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View Full Version : Advice on Using Retractable and Regular Lead



Gracie's Mommy
2nd February 2007, 10:07 PM
Ok, so up until now, we've had a retractable lead only. I'm buying a regular lead today as I'd like to start teaching Gracie loose leash walking. My question is...should I only use one or the other; or will she know when the regular lead is one versus the retractable? I'd still like to be able to use the retractable leash when we take her out to potty, but also want her to know how to walk politely on a regular lead. Will this be confusing for her? As I'm hoping to do CGC and Therapy Dog certs with her, she will need to know how to loose lease walk, anyway. Any advice would be appreciated.

Karlin
2nd February 2007, 11:17 PM
Please don;t use a retractable lead on any city street walking or anywhere near traffic. They pop out of your hand very easily and also, can be hard to lock or can pop out of lock mode too easily, and it only takes the second in which you fail to lock the lead for the dog to run into traffic. Trainers advise these not be used for traffic walking -- but are great for parks or open spaces.

Most trainers will not allow retractable leads for training for similar reasons -- too hard to hold, too hard to lock, they pop out of your hand, you can easily lose control of your dog, the cord is very thin and can tangle around the dog too easily. A leash is better.

I had the lead pop out twice when Jaspar was just a puppy, from unexpected movements, and never used them again for on-street walking.

And no she shouldn't be confiused by different leads. She will learnt o walk more politely and pay more attention on the extensible once you teach her loose lead walking. :)

Cathy T
3rd February 2007, 12:19 AM
I, too, started out using a retractable lead but don't use it anymore. It popped out of my hand startling the heck out Jakey who went speeding down the sidewalk with it boucing along behind him and scaring him even further. He also started to dash one day and without thinking I grabbed the rope. Ouch!!! Major major rope burn on my hand. Lesson learned the hard way.

Lani
3rd February 2007, 02:41 AM
Please be very careful if you decide to use a retractable leash.

I have the one that is all webbing and if you are going to use the retractible leash, I'd defnitely recommend that.

That said, I have not used the retractible leash since the day that my sister was walking Lucky and accidentally dropped the leash. The hard plastic handle scared Lucky and he ran into the street and kept running trying to escape the sound of the handle. He was nearly hit by a car.

I might use a retractible leash in a park but never again for walks at home on the street. Good luck.

Gracie's Mommy
3rd February 2007, 04:39 AM
Thanks everyone. It isn't my intention to use the retractable lead on walks around city streets. I would have much to difficult a time controlling her on a flexi-lead and wouldn't feel comfortable. However, I would like to use it in our backyard, which while not fenced in is also on a rather out of the way nook. Just wanted to make sure that using both wouldn't make training more difficult for her (and me)!

Everyone is always so helpful! :flwr: As a first-time puppy owner I so appreciate it!

Barbara Nixon
3rd February 2007, 01:00 PM
I don't like retractable leads at all, having sliced my hand when borrowing one (the thin line type) , years ago, at a training class . There have been some horrific firsthand tales of accidents, caused to dogs and their owners, on Dogpages. One dog nearly lost his leg and in another case, a cyclist could have been killed (The mechanism jammed ).

I prefer a long, soft fabric lead. Mine are Halti brand, now stocked by Pets at Home. One, which comes in a choice of lengths, is a staight lead, and the other is a combination long lead/two dog lead/ round your waist lead etc.

Moviedust
3rd February 2007, 03:24 PM
I'm not a fan for flexi leads, either. They have a lot of issues with them, that, to me, make them outweigh the benefits. If you want your dog to be able to roam in your back yard, just get a long tie-out lead. You'll have more control while still having the freedom you're looking for. (They also help when you're ready to start training come from distances longer than 6 ft!)

arasara
3rd February 2007, 05:38 PM
I am going to go against the general opinion and say that I love the flexi lead. That being said I have one that's rated for a 30lb dog and the handle on it has a big enough loop for me to fit my hand inside of it so that's what I do. I put my wrist inside of it and then put my hand in my coat pocket so it won't come loose. It's nice for Kosmo to be able to have "freedom" on our walks. WHen we're walking by the street I keep it on "lock."

I use a regular lead for everything else besides walks. Training class requires nylon leads as well. In retirement facilities or nursing homes it's important to use a regular nylon lead as the retractable ones are hard to see and folks can trip over them easily. Kosmo has never had a problem switching from lead to lead and he seems to know what he can do when by me talking to him.

Good luck! :)

Kodee
4th February 2007, 05:04 PM
I am going to go against the general opinion and say that I love the flexi lead. That being said I have one that's rated for a 30lb dog and the handle on it has a big enough loop for me to fit my hand inside of it so that's what I do. I put my wrist inside of it and then put my hand in my coat pocket so it won't come loose. It's nice for Kosmo to be able to have "freedom" on our walks. WHen we're walking by the street I keep it on "lock."

I use a regular lead for everything else besides walks. Training class requires nylon leads as well. In retirement facilities or nursing homes it's important to use a regular nylon lead as the retractable ones are hard to see and folks can trip over them easily. Kosmo has never had a problem switching from lead to lead and he seems to know what he can do when by me talking to him.

Oh I should add, I have seen similar makes to the Flexi - and they dont look as sturdy, it should be the original Flexi not an imitation.

Good luck! :)
I have to go with Sara here - I have always and only used a flexi on walks. The nylon lead was for training, from car to vet etc.. In 15 yrs with a jumping and often pulling lab, I never had a problem with it coming off etc.. The flexi is always kept short and my dog put into a heel position while walking on the sidewalk by peoples houses - I never let my dog relieve themselves on someones lawn (oh it erks me every other dog does on mine and they dont even pick it up!). When I get to a part that is a long fence on the side of a house and across the mailboxes - I let it loose and go OK - she knew she was free to go out. Then at the stop sign, she is put on heel again till the park. You have lots of control when its short and the clip (on the one I have) was stronger than any nylon leash I had.

Gracie's Mommy
6th February 2007, 12:43 AM
Thanks for all the advice and opinions. For now, we have the retractable lead and it's working fine for just the backyard. I bought a regular nylon lead and will start using that for other times.

Again, thanks so much for all of your opinions...I really appreciate the varied views and stories and will factor them all in as time goes on and we keep learning. :flwr: