5 Reasons Not To Use a Retractable Leash
A retractable leash is not so much a leash as long, thin cord wound around a spring-loaded device housed inside a plastic handle. The handles of most retractable leashes are designed to fit comfortably in a human hand. A button on the handle allows the human to control how much of the cord is extended. Retractable leashes are popular with pet owners because they aren’t as confining as regular leashes, allowing dogs more freedom to sniff and poke around on walks. They are also convenient in bad weather if you take your pet out and can stay under the awning of a porch or building while your pet ventures out into the elements to do their business.
Since safety is a priority at Critter Sitters and More and we want to share with you some reasons based on our experiences, why we never recommend retractable leashes for daily walking.**
- The length of retractable leashes. Some lines can extend up to 26 feet, allowing dogs to get far enough away from their humans that a situation can quickly turn dangerous. A dog on a retractable leash is often able to run into the middle of the street, for example, or make uninvited contact with other dogs or people. And once they start moving it is difficult to work the button that stops the line from extending.
- It can be difficult to protect dog. If you encounter an off-leash pup, an aggressive dog or unhappy wildlife. The thin chord of the leash can break when the dog abruptly runs to the end of the leash and now your dog could be in danger off leash. In situation where the cord breaks, the spring will recoil the remainder quickly and the cord could injure the human at the other end. Remember, if the lock is not engaged, once your pup starts moving away from the conflict (AND YOU) it is difficult to engage the lock and pull them to safety. Grabbing the cord to stop the extension could result in a rope burn or could even slice open the hand.
- Three accidental injuries. you don’t need another dog or outside force to cause an injury. The dog and human can get caught up easily in the line all on their own. Injuries from tangles can range from rope burns to falls, and in worst-case scenarios, even broken limbs or cases for amputation if your dog gets wrapped up too tightly in the nylon cord. I will spare you the photos but there are plenty of them on the internet if you need proof. Just Google retractable leash injuries….
- Drop noise. The walker could accidently let go of the handle or I can be easily pulled out the walkers hand when the dog pulls. This can result a loud noise that could startle the dog into running away. Then, the leash handle continues to drag behind them, creating more noise and encouraging them to keep running because they’re spooked and can’t get away. Additionally, we don’t recommend clip clipping the poop bag holders to the leash as this can lead to the same undesirable event.
- It encourages pulling. If you’ve trained your dog to walk mostly on a retractable leash, you may have taught your dog to pull when you walk them on a leash because they are used to uninhibited freedom in a walk. The tension on the leash gives your pup something to pull against, and if you let that become a habit, they’ll associate ANY leash with the pulling activity. Check out this 2-minute video for tips to train your dog to walk without pulling https://youtu.be/i-Anh_LkTdQ
**For the safety of our team and the pets in our care, Critter Sitters and More staff do not use retractable leashes. Please have an alternative leash ready before time of service. If you do not have an alternative please let us know and we will bring our own leash.