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Dog leashes have been in use since time immemorial. Be it for walking, traveling with your dog, or teaching the doggo a lesson for too much woofing, dog leashes are handy. It’s not just a strip of rope that you tie around the neck of your furry pet. You should get the right material or probably the best retractable dog leash you can find in the shop.
The dog niche has been profitable as ever with owners’ obsession with various dog accessories – leashes, for one. A lot of dog experts criticize the use of retractable leashes, saying that it’s the option for lazy dog owners who don’t want to train their pooches. But animal psychologist Roger Mugford stated that leashes like this allow dogs to have interesting walks. It also lets untrained hounds explore the environment without running into danger.
So to leash or not to leash, that is the question.
Reasons why you should use a dog leash
Dog leashes aren’t just for hoomans to be in control of their doggos. This restraint also saves the lives of curious pups that have the tendency to run to the street. Also, leashes keep your dog away from other hounds that might be too aggressive to control. Aside from that, here are more reasons for using the a retractable leash:
It’s mandated by the law
Local laws protect dogs from direct harm which includes using a dog leash while walking. Many dogs are trained to stay away from cars in the city, but you’ll never know when accidents will strike. There are many unsupervised dogs in the countryside and though they are properly trained, it’s never a guarantee that they are safe. Remember, doggos are curious beings. They can chase a rabbit or a squirrel which will lead them to danger’s path.
Also, using a retractable leash dog will help you control the dog’s movement. Some pups tend to be excited when meeting new people that they leap or run in circles. With that, you miss the chance of your dog being introduced properly.
One more thing about using a leash is it prevents bites and untoward incidents involving unrestrained animals. You will be in the wringer once your dog bit someone or if he trespassed someone else’s property. Leashing is also a courteous act toward your neighbors who aren’t fond of dogs or those who are not yet familiar with your pooch’s level of obedience.
No more lost dog
Most importantly, using a leash will save your dog from being lost. If you are in a new neighborhood, your curious doggo would be out exploring. No matter how strong his sense of smell is, he may not find his way back.
Benefits of the best retractable dog leash for large dogs
Many dog owners argue whether dog leashes should be used or not, but they can’t deny that this accessory serves an important purpose.
Your dog’s lifeline
A lot of dogs are lost due to road accidents. Doggos chasing wild animals or other people are exposed to the danger they know nothing about. As the owner, it’s you’re responsible for your pup’s safety at all times. The a retractable dog leash can save your pet’s life.
Lower vet bills
Dogs love chewing on anything they find interesting. You’ll never know what they’ll have in tow after playing outdoors. They would give you dried leaves, stick, or probably next time, a bad case of poisoning. Your pooch might drink contaminated water and eat toxic plants. This will take its toll on your vet bills, not to mention the life-long effects to your dog’s health.
Peace of mind
With your dog on a leash, you’ll have peace of mind while bringing him on a walk or while playing in the park. It frees you from negotiating when he decided to chew on a kid’s plushie toy. Also, you no longer have to face the hassle of taking him home when he doesn’t want to.
Responsible pet owning
Following the law by simply leashing your dog outdoors is part of being a responsible pet owner. It will also set an example for other hoomans for them to do the same. So get a retractable dog leash for the welfare of your canine.
Pros of a retractable leash
Many dog owners have expressed their dissent over the use of retractable leashes, citing its potential harm to the dog. But if used properly, leashes like this can be beneficial for both the owner and the pup. Your goal here is to choose the safest leash for your doggo and not just one that suits your human preference.
A retractable leash will allow the pooch to sniff around and explore his environment. It’s best for walking well-behaved dogs so they can mark spots and have the freedom to run ahead without going too far. Retractable leashes break the monotonous walking beside the owner which will later become unappealing for the pooch.
In case you’re yet to train your dog, putting him on a retractable leash within a secluded area will allow him to explore as far as the tape will go. Practice his recall and if his attention seems to be wandering somewhere else, reel the leash back gently.
The best retractable dog leash for large dogs is a great tool to restrain bigger pooches without limiting their area of reach. You can leave the dog on the porch with the leash on but he can still walk around.
Cons of a retractable leash
Vets warn about the possible hazards of overusing retractable leashes. Dr. Duffy Jones of Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital said that most injuries from retractable leashes stem from the owners’ failure to lock it even before the dog bolts. When the pooch is in full speed, the sudden locking of the reel subjects them to a high level of force. The results are neck injuries like lacerations and issues with the windpipe.
