Run with your dog using these hands-free leashes

Which hands-free leash is best?

When you go running with your dog, you may find that a hands-free leash makes it easier to concentrate on your form while keeping your canine companion safe and secure. They’re also great for people who can’t hold standard leashes due to disabilities or medical issues.

If you’re looking for a strong and easily adjustable leash, the Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash is a top choice. 

What to know before you buy a hands-free leash

Types of hands-free leash

You can find three types of hands-free leash designs: waist, crossbody and adjustable versions. 

  • Waist: These leashes attach to belts that secure around your waist. They’re secure and comfortable to wear, making them the most popular hands-free dog leashes. While they’re size-adjustable, they still won’t fit every dog parent, so you need to check the measurements. 
  • Crossbody: Hands-free crossbody leashes have straps that sit across the body from the shoulder on one side to the waist on the other. They’re quick and easy to put on and take off, plus you can use them as a standard leash when needed.
  • Adjustable: If you’re not sure whether to buy a crossbody leash or one with a waist belt, consider an adjustable version you can wear either way. Most of these also allow you to use them as standard leashes


It’s extremely important that hands-free leashes are durable, especially if you’re running. If parts break, your dog could get loose and get in trouble. 

  • Belt and leash: The belt and leash should use a tough material that stays durable, such as nylon webbing. 
  • Hardware: The metal clips and other hardware should be tough enough to hold up under pressure or sudden sharp pulling. 
  • Stitching: Ideally, look for leashes with reinforced stitching, especially in places where the hardware attaches to the belt or leash. 

Shock-absorbing properties

Some hands-free leashes have shock-absorbing properties to keep you and your dog from getting jerked around. Leashes with a bungee section help absorb shock. These stay contracted while the leash is loose, but the bungee portion stretches as the leash gets tight. 

What to look for in a quality hands-free leash

Dual handles

Even if your dog is attached to you hands-free, you may occasionally need to hold the leash to cross roads or when around other dogs. Leashes with dual handles give you more control. Look for ones that have a handle near the top and another at the lower end of the leash. 


Leashes with reflective strips or stitching are perfect for increasing your visibility when out and about in low light. 

Adjustable waist

You should be able to adjust the waist to accommodate your size for a snug fit. Look for one that will be tight enough on your waist without making you feel uncomfortable. 

How much you can expect to spend on hands-free leash

Most cost between $15 to $30, but you can find a handful of high-end versions for as much as $50. 

Hands-free leash FAQ

Are hands-free leashes good for dogs that pull? 

A. If your dog pulls on the leash a lot, using a hands-free leash isn’t a good idea. Even if your dog isn’t particularly big or heavy, the fact the leash is secured around your waist or across your body means it can injure your back. What’s more, big dogs can pull you over if they catch you off guard. If you want to walk your dog on a hands-free leash, it’s best to teach it to walk to heel first.  

Should dogs run in a collar or harness? 

A. If you’re planning to use a hands-free dog leash for running, make sure your dog runs in a harness rather than a collar. If you use a collar and stop quickly or your dog pulls suddenly at something, the sudden pressure can hurt the neck or damage the trachea. Choose a well-padded harness for long runs to avoid chafing.

What’s the best hands-free leash to buy?

Top hands-free leash

Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash

Our take: Durable and reliable, this hands-free leash is a great choice for running or walking. 

What we like: The bungee portion of the leash absorbs shock, while the dual handles are great for close control when you need it. There’s reflective stitching on the leash and waist strap for increased visibility. The gliding clip helps keep you from getting tangled up. 

What we dislike: Some people find the leash a little short — especially for dogs who like to stay a few steps ahead of you. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

Top hands-free leash for the money

Mighty Paw Hands-Free Bungee Leash

Our take: This versatile leash has two attachment points and comes in neon yellow and bright orange for good visibility. 

What we like: Not only are the dual handles great for close control, but they’re padded for your comfort. Thanks to the bungee attachment, this leash absorbs shock if your dog pulls or you stop too quickly for your dog. 

What we dislike: The clip doesn’t glide, which can be annoying if your dog moves from one side to the other. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

Worth checking out

Kurgo Six-in-One Reflect and Protect Quantum Nylon Hands-Free Dog Leash

Our take: If you’re looking for a hands-free leash without a bungee section, this is an excellent choice. 

What we like: You can use it around the waist, across the body or as a standard leash. It’s made from an extremely rugged nylon with high-visibility reflective trim. The floating handle gives you control over your dog in any leash configuration.

What we dislike: The handle may not be durable enough if your dog is a puller. 

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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