Best Retractable Dog Leashes Reviews & Buying Guide 2018
Dog walking sounds like a leisurely activity, but it usually is not. Every dog owner knows the struggle of trying to control an over-enthusiastic pooch who is wildly excited to be in the great outdoors – there’ so much to do and explore, your pup wants to run in a hundred different directions at once, resulting in vigorous tugging that nearly yanks your arm off and can often lead to a sore shoulder/neck. Dogs and humans have different ideas of what a good time outdoors constitutes, and this is where retractable leashes come in.
A retractable leash is a length of cord or tape ribbon wrapped around a spring-loaded contraption inside a plastic casing with a handle attached. There is generally a button or two located on the casing, which allows pet owners to control the length of cord/tape extended, and retract it when required.
Retractable leashes, in addition to being a great behavioral tool, are perfect for letting your pet roam and explore as they please, all while keeping them under your control. The extendable leash provides added mobility, and the retractable feature means you can maintain control over your pet and prevent them from getting into trouble or harm. They also provide greater freedom and peace of mind to pet owners, who can amble along at a leisurely pace while their dogs charge ahead. With retractable leashes, dogs get extra freedom, exercise and fresh air – minus the hassle and exertion on your part.
However, picking a retractable dog leash can be a hassle. Inferior products result in snapped leashes, jammed retracting mechanisms, broken casings, and frayed cords, to name a few problems. Low quality leashes can be annoying or downright dangerous, and can result in accidents or injuries for dogs and their owners. The same goes, for instance, for a puppy leash.
When you’re looking for a quality retractable dog leash, you need to look at the material, leash length, and judge its suitability for your dog’s breed, size and temperament. In addition, there are a million different features in countless products to choose from. This can make selecting a retractable dog leash a confusing and time-consuming task.
However, this article does all the hard work for you. We’ve scanned the entire range of available products and been through countless product reviews to bring you this simple yet comprehensive article on the very best retractable dog leashes the market has to offer. In addition, we’ve put together a handy little guide on buying retractable leashes, so you know exactly what to look for and take into consideration. Read on for our top recommendations and tips for buying the best retractable dog leash. We also cover some of the best dog collars and leashes.
Top 10 Retractable Dog Leash Comparison
To make it easier for you to compare the different features of our top picks for retractable dog leashes, we’ve put together a useful chart you can browse through, to see what some of the best retractable dog leashes on the market have to offer:
TaoTronics Leash with Dual Bungees
All dogs up to 150 lbs
Hands-free- clips on around waistReflective stitchingDouble handles
Perfect for giving your pup more freedom of movement when you head out on your daily walk, retractable leashes are great for when you and your dog want to walk at different speeds (as is usually the case) – you can walk at a comfortable pace while your pet can go on ahead and explore as they please without dragging you behind them – however, the entire time, you have your pet under your control.
In addition to training your dog to adjust to the retractable leash and learning to use it safely, it is also essential to pick the right leash to begin with. Which type of retractable leash is best suited to your dog’s breed and temperament? When and where will you be walking your dog? Do you plan to walk more than one dog? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when you’re looking for a retractable dog leash.
Since there are multiple factors to consider, and a huge selection of products to choose from, selecting a retractable dog leash can be difficult. However, we’ve done the research work for you, and browsed through the huge selection of available products to pick out the very best. Here are some of our short and honest best rated retractable dog leash reviews. Whether you’re looking for a retractable dog leash with light and bag dispenser or something classic, such as retractable dog leash non-chewable, you’ll find it here.
TaoTronics Retractable Hands Free Dog Leash with Dual Bungees Review
Being dragged along by your dog on exploring expeditions every time you take him for a walk is not exactly a pet owner’s idea of a good time – the TaoTronics retractable hands free dog leash changes all that. Now, you can maintain control of your pet as he roams at ease, while you finish reading your newspaper or check work emails on your phone.
The TaoTronics retractable dog leash is suitable for all dog sizes, and comes with numerous useful features, including:
Hands-free waist wearing: This leash buckles safely and securely around your waist (adjustable to your size), leaving your hands free to use your phone or do whatever you please without having to maintain a grip on your dog’s leash. This means you remain unconstrained by your dog’s movements. The leash provides extra mobility and freedom for both pet and owner.
Dual built-in handles for extra control: The leash comes with a set of 2 strong handles which are strategically placed – one near your waist and the other nearer to the collar. This means you can guide your dog without restricting his movements with the waist handle, while the collar handle can be used for more direct control and to restrain your pet should he get too excited or attempt to start a dog fight. Double handles = extra control.
Strong dual bungee build: This leash has a dual spring build, which means it will absorb any jerks and sudden lunges from dogs of up to 150 pounds. The leash can extend up to 63 inches and thanks to the dual bungee construction, any back discomfort and injuries can easily be prevented.
Reflective stitching: Enjoy added visibility at night owing to the luminous reflective stitching that runs the length of the leash on either side, making for added safety on nighttime walks.
