Retractable Leashes: What Every Dog Owner Needs To Know

by Dani Buckley
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When you take your dog somewhere on a leash, how do you leash walk him? Do you use a standard leash with a loop on one end and a clip on the other? Or do you use a retractable leash that can string out for yards? Real talk, throw that retractable (and expensive) leash away. Why? Keep reading.

retractable leashes

First and foremost, retractable leashes equal trouble.

If I had a dime for every pet that walked through the clinic doors in a retractable leash that we ended up actually putting a slip leash on instead, I could retire now. When a dog is on a retractable leash, there is no control by the owner. A dog can take off running full speed and get 8 feet away from the owner before they push the button. The dog could be running after a squirrel or another dog and what happens if that other dog isn’t as friendly? It could be disastrous and costly.

These leashes can give your dog plenty of room to extend out, some even extend out to 25 feet, but you have no idea what they may be getting into and a retractable leash is not like a fishing pole, you can’t just wind your dog back into you to your side. The only way to get them back is to call them or run up to them. And what happens if your hand is all sweaty from your walk? The handles to retractable leashes are big and bulky. There is no way to secure a retractable least to you. In an instant, it could slip out of your hand and you will be chasing your dog for hours. Or, if they take off and the “brake” button is pushed to a dog running, it can cause injuries to your dog’s neck from the sudden whiplash.

retractable leashes

Retractable leashes are dangerous for both you and your dog.

They can get tangled in them and they can easily wrap up around your or someone else as well. The material of the leash is thin nylon and can be dangerous if tangled up in, as it can actually cut into the skin.

Even the sound of the handle of the retractable leash being dropped can scare a dog to run away. And then they keep running at the sound of the handle chasing them.

The bottom line is that there is absolutely no control with these leashes. In fact, you might as well start thinking your dog is taking you for a walk instead of the other way around.

dangers of retractable leashes

What leash should you use?

The best type of least to use is really one that is sturdy and isn’t too long to where your dog is too far ahead of you that you do not have control of them. It should have a loop at the end for your wrist so there is no opportunity that the leash slips through your grasp. Thicker leashes made of Nylon work great.

Slip leashes are also another option for dogs that do not wear a collar all the time. If this is the type of leash you choose, be sure that the leash remains snug enough that your dog will not slip out of it but do not keep the slack so tight that it becomes a choking hazard for your dog either.

Gentle leaders are a great option for dogs that prefer to take their owners for a walk and pull too much on a leash.

Take away for the day – ditch the bulky plastic retractable leash for something that is safe for you and your canine companion.

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