Strong Dog Leashes | Why Hardware Matters

Your search continues for the Best Dog Leash for Strong Dogs. Part 2: Choosing Heavy Duty Hardware

Your choice of hardware is more important than your choice of leash materials, especially when looking for a heavy duty dog leash or other equipment.

Second only to dogs chewing on their leash or harness, the most common equipment failure is due to the hardware: either the buckles or leash clip gets worn out, or it wasn't strong enough to begin with.

Let's get back to doing a little bit of Math:

What are Breaking Strength and Working Load Limits when discussing selecting dog leash hardware


"Breaking Strength" refers to the maximum amount of force the hardware can withstand before breaking or failing. It is the point at which the clip may deform or break.


Definition of Breaking Strength

Considering buckles for dog collars and waist belts, "break strength" refers to the maximum force the buckle can hold before failing. It is the point at which the buckle will separate, preventing it from securing the collar around the dog's neck, or securing a waist belt.

This is why I don't recommend a 1" plactic buckle on a waist belt for a large dog - I've had them fail on me when my 80lb dog hit the end of the leash and popped mine open - and went running off to chase a coyote.

Breaking Strength of a buckle for a dogs harness or collar is the force at which the buckle will separate.


Working Load Limit is typically 1/3 the Breaking Strength of any component. These are the guidelines I use to recommend hardware for your dogs expected maximum weight.


Definition of Working Load Limit

Sand or dirt inside the mechanism of a snap bolt or buckle can compromise the hardware's ability to securely connect.


Safety Reminder graphic
on all of my leashes, belts, and other gear.

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