There are many types of leashes, collars, and harness available for purchase. Some can be great tools for training and bonding. There is one very popular type of leash that is almost unanimously not recommended by trainers and veterinarians alike. That is the retractable leash.
Many people love the idea, your dog is free to explore and enjoy his environment with freedom while on walks. It’s that freedom that is so dangerous to both his safety and yours.
Even a well trained dog may find a squirrel or another dog too much temptation to stay by your side. With no control your pet may run in the road or at a not so friendly other dog. Being hit by a car or involved in a dog fight are the top problems with this type of leash.
Malfunction is all too common with retractable leashes. Often time the mechanics that lock the leash fail and there is nothing holding your best friend back from dangerous situations. Injuries can also occur when the dog is running fast and hits the end of the leash suddenly. He can get tracheal and spinal injuries. The owner at the end of the leash may get injured from the sudden jerk, or may let go.
Often times a loose dog with a retractable leash keeps running and running. The dragging and winding in of the bulky handle is frightening. It’s something chasing him that he cannot outrun.
The very thin cord can also easily be snapped or chewed through in seconds.
Some of the absolute worst injuries are from rope burns. Often with no control over the pet, human and dog body parts get wrapped in the thin rope. There are many cases of rope burns, lacerations, and even finger amputations caused by these leashes!
Please next time you go for a walk or bring your vet out and about, consider 4 to 6 foot leash made from sturdy thick material. One that is safe, comfortable, and allows control such as leather and nylon, not metal chain or retractable.