Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Retractable Dog Leash

How to decide whether a retractable (flexi) leash is the best choice for your dog.

Family walking dog with retractable leash
A retractable leash can give your dog a sense of freedom even though you’ll always have it under control.Gustavo Fring

The comic appeal is undeniable. Fido excitedly wraps his flexi-leash round and round his owner’s legs, or maybe you prefer the Hollywood ending where guy meets girl because of Fifi’s uncanny ability to wrap her leash around the perfect two sets of legs. Whatever the scenario, adventure awaits when an impulsive or untrained dog is combined with a retractable leash. A flexi-leash can be a great option in the right situation. In choosing one for you consider the comfort and style of the handle, matching leash to dog and whether it has a good brake.

Comfortable Handle

TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash
This flexi-leash features an anti-slip ergonomic handle with thumb-operated control.TUG

Because the handle is your point of contact with your dog, you’ll want to choose a handle that’s comfortable for you to use. This is particularly so with larger dogs and heavy pullers. Look for an ergonomic design, and proximity of control buttons for ease and comfort of use.

Match Flexi-Leash to Dog

Ruff 'n Ruffus Retractable Dog Leash
This flexi-leash features a 16-foot nylon ribbon designed to hold dogs up to 110 pounds.Ruff 'n Ruffus

Many retractable leashes come in different sizes to match your dog’s size and energy level. Consider whether your dog is a chewer when selecting your leash. Look for a quality clip that will withstand your dog’s size and strength.

Brake

Hertzko Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash
This flexi-leash features a one-hand control of the braking, releasing and returning of the leash.Hertzko

The braking mechanism is a key feature of the retractable leash. It should lock firmly without slipping when engaged. Retractable leashes are typically designed to automatically retrieve when slack is applied. Some have a safety feature that prevents the leash from flying back into your face if the clip fails at your dog’s collar.

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