Pugs are a favorite breed for many pet owners and have garnered a reputation for being loyal and loving. However, they have a lazy streak, and they love to lounge around perhaps a little too much. 

Every dog needs exercise, as any wise pet owner knows, and pugs are no exception. When you do get them outside, a good leash is vital. 

The market for pug leashes is vast, and there are seemingly countless options out there. It is a good thing since all the competition and variety means you’re likely to get something that meets your exact needs at an affordable price. 

In this article, we are going to cover the best leashes for pugs. There are many variables to consider, and your pug is a unique creature, even among pugs, with a unique combination of physical features and personality traits. You’ll want to get a leash that works well with that combination.

Different Types of Leashes

Without even considering the different materials, lengths, widths, and colors of the leash, there are still multiple types of leashes. 

Standard dog leashes

As you might have guessed from the name, the standard dog leash is by far the most common. Dog owners use it for walking their dogs, as well as providing training. 

Standard leashes are commonly made from leather or nylon, although it is possible to find some that use other materials, such as rubber or cotton. 

That said, leather and nylon have proven themselves to be the most durable materials for standard leashes, and they are the most commonly used. The greatest strength of these two materials is their ability to be tough enough to restrain a large dog while remaining light enough to be used on a puppy.

Standard leashes are typically between four and eight feet long, though six-foot leashes are the most popular. A six-foot leash is long enough to give the dog ample freedom of movement but short enough to provide the handler with complete control over the dog when needed.

Retractable dog leashes

A retractable dog leash is a variable-length option. It allows you to control how much room you allow your dog by varying the length of the leash. These are similar to retractable measuring tapes, though they employ a nylon cord instead of a steel tape. 

The cord can often extend from four feet up to thirty feet, with a locking mechanism in the handle that allows you to fix the leash at a particular length. When you release the locking mechanism, the leash quickly retracts into the plastic handle, picking up any slack.

Retractable leashes may be popular, but they have some disadvantages that you should seriously consider before you get one for your pug. These include, among others, rope burns and the possibility of strangulation. There’s also the real danger that a retractable leash can train your pug to pull on the leash, which is counterproductive.

A dog can experience confusion from a retractable leash. Since it gets rewarded with a longer leash when it pulls, it will want to do more pulling. 

Retractable leashes work best on dogs who have already trained to take walks. For an untrained dog, this type of leash can offer the wrong kind of education.

Adjustable dog leashes

Somewhere between standard leashes and retractable leashes are adjustable leashes. They are an attempt to have the best of both worlds without any of their setbacks. An adjustable dog leash allows you to change the leash’s length by adding or removing loops or clips. 

Chain leashes

Chain leashes are a direct competitor to standard leashes. They are especially useful for dogs that tend to chew on standard leashes and destroy them. Chain leashes come in various thicknesses and weights, and lighter varieties work for dogs of all sizes, including pugs, of course.

With a chain leash, bear in mind that you will need to keep an eye on your dog. The reason that you might want to buy a chain leash for your dog is also the very reason it can be a problem. Sure, most dogs will soon catch on that a chain leash cannot be destroyed by chewing. However, some will keep chewing anyway, to the detriment of their teeth.

Martingale lead leashes

The martingale lead is a combination of a martingale collar and a standard leash. These leashes are to aid in training, especially when you’re trying to stop your dog from pulling on the leash.

When your dog pulls on the leash, the collar compresses around its neck. It won’t choke the dog but will tighten enough to discourage the dog from pulling further attempts.

Multiple dog leashes

The multiple dog leash secures more than one dog. It consists of a single handle and a leash that connects to the first dog and a second (and third or more) leash extending from a coupler that allows you to secure another dog.

Multiple dog leashes work very well for well-trained dogs that do not pull or jump. They may not be nearly as effective for more aggressive dogs, and they are almost always more hassle than benefit when you try to leash more than two dogs.

Dog harnesses

A dog harness can be preferable to a traditional leash as it offers firmer control over your dog. It’s also more comfortable for the dog and useful for both training and walking. 