The TaoTronics retractable dog leash has many satisfied pet owners to its credit:
TNT says this leash is great value for money, since most hands free leashes are incredibly expensive. In addition, it is sturdy, and the reflectors are perfect for night time walks. This leash makes walks/runs/hikes more pleasant and the waist part is easy to adjust.
Justin B. says this leash is great because it is so much easier to not have to hold anything while walking her dog. Even if the pup strays a little, there’s no stress since he’s attached to her waist and she has greater control. The adjustable straps mean everything can be tightened and there’s nothing dragging on the ground that might trip someone.
While retractable hands-free dog leashes do give owners the ability to let their pet roam freely, it is essential for them to remain alert and vigilant regardless, in case the dog should get into some sort of trouble. This is also a great retractable dog leash double no tangle.
GlowGeek Retractable Dog Leash, Tangle Free Review
A sleek, comfortable, and user-friendly retractable leash, the GlowGeek leash is perfect for ensuring that both dogs and their owners enjoy walks and runs together. The leash allows you to let your pet roam as he pleases, smelling and sniffing at his leisure, while you still maintain full control and enjoy your own activities at your own pace.
The GlowGeek retractable leash features an efficient design which is crafted to ensure maximum comfort and convenience. It works great for all dog breeds and comes in a striking black and orange color combination. It has many great features that can be highly useful for pet owners:
Super strong: This leash is lightweight yet sturdy and long-lasting. It works for all dog sizes, ranging from 20 to 110 pounds in weight, and is made of highly durable materials (a sturdy plastic body and an unbreakable, tangle-free nylon leash ribbon).
One-button design: A simple one-button design, featuring a locking mechanism and retractable brake system, makes it super easy to maintain complete control over your dog’s movements. The button allows you to release the leash, lock the length that is most suitable and comfortable for you and your pet, and retract it when you require.
Extendable and unbreakable leash: The leash – tangle-free, high-strength, unbreakable ribbon – can extend up to 16 feet. The leash handle is equally durable and has an anti-slip handle which allows pet owners to maintain a firm yet comfortable grip.
The GlowGeek retractable dog leash has some happy customers vouching for it:
Laura says this leash has a very comfortable grip, and is wide and sturdy. The quality tops anything available at a pet store. Its locking mechanism is also very smooth and easy to operate.
Audre says this leash is sturdy and perfect for a large dog. She has used it countless times and it has held up nicely. Its lock button is convenient and it is easy to hold and strong enough to keep big dogs in check.
Never retract the leash when your dog is in the middle of a top-speed run, as this could lead to back and neck injuries.
Pet Neat Retractable Dog Leash with Break and Lock Button Review
Comfortable and easy-to-use, the premium Pet Neat retractable dog leash is perfect for giving your pet added mobility while keeping him under your control. With a strong internal mechanism which allows you to dictate how far your dog is allowed to roam, the Pet Neat retractable dog leash is efficient, convenient, and comfortable to use, making dog walking fun rather than stressful.
This retractable leash comes with a 100% lifetime money back guarantee, which is a testament to the long-lasting quality of the product. If a customer is dissatisfied with the leash, it can be returned for a replacement or refund. This means you purchase at zero risk.
The Pet Neat leash comes with a wide range of useful features, including:
Break and Lock button for complete control: The leash contains a heavy duty spring mechanism, which can be controlled with a button on the top of the leash. Pet owners can release the button to let their dog roam up to 10 feet away; they can push the button down to lock the leash to their desired length; and they can click it back to retract the leash and reel their pet back in.
Firm and comfortable grip: The retractable leash ensures that pet owners maintain a strong grip at all times, thanks to the ergonomic slip-proof handle attached to the ABS casing. This means you can stay in control even when your dog is pulling or running.
Sturdy enough for all sizes: The leash is made of tough nylon and contains a heavy, durable spring which will work even in minus 86 degree conditions. The Pet Neat leash can control even the most energetic of dogs up to 44 pounds in weight.
Bonus e-books: The leash comes with four bonus e-books which are delivered as PDFs following purchase. These include a guide to ensuring your dog’s health, a first aid manual that every pet owner should have, an instruction book for puppy training, and a general handbook on how to care for dogs.
The Pet Neat retractable leash has earned a loyal customer base:
Lisa A. says this leash is super sturdy and makes dog walking much easier, since she has the option to either reel the dog in or give him more leash.
JP says this leash has an extremely sturdy handle and the brake button is nice and big. The leash is all strap, which makes it stronger as compared to cable and cord leashes.
While retractable leashes are great for everyday walks in all sort of locations, it is best to avoid letting out too much leash length in crowded areas, as your dog might end up getting tangled. This is also a fantastic retractable dog leash no pull.
Hertzko Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash with 16 Feet Review
With the Hertzko retractable dog leash, walking your dog is less of a chore and more of a fun experience. Made of top quality materials, this strong dog leash is excellent for ensuring that you and your dog have a safe and enjoyable walk. The leash comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee – if the product does not live up to the expectations of a customer, a complete refund will be granted.
The Hertzko leash comes packed with a bunch of great features, including:
Break and lock button for maximum control: Pet owners can enjoy maximum control over their pets without limiting their movements by using the simple and uncomplicated break and lock button. The brake button allows pet owners to set the leash at their desired length, and the lock system allows for instant retraction whenever needed.
