Leash preference is something personal to you and your dog. It has to meet the mark of comfortability, safety, and reliability to be a smart purchase. So, you might find yourself stuck between deciding whether a standard leash or a retractable leash works best for you both. Retractable leashes offer many benefits over the standard non-retractable options and can work for almost any dog. Here are some reasons to consider when thinking about switching to a retractable leash:
#1: Freedom to Safely Explore
A retractable leash can give your dog the freedom to explore at a safe distance that you’re comfortable with. The main feature of these types of leashes is, of course, their retractability. This can give you a better sense of control at a moment’s notice without compromising your dog’s ability to explore.
Fortunately, it also can function as a normal leash. This means you don’t need to use the retracting mechanism or lock if it’s unnecessary. You have the best of both worlds with a retractable leash!
If you’re walking in an open area and your dog wants to venture a bit ahead of you, a retractable leash offers you the benefit of giving your dog more freedom. If situations change, like if other dogs come by and your pup is easily excitable, you can quickly adjust the leash length and use the brake mechanism to keep it set at the length you’re comfortable with. Keeping a shorter length might be more convenient if you’re running with your pup. A longer lead can be more leisurely.
Having options for your leash length is a convenient way can reduce the potential injury you might have if you’re prone to wrapping the excess amount of leash around your hand. Since the excess rope is wrapped within the handle, you don’t have to worry about managing the amount you’re not using.
#3: Ease of Use
The only “extra” feature you need to be concerned with on a retractable leash versus a traditional leash is the braking mechanism. This is usually a button/switch atop the handle convenient to where your thumb can easily reach. Quality leashes will also have a guidance system to prevent tangles and twists. Not only does this reduce some nuisances on the part of the owner (and probably the dog), but it can extend the life of your leash. The last thing you’d want in a retractable leash is a twist that prevents it from working correctly.
Many types of retractable leashes can accommodate dogs of a variety of sizes. This can give you some peace of mind knowing your 80-pound dog isn’t going to snap the leash. Be sure to read the specifications on the leash you purchase regarding the recommended weight limit.
#4: Your Dog Can Get More Exercise on a Retractable Leash
If your dog has a bit more energy than you on a particular day or you’re not feeling like rushing to keep up, you can allow your dog a bit more lead to encourage them to get their steps in. This can be beneficial for animals who need a bit more exercise.
Alternatively, if your pup is feeling frisky but you just don’t have the energy, you don’t have to subject them to a slower pace. Depending on how long the rope is, you might be able to be comfortably seated while still allowing your dog a fair amount of room to roam about safely. A well-walked dog is typically a happy one!
Is a Retractable Leash Right for You?
It’s worth noting that retractable leashes can come with their hazards, and might not be for every dog. Dogs that aren’t leash-trained or are very energetic or strong might not be good candidates for retractable leashes. Dogs with shoulder or neck injuries can also be more susceptible to injury. Traditional leashes are often recommended by dog trainers when first training your pup to walk on a leash, so this is important to know if you’re taking your dog to training.
After they master walking with a leash, you can always venture into the world of retractable leashes. If you don’t think a retractable leash will work well with your dog, don’t push it. Ultimately, leashes are meant to help ensure the safety of your furry friend. Don’t force anything you or your dog are uncomfortable with.
Best Retractable Leash Options
One of the best retractable leashes on the market is the Flexi retractable leash. They come in a variety of styles, lengths, colors, and strengths to handle all types of dogs and owners. One of the more recent fan favorites is the Flexi Neon leash. This model has reflective panels on the handle and a bright neon rope, perfect for walking in low visibility conditions. Curious about other well-received dog leashes? Check out this article featuring some of the other best retractable leashes for dogs.
By purchasing reputable, quality retractable leashes you can cut back on the risk of the leash snapping off or breaking. It’s best to reserve these types of leashes for dogs who are already well-trained and are used to walking well while on a leash.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Christine Bird/Shutterstock.com
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