Retractable leashes have become a popular trend in recent years. They are a nifty-looking tool and do work in theory. Practically,however, these leashes are no good and could be a safety hazard to our dogs and us. At Just Around the Corner Pet Sitting, we ultimately dislike these leashes. Here is why retractable leashes are not a good choice and why you should stick to the regular leash.
Reinforces Bad Training
The way retractable leashes are designed allows dogs to pull to extend their leash. This reinforces the habit of pulling during walks. Dogs that are being trained should not use a retractable leash and should stick to a regular one. Training a dog on a retractable leash teaches them to pull and harms them if the leash snaps from its retractable device. This leash is an ineffective and non-consistent walking tool, especially in training.
Injuries to People and Pets
It’s not unheard of for retractable leashes to snap. Even the most expensive brands of retractable leashes have the risk of snapping if extended too far. If your dog is known to bolt, chase, or is a bigger dog with a strong pull, please don’t use a retractable leash. If the leash were to snap, it might send a harmful whip toward you or your dog, resulting in injury. In addition to the snapped leash, you have lost complete control of your dog, leading you to other issues that you preferably wouldn’t want. Not only is the risk of snapping dangerous, but there are also known instances of owners being tangled up in the leash as well. If your dog gets excited and starts wrapping the leash around your legs, it’s much harder to reel the leash back into the device. This results in bruises, cuts and even burns on your legs depending on the leash material.
Less Secured Control in Animal Confrontations
Even if your retractable leash doesn’t snap, those flexible leashes will never have the same control as a regular leash. An excited dog meeting others can jolt the leash right out of your hand, which can not only hurt you, but it can hurt your dog and other dogs as well. Reeling in your dog from another dog is also more difficult. Typically, the extendable leash is made from a rope or cable material that is uncomfortable to hold and pull on. It’s better to stick to leashes that you can manually pull back and put around your hand to ensure you have complete control at any given moment.
Awkward to Handle
Retractable leashes usually are prettier and have a poop bag holder attached to them, but they are overall awkward to handle despite their looks. The constant shortening and lengthening of the leash can wear out the mechanism. They aren’t as long-lasting as traditional leashes. In addition to the easy wear and tear, they tend to be more awkward to hold. There is only one handle and one way to hold the leash, resulting in less control at critical moments. These leashes also tend to be more expensive. It’s a nice piece of technology, but the regular old leash is the most effective and cost-efficient for most dogs.
There are likely many more reasons why retractable leashes are not a good choice. These are just the four most prominent reasons why we do not recommend them. At Just Around the Corner Pet Sitting, we believe in keeping your dogs safe and away from harm. This includes keeping them safe from their own walking equipment! Check out our dog walking and hiking services and treat your dog for some safe and exciting fun with us!
A month ago I had my dogs leash wrapped around my hand. Not a retractable leash. Wrapping the leash around your hand is very very dangerous. She bolted to chase a car and took me down. I ended up in the hospital.
Oh no! That sounds so horrible, so sad you had that experience. We hope you are doing ok now. You are right, ANY leash can be a problem given the right circumstances.
When I was a kid I wrapped the leash around my neck. My dog saw a cat but I could somehow hold him back. I’m lucky this is just a funny story about a stupid kid 🙂