Long and durable ribbon: The leash features an extra-long ribbon that can extend up to 16 feet, allowing you to give your dog plenty of leeway to explore and investigate his surroundings. In addition, the leash ribbon is made of extra-strong nylon, which means that no matter how far your dog roams, he is always within your control.
Strong and comfortable: The Hertzko leash can be used for dogs that weigh up to 110 pounds, and comes with a carefully designed comfortable grip and a slip-proof handle to ensure the leash never slides out of a pet owner’s hands.
The Hertzko leash has received rave reviews from a number of customers:
Debbie says this 16ft leash is great for letting her dog explore without being held back due to short leash lengths. However, it also has a quick stop button in case the pup needs to be stopped. It is strong enough for usage with big dogs.
D says this leash can be beat in terms of functionality. It retrieves quickly and never jams. The handle is comfortable to grip and the collar clasp is strong.
Do not use retractable dog leashes for leash training – only after being trained with a traditional fixed leash can dogs graduate to being loose-leash trained and walked on a retractable leash.
Flexi Neon Retractable Dog Leash (Tape) 16 ft Review
The Flexi Neon retractable dog leash is an easy to use leash which allows pet owners to let their dogs freely explore their surroundings, all while keeping them under control. Its best feature is its highly reflective, neon colored components which ensure high visibility and safety even on nighttime strolls.
This sturdy leash is made in Germany and comes in three sizes – small (16 ft cord leash, best for small dogs weighing up to 26lbs), medium (16 ft cord leash, best for medium-sized dogs weighing up to 44lbs), and large (16 feet tape leash, best for large dogs weighing up to 110lbs). The leash also comes with a Special Precautions and Directions pamphlet, to ensure that pet owners use the leash responsibly and correctly.
Some standout features of the Flexi Neon leash include:
Highway-grade reflective sheeting: The leash comes with neon colored components and has highly reflective stickers on both sides of its casing that reflect headlights from 160 yards away. These reflective stickers and the neon colored leash chord/tape increase safety and visibility.
16ft leash: The leash allows dogs plenty of freedom, and thanks to its strong, resilient 16ft chord/tape, your pet can enjoy their walks to the fullest, all while under your control.
Convenient handling: The leash is incredibly easy to use, and excellent at enabling pet owners to single-handedly exert control as and when required, by using the brake button and the permanent stop feature.
Superior build: The Flexi Neon leash is compact and lightweight, but sturdy. It is designed to last.
The Flexi Neon leash has many happy customers:
Lola Lu says the leash has been working perfectly for her. The lock mechanism is sturdy and smooth, and the cord style leash means it doesn’t need to be kept smooth and flat like tape style leashes. The handle is exceptionally comfortable and the reflective material on the sides makes it ideal for after-dark walks.
Kiyana Banks says this leash holds up perfectly no matter what. It is the perfect length, and the functionality is great, which means you can lock it at any point. The neon color is great for added safety at night and really stands out without looking ridiculous during the day.
The full length of a retractable leash should only be let out in wide open spaces, where there is no risk of the leash getting tangled or wrapped around multiple objects.
Flexi Classic Tape Leash, Medium/Large, 16 ft Review
The Flexi Classic tape leash is made in Germany using premium materials, and serves as an excellent way for you to make walks fun and enjoyable for your pooch, all while keeping them controlled and safe.
The Flexi classic tape leash comes in three sizes – X-Small (10-feet cord leash for small dogs weighing up to 18lbs or a 3-meter tape leash for small dogs weighing up to 26 pounds), Small (16 or 26 ft cord leash for small dogs weighing up to 26lbs or 16ft tape leash for small dogs weighing up to 33lbs), Medium (16 or 26 feet cord leash for medium-sized dogs weighing up to 44lbs), and Medium/Large (16-feet tape leash for bigger dogs weighing up to 110lbs). It is also available in four colors (red, pink, blue and black).
The Flexi Classic tape leash is among the most durable dog leash, and has loads of great features, including:
Short-stroke one-handed braking system: The leash features a convenient and innovative short-stroke braking system that is both quick and reliable thanks to the brake button which makes for intuitive handling. The leash can be operated with one hand.
Upgradable: The Flexi Classic leash is upgradable with practical accessories, such as the optional LED Lighting System, which ensures visibility in the dark, and the optional Multi Box, which can be used to store waste bags or treats.
Smooth unroll and retract: The leash is designed to unroll and retract smoothly and effortlessly, which means there is no jarring or sticking.
Ergonomic handle: The leash has a specially designed ergonomic handle which offers a comfortable and secure no-slip grip.
The Flexi Classic leash comes with a Special Precautions and Directions pamphlet, which owners are advised to read for handling tips and safety instructions before they start using the leash. The Flexi Classic is a tried and tested model, and numerous satisfied pet owners vouch for it:
Bruce G. says this leash is very well-made and has some weight to it, which makes it feel good and sturdy in your hand. The locking and retracting mechanisms work perfectly, and the leash is made of a super strong nylon compound.
