Stop Using This Item If You Care About Your Dog's Safety
Whether you’re a new dog owner or a seasoned vet, there’s certain situations, behaviors and even items that can be a danger to your dog’s safety.
While most of what we talk about on this blog consists of tips on how to raise and train a well-behaved and obedient dog, my mission is to give you everything that you would possibly need to know about dog ownership, all in one place!
With that goal in mind, I would really be doing you a disservice if I failed to inform you that there’s certain products out there that you must be very weary of.
Although this item that we're going to talk about today is becoming less popular as dog owners gradually become more educated about dog safety, I still see new dog owners using it ALL the time.
This item can endanger your dog’s health as well as his life, and can seriously injure YOU as well.
What is this dangerous item?
It is… a retractable leash.
I strongly discourage dog owners from using retractable leashes.
In case you haven't seen one before, retractable leashes are the leashes with large plastic handles that retract very long nylon cords.
These leashes aren’t beneficial in training your dog whatsoever and actually can be very harmful to you and your pup.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard about people injuring themselves or their dogs when using this type of leash. Unfortunately, many dog owners have not been educated about the dangers of using these leashes and they are still popular today.
Reasons why I strongly discourage using a retractable leash:
1. It is a horrible tool to train your dog how to properly walk on a leash
Retractable leashes are confusing for dogs because the distance they are allowed to go is always changing.
Your dog (especially puppies) will be very inclined to test the leash to see how far he is able to go, which will end up encouraging him to pull.
2. It allows way too much freedom for the dog to roam while on leash
Leash walking should train your pup to stay close to you. The retractable leash defeats the purpose of leash training entirely, and instead, encourages unwanted behaviors, such as pulling and zig zagging.
3. Retractable leashes can be dangerous for YOU
It is incredibly common to hear of people that have gotten rope burn or sliced hands from attempting to grab onto a retractable leash.
When your dog is running away and you try to grab the leash to stop your dog, the tiny nylon cord can slice into your skin (ouch!) and it’s extremely painful!
4. Retractable leashes can be dangerous for YOUR PUP.
There are a few horrible outcomes that can result from a retractable leash accident. The first and most common outcome is that your puppy can easily get tangled up in the cord.
Some people may object and say, “Well this could happen with any leash”.
While this could certainly happen with any leash, the chances are much greater that the damages made by a retractable leash tangle will break skin, or even be fatal.
For instance, if your pup gets tangled up in a retractable leash and then tries pull away, it will cause the rope to tighten even more, which can easily lead to lacerations when the pulling is exerted with great force.
If this type of leash gets tangled around the dog’s neck, and the dog panics, it can be fatal.
For these reasons I strongly suggest you stay FAR away from retractable leashes.
For a list of the items I DO recommend, check out my blog post—or even better, check out “The Puppy Training Handbook” for a complete guide on every item you’ll need to get (and what to stay away from).
This comprehensive book will give you all the tools and knowledge you need to raise and train your new puppy into the dog of your dreams!