The Best Retractable Dog Leashes

by Joanna Ehlers
    Retractable leashes give well-trained dogs room to explore.

    Retractable leashes give well-trained dogs room to explore.

    Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

    Taking a walk can be recreational for both dogs and their owners. Retractable leashes give well-trained dogs room to explore parks and rural areas while their owners stroll a safe distance away. Deciding which leash to purchase is an important decision, and may be influenced by product safety and the dog's training.

    Basic Retractables

    Retractable leashes are usually between 16 and 25 feet in length, and are rolled up inside a plastic spool for easy keeping, according to DogTime. The leash itself usually is made of flexible nylon webbing or cord. The handle is equipped with a button that determines leash length and can retract and stop the dog's movement. Care should be taken not to grab the leash itself, as fast-moving nylon can burn the handler's hands and your dog.

    Features to Consider

    If a dog owner is considering the purchase of a retractable leash, several factors may influence her decision to buy. The size of dog that the leash is intended for may be the first concern. Purchasing the correct cord weight for a dog can help keep the dog safe, as can a strong locking mechanism. Materials that are durable and easy to clean will last longer. Pet Product Advisor recommends finding a leash with a sturdy metal clip for fastening to the dog's collar, and an anti-tangle cord to keep the dog safe while walking.

    Retractable Benefits

    Dog owners who choose retractable leashes appreciate the convenience of the product. Retractable leashes can be valuable as training devices when working with a dog on obedience at a distance, according to the website SmartDogTrainer.com. Retractable leashes can be handy when dogs join their families on long road trips, and need to relieve themselves at a rest stop. Well-behaved dogs may enjoy a countryside ramble on a retractable leash, safe from city traffic and other potential hazards.

    Buyer Beware

    Retractable leashes may be convenient for dog owners when allowing dogs to explore, but they aren't for everyone, warn the experts at 4Paws University. An untrained dog who is not responsive when called or consistently pulls on his restraint is a poor candidate for a retractable leash, particularly in an urban setting where his antics can place him in harm's way. Retractable leashes are meant for mannerly, calm canine companions and their adult handlers. To prevent serious injury, owners should be thoroughly familiar with the leash's instruction manual.

    Photo Credits

    • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Joanna Ehlers is a paraprofessional, equestrian and professional musician. She holds both a Bachelor of music-performance degree and a Master of music-performance degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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