Birfield 85 says the leash extends and retracts smoothly, and has never gotten tangled or snagged like other retractable leashes often do. It is user-friendly and the grip is very comfortable.
Retractable leashes are great for giving your pet freedom, but avoid using them at night unless you are in a particularly well-lit area and/or the least has reflective stitching which shows up in the dark.
TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash, 16 ft Dog Walking Leash for Medium Large Dogs up to 110lbs Review
The sturdy, simple to use, and high powered TaoTronics retractable leash allows you and your pet to walk at a pace that you both enjoy, making walks a fun bonding experience instead of an intense, exhausting tug-of-war. With this leash, you can grant your pet maximum freedom and fun while under control.
The leash is suitable for all dog sizes – from the smallest of pooches to the biggest dogs – and comes in four different colors – blue, orange, green and black. Some of the useful features of this retractable leash include:
One-handed control: The TaoTronics leash allows you to walk your dog freely in open spaces all while keeping him under control single-handedly. The leash has a one-hand braking, release and retraction system, which can be used to let the leash out, set it to a comfortable length, and retract it as and when required. Push the button all the way down to lock the leash; click it back to slowly retract the leash.
Strong and long leash: This super-strong fray-proof nylon leash extends up to 16 feet and is designed to be used on a daily basis. A sturdy, durable leash, it works well for all sizes of dogs weighing up to 110 pounds, and can keep even the largest most powerful breeds in check.
Heavy duty design: The casing is made of durable, long-lasting ABS plastic and the ergonomic handle is slip-proof and designed to fit securely and comfortably in your hand.
Strong spring for smooth and instant retraction: The core spring which controls the retraction mechanism is weather-proof and tough enough to work smoothly even in the most extreme of conditions, working even when conditions reach -86 Fahrenheit.
Free roll of plastic bags: The leash comes with a bonus roll of plastic bags stored in a bone-shaped carry case so you can quickly and easily clean up any messes your dog might make.
The TaoTronics leash has proven to be a solid purchase for countless clients:
Erica says this leash is awesome. The ‘brake’ or ‘lock’ feature is extremely reliable, and the nylon ribbon is top quality, making it perfect for late night walks. The bag holder and extra roll of bags is a great bonus. The leash provides great control and a comfortable grip.
Amanda McCauley says this is a very nice heavy duty retractable dog leash. It is durable enough for all dog sizes, and has a nice big handle for easy gripping. It also has lots of length, so dogs can wander, but its locking button ensures dogs don’t stray too far. The mini trash bag holder shaped like a bone that comes with the leash is super cute and convenient.
When buying retractable leashes, it is best to buy a size above what is recommended for your dog’s size and weight, so the leash can hold up to the most vigorous tugging your pet is capable of.
Pet Magasin Retractable Dog Leash For Small & Medium Dog with Poop Bag Holder Review
The perfect leash for medium to small dogs, the Pet Magasin retractable dog leash ensures that your pet gets his space but doesn’t stray beyond your control. The leash is available in various sizes and in a single color – blue.
Seamless extension and retraction: This leash features a simple and reliable one-button stop/lock/release mechanism to ensure smooth extension and retraction of the leash ribbon. Pet owners can lock the leash to their desired length, and retract it as and when required.
Strong grip handle: The leash’s ergonomically designed handle is perfect for all kinds of pet owners, and its rubberized surface guarantees a firm and no-slip grip.
Long and safe, tape-style leash: Instead of chord style leashes which can cause cuts and injuries, Pet Magasin’s product features a flat, tape-style leash which can extend up to 13.5 feet. This flat leash which will not cause any cuts or rope burn.
Sturdy but lightweight: While the leash is lightweight, it is reliable and sturdy, and can be used for dogs that weigh up to 44 pounds. In short, it is ideal for small to medium dogs.
Simple untangling: The leash can be untangled with a simple tug.
Free waste bag holder and waste bags: The Pet Magasin leash comes with a free holder for storing waste bags, in addition to a set of waste bags, making it a leash that is fully equipped for a pet owner’s needs.
This is the best leash for small dogs (or at least one of them) and customers have given the Pet Magasin retractable dog leash glowing reviews:
Mitch Winter says this leash feels very comfortable in the hand, but is also not overly large or awkward to hold. The lock works smoothly and there is plenty of leash to adjust to your desired length. The leash is made of a strong, flat material, ensuring its durability.
Sharon says this leash is sturdy and well-constructed. It does not twist or get stuck, and the latch that attaches to the leash is very well made.
Oftentimes dogs can build up a lot of speed when running on the full length of a retractable leash. It is essential to pay attention to your dog’s whereabouts and activities even when using a retractable leash, as bringing a dog to a sudden stop when it has built up momentum while running can cause you and your pet serious injury.
Flexi Explore Retractable Belt Dog Leash, Large, 26-Feet Long Review
TA top-notch leash for large dogs, the Flexi Explore retractable dog leash lets pets and owners walk at their own individual paces. One of the strongest retractable dog leashes, it can handle the roughest of pulling and still ensure that the pet owner comfortably has complete control over their pet.
