Should I use a Flexible Leash?
July 8th, 2021 by Marlene Ring
Flexi leashes or retractable leashes are a hotly debated topic and I can certainly see their appeal … if it was a perfect world. These leashes were designed with good intentions to allow your dog a little more movement and less restrictions while walking.
Seeing dogs trotting ahead, eagerly sniffing the ground for past sojourners and smelling the breeze for possible future playmates can brighten one’s day.
But that picture can change faster than the Texas weather. We all know that dogs move quickly and situations can arise in the blink of an eye. There is simply no way to control your dog at a distance of 16 feet or more. It’s impossible to retract a Flexi-lead quickly enough in an emergency.
As a San Antonio Dog Trainer, I always discourage their use for many reasons, safety being the most obvious. In addition, you will almost NEVER see a trainer using this leash…why? Because it encourages a dog to pull, rewards him for walking away from you and takes away any and all control you may have (unless of course he is already TRAINED.)
Look at most dogs you see walking on retractable leashes. Usually, they are walking 20 to 30 feet ahead of their owners, pulling all the way. Being retractable and increasing the length of the leash does not stop pulling, dog training stops pulling.
The only time I would consider a Flexi-leash is if you are traveling and your dog needs to get a little distance from you to “go potty”. But even then, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be aware of your surroundings since it gives you a false sense of security.
Stay focused on the dog giving them your undivided attention, NO texting or chatting on your cell phone and be mindful that your favorite creature is at the other end of the leash.
The key to successful dog walking, as with any aspect of the relationship with your dog is quality dog training. Do you want to enhance exercise opportunities and the quality of life for you and your dog? Don’t put you, your dog and others at risk. Avoid the Retractable leashes and if you need help in this area, be sure to contact me.
The world we live in today is full of adventures and misadventures and training ourselves as well as our dogs to work within the boundaries of safety and control will provide an environment that is both safe and stimulating.