Check Out the Best Retractable Dog Leash

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Updated: September 4, 2022

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Many dog owners love the design of a retractable dog leash. These leashes allow you to customize the length of your dog’s leash depending on the situation. You can choose from a length of just a few inches to the longest lengths of up to 26 feet. Retractable leashes allow you to customize the amount of control you need based on the specific situation.

There are many different retractable leashes on the market. Many come with added features such as an extra-long lead length, heavy-duty and unbreakable cords flashlights, poop bag holders, tangle-free designs, and hands-free walking options. Choosing which model will be the overall best choice for your dog can be tricky!

That’s exactly why we put this review together. We wanted to help you choose the best retractable leash for your pup that will match your budget and offer all the additional features you’re looking for. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks.

  1. TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash
  2. TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash
    • Available in sizes Small for Dogs Under 35 lbs; Medium For Dogs Under 55 lbs; Large For Dogs Under 110 lbs
    • 360° Rotation with 16 ft nylon tape leash with adjustment and retraction
    • Comfortable Grip with Ergonomic Anti-Slip Handle
    • Lock and Unlock Feature
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. SCENEREAL Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash with Flashlight
  4. SCENEREAL Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash with Flashlight
    • Pack contains one retractable dog leash and a detachable LED flash light requiring 3 AAA batteries (batteries NOT included), one poop bag roll and matching dispenser
    • Shockproof case, ergonomic grip and anti-slip handle make walking your dog comfortable
    • Strong leash to handle dogs up to 110 lbs for daily walking
    • Metal leash exit allows for smooth retraction, preventing knotting


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  5. LANNEY Hands Free Retractable Bungee Dog Leash
  6. LANNEY Hands Free Retractable Bungee Dog Leash
    • Shock-absorbing bungee leash handles dogs up to 150 lbs
    • Durable anti-tear nylon with reinforced cross stitching to last long
    • Dual handles made of soft neoprene for comfort when controlling dog
    • Ergonomic waist belt fits waists 34-46 inches with sliding O-ring for dog to move freely
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  7. WIGZI Dual Dog Retractable Dog Leash
  8. WIGZI Dual Dog Retractable Dog Leash
    • 360° tangle-free design allows dog to walk up to 10 feet while the leash spins
    • Reflective leads for walking at night
    • Color-coded leads with matching stop buttons to distinguish dogs apart
    • Soft rubber handle with ergonomic design for hand comfort
    • Holds two dogs, each up to 50 lbs with 10 foot lead per dog


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What are the Benefits and Risk of Using a Retractable Leash

Before you purchase a retractable dog leash, it is important to consider and weigh the benefits and risks associated with this type of leash.

First, let’s review some of the benefits of using retractable leashes:

  • Give dogs more freedom to run and play: When you’re in a situation where your dog can safely run and play, but you are required to keep them on a leash, a retractable leash offers a good solution. With their longer lead, retractable leashes can help you maintain control of your dog, while still letting them explore and play.
  • Adjustable lead length: Retractable leashes allows handlers to customize the lead length based on the situation. You can make it longer when you’re not in a busy area and your dog can run around or shorten it up if you’re walking around a lot of other people or pets.
  • Good for recall training: Using a retractable leash can also help with recall training and helping dogs learn how to come when called. You can get far enough away from your dog, while still keeping them safely on a leash, to help them learn how to come when called.
  • Helpful for potty breaks: Some dogs don’t like to take care of their business when their owner is standing right next to them. Since you can’t just let your dog off their leash to use the bathroom, a retractable leash offers a good solution. You may also find that a retractable leash makes it easier to let your dog take care of his business in the yard on a rainy day, while you remain dry inside.
  • May come with added features: Some retractable leashes on the market are designed with additional features to make them even more user-friendly. These features can include an extra-long lead, tangle-free designs, unbreakable and heavy duty cords for large dogs, poop bag holders, flashlights, and the option to use the leash with a hands-free waist belt.

There are a few safety concerns to be aware of too if you’re thinking about getting a retractable leash:

  • Risk of injury: Retractable leashes have a very thin cord that could become wrapped around a dog or a human. If the cord is wrapped and then pulled by the dog, it could cause a deep cut, amputation of a body part, or even strangulation.
  • Loss of control: If your dog is multiple feet ahead of you and becomes provoked by another animal, reining them in will be much more difficult with a long leash than it will be with a shorter leash.
  • Risk of escape: Retractable leashes are designed with a thinner cord that could snap if pulled on by a very powerful dog. This could allow your dog to escape from their leash.