Since leashes attached to the neck can be especially dangerous to pugs’ health, most vets and trainers suggest always using a harness when you walk the pug. 

Types of Leash Materials

Here is a closer look at the types of materials. 


Nylon is available in a lot of different colors. It also has the advantage of being lightweight and cheap, yet very tough and durable. It also dries quickly and doesn’t shrink when wet. The major downside is that it can be tough on your skin.


Leather is more expensive than nylon. That said, it’s more stylish and also very durable and tough. It doesn’t fray easily and is resistant to chewing. Leather can be uncomfortable at first, but it tends to soften and change shape to fit the user’s hand, making it comfortable over time.


Reflective leashes are either nylon, polyester, or leather, with reflective material embedded in them. These are better for use in low visibility conditions, such as at night.


Metal leashes are the least popular. They are, however, the best option for dogs that chew aggressively. The downside is that they can be cumbersome and aren’t usually suitable for pugs. 

Types of Leash Clips

There are two main types of leash clips and hooks:

The bolt snap clip

This clip includes a spring inside a shaft that you pull down to create space for the collar ring to pass through. They are reliable and affordable, though the spring grows weaker over time.

The trigger snap clip

This type is a spring-loaded clip, and you use a small trigger to open it before passing the ring through.

These tend to have a larger spring than bolt snap clips. Also, since the clip opens inward, pulling on it makes it harder for your dog to escape its leash.

Nine Best Pug Leashes – Product Reviews

Here are the nine best options for walking and training your pug

Flexi Classic Nylon Cord Retractable Dog Leash

This German-made retractable leash uses lightweight but tough nylon, making it comfortable for your dog while providing an ergonomic grip. 

It comes with a convenient and fast-acting brake button that you can use to lock the leash once it is at the desired length. It also offers excellent variety via multiple color and size options. 

The choices make it easy to find the ideal size for your pug. Overall, a retractable leash offers you the control you need over your dog without compromising on your dog’s freedom.


  • Made of tough but lightweight nylon
  • Has a convenient single-press brake button for locking the leash at any length
  • Offers the dog freedom of movement without compromising on the handler’s level of control


  • Should only be used on well-trained dogs as it may train your dog to pull on the leash
  • The retracting mechanism may stick after repeated use 

Frisco Solid Nylon Dog Leash

This nylon dog leash is pretty durable, as it uses woven nylon with an Ultra-Weld seal for both comfort and strength. It also comes in many different lengths and thicknesses. 

You can choose between a four-foot and a six-foot-long leash, as well as widths ranging from 3/8 to one-inch thickness. This makes it super easy to find the right leash size for your pug. You can also choose between various color options to suit your style.

At one end of the leash is a sleek nickel-coated bolt snap that easily attaches to any harness or collar. At the other end is a loop handle that offers a comfortable grip.


  • Made of lightweight and robust material
  • Offers variety in terms of length, width, and color options
  • Very comfortable grip


  • Does not include a dog collar or harness, only the leash itself
  • The fabric at the hand loop and bolt snap appears to be glued rather than sewn

Flexi Neon Nylon Tape Reflective Retractable Dog Leash

This retractable dog leash has got a lot going for it. My favorite is the reflective tape, which makes it highly visible, even in bad weather. 

The braking system is color-coordinated, making it possible to decide precisely where you want the leash to stop. It’s also one-handed, which is convenient, and the grip on the handle is very comfortable.


  • Neon tape for better visibility
  • One-handed braking system
  • Ergonomic grip


  • A little pricey
  • Does not come with a collar

Alfie Pet Vince Sailor Polyester Back Clip Dog Harness & Leash

This harness uses breathable material that is both soft and lightweight. It also has a great ergonomic design for small dogs like pugs, as it helps to distribute their weight evenly across the chest. 

The design makes it easy to train small dogs by distributing restraint and discouraging pugs that tend to lunge and pull too much.

Moreover, the harness keeps your dog comfortable on long walks. The harness uses a sturdy D-ring, which attaches to the leash and keeps your pet firmly secured.


