In a rush and just want my recommendation?  I think the EC-TEAK Retractable Dog Leash is a great choice.

Dogs love a bit of independence to sniff around when they’re out and about. Leash walks can limit this activity, unless you treat yourself, and your hound, to a retractable dog leash.

Most cities have leash laws in place, which require that your dog be under your control at all times. This protects both you and your hound from attacks by aggressive dogs, as well as injury, or worse, due to your dog straying onto a highway. Retractable leashes are not for everyone. However, if used properly and responsibly, they are great tools.

In this article, I’m reviewing the following retractable dog leashes.

Types Of Retractable Leashes

It is essential to have a good quality leash that is appropriate for the size of your dog. There are various lengths of retractable leash, as well as different widths and materials. Generally, a narrower, cord leash is appropriate for small dogs, while the wider ribbon type materials will suit larger varieties.

Manufacturers always provide information about the weight recommendations for the leash. With this in mind, you also need to consider the energy level of your dog. A sedate, 80lb dog will not put as much strain on a leash as a pulling, lunging, higher energy hound of just 40lb.

Can Retractable Leashes Be Dangerous?

Absolutely. There have been many instances of injury to both dog and owner, and it’s fair to say that retractable dog leashes are not for everyone. Even the most placid dog can suddenly lunge toward something, and this is when accidents can happen.

If your dog is untrained or aggressive, the added distance a retractable leash puts between you can delay bringing your dog under control if needed. However, there is a lock on all retractable leashes which can limit this distance to one you’re comfortable with.

If your hound is running away from you and the leash suddenly ‘runs out’ or the lock is activated, injuries to your dog can occur.

“The most common are neck injuries, since a pet might start to run before the owner can lock the leash,” says Dr. Duffy Jones, DVM, of Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital in Georgia. “Many times the dogs have a full head of steam before the owner locks the leash, so it creates a good deal of force on their collar when the leash finally locks.” Reports of lacerated trachea’s (windpipes) and spinal injuries are relatively common.

How To Use Your Retractable Leash

Unless your dog responds to voice commands, the further away from you they are, the less controlled they are. 

The environment you are walking in may be busy with vehicles and other people. It’s important to be vigilant and aware at all times of where your dog is. The last thing you want is for them to wander onto a busy road, or under the feet of another person.

Retractable leashes are much more suited to parks or other open outdoor spaces. There’s a lot less chance of encountering other dogs and people at close proximity, and your increased feeling of safety and peace will make for a nicer walk for both of you.

Know how your leash works. Where is the lock button? How quick is the retraction mechanism? Does the leash tangle if retracted quickly?

Watch your dog for tell-tale signs of chasing or lunging behavior. They will often stare into the distance when locating something. They can see and hear things that you can’t.

The Pros of Retractable Leashes

Properly used, retractable dog leashes can allow the handler to keep a steady pace while the dog can freely sniff things that interest them.

They are great for people who are unable to walk far, but want their dog to have adequate exercise.

Bad weather outings can consist of you keeping dry under a tree while your dog walks round and explores.

Poorly trained dogs can still be prevented from running off and into danger.

They may be useful for training, just as you would with a long line.

The Cons of Retractable Leashes

Safety concerns for both the dog and the owner.

Are Retractable Leashes Good For Training?

They may have a use for training your dog to come when called. The locking mechanism allows you to vary the length of the leash. You can start off with a short leash, and lengthen it gradually as your dog starts to show good recall.

TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash

This leash comes in four great colors, has an ergonomic anti-slip handle and a really comfy grip. These last two features are a must for safety and ease of use.

No matter how large or small your dog is, there’s three sizes to choose from, with the largest suitable for a dog up to a whopping 110lb. They also offer an extra small leash – the “Tiny” TUG leash which is pocket sized!

The tape leash means less tangling, especially with the easy-adjust retraction, 360 degree tape movement. This means that the leash has smoother movement all the way round at the handle.

The lock is quick and responsive, with easy roll on and roll off for your thumb.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • 1-year warranty
  • Excellent personalized customer service and support
  • Well designed and comfortable
  • Very sturdy handle
  • Wide strap for extra strength and confidence when out walking

Cons:

  • The nylon ribbon can tear if there is a manufacturing defect. Company will replace the leash without question.
  • The handle can feel clunky

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Ruff ‘n Ruffus Retractable Dog Leash

This is a sleek, but durable retractable leash, which comes in two fresh colors. The free waste bag dispenser and bags, and bonus bowl, make this set excellent value.

Plenty of great features to ensure you and your hound have a safe, enjoyable walk. The extra-tough nylon ribbon with a reinforced chrome-plated snap hook, keeps dogs up to 110lb securely leashed.  A ‘break’n’lock’ system for smooth stopping and retraction.

If you live somewhere that gets really cold, you’ll appreciate the premium retracting spring that’s tough enough to work even in freezing temperatures.

Pros:

  • Risk free with 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Excellent quality nonslip handle
  • Secure feel and sturdy construction
  • Large leash compared to other of comparable size
  • Great colors

Cons:

  • Handle can seem large for smaller hands 

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Flexi Neon Leash

This German-manufactured leash has been designed for maximum visibility. Made from highway-grade reflective sheeting, and with reflective stickers and neon-colored components, you and your dog will be hard to miss.

It comes in four sizes and the 16 ft neon-colored cord offers plenty of freedom of movement. The large size is a tape leash, so has added strength for bigger dogs up to 110lb.

Pros:

  • Reflective 
  • Very responsive
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Excellent retraction mechanism

Cons:

  • Brake button a little small for large hands
  • Smaller cord model can occasionally tangle

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Taotronics Retractable Dog Leash

If you like the idea of a one-size-fits-all for medium to large dogs up to 110lb, then the taotronics retractable leash is the one for you.

This sturdy leash features an ABS plastic casing, which gives it the upper hand in impact resistance. Having said this, care should be taken to not heavily drop the leash mechanism or allow your dog to bite it as some customers have mentioned that it can come apart quite easily.

The thumb locking and retracting mechanism is easy and intuitive, and the leash and clip are very strong, the leash being a wide nylon tape.

Comes with a training clicker and a free roll of plastic bags.

Pros: 

  • Strong internal spring for smooth retraction
  • Excellent durability
  • Affordable
  • Great engineering and ergonomics for comfort
  • Good customer service

Cons:

  • Occasionally does not retract as quickly as it should

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

EC-TEAK Retractable Dog Leash

Coming in classic black, the EC-Teak retractable leash is sleek and stylish. Two leash lengths, 16ft and 26ft, mean your dog can have lots of freedom in the great outdoors, while still being under your control.

Designed for powerful large dogs, as well as medium sized and smaller dogs, the use of nylon tape material provided by the supplier of automotive safety belts makes this leash strong and durable.

You’ll love the ergonomic anti-slip handle, and the smooth retraction mechanism.

This is an extremely heavy-duty retractable leash, so may not be ideal for little dogs.

Pros:

  • Built to last
  • No-risk, 100% guarantee
  • Strong, smooth action and very quick retraction
  • Comfortable, cushioned handle
  • Thicker ribbon leash material
  • Safe and reliable brake system

Cons:

  • Lock feature is difficult to reach for small hands
  • The handle and clip are heavy

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Conclusion

This was a difficult choice. There were three in my short-list, but ultimately I chose the EC-TEAK Retractable Dog Leash for it’s exceptional build quality. Durability and security is paramount for keeping your beloved hound safe.

You’ll really appreciate the thicker ribbon leash as well, and no matter what, there’s a 100% guarantee for your peace of mind.

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