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

Updated: May 24, 2022

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Running and walking are some of the best ways to give a dog daily exercise. Sometimes, especially on longer or more active excursions, a hand-held leash may become burdensome to you and your pet. A hands-free dog leash is a great way to keep up your routine while giving you freedom to pump your arms normally as you run and for your dog to move around you during. 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 essential benefits overall, 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, including Runners Choice and Tuff Mutt. 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.

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Our team at A-Z Animals is not only full of animal lovers, but also dog owners, as well! So, when we are narrowing down choices between products, we take into account what a real-life situation may look like for you and your pup. We can understand the many factors that come with looking through multitudes of options – practicality, affordability, originality, comfort, and inclusivity. While not all products fit every dog, we make it a point to find those that fit most or other options that will make up for the lack of inclusivity.

The best experience we can go by is our own. For example, I am an avid runner and love to do so with my young, energetic rough collie. After only using a hand-held leash for a long time, I have found hands-free leashes to be much more practical for us on our runs. I can hold water or a phone or run freely while my dog is free to maneuver around me on our course. Also, he is unable to get very far from me, meaning he won’t be able to dart away to greet other dogs and their owners, so he is focused on his assignment at hand.

While hand-held leashes can be perfect for short strolls or leisurely jogs, if you are going for a training run or intensive hike, consider a hands-free approach. Continue reading for what we think to be the best options on the market and find the right one for your pet!

  1. iYoShop Hands Free Dog Leash with Zipper Pouch

  2. 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
  3. Tuff Mutt Hands Free Bungee Dog Leash

  4. 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
  5. oneisall Hands Free Dog Leash

  6. oneisall Hands Free Dog Leash

    •8 ft nylon leash

    •Adjustable


    Check Amazon
  7. YOUTHINK Double Dog Leash

  8. YOUTHINK Double Dog Leash

    •Nylon leash for double dog use

    •Twist-free swivel clasp

    •Padded handles

    Check Amazon

The Top Picks for Hands-Free Dog / Pet Leash (Running, Hiking) Ranked for 2022

#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 phones, during activity. The waist provides all-around comfort and convenience for all types of activity.

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.

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 make Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash our pick as best 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. 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 4ft 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.

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.

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

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 during.

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 will best meet your needs. 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.

Best Double Dog Leash
YOUTHINK Double Dog Leash

•Nylon leash for double dog use

•Twist-free swivel clasp

•Padded handles

Check Amazon

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.

Another benefit is that many of these leashes, such as the KONG Traffic Handle Hands Free Dog Leash, offer better control in settings where there is more traffic.

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 better.

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 option from a brand like Runners Choice may not keep them under control.

Consider a small fenced area like your yard when you first get your dog familiar to 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.

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.

The Different Types of Hands-Free Dog / Pet Leash: Pros and Cons Compared

Bungee Dog Leash

ProsCons
Most durable.May have hardware of lesser quality.
Often designed for runners.
A safer alternative to retractable leashes.

Traffic Control Dog Leash

ProsCons
Features an additional handle to keep the dog out of traffic.Sometimes less durable than some other leashes.
Versatile enough to use as a tie-out.

Double Dog Leash

ProsCons
Allows multiple dogs to be walked easily.It may not work as well when walking small dogs with larger dogs.
Designed to prevent tangling.

Summary

RankBest forProduct
1OveralliYoShop Hands Free Dog Leash with Zipper Pouch
2Large DogsTuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash
3Trainingoneisall Hands Free Dog Leash
4Double LeashYOUTHINK Double Dog Leash

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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 bungee dog leashes good?

Bungee dog leashes are suitable, available at multiple price points. Some of these leashes are also available with storage, usually in the form of pockets.