Like many of you at first I thought extendable leads were a great invention. I mean why not? They give your dog more freedom than regular leads. All whilst you are in still in control or so you may think. When I first got Lily and Jake I used extendable leads on them thinking it was great. Little did I know that I was teaching them all the wrong things and soon discovered some of the dangers associated with using this type of lead. This was seven years ago and I have learnt a lot in that time. As a devoted dog owner I soon started doing some research.
There are so many reasons why I would advise against using them. I will cover a few in this post. Using a extendable lead teaches your dog no boundaries and they don’t learn how to walk properly on a leash. If your dog pulls on the lead then you will only be making the issue worse as the lead teaches dogs that if they pull they get further ahead and get to where they want to go. It also teaches them no sense of space or boundaries and they think that they are allowed to walk everywhere even where they shouldn’t. Lily and Jake used to pull on the lead when I was using this type of lead but when I made the change to a normal lead with a bit of time and patience we quickly learnt how we should be walking. They now hardly ever pull on the lead except when they see a cat in the neighbourhood. They always walk next to me or behind me and never in front of me while walking on the lead and I often get compliments on how nicely they walk.
Back to the dangers. The length is something to consider. Some extendable leads can reach up to 26ft allowing dogs to wander far enough away from their owners where situations can quickly become dangerous. Before you realise your dog may be wandering in the middle of the street or be approached by an aggressive dog. In these situations you need to be able to regain control very quickly but it may prove to be very difficult when your dog is far away from you and in danger and you are only connected by what seems to be like a piece of string. You may think it’s okay I keep the lead on a locked length. The downside here is that the locking mechanisms don’t always work they way you want them to and can break and get worn out. An example of this – A man was walking his families beloved puppy and had the lead locked on the shortest length but next thing he knew the lock wasn’t working and the puppy was in the middle of the road. There was nothing he could do but watch the poor puppy get killed instantly as a car hit. I’m sure you can imagine just how quickly all this happens.
Extendable leads can cause severe rope burn and damage to both owners and dogs when those leads get tangled and they do. If the lead gets dropped it can quickly become a very stressful situation for your dog where they are running for their life having this thing chasing them which they can’t get away from and ultimately causing allot of damage both mentally and physically. The lead itself is very thin and can break and be chewed off in an instant. I have seen this happen.
There are many more reasons why I would urge you not to use an extendable leash but hopefully I have covered some important points which will make you think twice before using one.