First of all, one size does not fit all. When you buy a leash, you are giving up customization. You are being fit into a box of what is typically desired and what typically works best and most often. You are becoming a dog walking statistic. Nobody likes a statistic!
There are variables with dogs and their preferred manner of walking just like there are variables with everything else in life. You are not going to take your German Shepherd for a walk in the morning and then turn around and use that same leash to walk your Chihuahua in the afternoon. Instead, you are going to use two different leashes with two different sets of performance expectations. The German Shepherd is bigger and walks with longer strides, not to mention can take you for a drag if the mood arises. The Chihuahua is smaller and takes shorter strides and probably cannot pull at quite the same capacity. Therefore, you are going to need two very different sets of equipment to accommodate both dogs.
Sure, you would need two different leashes regardless of whether you bought them or chose to make them. That is fairly obvious with such extreme differences in dogs, but the bottom line is that by purchasing a leash, you will have to sacrifice. What if they don\'t have your color? What if you want brass hardware and all they have is steel? What if you want something longer or shorter? What if you have big mitts that will not fit through that tiny wrist loop that comes in a standard, one-size-fits-all size?
If you make your own leash, to your own specifications, you will not have these problems! So pick out your hardware (a snap to attach to the collar), get some snazzy paracord in a color that will complement both you and your dog, and get to tying!
A standard leash has a fixed loop for your wrist, but you may want something bigger or smaller based on the size of your arm. If you are small in stature, you might want to create a tighter loop whereas if you are a little on the husky side, you might want a larger loop for walking your Husky.
Keep in mind that every one inch of leash is going to take a foot of paracord to make. A fix foot leash is the equivalent of 72 inches and will require 72 feet of paracord to make (plus the size of your wrist loop-do not forget to calculate that into your measurement!). Always give yourself a couple feet of excess, as the slight differences between brands of cord will cause them to tie a little bit differently and possibly eat up more slack than intended. It is always better to have too much than not enough!
To start, find the center of your very, very long piece of paracord and fold it in half. Slide your hardware (collar snap) onto the cord near the middle section and wrap it around the snap a time or two before pulling the slack through the loop in the cord and cinching it down tight. Measure out the length you want your leash to be, figuring in the size of your wrist loop. Once you\'ve reached the point you would like your wrist loop to begin, add approximately two inches of cord space before you start tying, basically beginning your knot two inches from the end. This should create two rounded loops at the end.
Tie knots until you have made a loop for your wrist with which you are comfortable. Then take the two loops at the end and incorporate them into the next series of knots you tie. You want to pass the cord through the center of these knots as you tie, making them become one with the body of your leash. Tie as many knots as you can or would like through those loops; as you near the end, you may wish to stop going through the center and go over the ends, pulling them into the body of the leash to hide evidence of the loop. Either way is fine and just as functional; it is about what is more aesthetically pleasing to you.
Note how the loop ends are hidden in the leash pictured below.
Once your wrist loop is complete, all that is left to do is tie the length of the leash body until you reach the collar snap at which point you can cut and seal with a burn. If you use paracord with a tensile strength of 550lbs, having tied it will only increase that tensile strength with the cord acting as a composed unit instead of a single strand, thus making a paracord leash perfect for any dog big or small. Do exercise caution with smaller dogs, however, as paracord can get heavy on a tiny neck and should not be attached with a heavy snap or allowed to drag the ground.