One of the best marketed, most colorful and visually attractive leashes on the store shelf is the retractable leash…and an absolute nightmare for anyone who has been caught in the middle of its tangled web. This is a “mini guillotine” at the end of a handle.
A greater concern, with up to 26 feet of extension, is if a car –or aggressive dog- appears; how quickly can you respond if your dog is too far away from you?
The cord itself acts like a bull whip if you are suddenly required to pull on it to get your dog back to you quickly. This assumes you are in control of the various buttons that control the extension feature of the leash while also trying to protect your pet…and the bulky handle stays in your hand at the same time.
Regardless of sudden dangers, it’s also possible to become tangled in the cord while Fido is running free and in circles…insurance for a nice leg burn or cut in the process.
It’s entirely possible, too, that the cord could break, if the leashed dog is strong enough to reach the end of the leash’s length and not stop. Can you imagine what that might feel like to watch your dog take off without restraint? How trained is your dog to come to you when called?
Additional concerns include possible injuries to your dog should they run to the end of the leash and experience a sudden jolt, resulting in possible neck injury, damaged trachea or other “whip lash”-like consequences.
Some pet care professionals believe that retractable leashes promote bad manners as the dog learns to pull on their leash as it promotes greater freedom. This may be acceptable to you, until you need to “pass the leash” to someone else, such as your pet care provider, dog walker or dog nanny.
Many doggie daycares, grooming salons and pet stores have banned selling these flex leashes due to these added risks.
A simple leash is a better solution. Add a harness for the safest way to walk your dog. If your dog is a challenge to walk, with or without proper equipment, please consult a professional trainer. See our “Partners and Products” tab for local Pet Trainers who can help you with proper leash training and other behavior solutions.