Do you use a retractable leash, sometimes called a flexi leash, with your small dog?
There are pros and cons to everything, but retractable leashes certainly have their fair share of cons, if you look around in dog forums.
What is the problem with retractable leashes? It’s usually the HUMAN at the other end of the leash!
- the large dog owner who doesn’t know how to use the retractable leash and before he can get himself together, his big dog attacks your small dog
- the dog owner who thinks retractable leashes – giving dogs up to 30 extra feet to explore – are a great idea in the city, in the vet’s office or on a crowded trail around the park
- the dog owner who stops to chat and doesn’t even notice that the !#@%$^$# retractable leash is completely wrapped around your legs
But there are some DOG problems with retractable leashes too.
- the Morkie who’s already about 20 feet out, sniffing in someone’s garden, suddenly sees a squirrel across the road. The dog can easily be halfway across that busy road while the owner is still doing the thumb-clicking thing to try and lock the leash. Too late.
- large dogs can pull that retractable right out of the owner’s hands when there’s enough momentum
- small dogs can easily pull out the line, run under someone and trip them. More times than not, the victim seems to be an elderly person.
- small, medium AND large dogs who get up to a good speed quite quickly when they spot something, then bang, are stopped suddenly when the end of the reel is reached. How good can that be for the dog’s neck, throat and nerves?
Then there are those crazy, accidental issues like the leash getting tangled, so it won’t roll back in and your dog is out of control, 20 feet away. Or your leash gets caught around YOUR hand, and you get a real ‘leash burn’ when your dog takes off.
Right place, right time, right leash
People who do swear by retractable leashes say that used in the right locale, with a smaller dog, they can be great. They give the dog more freedom on your walks and allow him to safely explore. When these owners approach a road or street, they have the leash pulled right in. When they’re passing other pedestrians, the leash is pulled right in.
But all flexi leash fans agree: the quality must be excellent. Cheaper models break, get jammed and just plain fall apart, often at the worst possible time. They don’t lock properly and don’t release smoothly.
For a dog under 40 pounds (18 kilograms) the HappyDogz Safety-Pro Retractable Dog Leash gets good ratings. It has a 10-year, full money back guarantee and is highly rated by consumers. On Amazon this leash earns 4 stars out of 5.
The other highly rated retractable leash is the Flexi brand, which features a number of models and colours, including the Flexi Freedom and the Flexi Explore. Some have softer handles for your comfort. You can read more about the Flexi line on Amazon here: Flexi Freedom Soft Grip Retractable Cord Dog Leash, Small, 16-Feet Long, Supports up to 26-Pound, Red/Black