Retractable leads are designed for certain types of tracking work and recall training with dogs. The design allows the dog owner to push the button to release the cable to extend as the dog walks away and lock the lead at a specific length. Depends on which design of retractable lead it is, the owner can push the button to rewind the lead and get the dog to come closer. Therefore, many dog owners believe that retractable lead is a great product for walking the dog, as it gives the dog the freedom and space to run from 3 to 5 metres while owner still have full control. However, does the owner really have full control of the dog when the dog is 5 metres away apart? Can the retractable lead perform what it is designed for?
Retractable leads are not suitable for large dogs, strong dogs or dog with poor lead manners. The mechanism is not strong enough to rewind the cord. The further you are away from the dog, the less control you have. You cannot control where the dog is going and what the dog is doing. The dog can even lead you to dangerous situations. If the dog gets into a dog fight and the owner is unable to retract the lead, he/she may use hands to pull the cord or tape. The friction from the cord or tape can cause skin burns and slice through the skin.
When the dog has poor lead manner and likes to pull. Regardless of dog size, the force from the dog is strong enough to break or loosen the mechanism and leads to further extension. The dog will then learn that the lead will extend whenever they pull. As a result, they may develop pulling habit. Furthermore, when the dog is pulling, he/she is also exhibiting a dominance posture that can potentially attract dog fights.
Safe ways to use retractable leads
– Make sure your dog is fully trained and you can fully control your dog before using a retractable lead.
– Do not let children hold the lead.
– Only use one retractable lead on one dog.
– Avoid direct contact with the cord or tape. Never let the cord/tape tangle around any part of your body.
– Do not use your hands to grab the cord/tape.
– Test the lead and make sure it works before taking your dog out.