Leads are a semi rare item in Minecraft, and there are a few methods to obtain them.
Leads can be extremely useful in many ways for the player. Most commonly, players will tame a horse and don't want it wandering off. If the player had a lead, they could tie the horse to a fence with a lead, preventing it from running away.
How to get Leads in Minecraft
There are only a few ways to acquire a lead in Minecraft. While it is craftable, it is also more easily obtainable by killing the Wandering Trader's Llamas. Listed below are all of the ways to acquire Leads in Minecraft
Wandering Traders are the most efficient way to acquire leads early on in a playthrough. Wandering Traders spawn on average every 10 Minecraft days. Over time, this will provide more leads for the player than any other method.
Once a player encounters a Wandering Trader, they can kill the Trader and it's Llamas to acquire up to two leads per Trader. The leads will be dropped by the Llamas. After a good amount of days have passed, the player should have a decent collection of leads.
To craft a lead, players will need four strings and one Slimeball. The crafting recipe can be seen below.
Unfortunately, Slimeballs aren't the easiest items to come by, which is why crafting isn't as effective as waiting for Wandering Traders. However, if the player lives next to a Swamp biome or Slime Chunk, they may have easy access to Slimeballs. In this scenario, crafting Leads would be the more efficient method.
Leads can also be (very) less commonly found in Woodland Mansions with a 28.3% chance in Java Edition. In Bedrock Edition, Leads have a chance to be found in Buried Treasure and Woodland Mansions.