Our Criteria and Experience–How We Chose the Best

When making our recommendations for the best retractable dog leashes, we researched and tested multiple retractable leashes in search of the ones we find to be the most sturdy, comfortable to hold, least likely to get tangled, and keep dogs safe. Here are some takeaways from the products we recommend to consider before making your choice:

  • Our overall best pick is a high quality leash that has received great reviews from countless happy customers. We really like how comfortable this leash is to hold and how well the retracting mechanism works to help you gain control of your dog when needed. However, some buyers started seeing some signs of wear after a few uses.
  • We find our #2 pick to be a very durable leash and love how bright the included flashlight is. However, some customers had trouble getting the leash to fully retract without folding or getting stuck a few times.
  • The overall design of our #3 choice for a leash and pack is wonderful. With the added clip and zippered compartment, you will easily be able to bring along everything you would need during a run with your pups. However, since the D-ring for the leash is on the right side, it may be difficult to use with dogs who are trained to walk/run on the left.
  • We like the retractable design of our #4 double leash for dogs who are trained not to pull. We can see the long leads coming in especially handy for those rainy days when we want our dogs to do their business, but we don’t want to get ourselves all wet. However, some users found that the buttons seemed to release and unlock themselves, which we didn’t love.

The Top Picks for the Best Retractable Dog Leash: Ranked

#1 Overall Best Retractable Dog Leash: TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash

Best Overall
TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash
  • Available in sizes Small for Dogs Under 35 lbs; Medium For Dogs Under 55 lbs; Large For Dogs Under 110 lbs
  • 360° Rotation with 16 ft nylon tape leash with adjustment and retraction
  • Comfortable Grip with Ergonomic Anti-Slip Handle
  • Lock and Unlock Feature
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Our overall top pick for the best retractable dog leash is the TUG 360°. This is a well-constructed retractable leash that is sure to perform as desired, but it is also reasonably priced making it a budget-friendly option.

The leash comes in four different sizes: tiny (for dogs under 26 pounds), small (for dogs under 35 pounds), medium (for dogs under 55 pounds), and large (for large dogs under 110 pounds). Each leash has a 16-foot adjustable lead (or 10-foot lead for the tiny size). The lead features a tangle-free mechanism to prevent dogs from getting caught up in the lead.

Use your thumb to easily lock or release the lead to maintain control of your dog or give him additional freedom depending on the specific situation. The hand features an ergonomic design to keep handlers comfortable. There are seven different color options available: black, blue, green, gray, red, white, and white/orange.

#2 Best with Flashlight: SCENEREAL Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash with Flashlight

Best with Flashlight
SCENEREAL Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash with Flashlight
  • Pack contains one retractable dog leash and a detachable LED flash light requiring 3 AAA batteries (batteries NOT included), one poop bag roll and matching dispenser
  • Shockproof case, ergonomic grip and anti-slip handle make walking your dog comfortable
  • Strong leash to handle dogs up to 110 lbs for daily walking
  • Metal leash exit allows for smooth retraction, preventing knotting


Check Amazon

This retractable dog leash from SCENEREAL includes a detachable LED flashlight making it perfect for taking your dog out when it is dark outside. The case is designed to be shockproof or added durability and an increased lifespan, and the handle features an ergonomic design for comfort during a walk.

If you’re looking for an extra-long retractable leash, this is a great choice. The lead extends up to 26 feet and is suitable for use with medium and large dogs that weigh up to 110 pounds. With the extra-long length of this leash, you can give your dogs more freedom or let them out in the yard to take care of their business while still on their leash. When you need to retract the leash, the upgraded stainless steel coil spring will make doing so easy. Simply press the button to lock the leash or adjust its length.

This model also includes a poop bag holder hook at the base, so you can always keep poop bags within easy access.

#3 Best Hands-Free: LANNEY Hands Free Retractable Bungee Dog Leash

Best Hands-Free
LANNEY Hands Free Retractable Bungee Dog Leash
  • Shock-absorbing bungee leash handles dogs up to 150 lbs
  • Durable anti-tear nylon with reinforced cross stitching to last long
  • Dual handles made of soft neoprene for comfort when controlling dog
  • Ergonomic waist belt fits waists 34-46 inches with sliding O-ring for dog to move freely
Check Amazon

Try this leash from LANNEY if you’re looking for a hands-free retractable leash. The budget-friendly design includes a waist pouch that attaches to the shock-absorbing bungee leash designed for dogs weighing up to 150 pounds. A durable 360-degree clasp is also integrated into the design to keep your dog from getting tangled up.

