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Tow leash: test & recommendations (05/21)

Our approach

Welcome to our big tow line test 2021. Here we present you all of the tow lines that we have tested in more detail. We have compiled detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you find the best tow leash for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. You will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a tow leash.

the essentials in brief

  • A drag line serves as an extended arm for the dog owner to keep the dog under control at all times.
  • There are three types of tow lines: Tow lines made of Biothane, nylon or leather.
  • Depending on the dog's obedience level, the drag line can be used and held differently.

Tow leash: favorites of the editors

The best 10 m long towline

The tow leash from 4Pfotenland can be individually selected in different lengths and colors. The diameter always remains at 8mm and can still be used for dogs over 40kg.

The customers are enthusiastic about this Biothane tow leash and rave about how easy it is to care for. The round appearance also means that there is much less chance of getting caught on roots and the walk is therefore fun for everyone.

The best 5 m long towline

This leather leash is available in different widths, depending on the dog's weight. The length is always 5 meters and is made without a bow.

Customers praise the robustness of this line. The leather consists of a single piece and attaches the carabiner with a braid, which makes the line extremely tear-resistant.

Buying Guide: Questions to Consider Before Buying a Towline

What is a towline and what do I need it for?

A tow line is to be equated with a normal line. However, tow lines have lengths of up to 20 meters and are therefore significantly longer than usual lines.

Many dogs have a strong hunting instinct or are not reliable when retrieving them. In order to still have the dog under control in every situation - but still give it the desired freedom - the drag line comes into play.

Dogs have the feeling of being able to move around freely with a drag line. Therefore, they are well suited for many activities with your four-legged friend.

However, the master or mistress of the disobedient dog can pull something on the leash or, if necessary, pull something towards him, whereby the dog is always controllable.

When does it make sense to use a tow line?

Tow leashes can be helpful in different situations. Be it for a normal walk, for example.

Because if your dog cannot refrain from its hunting instinct, it will only be seen from a distance and not be accessible if it is not on a leash. In this way, tow lines can help prevent a drop.

Or if your dog constantly eats things while going for a walk, you will always be in control of your four-legged friend by using the drag line.

Tow leashes are versatile. Whether for a walk, training or hunting.

A tow line can also be useful during training. Especially when the retrieval command is newly learned, pulling on the leash at the right time can teach the dog the obedience exercise well.

In certain cases a tow line is also desirable during the hunt. This means that the dog cannot unintentionally jump after prey and remains close to the owner at all times.

How do I use and hold a towline correctly?

Depending on the problem and level of obedience of your dog, a tow leash can be used in different ways. A distinction is generally made between three options.

If your dog is already very obedient and can only be called up in a few cases, the drag line can simply be placed on the ground and pulled by the dog.

In the worst case, you can step on the leash to keep him from leaving.

However, if the retrieval command is not yet reliable or the hunting instinct is very pronounced, the end of the leash can be picked up.

Some tow lines have a loop at the end to hold the line well. With this use, your dog has a lot of freedom, but if he wants to run away, you have him under control immediately.

If your dog has to be kept under control and there is immediate line contact, there is a third possibility to hold the tow line.

This is wound up and only given to the dog as much as it is away from you. When your dog comes closer again, the leash will be pulled closer to you again. This means that you can eat your dog immediately at any time.

When and how to use a tow leash and train your dog correctly, is shown in more detail in the following video:

Is a tow leash worn with a collar or harness?

In principle, a tow line could be attached to a collar or harness through its snap hook. However, it is strongly recommended to attach the tow line to the harness.

If the dog wears a collar and runs off abruptly with the attached tow line, it gives the dog a very strong jolt. Depending on the speed, serious injuries to the dog's cervical vertebrae can occur.

When using a tow leash, the dog should definitely be put on a harness, as otherwise injuries to the spine can occur.

So when you buy a tow line, you should buy well-fitting, but not too tight, harness.

Where can I buy a towline?

Tow leashes can be bought in specialist shops or online. According to our research, popular stores and shops are the following:
  • Bird feeder
  • Food bowl
  • Amazon.de
  • EBay.de

What does a towline cost?

Tow lines can be of different materials and lengths. Depending on the species, their prices also vary.

The following table gives an overview of the different towline materials and their prices:

material price
Biothane 14€ – 50€
nylon 5€ – 20€
leather 25€ – 80€

What alternatives are there to the tow line?

In addition to the tow line, there are of course other types of lines that fulfill other functions. Here is a brief overview:
rope description
Leash The classic should of course not be missing. With a length of 1 to 3 meters, lead leashes are particularly suitable if you want your dog to stay close to you. However, the freewheeling possibilities that are created by the tow line are clearly neglected with a conventional line.
Flexi leash It is also known as a retractable leash and is very often used for walking in urban areas. The automatic roll-up function prevents the leash from getting tangled, the dog has up to 8 meters of freedom of movement.
Retriever leash This is the shortest line variant. Here the collar and leash are connected. It is particularly suitable for owners who go hunting with their dog or do agility training.
Leash for guide dogs for the blind Guide dogs have the task of guiding their owner safely through everyday life. A particularly secure leash is therefore necessary. This leash must always be carried with a fixed harness and is also closely connected to this.

