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5 Best Hands-Free Dog Leashes For Running (2021 Review)

Running with your dog is great fun and wonderful exercise for both you and your best friend. Hands-free dog leashes can be very convenient, allowing you far more freedom while on walks or runs. They’re not only practical but also make running with your pup safer for you both. We’ll take a look at 5 of the best hands-free leashes, comparing control, comfort, leash length, and price.

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What is the Best Hands-Free Dog Leash for Running?

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Comparing the Best Hands-Free Dog Leash for Running

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES


  • Best all-rounder
  • Bungee center for shock absorption
  • Secure, durable, and practical


  • Best reflective leash
  • Reflective stitching throughout the leash
  • Bungee leash for comfort


  • Best non-bungee leash
  • Offers more control
  • Durable and strong


  • Best for multiple wears to wear
  • Fully adjustable
  • Offers control and shock absorbency


  • Best for additional features
  • Storage pocket and water bottle holder
  • Attach any leash you own

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More Detailed Hands-Free Dog Leash Reviews

Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Bungee Leash review

Features

  • Best all-rounder
  • Bungee center for shock absorption
  • Secure, durable, and practical

The Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Bungee Leash is 1 of the best hands-free dog leashes, with a lightweight belt that expands up to 48 inches so you can find a comfortable fit. The belt clips move easily from side to side, so you can choose where you want to position your dog. The leash features a bungee center to absorb the impact if your dog pulls or suddenly lunges.

The leash is 4ft and can stretch to 5ft when the bungee is pulled out fully. 2 handles are placed at different points along the leash which I found gave me plenty of control no matter what the situation. I liked the fact that the leash was long enough to give my dog freedom, yet not too long that I couldn’t take control when needed.

A heavy-duty clip attaches the leash to the belt to ensure safety and security. I liked that the belt was reflective, making it safer and more convenient for night-time hikes. This leash even comes at a very reasonable price.

Pros

  • Owners generally felt this belt and leash were comfortable, both for them and for their dog
  • Shock absorption lessens impact if your dog stops suddenly or pulls, which owners found helpful
  • Several owners said this leash made walking and running with their dog easier and more enjoyable
  • Owners liked that the leash could be placed where they wanted on the belt
  • Many felt that this leash was great quality, well made, strong, and durable
  • Some found that this leash gave them more control and even aided with training and preventing pulling
  • Owners with mobility issues, joint problems, and back pain found that this leash made walking their dog more comfortable and manageable

Cons

  • Some owners found that the clip on the leash broke after a period of regular use
  • Some found the waist belt didn’t stay adjusted and kept sliding looser
  • Bungee is tight for shock absorption, with some owners feeling it was too tight or stiff and didn’t give their dog enough freedom
  • Shock absorption means less control, which some owners found wasn’t suitable for reactive dogs or those who pull a lot
  • Some found that the stitching was not as secure as they had hoped, resulting in the belt and leash starting to wear after a period of use
  • Some stated that they would recommend this leash only for well behaved, leash trained dogs

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Hertzko Nylon Reflective Bungee Hands-Free Running Dog Leash review

Features

  • Best reflective leash
  • Reflective stitching throughout the leash
  • Bungee leash for comfort

If you’re looking for the best hands-free dog leash for running, the Hertzko Nylon Reflective Bungee Hands-Free Running Dog Leash is an excellent option. The waistband is adjustable up to 48 inches to allow for a comfortable fit. Adjustable connectors on each side of the waistband allow you to decide where you want to position your dog during your run.

I liked that I could use the additional connector to attach my keys or poo bags, or I could attach another leash to walk multiple dogs at once. The leash is a flexible bungee material to absorb shock and ensure comfort for you and your pup during your run. This leash is 4 feet long to allow your dog freedom.

A sturdy handle on the leash provides control when you need it. I liked that the leash was weather-resistant and was reflective, making it very practical and safe for adventures at all times of the day and night. The leash comes at an affordable price, which I feel is great value.

Pros

  • Strong and durable, with owners saying they felt the leash was secure and sturdy enough even for large breed dogs
  • Shock absorption reduces the impact of lunging and pulling, with owners saying it made walks much more pleasant and reduced shoulder pain from pulling
  • Owners stated that the leash had enough stretch to give their dog freedom, while still keeping them safe and close to them
  • Some stated that the waistband is comfortable and easy to use
  • Owners felt that the adjustable belt allowed them to find a fit that worked for them, even those with bigger waists who had previously struggled to find a hands-free belt that would fit them
  • Owners with additional health needs found that this leash made walking their dog easier, more comfortable, and generally more pleasant
  • Ability to attach 2 dogs to the leash at once, 1 on either side, is very practical for multi-dog households

Cons

  • Bungee is quite tight and strong, with some owners saying they wished the leash was longer or finding that it couldn’t expand fully when their dog pulled
  • Some found that the buckle broke after a period of use, meaning they could no longer use the leash
  • Some owners found that the belt didn’t adjust small enough to fit their waist and that it was a bit heavy
  • Shock absorption can mean less control, with some owners saying they wouldn’t recommend it for dogs who aren’t well leash trained or those who pull a lot
  • Some owners felt that the leash was too thick and heavy for small breed dogs

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Caldwell’s Original Running Leash review

Features

  • Best non-bungee leash
  • Offers more control
  • Durable and strong

The Caldwell’s Original Running Leash is a fantastic option, especially if you’re looking for more control. This leash doesn’t feature shock absorption, which can be better for owners who need control. It also allows you to alter the length of the leash to keep your dog as close to you as you want.