Known for its superior quality, extreme durability, and sleek design, this retractable dog leash for large dogs is made in Germany, and comes with a limited manufacturer’s warranty (however, this warranty does not cover any damages caused by dogs’ chewing, rough surfaces, or any type of misuse).
Some of the standout features of the Flexi Explore retractable dog leash include:
Suitable for large dogs: The Flexi Explore leash is sturdy enough to withstand the most enthusiastic of tugging – it is suitable for dogs that weigh up to 110lbs or less.
Super-long leash length: One of the longest leash lengths available in the market, the Flexi Explore leash can extend up to 26 feet. It is ideal for walking your dog in wide open spaces where they can enjoy their freedom and have plenty of leeway to explore their surroundings – all while under your control, of course.
Sizes and colors to suit all: This leash is available in 3 colors – black, blue and red – and also comes in three sizes, namely small, medium and large.
One-hand braking and recoil mechanism: With one hand, you can maintain complete control over your dog’s movements. The system can easily be controlled via the lock button on the ergonomic handle of the leash, which enables you to adjust the length of the leash to your liking and keep it at a constant length.
Safe usage pamphlet and safety collar: The leash comes with a pamphlet which contains detailed instructions on safe usage of the leash. A safety collar is also included, and it is advised that pet owners use this collar when walking their dogs with the Flexi Explore leash.
The Flexi Explore leash has earned positive reviews from countless customers:
Practical Mama says this leash is durable and super strong. It retracts smoothly and the extra length is great for letting your dogs wander while still in your control. Its great quality is totally worth the price.
Bubba says this leash is super well-made, never tangles, and remains clean and unfrayed. In addition, it is lightweight and yet sturdy enough to withstand large, energetic dogs who like to pull.
Ensure that any leash you use to walk your dog is in excellent condition. If the leash or the dog’s collar are frayed or damaged in any way, refrain from using the leash as it could be dangerous.
Buying a retractable leash can be complicated – not only is there a huge array of products with varying features to choose from (to skip the hassle and get right to the good stuff, check out our top picks above), there are also multiple factors that need to be taken into account. When buying a retractable dog leash, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
At what time of day will you be walking your pup (at night time, you will need a reflective retractable dog leash).
At what kind of location will you be walking your dog (wide open spaces such as parks and grounds are more suitable for retractable leashes, while crowded, restricted areas, or places with busy traffic are not – however, in unsuitable areas, you can simply retract the leash to minimum length).
What is your dog’s weight and temperament (there are different leashes for different dog breeds and sizes, and a retractable dog leash may not be such a good option for an unruly, undisciplined dog – only dogs that are leash trained can be walked on retractable leashes).
How many dogs are you looking to walk at the same time (walking more than one dog on a retractable leash is generally not a good idea).
How much space is required between you and your dog (this depends on your personal preferences but you will also need to take into account the fact that many locations also have leash length rules).
The following is some guiding information to help you in the process of selecting and buying a retractable dog leash.
Major buying considerations/frustrations
Before delving into the process of selecting a retractable dog leash, it is essential to make sure you are well-informed about the proper way to use a retractable leash and the possible risks and safety concerns associated with them. These need to be taken into account before you proceed to make a purchase.
Start by considering whether a retractable leash is a good fit for you and your dog. Is it something you feel you can handle, and your dog will benefit from/enjoy? Do you walk your dog in places where a retractable leash might be used?
It is also important to note that a retractable leash is not suitable for less disciplined dogs, and should not be used for leash training. Only get your dog a retractable leash after you have trained him with a traditional fixed leash, as retractable varieties will make your dog think that it is okay to pull and tug. The “give” that a retractable leash provides is not conducive to leash training a dog. Even after your dog has been fixed-leash trained, it will take some time and patience to get him used to a retractable leash – you will need to loose-leash train your dog, teach him to stick close to you, avoid straining on the leash, and be super responsive (i.e. come immediately when called in the event that the leash breaks).
Another major factor to consider before jumping on the retractable leash bandwagon is the safety precautions you need to keep in mind every time you use a retractable dog leash:
With an extendable leash, pet owners must always remain hyper-alert and aware of their surroundings, and know where their dog is at all times. Your pet’s added freedom will require extra and constant vigilance on your part – don’t let your pup out of your sight!
Always check the condition of the retractable leash and collar before each walk. Frayed, damaged, or broken leashes/collars may snap, so it is necessary to do a quick check before each walk.
Do not use a retractable leash with a disobedient or uncontrollable dog. With the extra leeway the retractable leash provides, unruly dogs may suddenly break off running at high speeds without realizing they are on a leash, or may end up wrapping the leash around multiple people and/or objects.
Never retract the leash suddenly when your dog is in the middle of a top-speed run – this could cause serious neck injuries. Instead, ensure that the retraction process is always smooth and gradual.
Extra care needs to be taken in order to avoid injuries to yourself, your dog, and any pedestrians. If used incorrectly/irresponsibly, retractable dog leashes can cause cuts, burns, bruises, broken bones and even result in amputations. In addition, bystanders may not notice the leash, especially when they are approaching at high speeds.