Decision: What types of tow lines are there and which one is right for you?

Tow lines differ in different ways. Basically, the material from which the towline is made plays a decisive role.

Therefore, a distinction is made between the following three types of tow lines:

  • Tow leash made of Biothane
  • Nylon towline

In the following sections each type is discussed in more detail and the advantages and disadvantages are described in more detail. So you can find the right tow leash for you and your dog.

What distinguishes a Biothan tow leash and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Biothane trailing leashes are made of polyester on the inside and are covered with a protective polyurethane layer. This was originally used as an alternative to leather and is therefore very robust.

Due to its tear resistance and weather resistance, a Biothane tow leash has all the important properties.

Tow leashes made from Biothane can withstand any pull on the leash. The seams are also well made and cannot tear.

The surface is very smooth and is therefore water-resistant. In addition, no dirt sticks and is easy to clean.

Only because of the sometimes very smooth material you can slip a bit when holding the leash. Especially when the towline gets wet, it can slip through your hand.

The most important advantages and disadvantages are listed again below:

  • Tear-resistant
  • Water resistant
  • Water and dirt repellent
  • Easy to clean
  • Partly slippery
  • Can be a little more expensive
  • On the whole, tow lines made from Biothane are very popular and the secret favorite among tow lines.

What are the characteristics of a nylon towline and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Nylon towlines are also very popular and have a lot to offer, but anticipating that nylon towlines should be rubberized to be non-slip.

If not, if the dog snaps on the leash, the nylon can slip in the hands and cause serious injuries. Depending on the type, you can literally burn your hand.

However, if care is taken when buying, a rubberized nylon tow line leaves nothing to be desired. It is very light, easy to grip and can even be washed in the washing machine.

Although the line dries quickly, it can become heavy once it is wet. Because the nylon partially absorbs the liquid.

Here, too, the advantages and disadvantages of a nylon tow line are listed again:

  • Rubberized, good to hold
  • Light
  • Easy to wash
  • Dries quickly
  • Cannot cause hand injuries if not rubberized
  • Not water repellent
  • Can become heavy if it soaks up with water

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate tow lines

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate tow lines. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular towline is right for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • length
  • diameter
  • end up
  • Coating
  • colour

The individual criteria are discussed in more detail in the following sections. So you can find out what to look for when buying and find the right tow leash.

length

Probably the most important factor is the length of the towline. Because not every length covers the same needs and is not equally suitable for everyone (and dog).

Standard lengths of tow lines vary from 5 meters, over 10 meters, 15 meters up to 20 meters. In rare cases, even 30 meter long lines can be bought. Usually, however, 10 meter lines are purchased.

Which length suits you and your own dog must be decided very individually.

Basically, you have to ask yourself how much space the dog is allowed to be given. 5 meters is relatively short and dogs cannot let off steam with the same freedom when walking.

On the other hand, 20 meter leashes can lead to the dog becoming uncontrollable. In addition, the handling of such a long line can be difficult and should be practiced.

Another factor that is essential to the length of the towline is the size of your dog. In principle, shorter leashes should be bought for larger dogs. Because this way the dog can be kept - and therefore controlled - better.

However, it must be noted that long leashes are often very large and then too heavy for small dogs.

So you should pay attention to the size of your dog and the existing obedience of your dog in order to find the right length of tow leash.

diameter

In order to find the correct diameter of the tow leash, the size and weight of your dog are crucial.

Small dogs should only be led on leashes with a narrow diameter. Because the larger the diameter, the heavier the line becomes.

Since the dog pulls the leash depending on the training, it has to carry the entire weight of the leash and for small dogs this can be very strenuous or even damaging if the leash is too heavy and large.

In comparison, tow leashes with larger diameters should be chosen for large, strong dogs. Because narrow leashes can tear depending on the material and the pulling weight of the dog.

The bigger the dog, the wider the diameter of the towline should be.

You have to decide individually which diameter is right for you or your dog. However, the following sizes are typically found: 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 9mm, 13mm, 20mm or 25mm.

end up

The ends of a towline can be made differently depending on the material. There are many nylon tow lines that have a loop to hold the line well and firmly.

In comparison, Biothane tow leashes are often without a loop and will not get caught anywhere when the dog pulls the leash.

Which ending you prefer depends mainly on your dog's use and obedience.

If you have to hold on to the leash non-stop and it is not uncommon for your dog to try to walk away, you are better advised to use a leash with a loop.

If, on the other hand, your dog is fairly obedient and you let the leash be pulled on the ground, loops can be tedious as they get caught on tree roots, for example.

In general, it is recommended not to buy tow lines with multiple loops.

Some models have loops in the middle (or even 3 to 4 additional). However, these will only hang on when walking and are not only tedious but can even be dangerous.

In addition to loops, there are some tow lines that have a second carabiner.