The waist belt is adjustable up to 47.8 inches for your comfort, while the leash can extend to 58 inches and shorten to 35 inches. Both the waist belt and leash are made from industrial-grade polyester webbing, like seatbelts in cars. Despite being strong this material is also soft and comfortable.

I liked that the leash was weather-resistant, feeling it would be long-lasting even with regular hikes in wet weather. The leash and belt are lined with reflective thread, which I found particularly useful for walks at night. It even comes at an amazingly low price, making it budget-friendly and high-quality.

Pros

  • Many owners said that this leash was strong, durable, and practical, stating it makes runs and walks with their dog easier
  • Owners liked the ability to adjust the length of the leash in different situations
  • Many owners felt that this leash was great value for money given its low price and high quality
  • Most owners found that the belt was comfortable and adjusted easily to the right fit for them
  • Belt can turn and move around your waist as your dog moves, preventing tangling on runs
  • Some felt that this leash gave them more control on walks and runs, allowing them to correct their dog easily and helping to prevent negative behaviors
  • Reflective stitching is very handy, and owners felt it made walks in low visibility safer

Cons

  • Some owners found that after a period of regular use the clasp on the end of the leash broke
  • Some found that the leash wasn’t as strong as expected and snapped after a period of use
  • Since the leash doesn’t feature shock absorption, it can be uncomfortable if your dog pulls or lunges with some owners saying it isn’t suitable for pullers and should only be used for well behaved, leash trained dogs
  • Some owners found that the adjustment on the belt or leash didn’t stay in place and would slide around during use
  • Some felt that the leash and clasp were too big for their small breed dog

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EzyDog Road Runner Dog Leash, Black review

Features

  • Best for multiple wears to wear
  • Fully adjustable
  • Offers control and shock absorbency

The EzyDog Road Runner Dog Leash is a perfect choice if you’re looking for multiple ways to wear your hands-free leash. A sliding release buckle allows you to change the length of the leash and wear it around your waist, over your shoulder, or as a regular leash with a handle. A shock absorbing area on the leash reduces impact if your dog pulls.

Since the leash is fully adjustable, you can adjust it to fit your waist perfectly. The leash itself is 7 feet at the longest and can be shortened to any length that works for your needs. I found the adjustable element of this leash especially useful.

A neoprene-lined handle near the dog’s end of the leash also allows for extra control, which I found particularly handy. The material of the whole leash is strong yet soft. I enjoyed the reflective stitching included with this leash, feeling it gave plenty of visibility and made walks safer.

This leash is a bit more pricey than other options, but given its flexibility and multi-use aspect, I feel it’s worth the investment.

Pros

  • Many said that this leash was very high-quality and that they would recommend it to others
  • Owners found that the bungee part of the leash absorbed impact, making walks and runs more comfortable even with big breed dogs or those who pull a lot
  • Owners with mobility issues or elderly owners found this leash enabled them to walk their dog comfortably and with more confidence
  • Extra handle allows for corrections and provides control around traffic, built-up areas, or other people and dogs
  • Owners found that the belt and leash was comfortable to wear and most found it adjusted to the right fit for them

Cons

  • Some owners felt this leash was hard to control dogs who weren’t well leash trained, stating it’s better suited to dogs who are well behaved
  • Some felt that the quality was not as high as they expected for the price, with some mentioning the clip in particular
  • Some found that the leash wasn’t as strong as they had expected, worrying it wouldn’t be durable enough for running with their big breed dogs
  • Some felt the length of the leash was too long even on its shortest setting

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Kurgo K9 Excursion Polyester Reflective Hands-Free Running Dog Leash review

Features

  • Best for additional features
  • Storage pocket and water bottle holder
  • Attach any leash you own

If you’re on the lookout for a running belt with plenty of additional features, the Kurgo K9 Excursion Polyester Reflective Hands-Free Running Dog Leash could be the 1 for you! This belt comes fully equipped and attaches to any leash you already have at home. It expands to 45 inches to fit comfortably around your waist.

It has 2 sliding leash clips for your convenience and control. The belt features a zipper pocket to hold small belongings like your phone, along with a portal for poop bags or easy access to your headphones. There’s even a water bottle holder with a free bottle included!

I loved the additional features of this belt, feeling I didn’t need to take a bag with me when I was out on short hikes because this belt could hold everything we needed. It’s also reflective and water-resistant. This belt is at the middle end of the price range but could be well worth it if you’re looking for additional features.

