Dogs really ARE Miracles with Paws!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pet Safety: Retractable Leashes

I know that we have all talked about this before, but there is a discussion going on in one of my Bichon groups regarding how UN-safe retractable leashes are for our furry friends. 

 Please, please be careful should you decide to purchase one of these...after doing a bit of research, I am convinced it is not the safest choice.

A retractable leash is not so much a leash as it is a length of thin cord wound around a spring-loaded device housed inside a plastic handle. The handles of most retractable leashes are designed to fit comfortably in a human hand. A button on the handle controls how much of the cord is extended.

Retractable leashes are popular primarily because they aren't as confining as regular leashes, allowing dogs more freedom to sniff and poke around on walks. But unfortunately, there are many downsides to this type of leash.

10 Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash

1. The length of retractable leashes, some of which can extend up to 26 feet, allows dogs to get far enough away from their humans that a situation can quickly turn dangerous. A dog on a retractable leash is often able to run into the middle of the street, for example, or make uninvited contact with other dogs or people.

2. In the above scenario, or one in which your pet is being approached by an aggressive dog, it is nearly impossible to get control of the situation if the need arises. It's much easier to regain control of – or protect -- a dog at the end of a six-foot standard flat leash than it is if he's 20 or so feet away at the end of what amounts to a thin string.

3. The thin cord of a retractable leash can break – especially when a powerful dog is on the other end of it. If a strong, good-sized dog takes off at full speed, the cord can snap. Not only can that put the dog and whatever he may be chasing in danger, but also the cord can snap back and injure the human at the other end.

4. If a dog walker gets tangled up in the cord of a retractable leash, or grabs it in an attempt to reel in their dog, it can result in burns, cuts, and even amputation. In addition, many people have been pulled right off their feet by a dog that reaches the end of the leash and keeps going. This can result in bruises, "road rash," broken bones, and worse.

5. Dogs have also received terrible injuries as a result of the sudden jerk on their neck that occurs when they run out the leash, including neck wounds, lacerated tracheas, and injuries to the spine.
Retractable leashes allow dogs more freedom to pull at the end of them, which can look like aggression to another dog who may decide to "fight back."

6. The handles of retractable leashes are bulky and can be easily pulled out of human hands, resulting in a runaway dog.

7. Along those same lines, many dogs – especially fearful ones – are terrorized by the sound of a dropped retractable leash handle and may take off running, which is dangerous enough. To make matters worse, the object of the poor dog's fear is then "chasing" her, and if the leash is retracting as she runs, the handle is gaining ground on her – she can't escape it. Even if this scenario ultimately ends without physical harm to the dog (or anyone else), it can create lingering fear in the dog not only of leashes, but also of being walked.

8. Retractable leashes, like most retractable devices, have a tendency to malfunction over time, either refusing to extend, refusing to retract, or unspooling at will.

9. Retractable leashes are an especially bad idea for dogs that haven't been trained to walk politely on a regular leash. By their very nature, retractables train dogs to pull while on leash, because they learn that pulling extends the lead.

10. If your dog is well trained, gentle mannered and smart enough to master a regular leash and a retractable leash without being confused, you could be one of the rare guardians that can walk your pooch on any kind of leash without increasing risks to either one of you.

By Dr. Becker

Just to add a bit of "spice" to this it is not all doom and gloom...

Check out these super cute little dog beds I happened to run across!!

Credit for the picture goes to their website at Sasquatch Pet Beds!!

I have no affiliation with this company and no experience with their beds, I just thought they were cute!


Mitch and Molly said...

Great post, Miss Jeanne! Mom never uses these leashes on us because we pull too much and too hard!
That bed is just adorable!

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Molly The Wally said...

No retractable leashes here and we are certainly not a fan of them for many of the issues you have listed. Have a fabulous Friday.

Best wishes Molly

Mary said...

I have seen so many stupid people with these leashes. The stupid award goes to a guy an a bike with a dog. The dog stopped, he didn't know and kept pedaling, Then the leash ran out and he fell off the bike. It was all I could do, to not yell "Dumb Ass"

BeadedTail said...

Our mommy and daddy would never use those leashes on a woofie. We wish no one used them but yet, we're kitties so we don't like any leashes!

Two French Bulldogs said...

We had a nightmare experience when we were using a retractable (it was suppose to be up to 45lbs). I ran, the leash snapped and I took off through a busy parking lot after a motorcycle. Mom freaked out so bad, she cried when we got home. At the time we had Benny and he ran with mom to get me. I ran ran to the motorcycle man. He picked me up until mom ran to us. The retractable was the top brand
Lily (& Edward)

Murphy Campbell said...

Mom says we will never have them at our house. Most of the time we are on a 4 foot leash and that works just fine.

Your Pals,

Murphy and Stanley

Dory and the Mama said...

What a great post!! We also agree that these leashes shouldn't be husband and I both have literally been burned by them...

ann thompson said...

I guess I"m the odd man out here because I used a retractable leash with Duke. It made for a more pleasurable walking experience for both of us I can see though how dangerous they can be

Jeanne Pursell said...

I also think a lot depends on the owner and the dog. If Duke was a very calm walker and you didn't have to worry about him chasing after anything...then I'm sure it worked out fine for you! It also makes a difference when walking one dog vs. two or more!! Happy Saturday Ann!

Jeanne Pursell said...

I have heard so many stories from people...not good. Enjoy your Saturday and thanks for stopping by!!

Jeanne Pursell said...

Good for you guys!! A four foot leash is perfect for you! Happy Saturday!!

Jeanne Pursell said...

We like our shorter leashes too! We have tried the new retractables with the tape...instead of the string. It was not a pleasant experience for us either! Happy Saturday!!

Jeanne Pursell said...

You know what is really surprising to us?? When we are on the road with the RV, it is AMAZING how many kitties we see on leashes!! People actually parading around the parks with their kitties. Very surprising! Happy Saturday!!

Jeanne Pursell said...

bwahahahaha! Oh, Mary, too bad you didn't get THAT on video! You could have submitted it to Funniest Home Videos and won some money!! The guy really was a dumb ass! Happy Saturday!!

Jeanne Pursell said...

Agreed Molly!! I know for some people with very mellow dogs...and a single dog works...but I just don't feel good about using them for us...there are so many dangerous things that can happen. Happy Saturday Molly!!

Jeanne Pursell said...

Thanks so much you two!! I am glad that your mom uses a regular kind of leash for are MUCH better off!! Happy Saturday!!

Ruby said...

Yeah, I am WAY too strong and reactive to ever be put on a retractable leash!! It gives Ma nightmares thinkin' abouts it! BOL
Ma has a slip harness for our walkies, and it is the best way to control me....I likes chasin' those tree rats ya know! ☺
Ruby ♥