Why Retractable Leashes Can Be Dangerous


Many of us enjoy taking our dogs for a daily walk so they can explore different sights and smells and stay mentally and physically stimulated. What you may not realize is the leash you use can dramatically affect how your dog walks on a leash. Retractable leashes are quite popular mainly because pet parents think these leashes will give their dogs a little extra freedom to sniff and poke around on walks.

There are many hazards associated with these for both you and your dog!

  • Many retractable leashes come with a 26-foot cord, allowing the dog to get far enough from you that it could escape or get hurt. Too many Bark Busters dog trainers have seen dogs bolt into the street or approach a dog that wasn't friendly. If your dog encounters an aggressive dog, it may be very difficult to get your dog to come back quickly enough or gain control of a difficult situation.
  • The thinner cord of a retractable leash can break. Retractable leashes have been known to sever fingers and have caused pet owners to fall as the dogs pulls them along. Owners have experienced cuts, burns, bruises, broken bones and road rash.
  • If you suddenly have to jerk the leash, your dog could sustain a neck injury, a lacerated trachea or an injury to the spine. Dogs have also been injured when they get twisted in the cord causing injury to their tail and legs.
  • If your dog is at all fearful, the sound of a retractable leash falling out of your hands may frighten him, causing him to take off running. The clunky handle then seems like it is chasing him, causing him to be fearful of walks in general.
  • Retractable leashes can easily break either refusing to extend, retract or unspool at all.
  • Like many behaviors, walking correctly on a leash is a learned behavior. It is harder for a dog to learn to walk quietly by your side if he has a leash that gives him too much lead.

Bark Busters feel dogs should learn to walk politely on a regular leash or harness, and to stay close enough to their human to be safe. A retractable leash too often encourages pulling and can be an accident waiting to happen!