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There's a lot of debate about retractable leashes and whether they're a good idea or not. On the one hand, they allow your dog to wander farther without going off leash. On the other hand, is that actually a good thing? It might be, but it really depends on you and your dog and what works for him or her. Here are five reasons why you may want to ditch the retractable leash:
One of the benefits of retractable leashes is that dogs have more freedom to sniff their surroundings. But the extra leeway can actually cause issues. Your dog could go up to an unfriendly dog, eat something harmful or run into the road. And since your dog is still pretty far away from you, you may not be close or quick enough to prevent it. Being so far means you have less control to reel your dog in.
Typically, we want our dogs to stick by our side when on a leash and not pull too hard. Using a retractable leash actually teaches your dog that he can walk anywhere but by your side. It can also promote pulling because they learn that they can go farther the more they pull.
Retractable leashes usually have a thin, rope-like cord that extends out of a large plastic handle with a lock button that can stop the leash from retracting or extending. While the lock button seems like a good idea, it could wind up hurting your pup - if he or she takes off and you press the lock button, the sudden jolt can strain your dog's neck, spine and trachea.
The thin rope-like cord found in retractable leashes can also cause injury. It can cause burns and cuts on you or your dog. There have even been cases, though rare, of amputation. The thin cord is also very easy for you or your pup to get tangled up in and trip over.
Retractable leashes are somewhat prone to breaking because the cord is thin and dogs are strong. If one of these leashes breaks, it usually results in the cord snapping. This not only puts your dog at risk of injury, but also puts you at risk. In addition, retractable leashes often malfunction over time - either they stop retracting or they stop extending.
Most retractable leash handles are large and bulky, which makes them difficult to grip. If you aren't able to get a good grip, it's more likely you'll drop the leash after a strong pull from your dog - which means your dog could take off running. Some dogs run even faster because the handle is noisily flying at them, while other dogs stop moving because of the handle.
If you've decided it's time to ditch your retractable leash, you can shop our leash selection on our website or on Amazon for a suitable replacement. We'll donate a meal to a dog in need for each leash you purchase.