  • Made of soft, breathable, and lightweight material
  • Has a trendy sailor stripe design
  • Secures your dog firmly via a D-ring


  • Tends to run short
  • May be too small and tight for especially-stout pugs

Frisco American Flag Polyester Dog Leash

Frisco fondly refers to this leash as ‘paw-triotic,’ thanks to its American Flag pattern. It uses polyester webbing, which Frisco insists is high-quality. 

However, this is a downside, as nylon and leather leases tend to be much tougher and more durable than polyester. However, this leash comes in multiple lengths and widths, so you should be able to find something that works for your pug. It also comes with a matching collar.


  • Colorful design
  • Comes in different width and length options
  • Includes a matching collar


  • Polyester isn’t the best material for a leash
  • The fabric gets dirty

Blueberry Pet 3M Multi-colored Stripe Mesh Reflective Back Clip Dog Harness

This harness has a reflective outer layer for better visibility and safety and a mesh inner layer for maximum comfort for your dog. 

I like the multi-colored stripe design, as it’s vibrant and likely to excite your dog and make it more receptive to wearing the harness. 

It also has four adjustable straps to make it fit nicely on your pug. Be careful, though: it’s hard to get the size right since your pug can’t try it before-hand. Read the size chart and buy a size larger than what you think you’ll need.


  • Great design
  • Very comfortable for your pug
  • Includes reflective outer layer for improved visibility in bad weather


  • Harness only
  • Very easy to get the size wrong

Best Pet Supplies Voyager All Season Mesh Dog Harness

I like the way Best Pet Supplies markets this all-season harness. It makes it unnecessary for you to choose between a stylish harness and a functional harness, as it hits both notes very well. 

The color options are good looking and vibrant. The fabric is breathable mesh to ensure your dog stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It uses strong and durable materials, including a D-ring that you can attach to any leash hook.


  • Stylish design
  • Comfortable mesh fabric protects your dog in all weather
  • Made of durable materials


  • Too hot for warm weather climates
  • The sizes tend to run a bit large

PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness

This harness includes a martingale loop, which discourages your dog from lunging and pulling on the leash. It also contains quick-snap buckles on the shoulder and belly straps, making it easy to take on and off. 

The chest strap rests on the dog’s chest rather than the throat, making your pug more comfortable. There are also many colors to choose from, so you’re bound to find something you like.


  • Discourages dog from twisting and pulling
  • Has straps and buckles for a comfortable fit
  • Great for training dogs to walk on a leash


  • Leash line not included
  • A little on the pricier side

Frisco Rope Dog Leash with Padded Handle

The inspiration for this dog leash is mountaineering so that it can withstand harsh conditions. It uses a braided polyester rope. 

While polyester isn’t the most robust material for leashes, the braided design drastically improves its toughness. 

That said, it comes with a soft, rounded design with no seams or flat edges, making it very comfortable in hand. It’s also pretty lightweight and should be great for both regular walks and more demanding hikes.


  • Comfortable grip
  • Very tough and lightweight due to braided design
  • Includes reflective features for better visibility


  • Does not include a collar
  • Not chew proof


Here are some of the most common leash questions pug owners ask. 

Why do pugs need a harness?

Due to their unique faces, pugs can have breathing problems. As a result, it’s essential to protect their fragile windpipe by not placing a collar on them. A no-pull harness helps to provide control in a way that is comfortable for the pug.

What are the advantages of nylon leashes?

Nylon is lightweight, strong, durable, and cheap. It also comes in many color options. This unique combination of qualities is one of the most popular materials used in leashes.

When should I use a short leash?

Short leashes are best when you want more control over your dog, such as in a crowded space, in the city, or during training.


The truth is that there are lots of options on the market for leashes for small dogs like pugs. For best results, however, you will want a combination of a good leash and harness. 

The options given in this article are among the best in the market. Combined with the buyer’s guide and FAQ, it should all help you make more informed decisions about the best options to choose for your pug.

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