your arms normally as you walk or run. Often found in belt form, these leads help you keep your hands available and keep your dog under better control.

Whether you go on hiking trails or residential streets, many leashes often only have mediocre control over your dog. Better management is one of the overall benefits of a hands-free leash, keeping your dog from getting into traffic or challenging situations with wildlife. If your dog tends to get unruly, these leads can help make walks a fun activity again.

There are many products you can choose from, and your options even include restraint for two dogs. We’ve taken a look at the possibilities, regardless of whether you want to splurge or watch your costs.

  1. iYoShop Hands Free Dog Leash with Zipper Pouch

    •Hands-free leash with zipper pouch

    •Perfect for hiking/running

    •Double-elastic bungee leash

    •2 padded handles for security

    Check Amazon
  2. Tuff Mutt Hands Free Bungee Dog Leash

    •Durable bungee leash, hands-free

    •Double hand hold for security

    •Adjust to fit 42" waist

    •Reflective

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. oneisall Hands Free Dog Leash

    •8 ft nylon leash

    •Adjustable


    Check Amazon
  4. YOUTHINK Double Dog Leash

    •Nylon leash for double dog use

    •Twist-free swivel clasp

    •Padded handles

    Check Amazon

Top Picks: Best Hands-Free Dog / Pet Leash (Running, Hiking) Today

#1 Best Overall: iYoShop Hands-Free Dog Leash with Zipper Pouch

The iYoShop Hands-Free Dog Leash takes its place as number one for several reasons. Not only does the waistband adjust to fit all sizes, but it also includes a zipper pouch for holding small objects (such as your phone) during activity. The waist provides all-around comfort and convenience for all types of activity. However, a handful of customers reported the pouch not being big enough or strong enough for some of the items they wanted to carry with them.

Integrated elastic helps provide the shock absorption that you need during vigorous jogs, so that if you or your dog stops suddenly, neither will go flying across the sidewalk. Two, padded handles provide the ability to reign your dog in as close as you’d like during your run or walk.

The leash comes in various colors like black, pink, orange, green, etc. Reflective stitching helps you and your dog maintain maximum visibility, especially if you are walking a small breed not as easily visible or if you are out at night. Enjoy an early morning hike or night run with your belongings while staying hands-free and safe with your pup.

Pros and Cons of the iYoShop Hands-Free Dog Leash with Zipper Pouch

ProsCons
The waistband can be adjusted to your size.Some customers didn’t feel the pouch was big enough for what they wanted to carry with them.
It includes a zipper pouch for holding small objects while you’re on your walk or run.
The integrated elastic helps with shock absorption so that if you or your dog suddenly stop, it won’t pull as much.
There are two paddled handles in case you need to pull your dog in closer to you.
There are several color options available.
The reflective stitching helps with visibility.
Best Overall
iYoShop Hands Free Dog Leash with Zipper Pouch

•Hands-free leash with zipper pouch

•Perfect for hiking/running

•Double-elastic bungee leash

•2 padded handles for security

Check Amazon

2. Best for Large Dogs: Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash

One of the things that makes the Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash our top pick for large dogs is its easily adjustable belt clip. The flexibility helps to provide extra running room, perfect for breeds that need to stretch their long legs.

The bungee material makes it easy for you to bring your dog under control. However, one of the few downsides to this leash is that it is not as effective for dogs under 30 pounds. There will be less resistance when pulled, giving the dog more leeway.

Another factor that we enjoyed about this leash is the quality of the construction, making the material likely to last for life. We also appreciate the reflective material, making it an excellent runner’s choice that can be used at all times of the day for visibility. The leash itself is four feet long and the waistband can be adjusted to fit 42 inches. Two, padded handles at differing lengths allow for extra security in case you need it for your dog. The leash is also available in multiple colors like blue, purple, and yellow.

Pros and Cons of the Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash

ProsCons
The leash has an easily adjustable belt clip, allowing for more flexibility and extra running room.While it is great for large dog breeds, this leash is not as effective for dogs under 30 pounds.
The leash’s bungee material helps you to keep your dog under control.
It is made with quality construction.
The reflective material is great for better visibility.
There are two padded handles for extra security.
The leash is available in multiple colors.
Best for Large Dogs
Tuff Mutt Hands Free Bungee Dog Leash

•Durable bungee leash, hands-free

•Double hand hold for security

•Adjust to fit 42" waist

•Reflective

Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Training: oneisall Hands-Free Dog Leash

If you are looking to use a hands-free leash for training your new puppy or brush up on leash skills with your adult dog, we recommend the oneisall Hands-Free Dog Leash. The leash is a simple, nylon rope with a plush handle for added comfort. However, this also means that it does not have the control of a bungee leash that some customers prefer. It also does not have padding on the nylon leash, so some customers felt it was not as comfortable.

The leash is 8 feet long and adjustable to be as short or as long as you need for whatever training you are trying that day. It can make for a smart hands-free leash used while running or hiking, and it can even be adjusted to secure two dogs at one time.

The leash and its fasteners are durable and sturdy, meaning they will last for a long time. Whether you’re spending a day on the trails or in a park training with your rambunctious puppy, the leash will hold up and feel comfortable.

