Are Retractable Leashes A Good Idea
Most cities have a leash law. Dogs must be on leash unless they are in a fenced in area. Some places have fenced in dog parks for dogs to run around in off leash. Leashes come in a variety of materials and sizes. The most common types of leashes are made of leather or nylon and are usually about six feet long. Some people choose to use a retractable leash on their dog so the dog can wander further than with a traditional leash.
Are retractable leashes appropriate for your dog? This article discusses the pros and cons of such leashes. This allows you to make an informed decision on whether to use a retractable leash with your dog.
Here are the pros of using a retractable leash:
- Dogs can roam over a larger area smelling things along the walk route.
- The owner can keep walking at a steady pace while the leash allows the dog to linger when he finds an interesting scent.
- Poorly trained dogs are still restrained from running off.
Here, then, are the cons of using a retractable leash:
- In the city, your dog can run into the street if you allow him too much slack on the leash, and get hit by a car.
- Your dog can run up on people and other dogs. Even if he is just being friendly, the other dog might be frightened or aggressive. The owner of the other dog will probably not appreciate a strange dog running up to their dog, either.
- Veterinarians see a lot of injuries due to retractable leashes.
- Dogs who run until they get to the end of a retractable leash stops them can receive injuries to their neck, trachea, and esophagus.
- Dogs may have injuries from a dog fight because the owner could not reel in the leash fast enough to prevent it.
- It is very difficult to train a dog while the dog is on a retractable leash. A retractable leash teaches the dog to pull to get closer to objects. You then have to get a regular leash and teach him not to pull. Using two different leashes and two different sets of expectations is confusing for the dog. It is also harder to train other concepts when the retractable leash allows the dog to go out and smell interesting things instead of listening to you.
- Retractable leashes can hurt the owners that use them, too. If the leash gets wrapped around the owner’s legs, they can fall and be seriously injured.
- The thumb controls can be confusing and the owner can panic and lose control of the dog.
- If the owner reaches forward to grab the rope and try and pull their dog in manually, they can get some nasty rope burns.
Most veterinarians and dog trainers agree: a retractable leash has too few upsides to offset the downsides it can cause. Be safe and use a six feet leather or nylon leash when working or walking your dog.