Why I Refuse to Use a Retractable Dog Leash | Dogster
Lack of Control
Because they conveniently reel themselves back in, many people choose to get extra long retractable leashes. In theory, this is great. Your dog can explore a good distance in front of you and you don’t have to worry about tripping over the leash. But what about when that loose dog comes around the corner? Or you encounter that neighbor who’s afraid of dogs? Or that exuberant child wants to hug your not-so-child-friendly dog? With a traditional 4- or 6-foot leash, it’s easy to pull your dog close and control the situation. But if your dog is 10 feet in front of you at the end of what is essentially a thin string, it’s much more difficult.
They Pose a Danger to Dogs
This same lack of control can lead to dogs being injured or killed. Undoubtedly, one of the great things about retractable leashes is that dogs can sniff, pee and explore more freely. It’s one of the reasons I enjoyed using one with our first dog Ranger. But that same freedom can put a dog in danger by allowing them to chase a rabbit or squirrel into the street in front of an oncoming car. As dog owners, we always need to keep in mind that no matter how well they’re trained, our dogs still have their own impulses. I personally just feel more comfortable knowing that if my dog temporarily loses his or her mind in pursuit of a small furry animal, I can quickly pull them back to safety.
They Pose a Danger to Humans
According to the accompanying post, their client “called about her little dog being attacked while on a walk. We made the appointment and found that except for some bruises and painful areas, her dog would be fine. The injury to our client was worse. You see, she had her dog on a retractable leash and when the attack happened, her dog was too far away from her to ‘reel’ him in fast enough and she instinctively grabbed the cord with her hand. The rope quite effectively sawed through her finger, nearly down to the tendons.”
And this woman is not alone. Serious injuries, including amputations, have been reported in connection with retractable leashes. While any type of leash has the potential to cause harm, grabbing a traditional nylon leash with one’s hands is far less likely to cause the same type of damage seen above.