In Search of the Perfect Leash


This past week during our morning walks, Chloe and I have been in search of the perfect leash. You're probably asking, "a leash is a leash what’s the big deal?" Well first, the leash is what keeps Chloe safe from taking off into the traffic, and second, it’s the connection gear that allows me to control and direct our walk.

Our present leash is the six foot long Kong “Bungee Leash”, which provides a stretchable shock-absorbing strap (in addition to the main nylon strap) that promotes a softer more-gentle form of stopping. As Chloe pulls on the Kong leash, the shock absorber can stretch for several inches, which prevents her from feeling an abrupt stop reaction. The bungee leash also reduces the feel of Chloe’s frequent tugging motion on my arm. I find it to be a win-win situation for both of us. The down side of this leash however has to do with the stretchable strap that is sewn in parallel with the main material, forming a leg catching loop where Chloe, in moments of cocker spaniel excitement, has caught her hind leg in the loop opening. Thus we set out to find an expanding style leash that didn’t have the built-in loop issue.

Enter the “Max Walker” manufactured by Spindrift, here in the United States. To create stretch, it takes the design approach of placing a bungee type chord that is surrounded by an outer layer of coiled nylon that will expand with the bungee. It’s a unique design that also creates the desired soft stopping without forming a loop of material. Its main advantage is that it will also immediately recoil to its original shorter length when the leash has no tension (or pull) applied to it. This assists in having Chloe stay closer to my side when she focuses on her walking and not on chasing rabbits. The Max Walker is well constructed with quality materials. It has strong clasping aluminum hardware and a unique opening buckle at the handle, which provides for the flexibility of attaching the handle around an object in the event that I need to tie off Chloe for a few moments.

So is the Max Walker the perfect leash? In short, I’m not sure, since Chloe and I have only been using the new leash for a few days. While I like the shorter length in its relaxed position which keeps Chloe at my side, the bungee stretch expands almost to much like a rubber band, extending from four feet to about six feet, which requires a little getting use to, especially since the Kong’s amount of stretch was only a few inches. 

The Max Walker does away with the leg catching loop design which is a plus, but one must be constantly aware of how much the leash can quickly stretch, especially if that expansion distance just happens to be long enough to reach a passing dog, a pedestrian, or bicyclist in your path.

In search of the perfect leash.
The Spindrift "Max Walker" bungee leash.
The "Max Walker" at 4-feet with no stretch, Chloe walks by my side.
The "Max Walker" fully extended to 6-feet, as Chloe hunts for rabbits. 

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