Never use the leash while on a bike, skateboard, or any other moving object.
Do not let the retractable leash wrap around people, objects, or your own body. In crowded areas, retract the leash and keep it to a short and manageable length.
Always hold a retractable leash only by the handle – never grasp it by the cord or tape, as this could cause rope burn, rashes, or even serious injuries.
Only after all these aspects have been understood and considered are you ready to move on to the retractable dog leash buying part.
Types Of Retractable Dog Leashes
Retractable leashes come in many types and sizes, designed to accommodate dogs of various breeds and temperaments, and cater to pet owners with multiple and varied needs. The three main types of retractable dog leashes you might consider for your canine companion are as follows:
Small Retractable Dog Leash: Great Retractable Dog Leash No Choke Explained
Small retractable dog leashes are best suited to smaller dog breeds that weigh anything up to 33 pounds (such as Beagles, Chihuahuas, or French Bulldogs). These usually have a cord-type leash (although tape-style leashes for smaller dogs can also be found). The length of a small dog leash might be shorter than others, ranging from 10 to 16 feet, although this is not always the case (longer length retractable leashes for smaller dogs can also be found). The casings/handles for these leashes are durable, but usually compact and more lightweight as compared to others, to keep them in proportion with the length of the lead and the size of the dog. These also work as no pull dog leashes and are great because they prevent choking.
Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash
Heavy duty retractable dog leashes are best for medium to large sized dog breeds that weigh anything from 33 to 110 pounds. These are built with tough, extra-durable materials to accommodate the tug and pull of medium sized dogs (such as Airedale Terriers or Collies) and the larger breeds (such as Great Pyrenees or Bull Mastiffs). Heavy duty retractable dog leashes generally have longer lengths, ranging from 16 to 26 feet. They also have a tape-style leash, which is sturdier and less likely to snap than a cord-style leash. The casings/handles for these leashes are generally larger, heavier, and more fortified, to allow pet owners to maintain a good grip and keep big dogs in check. If you own a large breed, consider investing in a heavy duty retractable leash for large dogs.
Double Retractable Dog Leash
While walking two dogs simultaneously on a retractable dog leash is not recommended, pet owners determined to walk more than one pet may consider the following options for a multiple dog leash. You can either turn a regular retractable leash into a dual leash by using a leash coupler, or buy a dedicated dog leash for two dogs such as the Wigzi Dual Doggie Double Retractable Dog Leash. The Wigzi dual leash allows you to walk two dogs side by side, without getting them tangled. The leashes are color coded to correspond to each of their separate buttons, which means you can easily extend, lock, or retract their leashes separately/individually, to accommodate both dog’s different walking styles. However, pet owners looking to purchase this two dog retractable leash may be constrained by weight restrictions, as the dual leashes are only for dogs that are up to 50 pounds each. This type boasts many adjustable types.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Retractable Dog Leash
Buying the first retractable leash you find, or blindly going by someone’s recommendation is a bad idea. Every pet and pet owner is unique, with their own specific habits and requirements. This means there are multiple factors you need to consider before you can decide which retractable dog leash is the best for your canine companion.
Leash Length And Weight
Retractable leashes come in varying lengths, and the length you choose will depend on your preferences, whether you need the leash for walking or running (or both), the location where you will be using it (wide open space or crowded area), your dog’s size and general behavior, and whether there are any leash length rules in your location of choice. Most leashes are a minimum of 10-16 feet, and a maximum of 26 feet in length.
Usually, cord-type leashes suffice for smaller dogs that weigh less, while tape-type leashes work best for bigger, heavier dogs.
In regards to the weight of the leash – while a solid, heavy-duty leash can feel good and substantial in the hand, for dog owners who have shaky, unsteady hands, or are afflicted with joint problems such as arthritis, a retractable leash with rubberized handles and a small, lightweight-sized casing will work best.
Leash Supported Dog Sizes: Do You Need a Double Dog Leash?
This is, undoubtedly, the most important factor to consider. Not all retractable leashes are built equal – rather, they come in different specifications in accordance with different dog sizes. The key determining factor here is weight.
Retractable dog leashes in extra-small size will generally be suitable for dogs that weigh anything from 18 to 26 pounds; small size retractable dog leashes are best for dogs weighing anything from 26 to 33 pounds; leashes in medium size work best for dogs weighing 33-44 pounds; and leashes in large sizes are best for breeds that range from 44 to 110 pounds.
As a rule, it is generally best to consider buying a size above your dog’s actual size, to account for the manic strength with which dogs can pull when they are determined – an extra size will ensure that you remain in control, despite any squirrel appearances or potential dog fights.
Hands free dog leash (retractable)
Hands-free retractable dog leashes do not require the pet owner to maintain a constant grip on the leash handle. While the pet-end of the leash is the same as all other leashes, the owner’s end is designed to buckle around waists, wrists, chests and torsos. These types of leashes operate via a bungee spring mechanism, which is what makes them retractable and enables them to absorb shocks and jerks. There are also multiple handles running the length of the leash, to enable pet owners to grab and restrain their dogs when required.
