You may have heard a dog trainer or other pet care professional mention they will not use a retractable leash on a dog, yet many pet owners love retractable leashes. Why is this the case? What are some of the benefits and disadvantages of these kind of leashes? Let’s take a closer look:


More freedom and exercise for the dog while still being contained on leash. Retractable leashes also offer the ability to adjust the length of the leash and then lock the leash at a certain length if desired. Usually the handles are comfortable to hold.


Retractable leashes are generally considered unsafe for the following reasons:

Serious rope burns have occurred to both dogs and the people walking them. A dog can run by an owner and in the process wrap the rope around the body or limb and a painful, serious wound can result. Same goes for dogs as the rope can entangle them or another dog they are being walked with.

In addition, leash stops have been known to break when a dog hits the end of the leash. Obviously a loose dog can quickly get in to trouble or be injured by a passing car, wildlife, etc. Not to mention the jolt to the human at the end of the leash.


As you can see, there are many advantages and disadvantages to using a retractable leash. Overall, most dog trainers or other pet care professionals choose to use flat leashes to prevent injuries to humans or pets.

You know what is best for you and your pet, but keep in mind a pet care professional or trainer may prefer a flat leash over a retractable one!