The Top 5 Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash

Reynold Krieg
Reynold Krieg

Sep 16, 2014

There are multiple reasons to use a certain leash (let's be honest it's not just the dog...some people we all know should probably be required to walk on a leash as well).  And with each dog comes a unique situation.  Each situation and each person may prefer or require a certain leash.  There are endless numbers of leashes out there that serve a particular style or purpose.  For each of these purposes we can understand why each one is used...we prefer the hands free leash, but we're not going to argue any one style is superior than the comes down to what you're comfortable with and what your personal preference is.  When it comes to the retractable leashes, however, we strongly advise against them.  And we're not alone.  Most industry experts outside of the Flexi payroll will tell you...almost always these are either dangerous, uncomfortable, or they're conditioning poor behavior.


Say no to retractable leashes! Below are the top 5 reasons not to use a retractable leash.  

1) The "leashes" are too long

First and foremost, a leash implies that you're using something to "control" something else.  These suckers can extend up to 26 feet!  How much control do you actually have when your dog is half way down the block and decides to take off into the street after that squirrel?  That's a situation that has and can quickly turn deadly...there's a reason the term short leash exists - control.  Without it, you're just asking for trouble.  

2) The leash is a thin dangerous cord

About 90% of these "leashes" are comprised of cord.  The cord is so thin that you could essentially use them to cut butter in the kitchen.  And if you're caught in the wrong situation where the dog wraps around your leg and takes're going to be the butter.  It's not pretty and it happens ALL the time!   

3) They're cheap and they break often  

"But wait they're like $ can they be cheap?!" Do a quick google on retractable leashes'll find out quickly how often it happens and the horrors of an emancipated dog running into a highway.  Pet store employees will even tell you, they always see these the locking mechanisms inside these break.  If the locking mechanism breaks and you're dogs going full speed at that 26 foot length he's going to either tear it out of your hand...or he's going to snap it...either way, most likely he's out free and, to his terror, there's a loud leash monster hot on his tail.  This doesn't end well for anyone.



4) They're a pain to hold on to

We're athletes...or we think we are...we used to be at least!  We run. We hike. We walk outdoors. We have our dog at our side every day doing as much as we possibly can with them.  Holding a leash handle (or putting it around your wrist) is one thing...holding onto a piece of plastic is another.  No one wants to hold on to that thing all's a horrible every day leash and for those of you who take your pooch with you everywhere, let alone running, it's not an option. 

5) They condition a pulling behavior

The point of having a dog on a leash is for control as we specified above.  As every dog expert will tell you, a lot can be said about how you walk your dog (or vice versa).  Pulling, jerking, or even walking too far in front of you are behaviors that say you're not in control...the dog is in control...and the dog is walking you.  For most dogs the length of the leash alone is enough of a no-no for this one...the dog at 15 feet ahead of you is pretty much in control of his own're an afterthought at that point.  Not to mention, by pulling and allowing the dog to go further out on the leash, you're conditioning him that it's ok to pull because he'll be rewarded with more slack.  As we all know, this is the opposite of what you want to condition him.  


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