What Are the Benefits of Using a Retractable Dog Leash?
A retractable dog leash has got a bad name because of the potential injuries it can cause to walkers and their dogs. Well, before discussing its benefits, I’d like to clear one thing: this leash is not suitable for all dogs. If, after thorough thinking, you decide to use a retractable dog leash, you should always follow the instructions and practice the safety measures it comes with. There shouldn’t be any compromise with it.
There have been many cases of injuries and amputations of fingers reported by people using retractable leashes to walk their dogs. We are not going to discuss whether the retractable leashes should be used or not. That’s another article for another time.
All the inventions that have been commercialized, address at least one problem or inconvenience. The same goes for good quality retractable dog leashes. These leashes are not for each dog as I said earlier. If you have an untrained dog and you still decide to choose a retractable leash for your regular walks, you may face its consequences.
Unlike many other pet accessories, retractable leashes come with additional risks. Consider this analogy, a chainsaw has the potential to severely injure you or the person present around you while operating it. But that doesn’t mean you should never use it.
In the same way, retractable leashes are for highly trained, disciplined, and well-behaved dogs with great recalls.
This is the primary purpose of this type of leash. Because a dog can explore desired space in his extended proximity, he gets more freedom during his walks. This also provides the extra enrichment they require.
When walking off-leash, you only have to rely on the recalls and other commands, whereas if you use a retractable leash, you can always give the leash corrections; an additional feature when you want your dog to come close to you at once.
Some people use retractable leashes for walking their cats for the same purpose. However, if you can walk your cat on a harness and leash comfortably, you shouldn’t use the leash for your cats.
You can block the leash from extending as per your wish. This allows you to control the proximity of your dog. And as you already know, you can just push a button to retract the leash so that your dog will be closer to you.
When you use a normal leash for your dog, it can slack and will be difficult for you to give corrections through the leash. But in the case of a retractable leash, the leash can always be kept under tension, enabling superior control over your dog.
One school of people believes that retractable dog leashes should only be used for training purposes. If you want to use retractable leashes just for training purposes, it’s possible.
You can teach your dog ‘recall’ command quickly and efficiently. However, you should know that you have to train your dog first to use a retractable leash in order to use the leash for regular walking.
You can teach recalls, discipline, and off-leash walking using it. If taught during the early stage of life, the dog can be benefitted more.
I have a dog who walks at a pretty fast pace. So whenever I’m tired and allow my pooch to walk faster, I use a retractable leash so that he can go ahead of me and can explore the new space as well.
However, a dog should know when to stop. My dog is trained for walking off-leash and after getting ahead of me for about 10 feet of distance, he would look back to see if I’m there.
While using a retractable leash, you’re not actually holding the leash but you’re holding a handle that holds the leash. The whole spring mechanism of the retractable leash resides in this plastic thingy, also serving as a handle.
Since retractable leashes are potentially dangerous, you should always buy one of the best retractable leashes available in the market. Failure of any part of the leash can put you and your dog in grave danger as well.
Such high-quality and premium products come with multiple features that can make your walking experience quite comfortable. Most come with an adjustable width of grip. A switch that locks, unlocks, and reels the leash is easily accessible by a thumb.
In addition to that, the handle has an in-built flashlight so that when you walk your dog at night, you won’t have to carry a separate flashlight or a headlamp to see the path ahead. Some leashes also come with flashing LEDs on the handle for better visibility in dark.
There are certain benefits of using retractable dog leashes. But that doesn’t ever mean you should choose a retractable dog leash over a conventional one. These leases are used for a different purpose than normal walks. When all you hear is negative things about retractable dog leashes, one should know the benefits and the purpose of this leash.
Writer & Pet Sitter
Diane is a full-time contributor at DogNeedsBest. She usually prefers writing reviews on the products that she has already tried and tested during either pet sitting or on her pets – Charlie, a Ragdoll cat, and Jack, a Labrador.