Let's face it, pet owners seem to love choosing a retractable leash. They give their dog lots of freedom to sniff and explore, they aren't confining like regular leashes, and they seem easy to use. But ALL these reasons are just wrong, wrong, wrong!
I'm going to tell you why these reasons are not a good choice for you and your pet.
1. Teaches your dog to pull. These leashes can extend to over 20ft and when your dog realizes how far they can go, it's teaching them that pulling is okay (but it's not okay) A much safer and proper way to walk your dog is teaching them to walk next to you with a regular leash (4-6ft long I recommend) paired with a harness which I recommend, as well. (There are many different types of harnesses, please find one that is right for your dog) Walking on a regular leash makes it easier for effective corrections as necessary and it can still give your dog freedom to sniff around! And a little tip: always reward your dog for doing something good! (I always keep some training treats on hand) Remember, yelling or tugging on your dog's leash isn't going to make them learn! Positive reinforcement is the best way to go for the best results!
2. Too often dog owners are using retractable leashes incorrectly. It doesn't matter if you have a small or large dog. Allowing your dog to have the full length of the leash can lead to many problems on their walk. Letting your dog wonder way ahead of you could lead to your dog getting into some mischief that may be harmful to them. Another unsafe way of using these leashes are putting them on an aggressive or hyperactive dog. When you need to correct the behavior, these leashes can easily get jammed, tangled or slip out of your hand. Also, when you’re taking your dog for a walk in the neighborhood or at the park and your dog decides to show some bad manners like jumping and lunging at other dogs or people, you will want to have a sturdy leash/harness to gently, but effectively correct their behavior. (further detailed information in #3)
3. Retractable leashes can cause injuries to yourself, your dog, and others. These types of leashes have been known for severe burns from the cord, loss of fingers, entanglement, and strangulations. Let's say you're on a walk and you have to suddenly hit the stop button because your dog noticed another animal and you were unable to control their behavior. This can cause a sudden jolt on your shoulder causing discomfort or you could fall causing a more serious injury to yourself. The cord can easily get tangled, wrap around your fingers, around your dog, or another dog all depending on the situation. Also, your dog could make a sudden sprint causing the thick/hard plastic handle to slip right out of your hand. The handle can easily hit you or your dog in the face. Your dog could get loose causing them to run off OR worse struck by a car. (Scary!) Another situation is if you're having your leash extend all the way, this is making it hard to keep an eye on your dog. What if your dog finds food scraps, dead animals, human food, etc.? The outcome could be either getting to your dog too late or the length of the leash will make it difficult for you to control your dog to reel in to give them an effective correction. Lastly, these types of leashes can also have a big impact on small breeds, seniors, or those with spinal issues. Any sudden stop can cause back, neck, or tracheal injuries to your dog.
Tip: Choose a leash made from sturdy material, such as nylon (heavy duty) or leather. If you're looking for an eco-friendly leash, I recommend leashes made from recycled bicycle inner tubes and hemp canvas. I also love a strong secure lock like a carabiner.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you learned a little something new today!
Posh Paws Pet Care, LLC