Pros

  • Most owners found that this belt was very comfortable around their waist during walks and runs, and was easily adjustable
  • Owners liked the ability to carry their belongings in this belt, feeling it was very practical
  • Many stated that the belt allowed them to enjoy hands-free walks or runs with their dog, feeling their adventures were more pleasurable and less stressful
  • Some stated that the belt stayed in place and didn’t ride up during runs as they had experienced with other running belts
  • Owners liked being able to attach 2 dogs to the belt, saying they would recommend it for others with multiple dogs

Cons

  • Despite liking the belt, some found that after months of use it broke suddenly, however they stated that they would likely repurchase
  • Some owners found that the belt wasn’t as durable or strong as they expected, with the buckle or other features breaking after a period of use
  • Some owners said that they wouldn’t recommend this belt if you have a puller, as they didn’t feel it would be comfortable or strong enough to deal with constant pulling
  • Water bottle and its storage pouch are quite small, with some owners saying they wished it was bigger
  • Some owners found the size of the pouch too small, saying they couldn’t fit their larger phone inside

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Things to Look for in a Hands-Free Dog Leash

When you’re looking for the best hands-free leash for running with your dog, you should keep the following in mind:

Shock Absorption

Most hands-free leashes will have a bungee to provide shock absorption. This lessens the impact if your dog pulls or lunges, making the leash more comfortable for both you and your dog. The bungee should have enough give to allow your dog some freedom, but not be so loose that you lose control.

Adjustable Waist Belt

The waist belt should be adjustable so that you can get a comfortable fit. Check the minimum and maximum length to ensure the leash you choose will fit you properly.

Leash Attachment Position

Some belts will have a non-moveable metal loop to attach your leash, while others will have 2 loops or allow you to slide the loop so you can position your dog where it feels comfortable for you. Leads with 2 loops can be handy if you have 2 dogs, allowing you to exercise with them both at once completely hands-free.

Comfort for You

The right belt fit combined with durable, yet soft materials will provide plenty of comfort for you while running.

Handles for Control

Many hands-free leashes will have a handle closer to your dog to allow you greater control when needed. Some will have multiple handles. Be sure to check for this if it’s something you feel you’ll need.

High-Quality Materials

Choosing a leash made from high-quality materials will ensure it’s durable and strong, as well as making sure it will stand up to wear.

Leash Length

Some leashes will be a set length while others will be adjustable to allow you to have more control when needed. Check the description and consider which type of leash will be best suited to your needs.

Additional Features

Hands-free leashes sometimes come with additional features, such as being water-resistant, being reflective, and even having pouches attached to the belt to allow you to carry your belongings with you. Some will be multi-use, allowing you to wear the leash over your shoulder or detach the leash for use without the belt.

The Benefits of Running With Your Dog

Running with your dog has many potential benefits, including providing both you and your dog with regular exercise which has amazing physical health benefits for you both. You’ll both burn calories, build stronger muscles, improve your sleep quality, and reduce the risk of health issues.

Running with you also stimulates your dog mentally. It’s even great for your own mental health! Getting out in nature to run has amazing physical and mental health benefits for both you and your dog.

Most breeds are innately built to run, meaning they have that urge and the ability to do so fairly easily. Running with your pup fulfills that urge and can be an excellent bonding experience. Finally, running with your dog is just plain fun for you both.

Why You Might Choose a Hands-Free Leash

While you can run with a regular leash, a hands-free leash has many benefits. In general, it’s more convenient, allowing you to have your hands free to carry your water bottle, quickly correct your dog when needed, or scoop your dog’s poop. Running with a hands-free leash enables you to focus on your form, therefore running with the correct posture and a normal gait: this reduces the risk of injury or strain.

Running with a regular leash means that when you’re moving your arm during your run, you might be tugging on your dog’s collar or harness. This can be confusing for your dog (especially if they’re trained to walk or run on a loose leash) and potentially uncomfortable. A hands-free leash allows you to move your arms freely and provides a smoother, more pleasant run for your best pal.

A hands-free leash reduces the risk of shoulder or arm injury if your dog suddenly lunges or pulls on a run. The pressure is on your core rather than your arm, and most hands-free leashes feature shock absorption to reduce the impact.

Safety Tips for Running With Your Pup

If you’re going to start running with your dog it’s crucial you keep yourself and your dog safe. Some basic safety tips are shown below:

  • It’s a good idea to check with your vet before you start running with your pup to ensure they’re in good health and can handle the increase in exercise. If you’re new to running yourself, checking with your doctor can be a great idea too.
  • Always carry water for your dog as well as yourself and offer it regularly.
  • Start gradually and build up: remember dogs need to build up their fitness too.
  • Take the time to train your dog on a hands-free leash if it’s the first time you’ve used 1.
  • Your dog can’t tell you if they’re tired or need to turn back, so keep a close eye on them for indicators that they’ve had enough.
  • Don’t run in extreme temperatures such as freezing cold or on extremely hot days.
  • Turn back if your dog is injured: if you can carry some first aid supplies as a precaution, even better!

Hands-Free Dog Leash FAQ

Do hands-free leashes work?

Yes, when they’re used correctly and in the right circumstances, hands-free leashes can be very helpful and effective.

Conclusion

Running with your dog can be so much fun and has plenty of health benefits for you both. The right hands-free leash can make runs safer and more enjoyable.

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