Not all pet owners can use a retractable leash very well or handle their dogs while on it, to say the least. Although it’s rare for pooches to be hit by a car when on a leash, there’s still a possibility that it will happen if the owner doesn’t pay attention to the length. A very long leash can blindside motorists and cyclists and it will be too late before they realize what’s at the end of the rope.
Using a retractable leash to an untrained dog will result in pulling and dragging that will compromise the dog’s physical health. If you’re just starting to train your pooch, it’s best to use a traditional leash with a length of about 4-6 feet. You can transition with a retractable one once your pup can obey commands.
Dog leash safety tips
It’s important to stress here that most injuries associated with retractable leashes are caused by improper use. Some dog owners fail to realize that they have to choose a leash that suits their dog and how it will affect their health.
So to make sure that you’re using a leash for the benefit of your canine, here are some safety tips to practice:
Choose the right leash
If you have a large hound, choose a retractable leash with bigger clasps. Take note that small and big dogs have different needs. Interchanging these options would jeopardize the comfort of your pup while on the leash.
Avoid pulling or dragging
Dragging or pulling chokes your dog. If you want him to heed your commands, call him calmly with a happy tone. In case he keeps on dragging, you may want to consider further training. However, I don’t recommend the use of prong collars. That’s too painful, hooman!
Always inspect the collar
As much as you can prevent dragging the leash, check if the collar has rusting parts or if the fabric is already thinning. All hell will break loose if the collar snap and your untrained dog go rushing into the highway.
Keep an eye on the length
If you’re walking your dog along the street, make sure that the length of the tape isn’t too far from your side. Enable a length that you can reel back fast if needed. Don’t be too comfortable about having a leash too. Make sure that you keep an eye on where your dog is heading. Remember, you are responsible for your dog’s safety.
Train your pooch
The retractable dog leash isn’t a magic tool for discipline. It will only restrain your dog from running or leaping into someone else. It doesn’t guarantee the behavior they will display when mingling with strangers. It’s important that you keep training and focusing on his reactions toward other people.
For more safety tips on using this leash, watch this video:
What to consider before buying a retractable dog leash
Nowadays, it doesn’t take much effort to find a dog leash to purchase with tons of options in the market. But before you put your money on the table, here are some questions to ask yourself:
How big is my dog?
Well, the bigger the pooch, the wider the leash should be. Thin leashes will hurt your doggo and it will likely snap faster than other models.
How much distance do I want?
A long leash is advantageous for those who want their hounds to roam freely. But if you’re constantly walking near a major highway, it’s best to stick to a shorter one that you can reel back fast. Four feet should be enough for high-traffic areas.
What’s my dog’s obedience level?
If you have an untrained doggo, it’s much better to get an eight-foot leash for the sole purpose of training only. Never walk your untrained pup with a retractable leash until he learns to follow commands. It’s through training that you get to develop a safer space for your pooch and the people around.
Once you know the answers to these, here are two of the best options we recommend for your dog:
Top Picks for Retractable Dog Leashes
Best Retractable Dog Leash: TUG Tangle-Free Dog Leash with Anti-Slip Handle
The TUG Tangle-free Retractable Leash is 16 feet long and perfect for those who are training their dogs. It has a patented tangle-free feature that allows a 360-degree rotation for medium sized dogs around 55 pounds. This leash banks on its ergonomics that allow dog owners to adjust retraction using one hand only. True enough, its contoured handle is easy to grip together with its overall dimensions of 5.7” (H) x 8.2 (L) x 1.8” (W).
It has a reliable brake and lock system that gives you the control when the pooch starts to pull. The tape is pretty strong and teething dogs won’t even chew it to the point of breaking. It doesn’t snag badly which is best for daily walks given that your doggo isn’t a massive puller.
Best Retractable Dog Leash For Large Dogs: TaoTronics Retractable Walking Leash
For large dogs weighing up to 111 pounds, the TaoTronics Walking Leash is the best choice. It’s adjustable for up to 16 feet with the use of a durable spring for smoother reeling. The handle is made of plastic with anti-slip contour for the hands.
The retractable leash comes with a bone-shaped waste bag container that you can attach to the handle. It’s a bonus so you can clean up the mess if your dog decided to “plant the bomb” on unexpected spots. The manufacturer claims it to be “stronger than any dog” so you can expect the tape to be intact even if you have a 100-pound puller in tow. It’s a great product for half the price of most top brands.
Using the best retractable dog leash depends on your preference. Just make sure that your dog is disciplined enough and you can handle various situations that may stem from the leashing. It’s advisable that you test the leash on an isolated area first before heading for an outdoor walk with your doggo.
Again, set the length ahead and don’t drag. Everything should be fine as long as you keep a keen eye on it.