Dogs really ARE Miracles with Paws!!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Safety of our Pets: Let's discuss 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...

Credit for the picture goes Sasquatch Pet Beds!!

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


easy rider said...

my dad has still a scar on his hand from a cut of such a leash...and one of our friends ended at the dogtor because he sat on that leash while eating something as his boxer ironman saw another pup and started like a rocket... the leash was between the legsof that guy and that ended eggs-tremely painful... although the dogtors at the er laughed as he told them what happend...

Two French Bulldogs said...

Mom relives the nightmare of the time mine snapped and I ran through a busy parking lot after a motorcycle. It thankfully parked and the man held and hugged me. Mom went home and cried she was so upset. We sometimes use an extended leash with Edward cause he moves in slow motion
Lily (& Edward)

Kinley Westie said...

We only use them in the front yard sometimes - never on walks after a bad experience momma had wif Whitley and Finley.

Murphy Campbell said...

Our mom says they should be outlawed!

Your Pals,

Murphy & Stanley

ann thompson said...

I used to have a retractable leash until Gibbs took off running after a kid on a skateboard and it snapped.. Proof that it doesn't take a large dog to snap one. Now we use a plain old normal leash

NanaNor's said...

Hi Jeanne, I so agree with this post~although I'll admit we've had a retractable leash in the past with other dogs. Our neighbors(Bichon owners)use one with their Bichon and the man lets the Bichon wander quite far from him. The dog often will poke his nose down rabbit and Vole holes-I mentioned he could get bit by such an animal-that rabbit teeth are very very sharp. He answered that it's a dog. That is why we have chosen never to leave Hunter with them. They are nice,but their dog has come over here off lead without its owner several times. Thank you for sharing just how dangerous Retractable leads can be.
Noreen and Hunter

Molly and Mackie said...

Mom threw our retractable leash out years ago. Angel Maggie was the only one who used it and she only used it once or twice.
What a cute kitty bed!

Jeanne Pursell said...

We had some old retractable leashes too, but have not used them in years. When our big brother was alive, Dad used to use it sometimes when he walked Zippo. It's a good idea to throw them away...Isn't that just THE cutest bed???

Jeanne Pursell said...

That is scary Ann! You must have been frantic with Gibbs running away! That is another reason to get rid of them! Normal Leashes it is!!

Jeanne Pursell said...

Agreed!! You would think that someone would come up with a law to get rid of all retractables!!

Jeanne Pursell said...

I think I remember reading about your mom's experience with Whitley. Definitely not a good idea to use on walks...

Jeanne Pursell said...

That is terrible! We have heard of people getting cut from those retractable leashes...not so funny when the cut hurts! Although, the docs probably had never heard of that happening before!