ARE RETRACTIBLE LEASHES SAFE?

Two types of retractible leashes

This is definitely one of my major pet peeves.
Why?
Because they are misused, they can break, they may cause injury
and, 99% of the time, handlers are clueless of the risks involved when they are used to go walkies.

Misuse
Any leash that has a reach of around 30 feet is not meant to be used for regular dog walking and certainly not where there is traffic, however light. Nevertheless, a retractable leash can be a good tool for obedience training in a wide open space.

Breakage
The spring mechanism can malfunction; either not extend or not retract. If the thin cord or the flat nylon strip snaps, you have a dog on the loose and the leash can boomerang back to hit the person holding the plastic handle.

Injury
If any part of the leash gets wrapped around the human’s leg, it can cause burns or cuts. Also, the dog, as well as other dogs, may be at risk of injury if they become entangled.

Another harmful scenario is when the human suddenly stops the leash from extending, or when it is allowed to spool out totally and the moving canine is suddenly stopped in its tracks. Neck wounds and throat injuries as well as damage to the spine are frequently the result.

The 99 percent
In my experience, 99% of retractable leash dog walkers are clueless risk takers. Here are some examples to ponder.

  • A dog that has not be trained to walk correctly will pull because it knows it will always be given more leeway.
  • The plastic case is bulky, you bend over to pick up his business, you fumble, you drop the leash… it’s dragged along the ground and makes a noise which scares the dog as it runs faster to get away from the noise, traumatized.
  • You are distracted, you forget to click the spool tight, your dog sees a squirrel, your dog takes off…
  • You are still distracted, you are still talking on your phone, but this time your dog is walking 12 feet behind you, you have no idea what he’s up to.
  • Your dog is 6 feet ahead of you, turns the corner and comes face-to-face with an unfriendly canine, an altercation begins, you are unable to control your dog…

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!

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