Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To Retract or Not To Retract, That Is The Question

To Retract or Not To Retract, That Is The Question

With so many more sophisticated ways these days to safely harness your dogs, it's hard to not become confused among the myriad varieties!

For a multitude of reasons including: popularity, aesthetics and modernity, retractable leashes continue to grace pet supply store shelves by the hundreds!  Today, you can find ones in every color, shape, cord length, brand, size and complexity for just about any dog or pet.  Does this mean you should use one?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Quick Overview of Retractable Leashes
Before using a retractable leash, make certain you’ve got one that’s strong enough to handle your dog. Dogs that have a tendency to bolt or take off running after perceived prey should never be restrained with a retractable leash. Aside from those dangers, there are other things to keep in mind when using one of these popular leashes.

What You Need to Watch Out For
Prickling leash burns. Retractable leashes, especially the thin string variety, can very easily cause leash burns. This could happen when you let your pooch race past you with the retractable line zipped up across your bare skin. Unwarranted injuries, however, can be prevented if you try the flat, tape style retractable leash.
Entanglement or strangulation. Not only can retractable leashes burn us, they can also get twisted around a dog’s neck or legs. Worse, if your pooch panics and jerks the moment they get hog-tied; it could cause the leash to pull even tighter. Although you can loosen the cords that have wrapped around his neck, the situation could quickly become life-threatening.
Fatal accidents. There are times when our dogs dart away all of a sudden, and with a retractable leash on him, your dog might dart even farther, faster. Nevertheless, it’s the reeling that’s a serious issue here. It is possible that Fido may spot a squirrel or anything interesting across the street, and suddenly take off after it. If you’re not alert enough, his abrupt behavior and an un-sturdy retractable leash could put him smack on the road, right in front of a speeding car.

The Potential Risks of Using A Passive Leash
The leash drops. Because these leashes rarely have a wrist strap and are sometimes heavy and bulky, dropping them is a regular occurrence. What’s worse, if you drop the handle, the lack of tension can send the heavy handle hurdling toward your dog. Not only could the heavy leash handle smack your dog in the head, if your dog is spooked by the leash handle zipping deafeningly toward him, he may take off running.
The cord is grabbed. If you grab the cord/tape while it is being pulled from the handle, you might suffer from immediate injury like cuts and burns.
The cord wraps around you. Poor handling can also cause the cord/tape to twist around you or someone else’s fingers resulting in deep wounds, or worse, amputation.
The collar breaks or comes off your dog. The moment this occurs, the leash could retract at top speed while the other end of the line whips around at the same full momentum leading to serious injuries to face, teeth, and eyes.

What kinds of things do I need to consider when I use a retractable leash?

I cringe when I see pulling dogs on flexi-leash at busy places. It is a credit to the dog that more accidents don't occur....
  1. When going to crowded places with your dog it is important to have a dog that will respond to your cues when things are very distracting. If they pull hard on a leash and drag you wherever they want to go, bark and lunge at dogs or people then some training and proofing is needed before going to a festival or event. In this instance I would recommend using a regular 6-foot leash not a retractable leash.
  2. The dog must walk well and respond to your cues on a short leash before using a flexi-leash.
  3. It is helpful to teach your dog to "go around" so they don't wrap around cars, mailboxes, people etc..

Do you use a retractable leash?  If so, please share your experience with them!

Warm Wags,
Misti :)

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! it is very useful post and tips for puppy training. How to train your puppies is a question asked by almost all dog owners. It seems everyone has advice and tips, and opinions on the best way to train your puppies.

    Puppies learn very fast with proper training. The primary few days at home are very important for puppies and the examples you set now will last a life span. Following these basic techniques as soon as you bring your puppy home will make sure a positive housetraining experience for you and your puppy:-

    * Ensure you give your dog lots of consideration and attention when he’s doing the right and good thing. Praise him plentifully when he’s been a good boy.

    * There is nothing intrinsically incorrect with telling your dog “no,” it’s just that it doesn’t give him sufficient information. Instead of “no,” instruct him what you want him to do.

    * Give your puppy recurrent admission to his toilet area for preventing soiling inside house. Reward the puppy for do so - give a special treat.

    * Nourish your puppy with 2 – 3 meals per day. Leave food out for 15-20 minutes then take away the leftover food. Never leave food out for puppy to eat at will. This helps you find out when she’ll have to go potty.