Pros and Cons of the oneisall Hands-Free Dog Leash

ProsCons
The leash is simple, made with nylon rope and a plush handle for added comfort.The leash is a simple nylon rope, so it does not have the control of a bungee leash.
The 8 foot long leash is adjustable.Some customers reported that it was not as comfortable to wear.
It is durable, sturdy, and made to last.
Best for Training
oneisall Hands Free Dog Leash

•8 ft nylon leash

•Adjustable


Check Amazon

4. Best Double Dog Leash: YOUTHINK Double Dog Leash

If your hands-free needs include a leash for two dogs, the YOUTHINK Double Dog Leash is a great option. The belt also comes with storage, so you can keep your keys or phone quickly accessible.

When you are walking two dogs with this leash, there’s no need to worry about both leashes becoming tangled. A swivel clasp prevents tangling while helping you maintain control over the dogs. The leash is made of tough nylon, made to hold the strongest of pullers. Two padded handles allow for extra control in times when you need it, and reflective strips keep your dogs more visible during low light or night activity. However, if you have never used a double dog leash, this may take some getting used to.

Pros and Cons of the YOUTHINK Double Dog Leash

ProsCons
You can hook up two dogs using the same the leash.There is a slight learning curve for customers who have not used a double dog leash before.
There is extra storage in the belt for keys or a phone.
The leash has a swivel clasp, so your two dogs won’t become tangled while you are walking.
It is strong and made of tough nylon.
The two padded handles give you extra control.
It has reflective strips to help with visibility.
Best Double Dog Leash
YOUTHINK Double Dog Leash

•Nylon leash for double dog use

•Twist-free swivel clasp

•Padded handles

Check Amazon

How to Choose the Best Hands-Free Leash for Your Dog

Let’s look at some of the features to consider as you shop for the best hands-free leash for your dog:

  • Material
  • Length
  • Dog size and strength

Material

Some pet parents opt for nylon or leather leashes since they’re both heavy-duty and long-lasting. Although leather might be a bit of an investment, it will usually outlast nylon leashing material. Nylon is offered in more colors than leather but isn’t as chew-resistant for dogs who like to gnaw on their leash.

Some dogs do well with bungee leashes, depending on their walking style. If your dog gently pulls and is just beyond the reach of a traditional leash, a bungee leash could be ideal for them. However, people who have high-energy dogs that run in every direction should avoid using this type of leash.

Length

After you decide on the color and materials of your dog’s leash, think about how long you would like it to be. A shorter leash is often better for dogs who tend to pull, giving their owner more control. On the other hand, a longer leash can give trained dogs more room to explore while they’re out with their owners.

Dog Size and Strength

Another detail to mull over is the size and strength of your canine companion. Given that large dogs are usually stronger than small breeds, they might need a stronger leash that can hold their weight and keep them from pulling.

What Are the Benefits of a Hands-Free Leash?

Dogs who are already leash-trained, including large dogs, are excellent candidates for hands-free leashes. You can keep your hands free for other tasks while walking your dog. Many of these leashes offer pouches on the waistband for an even more convenient experience.

If you jog with your dog, one of these leashes will also help protect against hand or wrist injury. Some of the breeds best suited to running are particularly strong, making a safer option a better choice.

How to Train Dogs on Hands-Free Leashes

The first thing to remember is that a hands-free leash will work best for a dog that is already leash-trained and for dogs who are well-mannered. If a dog is already somewhat rowdy on a leash, even the best options may not keep them under control.

Consider a small fenced area like your yard when you first get your dog familiar with a hands-free leash. Training in an enclosed area gives you freedom for trial-and-error within the safety of your own home.

Using these leashes is easy and similar to using ones that are hand-held. What will take getting used to is adjusting the leash around your waist as your dog moves around you, which is straightforward and becomes habitual after a few times. It is important that you stay aware of your dog’s movements, as they may be able to get in front of you and stop abruptly, causing you to trip if you aren’t paying attention.

Up next…

About the Author

Kellianne Matthews is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on anthrozoology, conservation, human-animal relationships, and animal behavior. Kellianne has been writing and researching animals for over ten years and has decades of hands-on experience working with a variety of different animals. She holds a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University, which she earned in 2017. A resident of Utah, Kellianne enjoys creating, exploring and learning new things, analyzing movies, caring for animals, and playing with her cats.

Our Top Choices for the Best Hands-Free Leash (Running, Hiking) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are hands free dog leashes safe?

Hands-free dog leashes are safe as long as users follow instructions and take reasonable safety precautions. For example, users should avoid using them for dogs without leash training or with multiple dogs.

What is the best leash for running with a dog?

Bungee-cord leashes offer the greatest durability that is necessary when running with a dog. Leashes with traffic control handles can also provide the greater control that you need during a run.

How do you use a hands-free dog leash?

A hands-free dog leash works similarly to a traditional leash. The belt is attached around your waist, which leaves your hands free.

Are there 2-in-1 hands-free leashes?

If you are looking for a hands-free leash capable of attaching to two dogs, the YOUTHINK Double Dog Leash is your go-to. The leash has a swivel latch that makes it easy to walk your pups without them tangling each other up.

A hands-free leash is ideal for walking two or more dogs, eliminating the hassles that come with walking the dogs with different leashes and not having your hands available. Couplers attached to one of these leashes make walking three or four dogs safe.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.