Depending on who your dog loving friends are, you may have heard bad news about retractable dog leashes. There are a variety of reasons for this, some valid, some not, but some of the problems are also related to how and where these leashes are used. There are lots of advantages to them as well, let’s take a look at the whole controversy and see what’s up.
What Has Some Dog Owners So Upset?
The primary concern is that the longer leashes are so long that the dog will be getting into trouble, or harms way, while fully extended on the leash. There are a variety of different brands of these leashes and it is possible to get one that is shorter so that the dog won’t wander as far from the owner.
The other point to make is that where you walk your dog could have a lot to do with how dangerous it is to use the long leash. If you’re on a known trail, with very few hazards, no cars or streets nearby, and no large aggressive dogs, there shouldn’t be much risk. Only the dog owner can really take a look and decide.
The dog doesn’t have to always be at the very end of a 25Ft leash, that’s why they are called retractable in the first place. It’s up to the dog owner to exercise control when needed.
Some of these longer leashes are also of very poor quality and the actual material is very thin. These factors should be taken into consideration before you buy any leash, not just a retractable one. Since the longer leashes need to be able to roll up inside of the spring-loaded portion, they’ll always need to be thinner, but that doesn’t mean weaker.
Buy a good brand with a reputation for quality products and read online reviews. Avoid any that have problems with breakage, the verified purchasers online will be adamant about that particular defect.
Another problem with the extra long length is caused by the dog running at full speed and getting jerked back when they hit the end of their leash. This again is something that the dog owner will have to control. The leash should come with a braking mechanism to slow the dog down before reaching the end of the line, plus the owner should take the time to train the dog how to behave when using the long retractable leash.
There are other complaints that you can find online, many written by dog owners and veterinarians. You’ll note that most of the problems are with cheaply made products, poorly trained dogs, and owners not paying attention.
Here Are Some Of The Benefits Of The Retractable Leash
Obviously, the most important advantage is that your dog can get more exercise and be able to explore far more territory on the long leash. Dogs are a lot more active than us humans and need more space to get enough quality exercise.
In addition to that, they have incredible senses and need to be able to explore all of the millions of smells and sounds as they work their way down a path. Most dogs can be trained by a persistent owner to stop and wait when they get out of bounds. However, the time to train the dog is before you get out on the trail. The dog should be well used to the restrictions and be taught all of the commands before ever leaving home.
As You Read The Reviews You’ll See What You Need
When you go online and start reading the descriptions of the various retractable leashes you’ll find that most of the complaints of the “haters” are answered. Some leashes have shock absorbers built into the collar to help ease neck snapping that many vets are worried about.
Others will have extra high strength cords that can hold even the strongest dog. You’ll read reviews like, “This leash stopped my 90 lb. bulldog at full tilt and held up fine.” These are the kinds of recommendations that you’re after, depending on your dog.
If You’re Worried About The Long Length Go Shorter
When you read a lot of the concerns of those that don’t recommend the longer leashes, they don’t consider that it’s possible to buy shorter leashes. The average regular leash will be about 5 or 6 ft. and many retractable leashes can extend up to 25 ft. However, a quick search shows that they are available in many sizes ranging from 15 ft. and on up to 25 ft. There are also plenty of them that can be adjusted, shorter for more close-in walking and longer for the wide open areas. If you tend to walk in a lot of different venues, then that would be a feature to look for.
Altogether there seems to be a lot of concern about the retractable leashes that is unfounded or easily solved. The better brands don’t break, come in lots of sizes, have adjustments for length, and some even have shock absorbing collars. So, depending on your dog, walking situation, and how attentive you want to be, there is a retractable leash that is right for you and safe for your dog.