The retractable leash – one dog parent may love it while another might share a horror story about their dog and their retractable leash. Sure, the retractable leash is the perfect option in theory because, quite simply, it promises convenience.
You can easily keep your dog right next to you, with the leash retracted, while you stroll through crowded areas. Then, when you hit the open space, you just push a button to give your dog the freedom he loves.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Wrong. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of retractable leashes.
The Pros Of The Retractable Leash
- Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!
Of course, arguably, the biggest advantage of the retractable leash is the freedom it gives your dog. All pet parents want the best for their dogs and who can argue that a dog with freedom is a happy, carefree pet? Some retractable leads allow dogs to walk up to 30 feet from their walker.
- Your Dog Enjoys More Exercise
If your dog has more room to run, he will surely get more exercise, right? And, a tired dog is a happy, relaxed dog. With a retractable leash, you can allow your dog to walk faster or even run while you stroll behind him, holding onto the leash.
- Keep On Pace
With a retractable leash, your dog can walk at his own pace and you can walk at yours. He no longer has to tug on the leash to urge you to walk faster and you don’t have to keep pulling him back to slow him down.
The Cons Of The Retractable Leash
By this point, retractable leashes might sound like a dream come true for any dog. But, let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages of retractable leashes:
- You Have To Train Your Dog How To Use The Retractable Leash
You can’t simply attach the retractable leash to your dog’s collar and start walking. Well, you can, but you’re likely headed for some problems – maybe even disaster – if you do. You will have to understand how the retractable leash works and your dog must know a minimum of the basic commands, so you can instruct him to come, for example, when it’s time to reign the leash in.
- You Must Be Constantly Vigilant
With a typical leash, you can let your dog walk and enjoy your surroundings. You know he can’t go too far without you being jerked around. With a retractable leash, however, you must constantly watch your dog to ensure he doesn’t get into trouble or get stuck somewhere he shouldn’t be.
- Your Dog May Become Injured – Or Worse
Retractable leashes have caused serious injuries when the leash has become wrapped around a leg or the neck. If you don’t notice the leash has become tangled on your dog, you may hit the retractable button and cause strangulation or other injuries.
- You May Get Hurt
Even dog parents have been injured by the retractable leash. The most common injury is strangulation of the finger or fingers, which may result in amputation. Others may also get hurt if your dog starts running and knocks down those in his path.
Do you use the retractable leash for your dog or would you let your professional dog walker use a retractable leash when walking your dog? Why or why not?