If you are trying to train, limit or encourage certain behaviours in your dog, different types of leads can come into play – and be very useful too.
Some owners just have certain preferences – a six foot lead to keep Fido close at all times, for example. Some breeds tend to need a firmer hand and can sometimes struggle to overcome their excitement when faced with the outside world; full of smells, tastes and other dogs!
The flexi or retractable lead continues to be a really popular choice for dog owners but there are a few things you should bear in mind to ensure it’s the right choice for you and your pup.
Retractable leashes allow you to vary the length of your pup’s lead – freedom for Fido whilst you can maintain overall control, so no dashing off down rabbit holes!
A flexi or retractable dog lead has a locking mechanism on the handle, so you can fix the leash at the length stated, so whether you need to bring them in to heel on a busy pavement to cross the road or prevent the sprint towards a flock of sheep, it’s a great device to have. When you release the mechanism, the leash will snap up any spare lead, retracting it into the handle, so there’s not miles and miles of slack to deal with.
It’s great for those first, tentative training attempts at “Come!” in a wide open space. Allow your pup to pull out the leash, then use your command to practice their return. And if all goes pear-shaped, they are still attached to the other end of your leash, so they won’t be able to escape into the horizon!
A retractable leash can be the wrong choice for a doggy who has trouble learning not to pull on the lead, as in fact they will have the sensation of constantly pulling you. When they’re walking away from you, on a retractable lead, they are pulling to extend it. This is the same feeling as gently straining on the lead. It’s good practice to call them in, lock the mechanism and make sure they’re happy to stay nearby without pulling to make sure they aren’t learning bad habits.
You should be careful of letting pup pull too much leash out when you can’t see where you’re going. On a walking route you may find hikers around the corner or another dog. A retractable leash let out long can be a devil if your pup goes bonkers and runs around. It can be potentially dangerous to have a thin cord of leash wrapped around a person or animal.
They are a perfect choice for a well-trained pup who’s learnt not to pull on the leash, giving a great balance between freedom for them and overall control for you.