dog walks

7 reasons why I won’t use a retractable lead

Retractable leads are really popular with dog owners but can cause serious injuries. I will go through the reasons of why I won’t use one with my dog.

 There was thirty serious hand injuries caused by dog leads last year in Cornwall.

According to British Society for Surgery of the hand, Jillian Tisdale, one of the victims of the retracted lead described her injuries as ‘filleting knife’ causing terrible pain.

She has needed surgery to repair the damage. This is not something you really want to be dealing with after a walk with your dog. Her dog became distracted by another dog and ran off excitedly on the lead.

It is not the first time she has become a victim of the dreaded lead. In the past, she has suffered severe cuts and even dislocated her index finger.  

The 7 dangers of a retractable lead are:

1) Injury – When we had our first family dog, Ben being a German Shepherd he used to herd us like we were sheep, so he keep running around us. The retractable cord dug into the backs of our legs and boy did it hurt!

2) It is not just owners that have received terrible injuries, dogs have too. The sudden jerk on their neck can use neck wounds and injuries to the spine.

3)The handles of the leads are bulky and can be easily pulled out of human hands.  This could result to their dog running in the road and getting hit up a car or simply getting lost.

4) I’m guessing you would like a well trained dog that doesn’t pull on lead. This lead is not a good training aid at all. By their nature, retractable lead train dogs to pull while on the lead, because they learn that pulling extends the lead. Dogs do what works.

5)I think it makes owners lazy. They are not watching that the lead is getting wrapped around a tree or their dog is too far away. They are too busy on their phones to care. I was out walking  a staffie, the other day. It was obviously bin collecting day so the wheelie bins were on the pavements. The man in front of me had not noticed that his dog’s retractable lead had gone around the bin a few times and was struck. The owner didn’t not realised until he had looked around.

6)The thin cord can break especially when a powerful dog is on the other end, especially gundogs who take off at full speed, the cord can snap. One client of mine, has told me that her dog actually chewed the cord while on the lead, again this is not ideal.

7) As a solo walker, I have found when using one I have no real control I usually walk reactive or  nervous dogs and the last thing they need is to meet other dogs, so if I do want to make the length shorter, the lead doesn’t respond quickly enough or malfunction. This could lead to a dangerous situation and that why I refuse to walk any dogs on this lead now. Safety is my main priority. 

As you can see retractable leads are dangerous.

My advice  to you dear reader, would be throw the bloody thing  in the bin.

Every owner wants to give their dog more freedom to sniff and play. I would recommend the  use of Halti training lead or 3, 5 or 10 metre long line lead. 

I will receive a small fee if you purchase one of these products but it wont affect the price.

If you would like your dog to go on an non- retractable lead adventure with me then book a FREE 15 minute discovery call. 

I’m off to put a lead on it.

 Harriet x