Let’s talk leashes, humans. With Georgia’s recent stay-in-place order, me and all my dog friends have been getting EXTRA walks each day because our parents don’t seem to have anything better to do (HA!). However, I noticed that a lot of parents were using RETRACTABLE leashes to walk their dogs. They seem to think that retractable leashes give their dogs extra freedom to sniff and poke around on walks. However, the perceived “benefits” of these leashes are far outweighed by the dangerous and possibly DEADLY risks they pose! In fact, my mom, Tonya, refuses to sell retractable leashes in our store at The Hipster Hound. So let’s take a closer look at retractable leashes and why your human should just say, “NO!”
How Do They Work?
A retractable leash is often a thin length of cord wrapped around a spring-loaded device housed inside a plastic handle. A button on the handle controls the amount of cord that extends. As that cord pulls out, us dogs are less confined to walking beside his or her human. Some cords extend up to 26 feet! Many of these leashes don’t come with standard loops that fit around wrists, as seen with traditional leashes. Therefore, it’s far easier to accidentally drop a retractable leash for this reason. In fact, my mom feels so strongly against dangerous retractable leashes that she won't even sell them in her store!
Dangers to Dogs
Jerking: Dogs can be seriously injured by the jerk of retractable leashes. When the leash runs out of line, there is a sudden jerk on our necks that could cause wounds or burns, lacerated tracheas, or spinal injury.
Car Accidents: Dogs have been hit by cars darting into the road at the end of retractable leashes. Even though we’re on our leashes, we can still get into an accident.
Tangled Cord: There are even cases of dogs getting twisted in the cord and having a tail or leg AMPUTATED by the deep cut made when the cord retracts. These incidents happen quickly and often too fast for our humans to react.
Running Away: The bulky handle of a retractable leash can be pulled out of the hand by us trying to escape. That can mean a runaway dog!
Dangers to Humans
Breaking Cord: When a retractable leash cord SNAPS, it can cause injury to the human at the other end. If the human grabs the cord in an attempt to reel us back in, then serious injuries can follow. People who have instinctively grabbed the cord have suffered burns, cuts, and even immediate AMPUTATION of a finger!
Tangled Cord: The same thing can happen if the leash wraps even once around a human’s limb or finger. If a dog takes off when that happens and pulls ten to 20 feet of leash, the cord can generate a lot more friction than a short, traditional leash can. The tension and friction from that thin cord can do a lot of damage to our human and result in severe injuries.
Falling: Many humans have been pulled off of their feet by their dogs who reached the end of their cords but kept going. All that momentum they build up means a harder pull when they finally do get to the end of the leash. When this happens, it frequently means a fall causing injuries like “road rash,” scrapes, bumps, bruises, broken bones, or worse!
The Hipster Hound carries a VARIETY of leashes - from regular, nylon leashes to leashes with an extra handle to help dogs heel at their human’s side. Then, there are different types of collars and harnesses that may help, but you can read all about those here in our previous blog post. Just stop by The Hipster Hound, and ask one of the trained staff to help select the best leash and collar for your furry little friend!
Rex, The Original Hipster Hound