Retractable Lead – Friend or foe

Hidden Dangers in Convenient Retractable Dog Leads  for Dog Walking

dog-leadDogs are the most popular pet among people all over the world. Almost everyone has owned a dog at some point in their lives and many treat their dog like they are truly one of the family. Dog lovers throw their dogs parties, buy them speciality outfits, and even take them on family holidays. It is a good life when you have the opportunity to be a family’s favourite pet, but there are times when good intentions can get you into trouble.

Dogs really enjoy taking walks with their owners. In the interest of safer Dog walking dog owners utilise many forms of restraint to keep the dog from running aimlessly through the streets. One of the most popular devices people use for restraint purposes is the common retractable lead  Upon first looking at one of these leads, it looks like a great idea. The owner has control over how much to let the lead out and the dog gains a little more freedom with their walks, but there are certain hidden dangers that make this form of restraint one of the worst for your dog.

Too Much Freedom

We want our dogs to have a certain amount of freedom, but some of these leads can allow the dog to go a considerable amount of distance from their owner. They may come in contact with another animal and engage in an altercation or find themselves running out into a busy street. A shorter lead allows the owner to maintain better control of the entire situation.

Breaks Easily

General leads have a thick cord that allows for even the largest dog to be walked with relative ease. They rarely break just because the dog begins to run, but a retractable lead tends to have a significantly thinner cord that is designed to wind up easily within the handle unit, but a running dog can easily snap the thin cord.

Tangled Up

The lead of a retractable dog lead can be considerably long. It is easily wrapped around practically anything and an overexcited dog can get the lead tangled around the owner’s feet tripping them up. A fall whilst out dog walking can be severe depending on what surface you are walking them on.

Risk of Injury

Dogs can be considerably strong animals and are also very fast. A dog that begins to run on a retractable leash can pick up a lot of speed before the lead runs out of length. At the end they have picked up enough speed that the quick stop can do a lot of damage to their neck. Many dogs have suffered neck injuries in this manner.

Bulky Handles

The thin handle of a standard leash is easy to hold onto even if you are walking a large dog. Retractable leads, however have a very bulky handle that can be jerked out of a walker’s hand if the dog becomes over excited.

Not a Good Idea for Timid Dogs

There are a number of dogs that are simply more fearful than others. They are often frightened by simple noises that do not seem to bother humans. The sound that a retractable lead makes can be a bit scary for these types of dogs. If the dog happens to begin the run and gets away from the owner the mere sound of the leash retracting behind him can make him run faster in attempts to evade his attacker.

Risk of Malfunction

When you have a standard leash that you walk your dog on there is likely not any risk that the leash will malfunction, but a retractable leash has a lot of moveable parts within the unit. These parts can wear our overtime and the pieces wearing out in the middle of a walk can result in a lost dog.

Bad for Training

Training a dog to walk on a lease takes time. Using a retractable leash to train the dog is a bad idea because they will not learn to walk directly next to the owner. The dog will learn that the lead will stretch if they pull it and will tend to walk well ahead of the owner which is not the way to teach them to walk effectively.

Retractable leashes have way more negative aspects than positive ones. While walking your dog you want to make sure they are as safe as possible, so you need to invest in a sturdy short lead and instead of relying on a standard collar for walking purposes you may want to look into getting a harness so that all of the pressure is not on the dog’s neck while walking. That way if they happen to begin running the lead will not risk injuring the dog’s neck. It is a great joy to walk your dog and allow him to get both exercise and fresh air, but always ensure that your dog is safe at all times by using a short leash that is sturdy enough for the dog an appropriate for his size.