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Retractable leashes may be appealing because of the amount of freedom they offer a dog but that is just the thing which poses a problem.  This type of leash gives the dog owner way less control than a standard style dog leash and the cons outweigh the pros. Yes, slack is quickly taken up by the handle, but a dog can move further away than desired quickly, especially if you don’t happen to be watching at that very moment. 

The handles are notorious for faults and breakage.  Breakage under tension at the other end (where the dog is clipped on) can result in the lead bungeeing back at speed back towards the dog owner.  Because of the way the handle is gripped the user has less of a grasp than a soft leash handle and the owner doesn’t have the option quickly tethered onto e.g. a post or railing. 

If you want to avoid hazards such as broken glass or a morsel that you don’t want your dog to investigate, he needs to be close to you. Some dogs have come to grief whilst being on leash (retractable), yet 20 feet away from their owner.  Vehicle traffic on roadways or cyclists on the beach path are out of your control so keep your dog near you. Don’t allow a dog to get far enough away that they could be endangered or make contact with others uninvited.

Folks have also been known to have gotten tangled up in retractable leashes and that’s not only the person holding the leash.  Two dogs on retractable in a scrap is a nightmare. Also, if you’d prefer to avoid the odd friction burn, consider not using a retractable.

Perhaps you have a really well-behaved dog.  We do congratulate you on this. But, should you ever experience the immense power a dog with four feet on the ground can exude when enthusiasm is in play, you need a strong leash (with all parts visible) so you know nothing is worn or broken.

Leah & Angela OMeara

Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)