Retractable leashes have their place in the world when they are properly used; they were designed for training.
Appropriate times to use this type of leash would be:
Training a dog recall commands in a high traffic area.
Allowing a dog to wade into a stream that you do not want to walk in.
Hiking in an area where a dog may come into contact with wildlife if they stray too far off a trail.
Rarely do people use retractable leashes correctly. In most cases, retractable leashes are used as one step above allowing a dog to roam freely and behave however they choose in areas where leash laws are in place and owners want to give their dogs more freedom.
You’ve probably encountered people who use them for this purpose. They allow their dogs to charge out of their front doors to the end of their leash without regard for who is on the sidewalk. Frequently owners play on their cell phones, paying no attention to what their dog is doing. They half heartedly say, “He’s friendly” as they allow their dog to charge to the end of their leash at your dog without asking if they can meet.
However, the biggest issue with retractable leashes is that they enable dog owners to avoid training; they enable owners to tolerate the unwanted behaviors of untrained dogs.
Here are the top five reasons that dog owners should not use as retractable leash:
1. They Enable Unwanted Behaviors
A retractable leash enables an owner to avoid training a dog to heel and walk politely on leash; it does not impact them when their dog wants to walk ahead of them. A dog should always walk politely on a leash, never necessitating a retractable leash. Leash manners are achievable with proper training and consistency.
2. They Take Away Bonding Experiences
Walking a dog is a time to connect with her. During a walk, you should be paying attention to your dog, not playing on your phone. Dogs enjoy walks as a result of their pack mentality; being mentally present offers a bonding experience. Further, paying attention during walks can prevent tragedies, such as a dog trying to play with a wild animal and becoming injured, or a dog running out into traffic, or dogs getting into a fight.
3. They Take Away Control
The entire point of a dog being on a leash during walks is to maintain control of your dog. Many counties and states have instituted leash laws for the safety of dogs, humans, and others. Unless the dog owner decides to lock the leash on a short setting, they do not offer control. And many people do not utilize the short lock setting.
4. They Enable Owners to Not Pay Attention
Using a retractable leash gives owners the opportunity to become distracted; they do not have to focus on walking with their dog or training. They can get lost in their social media news feed while their dog runs ahead of them. A dog on a retractable leash could injure herself without the owner’s knowledge if they are not paying attention, and then they would not know what caused the injury. This is particularly a concern in areas where snakes are seen often; if you do not see what type of snake bit your dog, obtaining the appropriate veterinary care becomes difficult.
5. Retractable Leashes are Dangerous
As a result of their design, they can lead to events such as:
The retractable leash tangling around a dog’s or human’s legs may result in a dislocation of a joint or a nasty cut.
If a dog charges with enough force they can pull the leash out of the handle and break loose, putting other animals in danger if the dog is aggressive, or putting your dog in danger if they are running towards an aggressive animal, or putting your dog in danger of running into traffic or getting lost.
Dogs must be trained to ensure they are polite citizens, which allows you to include them in more family outings.
If something were to happen to you, your dog being well trained makes them more adoptable.
A well trained dog is a joy to live with; an untrained, poorly behaved dog is destructive and difficult to live with.
Friends just do not let friends use retractable leashes. If there is one item that should never be in your favorite dog supplies, it is the retractable leash. Throw out your retractable leash and replace it with a training treat pouch to train your dog in one of our private training classes to change the unwanted behaviors that made you purchase a retractable leash.