If you haven’t heard by now, retractable leashes are a very big no-no in the dog world. Thankfully, most of our Canine Companion LA pups use a 6-foot standard flat leash (or something similar) but there are many dog-owners who own retractable leashes still!
While at the pet store it may be easy to grab the retractable and leash and think it’s great. It can give your dog 20-30 feet of freedom while still keeping them leashed up. You can control what length the leash is by using the stop button. What’s not to love? Well, there are many things not to love. Here are our top 5 reasons the retractable leash needs to go:
1. It teaches your dog to pull! The retractable leash encourages a dog to misbehave. The whole concept is a dog pulling forward and the leash extends, thus teaching your dog pulling on walks is a good thing.
2. No control! With 20 feet of thin rope between you and your dog, it’s very difficult to keep control of your pet. If your dog is walking 15 feet in front of you and another dog comes walking around the corner, you have no time to react.
If your pup sees a squirrel taunting him across the street and decided to take off your dog could be half-way across the street before you can hit the stop button and try to yank him back.
3. Awkward Handle! The handle of retractable leash can be hard to hold and manage. We love standard flat leashes because we can slip our wrists through the end loop and make sure we have a solid grip. Dropping the handle of a retractable leash is not a pretty sight. Most dogs are frightened by the clang on the ground and may run. Things only get worse from here: now the leash is retracting, following the dog and making lots of noise. Your poor pup can’t escape the madness!
4. Dangerous leash length! All dog-walkers know that fun game dogs like to play where they wrap the leash around your legs and see if they can trip you. Imagine that but with 20 feet of rope for the dog to play with. It can get messy… fast. That thin long rope used in retractable leashes can actually be very damaging. If it gets wrapped too tight it can cause burns, cuts or even amputation. Yikes!
5. Sudden stops and jerks! Retractable leashes have also caused many injuries to our furry friends. When your pup is running along and suddenly runs out of leash there is a sudden jerk that can be painful.
There are many other pitfalls and risks with retractable leashes. We think the ONLY thing the retractable leash is good for is training recall with your dog. NEVER use them for walks! We recommend getting a standard flat leash. It may take an adjustment period but your dog will be better behaved and the probability of an incident will decrease.
Do you know someone who needs to toss that retractable leash? Have you had a terrible retractable leash experience? Let us know!