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Retractable Leashes for Dogs: This is What You Need to Know

May 1, 2020

While most puppies can learn simple commands as early as 7 weeks, most experts agree that you start formally training your dog around 6 months of age.

Training your dog includes everything from house training to socializing and walking on a leash. When you start leash training, you’ll have a choice between a retractable or fixed leash.

Retractable leashes have a bad reputation but incidents with this type of leash are largely the result of improper use. There are pros and cons to this type of leash and specific times when you’d consider using them.

If you’re trying to find the right leash for your dog, keep reading. We’re going to tell you when to choose a retractable dog leash and why. 

Pros of Retractable Leashes

The number one benefit of a retractable leash is that it gives your dog freedom to roam while still giving you a degree of control by having them tethered. But there are a few additional benefits to these dog products, depending on the type of dog you have.

If your dog tends to tangle their leash, a retractable leash can’t twist into knots. Dogs who tangle their leash tend to be high-energy dogs, and these dogs also benefit from retractable leashes. That’s because they have more freedom to roam, which gives you a better chance of tuckering them out and exhausting their energy.

If you’re a runner or jogger, you might benefit from a retractable leash if you like to take your dog with you. Using a retractable leash means you don’t have to stop every few feet. Your dog can run alongside you or in front of you and do their business without you having to stop.

Cons Of Retractable Leashes

The cons of retractable leashes include the degree of control that you have. Retractable leashes can give your dog 16ft or even 30ft of leeway. If you need to gain control over your dog while they’re that far away, you’re going to have a hard time doing so.

The other downsides of retractable leashes have to do with how they’re made. For one, a retractable dog leash made from nylon can not only snap but also cause rope burns. And big, bulky handles are easy to lose grip of, which means the leash will go bouncing behind your dog and potentially cause them to panic and run.

Best Time To Use A Retractable Dog Leash

With those pros and cons in mind, the best time to use a retractable dog leash is when you’re walking a trained dog on familiar grounds and with lots of space. Without sufficient room, your dog can get tangled in trees and shrubs or into trouble with other dogs and people. And in unfamiliar territory, you don’t know what awaits your dog around the next corner or over a hill on a new trail.

You might use a retractable leash to train a puppy in an unfenced yard, too. But be careful when using a retractable leash to train. Because there’s always tension on these types of leashes, your dog may learn to pull.

Get to Know More Pet Products

Retractable leashes can be great tools in specific circumstances. If you like to jog alongside your pup or if you have a lot of open space that you’re familiar with, for example. But, if you’re training your dog or walking them in unfamiliar territory, you might consider a different type of leash.

To have a look at your options, as well as pet products for birds to reptiles, check out what we carry.