Dangers of Retractable Leashes

Dangers of Retractable Leashes

Dangers of Retractable Leashes

Retractable leashes are a great idea. They give us the ability to enjoy our walks with dogs and still keep a safe distance from them. However, using them in the wrong way can be a dangerous practice for you, your dog, and other people around you. This blog takes a look at why retractable leashes can be dangerous for dogs and you and why the best practice for walking your dog is to use a traditional leash and harness.

8 Dangers of Retractable Leashes

The Length Increases the Danger

The issue here is the length of these leashes. They can spread to more than 20 feet! That’s a long length! And, you know, dogs run like the wind! So, you know, I think a lot of things could happen here. If your dog is a runner, or if they’ve never been on a leash before, a long retractable leash can be dangerous. Retractable leashes allow dogs to run away from their owners and it results in to very dangerous situations. A pup can run and get in the center of a road and sometimes attack other animals and people.

Difficult To Control

If your dog is on a long retractable leash and has a hostile dog attack it is very difficult to control the situation. A dog on a small 6ft leash is relatively easy to control as compared to a retractable leash. The reason for this is if the dog is on a long retractable leash, you will not be able to get close to the dog.

If a dog attacks a dog or a human on a long leash, it is impossible to control the situation. In this situation, the dog’s owner will likely be bitten so the dog will have to take the full force of the attack. On a 6ft leash, the length will allow you to keep your distance from the attacking dog. This will make it easier to control the situation.

Loose Grip

Although there are hundreds of pet owners who use retractable leashes daily, there are many who think that this is an unsafe practice. The main problem is the bulkiness of the handle. It can very easily come out of the owner’s hands in a close-contact situation. If only a few feet of the leash are used, the handle of a retractable leash has a good chance of coming out of the owner’s hand. This has happened more than once: a dog is suddenly sprinting down the sidewalk and the owner is not able to catch up.

It Can Get Tangled

When you are walking your dog with a retractable leash, you are walking a dog that is capable of moving in whatever direction it desires without constraint. However, there are some problems with retractable leashes that could be more serious than a dog going off-leash.

A study done by the University of Michigan revealed that when a leash is retractable, the risk of injury to both people and dogs is increased. If a dog is running free with a retractable leash, it’ll still want to be able to smell and explore everything around them. This could cause them to end up entangled within the leash. If you are a dog trainer of any kind, it would be best to avoid using a retractable leash.

Unexpected Issues          

There are many cases of retractable leashes behaving erratically, such as getting stuck on a certain length or straining the owner’s wrists. While there are some instances of them working well, such as not stuttering during a walk, there are many cases of them simply not working or hurting the owner. Either way, it can be very frustrating if you’re out for a walk with your dog and suddenly, you’re tripping over your own feet because your dog is hiding behind a tree and the leash is unspooling.

The danger for Other Dogs

These leashes give the pups freedom, as a result, other dogs think that your dog is trying to get aggressive and there will be chance dogs will get into a fight. These leashes will also harm your dog, as it will just teach them to pull on a leash and it will cause stress to their neck and shoulders. These leashes are also bad for the owner, as they will have to constantly stop their dog from running into things, such as people and cars. They are hard to control and they also have a hard time listening to their owner.

Its Cord Can Break

There are thin cords present in this leash that can break easily. If a large and dominant dog is pulling the leash the cords can break and put everybody in danger. A better option is to get a nylon or leather leash with a snap on the end. These are far more durable, so you won’t have to worry about a snapped cord. Not only that, but you’ll be able to keep control of your dog, no matter how strong or large he is. You certainly don’t want to have a dangerous cord loose in your neighborhood endangering your pet and other people!

Bad Option for Untrained Dogs

Dangers of Retractable Leashes - untrained dogs

These leashes are a great concept for those that have trained their dogs to walk normally alongside the owner, but for those that haven’t, retractable leashes are a terrible idea. When you use a retractable leash on an untrained dog it is a bad idea because as dogs pull along the leash goes along and they will think of it as if it is extending for them. This leads to a more difficult training process for the owners because their dogs are already accustomed to pulling.


Leashes can be useful, especially if you live in a big city and want to avoid getting run over by a car. But there are so many kinds of leashes and most dogs are confused about what kind of leash works best for them. On top of that, you need to train your dog to understand the concept of a leash so you can use it without putting anyone at unnecessary risk. If you have a well-trained dog that is gentle with strangers and not aggressive, you could probably walk them on a regular dog leash. For dogs that like to pull and get excited, you should not get them a retractable leash as it will increase the risk of accidents.

About the Author:

Savanna Westwood

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