These types of leashes are great for providing added freedom and convenience to pet owners, and work particularly well for people who run with their dogs. They also help pet owners avoid the palm chafing that occurs with regular leashes. However, if your dog is a puller, this type of leash can strain you during prolonged use.
Will You Be Able To Walk Multiple Dogs At The Same Time? (You Might Need a Heavy Duty Dog Leash)
Generally, walking two dogs while using two separate retractable dog leashes is not recommended – both dogs have a mind of their own, and are likely to want to go off in different directions at different paces. In such a situation, it can become hard for a pet owner to keep track of two dogs on two retractable leashes, and this confusion can prove dangerous.
However, if you have two dogs and are determined to walk them both at the same time, you might consider a dual retractable dog leash – this double dog leash comes with two separate leashes attached to a single case. Both leashes and their corresponding buttons are color-coded. Pet owners who are certain they won’t get confused might consider trying out this double retractable dog leash. Another option for pet owners who are looking to use a retractable leash for two or more dogs is a leash coupler. This is a small contraction that attaches to the clip-on end of the retractable leash and branches out into two separate leashes which can then be clipped on to your dogs’ collars, turning a retractable leash into a two dog leash. However:
This will only work with the most disciplined and well-behaved dogs; excitable, or badly behaved dogs are likely to end up in a tangled mess (unless the leash couple comes with swivels which prevent the leashes from getting crossed).
While the original leash material might be durable and suitable for your dogs, you’ll need to ensure that the material of the leash coupler is equally sturdy and has the ability to stand up to your dogs’ weight and strength.
Additional Accessories That Come With The Leash: Does a Retractable Dog Leash No Pull Need Accessories?
Some retractable dog leashes come with bonus products and items which can be used to upgrade your dog leash and make it multi-functional. Depending on your pet’s needs and your own requirements, you can consider leashes that come with extra accessories, such as bag dispensers, reflective stitching/stickers, or harnesses.
Retractable dog leash with bag dispenser: let’s face it – not only is dog waste an environmental pollutant, having to clean up after your dog is one of the most annoying and unpleasant aspects of walking your pet. However, some retractable leashes such as this one make it easy and convenient to tidy up after your pooch. These leashes comes with mini clip-on boxes/dispensers, which dispense dog waste bags. These handy clip-on dispensers mean you only need to focus on holding the leash, instead of trying to juggle additional waste bag equipment.
Retractable dog leash reflective (light): night-time walks can be fun, but it can be risky to go for an after-dark stroll with your dog. However, if you end up walking your dog at night a lot, you might want to consider a retractable dog leash that is neon in color, and has light reflective stitching/features. You can also use a dog harness leash. These ensure your pet’s safety by making it easy to keep track of your dog in the dark. The reflective nature of the material means that cars, people on bikes, etc., can also spot your dog.
Retractable dog leash and harness: if you have a particularly boisterous or large dog, or a dog breed that easily slips out of a collar owing to the shape of its head, and are looking for a super-secure way to walk your pet, you might consider getting a retractable dog leash that comes with an added harness accessory. Harnesses come in multiple designs but generally wrap around a dog’s torso and shoulders. Using a harness with a leash would mean the leash would connect to a hook in between the dog’s shoulders on its back.
Using a harness to clip the leash on to, instead of a collar, can have multiple advantages – harnesses are more secure, discourage pulling and jumping, and also take the strain off your dog’s neck, lowering the risk of your pup sustaining neck injuries (which are a potential risk with collars). If you have a dog breed like pugs, which can suffer from protruding eyeballs if their collars strain their necks, harnesses are a great accessory to consider with your retractable dog leash.
Buying A Safe Retractable Leash
To buy a “safe” retractable dog leash, not only is it important to purchase a model that is sturdy, of high quality, and suited to your dog’s particular size and temperament, it is also essential to leash train your dog, and educate yourself on the proper usage of a retractable leash (see our ‘safety precautions’ above). Most accidents and injuries are caused by untrained dogs and owners who have no idea how to use a retractable leash in the correct manner. Not only are these risks posed by retractable dog leashes inconvenient for you, they can be downright dangerous for your dog.
In addition to picking a top quality product, training your dog, and ensuring that you are well-informed on how to use it, you can also mitigate dangers associated with using retractable dog leashes by ensuring that the leash is: i) sturdy and secure, and ii) provides you complete control over your dog without risk of injury to either of you.
Non chewable dog leashes
Great small dog leash choice. A frayed/chewed up leash can cause the lead to snap, leading to injuries and accidents. In addition, leash chewing is bad behavior (reinforced by how much pups enjoy the act of tugging and chewing) and can encourage the destructive habit of chewing in general. In addition, chewing leashes can lead to the ingestion of harmful materials such as nylon or leather.
To discourage your dog from chewing on his leash on walks, consider investing in non chewable dog leashes. These come in many varieties, and are composed of different tough and durable materials, such as vinyl coated steel wire or braided nylon webbing. However, keep in mind that at the end of the day, even a chew proof retractable dog leash is just a leash – it is not going to change your dog’s behavior for you, and can only act as a useful tool in helping you train your pup to stop chewing on his leash.
