Many dog owners preach the benefits of using a retractable dog leash, while others think that they lead to behavior problems. Retractable leashes have a hard case made of durable plastic, and inside that case is up to twenty feet of leash. To help you make the right decision on your next trip to the pet store, here are some of the pros and cons of using a retractable dog leash.
Your dog has more freedom: Some people don’t like following directly behind their dog as he explores a new area. However, they want to maintain control of the dog to prevent him from running into traffic, or towards other people. A retractable leash provides a good middle ground: your dog has the freedom to move around, but the owner can easily shorten the leash when needed.
Accessories: Many retractable dog leashes have big plastic handles that can be fitted with accessories, or include them by default. Some may have flashlights, for example, while others have a container that can hold plastic bags to scoop up poop. This is much more convenient than trying to hold three different accessories in two hands while trying to control your dog, and many people find retractable leashes more convenient for precisely this reason. You can turn it into a short leash: If you currently use a retractable leash but you want to use a shorter leash, then you can simply reduce the length of your leash and then lock it at its new position. This is great if you live in a city, or for any other situation where you need a leash with a shorter length.
Multiple dogs: Some retractable leashes have attachments for two dogs. These new ‘dual retractable leashes’ are great for owners who want to walk two dogs at once while using just one hand.
Behavior problems: Dog behavior experts claim that using a retractable leash can lead to excessive pulling and other behavior problems. When you use a short leash, it teaches the dog that there is only a fixed amount of leash available and that the owner is in complete control. This can reinforce good dog behavior like walking at the owner’s heel or being obedient around other dogs.
Price: A good retractable leash can cost anywhere from $30 to $100. That is simply outside the price range of many dog owners, especially since a shorter leash often costs only a few dollars.
Difficult to repair: While some retractable leashes are made of thick, sturdy plastic, others are cheaply manufactured and can break when dropped on the ground. If you lose your grip on the leash, repairing it can be difficult, and you may just have to buy a new one.