Honest Reviews

Honest reviews from dog owners who have bought and tried products.
We don't get paid by anyone for these reviews, but if you see your product here, we're open to getting freebies... just sayin.

Smarty Paws Leashes

As any Northern Breed owner knows, their dog has a specific escape gene that challenges them to find a way out of any situation.  That includes leashes.

One of the most helpless and frustrating feelings in the world is that sinking pit of the stomach realization when your husky is racing off into the distance while you hold a leash that had a clasp, hardware, or other type of failure.

I have bullsnap leashes that came with the seatbelt system we purchased years ago (before the company's craptastic customer service forced them to close), but the leashes are much too short if used with a walking belt.  Four feet just don't cut it when tethered to your waist.

I recently went to the local mega-pet store looking for longer, sturdy replacement leashes and stood in front of the myriad of crappy leashes in a variety of colors.  Most were nylon leashes with a wimpy snap at the end that any self respecting husky could twist out of in mere seconds.

Designer leashes that were meant for tiny little pocket dogs.

One rope leash that was about 2 feet long, crappy snap, a rubberized handle that spelled disaster in its construction.

Thankfully I happen to know a very talented leash maker who not only owns Northern Breed dogs, but knows exactly what people are looking for in leashes.

Lori started making leashes for herself because she couldn't find any that were actually functional.  Pretty soon all of her friends were begging her to make leashes for them, and that's when she started Smarty Paws as a small home-based business.

After my trip to numerous pet stores, trying to find what I wanted online, and finding NOTHING... I begged Lori to make me some leashes too.

Lori gave me several different types of leashes so that I could not only review and try out some new designs for her, but figure out which one best fit me and my dogs.

I will be reviewing several different types of leashes that contain different types of clasps.  I have already picked out the one I want, and will be commissioning Lori to make me two more of them... the rest I will be donating to a rescue.

The first is a rather thick shorter leash made from nylon.

Made with nylon webbing with batting inside to make it thicker, this type of leash would be great for those with gripping problems as it is very easy to hold on to.  As with all of Smarty Paws leashes, the "handle" is actually a ring that is woven into the leash itself that you clip the clasp to.  This means that not only do you have a handle, but you can also just clip the clasp into a walking belt.  It also allows you to wrap the leash around a pole or small tree to secure your dog while you are picnicking or running into a store.  This leash is about 4 feet long, very flexible and VERY strong.

Another thinner and longer nylon leash is below

Also made of nylon, this leash is very long and thinner, but still easy to grip.  This leash is designed the same as the larger pink one above, but with more loops woven in to allow you to have a loop handle, or wrap it around you for a hands-free leash, or connect one end straight to a walking belt.

This leash uses a loop clasp that is very secure.  Also note that the hardware isn't connected using metal that can come away from the leash... all of the Smarty Paws leashes have their hardware woven into the actual leash.  That's not simply a knot at the end holding the hardware one, it is back woven so the entire leash would need to unravel before the hardware would come off.  Very secure!

Here is a close up view of how the loops are also woven into the leash

I asked Lori to make me a ridiculously long leash and boy did she ever!

This leash has to be a good 10 feet long and is woven from paracord.

Soft and supple, this leash could loop around you and walk two dogs if you are sadistic enough to try it!  It would be perfect for long walks in the woods where you want your dog to have a bit more room to run around you and sniff things.  This leash has an actual woven loop part that gives you something more to grip, and features bullsnaps on both ends for the ultimate in escape proof clasps.

Once again all hardware is actually woven into the leash, which means it is NOT coming loose without the whole leash unraveling.  Lori uses high strength paracord that would probably hold a mack truck, and her special weave makes it even stronger.  Of course, it isn't chew proof but it might take them a while.

This one is my all time favorite perfect leash!

6 foot long, made from woven paracord with batting inside to give it a bit more bulk, armed with brass bullsnap clasps and rounded hoops.  It could still be used to wrap around you as a hands-free leash, but I use my walking belt so it is long enough so that you aren't tripping over your husky, but short enough to maintain control of them when needed.

It also has the ability to loop into a handle like the others, and all hardware is securely woven into the leash.

I've used this leash several times with my dogs during vet visits, and general get around trips and it is PERFECT!  At the vet, I simply unsnap the leash from my walking belt and snap it into the hook and instant handle to give to the vet tech.  I particularly love the bullsnaps used because there is a small shelf that sticks out that makes it easier to open than bullnsaps that you have to pull open with fingers and thumb.

Very secure, supple, and strong.  This leash held back a 70lb husky that wanted to escape the vet, and another that wanted to chase a squirrel, it is easy on the hands for holding, and large enough that you don't need a knot to keep your hands from slipping.

The best part is, you work with Lori to design your perfect leash.  No more standing in front of a display of similar crappy nylon leashes of the same size and cheap clasp deciding if you want the neon pink crappy leash, or purple crappy leash.

Her leashes usually run around $30 depending on the length, type of snaps, etc, but are WELL WORTH the cost of having a functional, strong, and reliable leash that is tailored to what you want to do.  Whether it's just walking in your neighborhood, or hiking in the woods, these leashes will give you the piece of mind that your Northern Breed is secured to you and secured on the leash.

I highly recommend Smarty Paws leashes!

To contact Smarty Paws and Lori, you can e-mail her at Smarty Paws  

1 comment:

jane eagle said...

One problem with all the leashes pictured here is the clip. I have had the bar clips that attach to the collar pop open, and so I have become very picky about the types of clip that attaches to the dog's collar. This is the only one I like (click on the photo to enlarge, and see clip in lower right):


I have a bunch of old leashes with this type clip, but they have become very hard to find :-(