If you have seen our video, you may have noticed that we dislike retractable leashes. If you’ve ever talked to us, you might have heard we dislike retractable leashes. If we’ve seen you out walking your dog on a retractable leash, we may have even told you why we dislike them. While we understand they may be useful for letting a dog out on a rainy day, we prefer not to use them on our walks with your dog.
Here are 10 reasons why:
- Retractable leashes can extend up to 26 feet. 26 feet! How can you keep your dog safe from 26 feet away?
- If approached by another dog (aggressive or not), person or cyclist, the leash requires several pulls to wind the cord back in. No one has those kind of reflexes. Not even our ninja dog walkers.
- The thin cord of a retractable leash can break. It happens. A sudden jolt from a strong, good-sized dog taking off at full speed can snap the cord. Not only is the dog now off-leash, he is focused on whatever he was chasing and could run into the road or become lost (and free to approach whatever caught his attention to begin with). And the dog walker likely has an injury from the cord snap. (right to the FACE!)
- Retractable leashes get tangled. If a dog walker grabs the cord in an attempt to reel in their dog quicker, burns, cuts, and even amputation may result. We like our fingers and ankles; we want to keep them.
- People have been pulled off their feet by a dog that reaches the end of the leash and keeps going. This can result in all sorts of injuries.
- As with any leash attached to a collar, dogs are at a higher risk for tracheal collapse, which is exactly what it sounds like.
- The handle of retractable leashes are bulky and can not be wrist wrapped. When a dog unexpectedly bolts, the leash can be quickly jerked from hands resulting in the dog running free.
- If the leash handle hits the ground it is essentially chasing after the dog potentially causing the dog to run away out of fear. Due to this trauma, the dog may have a negative association with leashes and walks. The saddest.
- Retractable leashes have a tendency to malfunction over time. The mechanism inside breaks and the cord may fail to extend or retract.
- Retractable leashes do nothing to teach good leash manners.*
Getting pulled by your dog on a regular leash does not make for a pleasurable walk. We understand that this is why the retractable leash looks attractive. But! There are SO many wonderful tools on the market these days that you’ll never have to pulled by your dog again!*
* We recommend getting in touch with Good Human Dog Training to learn loose leash walking skills, get tips for your walks, and help with selecting out the best harness and leash for your dog.