We know this is going to be a controversial topic but here at Dogs All Day we pretty much hate these leashes. Before we list the reasons you SHOULD NOT use this leash and why, we will say that
a good retractable leash is fine if the dog is:
- already leash trained
- you are using this leash as a means to provide the dog a little extra freedom in an appropriate and safe environment.
In any area where control is vital or the dog may come into close contact with humans, vehicles or other animals, retracting leads should not be used.
Now the bad news…..
The following quote begins a multi-page description with some pretty stark warnings, taken directly from the website and instruction manual that comes inside every Flexi brand leash sold.
“To avoid the risk of eye or face injury and cuts, burn, and amputations to your body or the body of another person from the leash cord/tape or all belt and hook, (sic) read and follow these Warnings and Directions for Use before using your Flexi leash.”
The most common injuries reported are burns and cuts, usually sustained when the cord comes in contact with the skin as it rapidly pays out from the handle of the leash. Others occur when the cord gets wrapped around part of the owner or dog. Situations that can easily happen if a dog sees a squirrel, chases a passing cyclist, etc. If a dog gets a 20ft running head start the leash can easily fly out of the owners hand or jerk the dog hard enough to cause neck and back injuries.
From a trainer’s perspective, it’s a terrible leash. It encourages a dog to pull and relinquishes any and all control you may have of your dog. When you use this leash, you are rewarding your dog for walking away from you. This leash allows the handler to slip into patterns where they aren’t actually paying attention to the dog. It gives an owner a false sense of security that the dog is on a leash and therefore nothing can happen to him.
If you still aren’t convinced, spend 15 minutes searching for information online about retractable leashes. And notice that the only websites you find with anything positive to say will be manufacturers of retractable leashes.
– Anita & the Dogs All Day Team