No choke, no pull leashes
Excellent retractable dog leash hands free choices. The fear of choking your dog, or having to endure excessive pulling from your pet are two unfortunate downsides of retractable leashes – however, they can be remedied by making your leash a no-choke, no-pull leash. This can be done by using a harness instead of a collar.
Collars fasten around the neck, but harnesses wrap around the torso, shoulders and backs of dogs, making for a more secure alternative for leash attachment. Harnesses are extra-reinforced and their distribution of force means your dog can’t possibly be choked or strained in any manner.
To make your leash pull-proof, consider a no-pull style harness – these will either come with extra attachment points for greater control, or have built-in mechanisms which cause the harness to tighten or force the dog to veer uncomfortably to the side or turn them around any time your pet attempts to pull.
The Pros And Cons Of A Retractable Dog Leash
As is the case with all types of gadgets, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a retractable dog leash. Ultimately, it is up to the pet owners to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, to determine which type of leash is the best fit for their pup. Here are some of the major pros and cons of a retractable dog leash:
The biggest advantage of a retractable dog leash is the increased mobility and freedom of movement for your pet, as it is an adjustable dog leash. When your pet is allowed to go at its own pace, and sniff and explore as it pleases, it instantly makes walking a more fun, interesting and enjoyable experience. This also means that you can move along at your own pace, and most importantly, can stand at a safe distance while your dog does its ‘doggy business’.
Retractable leashes work great for dogs that are responsive and already fixed-leash and loose-leash trained. Retractable leashes are an excellent advanced tool for dogs that have learnt to behave and obey commands, as they give well-trained pups the opportunity to exercise some extra freedom, and consequently boost their self-confidence.
You remain in control at all times, and can keep your dog from getting into trouble with a simple press of a button – this means no more dog fights, or ingesting something harmful.
You don’t have to pull, tug, or use force to restrain your dog – the smooth retraction mechanism built into these leashes, if used properly, can gently bring your dog to a halt. This means less risk of you dislocating your shoulder, or neck or back injuries for your pet.
The handle is comfortable – unlike conventional leashes, retractable dog leashes have handles which are safe and comfortable to hold. Not only will the firmer grip help cut back on accidents, it will also prevent injuries to your hand – if you wind a conventional cord around your hand and your dog moves suddenly, it could end up slicing your hand open.
Retractable leashes are not suitable for disobedient/untrained dogs – an untrained dog on a retractable leash is a loose cannon. The extra freedom and leeway will cause them to simply charge ahead without paying heed to anyone, rendering them completely out of their owner’s control. In addition, for untrained dogs, retractable leashes can reinforce bad behavior such as pulling. They also require pet owners to be extra vigilant at all times.
Since they can extend to longer lengths, retractable leashes can easily get tangled if a dog is particularly exuberant or an owner is inattentive. Having a leash that is tangled around your dog, objects, other people, or yourself, can be dangerous.
There is a risk of injuries if retractable leashes are used incorrectly/irresponsibly – anything from friction burn, rashes, bruises, cuts, and even amputation is possible if pet owners are not careful.
Unless you buy a neon or reflective style, the long line of a retractable dog leash can be hard to see from a distance, making it dangerous for other people travelling at high speeds.
A retractable leash cannot (and should not) be used while you are on a bike, skateboard, or any other moving vehicle.
Watch: How To Use A Retractable Flexi Leash To Walk Your Dog
There is a useful demonstrative video which can help you understand how to correctly use a retractable leash for walking your dog:
Buying a retractable dog leash can be a great upgrade for both your pet and you – the added freedom and mobility can be exciting and highly beneficial if the leash is used responsibly. Retractable dog leashes make walks more fun and enjoyable while keeping your pet under your control, boost your pet’s self-confidence, give you easy and complete control over your pet’s movements minus the usual pulling and being dragged around, and have a comfortable handle which you can easily grip without fear of injury.
When buying a retractable dog leash, it is essential to take safety precautions into account, and also ensure that your dog is fixed-leash trained (keep in mind that your pet will also require a bit of loose-leash training to get used to the added freedom offered by the retractable leash). Once you’ve ensured your pup is adequately trained and ready to graduate to a retractable leash, and you’ve understood how these leashes work, you can start looking for options.
Skip the hassle of browsing through hundreds of products in trying to find the right one – we’ve already done that for you, and our top picks are provided above, giving you honest and concise retractable dog leash reviews so you can easily and quickly select the very best and most suitable option.
In addition, we’ve provided a handy buying guide which contains all the information you’ll need to make a smart and suitable purchase. Our guide helps you decide which size, length, weight, and features you require, in addition to discussing added accessories you can use to upgrade your retractable dog leash. We also provide tips on how to purchase a safe retractable leash, and give you a quick lowdown on the pros and cons of these types of leashes, so that you can make an informed decision.
The TaoTronics model allows for a completely secure hands-free experience by fastening securely around the waist, has dual built-in handles for extra control, comes with a strong dual-bungee build which is great for shock absorption and easy leash extension/retraction, and has reflective stitching which makes it visible in the dark for added safety.
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