The lead length is adjustable between 51 and 76 inches to allow you to customize the distance between you and your dog. Additionally, two padded handles are included on the leash to help you quickly gain control of your dog if needed.

The waist pack included with this set is adjustable to fit men and women of different sizes. It also includes a D-ring where you can hook up an extra leash or other accessories you’ll need for your walk. There are two zippered compartments in the pack to hold other supplies or treats for your pup.

#4 Best Dual Dog Retractable Leash: WIGZI Dual Dog Retractable Dog Leash

Best Dual Dog Retractable Leash
WIGZI Dual Dog Retractable Dog Leash
  • 360° tangle-free design allows dog to walk up to 10 feet while the leash spins
  • Reflective leads for walking at night
  • Color-coded leads with matching stop buttons to distinguish dogs apart
  • Soft rubber handle with ergonomic design for hand comfort
  • Holds two dogs, each up to 50 lbs with 10 foot lead per dog


Check Chewy Check Amazon

If you like the design of a retractable leash and want to walk two dogs at once, you may want to consider the WIGZI Dual Dog Retractable Dog Leash. This would be a good option to consider if your dogs are well-trained and you want them to have more freedom on the leash to go in their own direction. The long leads allow each dog to go up to ten feet away from the handler.

This double leash uses 360-degree untangling technology to ensure the two leads never get mixed up and intertwined. The handle features an ergonomic design to keep the dog walker’s hand comfortable and only weighs the same as a single retractable leash.

The two leads on the leash, one orange, and one green, are bright and reflective to help increase visibility at night. Additionally, there are color-coded buttons on the handle to allow you to lock each lead when needed to control your dog. This double lead is designed for use with dogs weighing up to 50 pounds.

Summary of Best Retractable Dog Leashes

RankedBest ForProduct
1OverallTUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash
2With FlashlightSCENEREAL Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash with Flashlight
3Hands-FreeLANNEY Hands Free Retractable Bungee Dog Leash
4Double Dog LeashWIGZI Dual Dog Retractable Dog Leash

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Check Out the Best Retractable Dog Leash FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why are retractable leashes bad for dogs?

Retractable leashes pose a lot of risks for dogs and handlers and should be used sparingly and only with well-trained dogs. One potential risk is injury, or even strangulation, from the very thin rope of these leashes. If the rope gets wrapped around a part of the dog or the owner and is pulled tight, it could lead to the amputation of a limb or finger.

Retractable leashes can give dogs too much freedom since they are so much longer than a traditional leash. This can make it very difficult to pull a dog back should it get provoked or threatened by another animal. With the longer cord stretched out, the dog could cause the cord to snap and end up getting away.

Many retractable leash cords are not unbreakable and could allow a dog to escape if the leash snaps.

Is it better to use a retractable dog leash?

Most dog trainers and veterinarians don’t recommend using a retractable dog leash. These leashes can cause potentially serious injuries to dogs or their owners and can make it difficult to control a dog. The added freedom dogs get with using a retractable leash can actually encourage them to pull when they are walking on a leash.

However, there are some benefits to using a retractable leash as well. The design of these leashes allows you to adjust the length of the lead to control the amount of freedom your dog has. With the longer lead on a retractable leash, you can also allow your dog more freedom to run and play while still complying with state or local leash laws. You may also find that giving your dog more distance from you will help them take care of their business more easily. It can also allow you to let your dogs out to use the bathroom in the yard while you’re still standing inside on a rainy day.

Are retractable dog leashes safe?

Retractable dog leashes are not the safest option for a pup. The longer, thin cord of a retractable leash can get wrapped around a part of the dog’s body (or the handlers’ body) and cause rope burn, cuts, or even strangulation. Retractable leashes definitely shouldn’t be used with dogs who aren’t well-trained. But even well-trained dogs can become provoked if threatened and may end up pulling too much on their leash. Large dogs can pull too hard on a retractable leash, but even some smaller dogs could suffer potential injury.

What is the best brand of retractable dog leash?

There are a lot of well-known retractable dog leash brands. Two of the most highly-rated brands are TUG and Fida.

What is the longest retractable dog leash?

The longest retractable leashes have leads that are 26 feet long.