We got a puppy during the pandemic. While he has eased into our family dynamic, he sadly hasn’t turned into the running buddy that I had initially hoped. I guess he’s still only about a year and a half old, but our running attempts have mostly turned into him thinking we are playing a game of “tackle the guy with the leash“. Not great.
Winston is a Golden Retriever, so I know he is not really the pedigree for long-distance running, but we continue to attempt different ways to keep us safely on the go. We recently tried out the LifeHandle – A hands-free dog leash to see if our running woes would be solved. While I will say upfront that this didn’t necessarily fix our running relationship (yet!) we did end up really enjoying this leash as our day-to-day walking and run-training option. I think we can get him there with this!
Obviously, the main aspect of the LifeHandle leash centers around its hands-free ability. There are two components to it – the actual leash and the crossbody strap – which meet in the middle with a really heavy duty connector. I can tell you first and foremost that, as a father of three young kids, my hands are pretty much always full. I feel like I am always carrying something – a bike, scooter, lunch, backpack, and any other number of items for my daughters. Thus, having both hands free when we’re all together WITH the dog together sounded amazing. And it has been.
The actual crossbody strap portion is made from strong nylon, making it so that even my 80 pound boy could be wrangled. The shoulder part is extremely adjustable depending on your size, and the comfort is surprisingly comfortable with breathable air mesh construction, neoprene padding, and soft non-irritating fabrics. There are also a few reflective stripes on it, as well as a secondary loop and small carabiner for poop bags and other items. The strap never reached the super snug fit I desired, but it still did the trick without much issue.
I have had minimal issue with controlling my dog when he inevitably polls against the leash, though I would probably hesitate to use this with a big dog that has a habit of running after things on a whim. However, on the leash part, there is a shock absorbing loop handle that allows you to grab on to when a squirrel appears. I thought the leash length was a bit too short initially, but after finding out that there are many options for securing to the crossbody – including adding your own leash – it made it that much better.
I really like that the LifeHandle doesn’t force you to solely use it as a crossbody option. Some situations aren’t great for just body control, so tit’s great that this can be adjusted between the two options when it is best. Basically, you aren’t 100% locked into needing to use it only hands-free and it cuts out the need to have another leash available.
For those of you who have dogs who are well-trained run buddies (or who are looking to create one), this would be a really cool addition to actually run, and walk, hands-free.