4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Different leashes are good for different dogs. So, when selecting the perfect leash for your dog, you might not be sure exactly what will work best. When Molly first adopted me, she got a retractable leash because she didn’t know much about having a dog just yet. Then, she later learned that it was much easier to walk me on a standard leash.
A lot of new dog parents select retractable leashes because they’re common and they seem more convenient. However, they can actually be very dangerous. So, what should you know about retractable leashes?
What is a Retractable Leash?
A retractable leash is a leash that can change lengths. It is typically a thin cord that is wrapped up in a spring-loaded device, which is covered by a plastic handle for humans to hold onto.
With a retractable leash, your dog has the freedom to walk farther than they would on a normal leash. You can even lock the leash if you want it to be shorter or longer.
Why Do People Use Them?
These leashes might sound like a great idea for your dog, but there are a lot of issues that could arise. However, many humans don’t know or don’t care about the dangers of these leashes which is why they continue to use them.
Many humans like it because it allows their dog more room to explore. They like that they can easily change the leash’s length with the click of a button. This featured can be good if you are far away from other dogs and people, but once you enter a crowded area, that is when the leash becomes more of a problem.
If you do use this leash in a secluded area, it can be a good tool for training. It can allow your dog to explore and then if they don’t listen when you call them back, you can use the leash to control where they go. Other than that, this leash is actually more trouble that it’s worth despite what many humans think.
Why Are They Dangerous?
The main problem with retractable leashes is that they are harder to control your dog with. Even with the leash locked, the cable is not as sturdy as a standard leash. If your dog starts running quickly and you have to lock the leash, then the sudden pressure could hurt them much more than a traditional leash could.
If any dogs should use this leash, it should be small dogs. I see a lot of humans walking their large dogs on these leashes, which makes it even harder to control the dog. I used to live with a 40-pound Pit Bull mix that walked on a retractable leash. When she ran at full speed, her leash snapped instantly. So, it is definitely not designed for large dogs or active dogs.
Even if the leash doesn’t break, if your dog runs unexpectedly, the leash could get pulled out of your hands. When I had a retractable leash, I would sometimes pull it out of Molly’s hand, and then the handle would hit the ground and scare me. A normal leash isn’t heavy or scary when it falls to the ground.
Also, these leashes can easily hurt those around you. If you look up “retractable leash burns” on Google (yes I can type with my paws), then you will find some disturbing results. These leashes can easily hurt humans and other dogs, especially if the human holding the leash is not careful.
Plus, the cord on these leashes is very thin, so from a distance, you might not even see it at all. This can cause people to trip on it, and some people might think your dog isn’t on a leash from a distance. Overall, the risks of this type of leash are just not worth it!
How to Find a Good Leash
There is a wide selection of traditional leashes out there. Even if you want to allow your dog to explore more, a shorter leash is actually better. A short, sturdy leash is the best way to control your dog, especially in a public setting.
When selecting a good leash, make sure you choose a nice harness as well. A harness can prevent your dog from choking, especially if they pull while walking. I don’t pull often, but when I see a squirrel, I can’t help but run! I am grateful that Molly finally got me a harness.
Overall, retractable leashes shouldn’t even be an option anymore. There have been too many incidents with them, and they just aren’t safe! Just because an item seems easier doesn’t always mean it’s better, so keep that in mind when selecting supplies for your dog.
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