The one essential when dog walking is a lead. All dogs should, unless in a designated and fenced dog park or on a designated dog beach, be on leash at all times when out and about, for the protection of the public, but even more so for themselves.
The modern retractable dog leash is very popular amongst many dog owners, but it also causes a certain degree of controversy and debate. There are both pros and cons to its use, and ultimately the jury is out, depending on who you ask.
What is a Retractable Dog Lead?
A retractable dog lead is a length of cord mounted on a spring-loaded device and housed in a plastic handle which fits comfortably in a dog walker’s hand. The length of cord released is controlled by a button on the handle.
Pros of Retractable Leads:
• Allow well behaved and obedient dogs greater freedom to explore their environment while walking
• Promotes canine self confidence
• Allows for greater mental and sensory stimulation
• Can be a good training tool for obedience of dog when practicing recall (if dog is at least partially trained)
• Choose how close you have your dog to you when walking
• May help avoid hazards like other dogs on leash or toxic plants or materials on the ground
Cons of Retractable Leads:
• Some dogs are more difficult to control when on retractable leash
• Many dogs will feel encouraged to pull on their lead as they will expect freedom as the result
• Extended lines can become entangled
• The further the distance between yourself and your dog, the less control you have
• Can cause serious injury to human fingers (rope burns, cuts, and even amputation)
• Can be hazardous to cyclists and joggers (as it is hard to see)
• Can be hazardous to a dog’s neck if stop button is activated when dog is in full sprint, or his legs if he becomes entangled.
• Retractable leads may malfunction, allowing dogs to run into traffic or to escape from human control.
• Can offer dog owners a false sense of security with regards to the control they have of their dog
The Answer? Under specific circumstances, the retractable dog lead can be of benefit, however for regular walking and exercise, a traditional, good quality lead is much safer and more than adequate.
Use common sense and vigilance if ever using a retractable lead.
Don’t forget, at Urban Paws we offer safe and professional dog walking services – call or email us to learn more.