CAUTION! Throw Away that Retractable Leash!

At Peak City Puppy, we equip our team with flat leashes and train them how to properly control dogs of all sizes on our walks.  We want to thank our friend, Elaine Pendell, M.Ed., C.P.T. of CAROLINA DOG TRAINING for writing a short article explaining the dangers of retractable leashes.

Elaine Pendell of Carolina Dog Training, LLC
Retractable leashes, otherwise known as “flexi-leashes,” remove control from owners whose dogs already lack basic obedience and good manners. Also these leashes can be hazardous– causing serious injury to others.The retractable leash allows the cord to give and take which can cause the dog to pull and resist its tension. Not only will the dog be 20 or 30 feet ahead of you, he will be pulling you along for the ride! A dog’s reflexes are quick. If  Fido is already 20 feet ahead of you when he sees a squirrel or cat, he may pull the leash handle out of your hand before you have time to respond and press the brake button. In addition, those long cords can be hazardous when wrapped around a person’s leg or body as Fido runs excited circles around your neighbors causing them to stumble and fall!Part of leash training is teaching the dog who is leading the walk. By allowing him to pull ahead, you are showing the dog that he is in charge.

True leadership comes when dogs understand that they are part of a team and most importantly, that you are team leader! Dogs who follow their leader even with distractions must focus and pay attention. This type of walk is much more challenging and tiring for the dog since it becomes both a physical and psychological exercise. Dogs are happier when they understand their role as follower within the pack. Well-mannered dogs who listen reliably ultimately get to spend more time with their humans since they are more likely to be included in their lives.

So, reel in and lock those retractable leashes. Or better yet, trade them in for a good 5- or 6-foot traditional leash that won’t cause injury. Enrolling in obedience training is also advisable. Obedience training will teach your dog good manners which will lead to many tail-wagging, enjoyable walks for all!