I have wanted to write an article on these for a long time. Some people swear by these and others are very sceptical as to how to use them.
I have owned retractable dog leads in the past but I can hold my hands up as I don’t own one now. There is a very good reason for that. I live in a city where there are no open fields or wide walkways to walk our dogs. If I used one now it would be far too dangerous as you need to have eyes in the back of our head to see dangerous road users, kids on scooters and people using electric scooters on footpaths. I’m afraid in this day and age walking on a footpath can be quite dangerous.
When I lived in England, a few years ago, I was lucky enough to live in a village surrounded by lots of fields where we could walk our dog safely. Whilst there I had a retractable lead for our Miniature Schnauzer. The lead was great as I could walk in the fields near the road and let her run around happily whilst being able to control her if she got too near the road.
I have also heard bad press on some extendable dog leads. There are reports of them failing and falling apart. I have never heard of them falling apart or failing but I guess I have always bought good quality items for my dogs. I believe good quality is essential as at the end of the day you love your dog and want to make sure they are safe.
How do you choose a Retractable Dog Lead?
- The Length – There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing its length. For starters who will be walking the dog? If it’s a young child then I would go for a shorter length just in case they are not fully in control as there is an element of danger. Also, if its too long either for a child, or adult, there is the chance of it getting tangled. If you have lots of open areas then a long lead is great for your dog, but if there is dense woodland, a shorter one is better to prevent tangling.
- The Size – These leads come in all shapes, lengths, colours and sizes. You need to choose one that is suitable for not only your dog but for yourself. If you are walking mile upon mile you don’t want to be lugging around a huge hefty one as you will end up with tired and sore arms. Choose one that will be efficient and easy for you to carry about.
- Grip / Comfort – Think about how you will be using the lead. Is your dog well-behaved or one that likes to round around like a maniac and ignores everything you say. If the latter, make sure the grip is well padded and comfortable as there is going to be lots of pulling and jarring. You can also purchase these with non-slip grips and ones that are ergonomically designed.
- Colour – These leads come in all sorts of colouful designs. It is a good idea to choose one that when you put it down it doesn’t get lost. If you are prone to forgetting things you can even buy a luminous one !!!! These are available at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.
- Mechanism – There are two main types of mechanisms. One that purely stops the tape or cord running out any further by pressing a button and another that can lock the cord in place without having to keep the button pressed down. Both are just as good as each other so it’s a preferential choice.
- Cord or Tape? – The choice here really depends on your dog. A cord type is the most common as they are lightweight and ideal for smaller dogs. You do however run more of a risk of injury with a cord. The tape type is stronger and tends to be heavier in design. These are more ideal for larger dogs but can still be used for smaller if need be.
- Accessories – You can get all sorts of accessories for you lead. The most common are lights, poo bag holders and treat pouches.
A retractable dog lead can be a great addition to your pets accessories. It gives your dog a lot more freedom and exercise and can make your walks far more enjoyable for your dog and for yourself. Make sure you train him or her slowly, varying the lengths of the lead. Don’t just let them run amok and do whatever they want as this behaviour can ultimately lead to an accident.
As always, please feel free to leave a comment