Thursday, September 26, 2013

Think carefully when choosing a retractable leash for your dog!

As convenient as this type of leash seems to be, there are many more reasons why pet owners should seriously consider using them in limited situations, if any. 


There are reasons why retractable leashes aren't recommended for your dog….they can be dangerous and cause accidents (cuts, burns, tangled dogs and owners).  Often, a dog can become injured when they are jerked when they abruptly get to the end of the leash (after suddenly running after that rabbit or other dog they saw out of the corner of their eye).  Also, you may stop at a corner, but the dog may continue walking and get hit by a car, bike, truck or even a person.

Retractable leashes can actually encourage dogs to pull. The amount of leash we provide is inconsistent….so the boundaries of what is acceptable is confusing. Sometimes they are given 2 feet, sometimes 6 feet, and if they pull a little harder, they may be given 10 feet. Then, when we are in a busy area, we only give them a few feet so they begin to pull.  Think about how confusing this can be!

So before you grab the retractable leash, consider these things: 

  • Make sure the one you have is STRONG enough to handle your dog (based not only on their weight, but how hard they pull and how strong they are).  Dogs who love to chase a squirrel or stray ball, can suddenly jerk away. 
  • Watch for the line at all times.  It can cause leash burns on you if your dog suddenly races past you or your bare skin. 
  • Cords can get twisted around the dog’s neck or legs and they will panic, making the ability for you to free them more challenging.
  • The cord can break or you may drop the handle if the dog suddenly pulls or runs away.
  • You may suddenly stop for an on-coming car and forget to pull back or stop the cord, allowing the dog to keep running, causing life threatening situations (car accidents, bike injuries) and possibly death.
  • In crowded situations (think walking around the lake), people or other pets can trip or get caught in the cord. 

Personally, we recommend ONLY using the retractable leashes when you take your precious pooch out to do their business, in a calm and controlled environment.  It will keep everyone safer!

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