Rethinking Retractable Leashes
Perhaps one of the most hotly debated topics between pet owners and pet care professionals is the safety of retractable leashes. Pet owners love them, as they offer dogs the ability to enjoy a certain degree of freedom. Yet behaviorists are quick to point out that these devices were invented to help train tracking and recall skills, and are unsuitable for everyday walking routines. Most dog-friendly public spaces require owners to keep dogs on leashes no longer than six feet in length, and to maintain control over their pets at all times. This is nearly impossible to accomplish when using devices that allow the dog to control the length of the lead - which is often over 20 feet.
Additionally, retractable leashes have been linked to countless injuries to both humans and pets. When the paracord material from which they are made makes contact with human skin, the result is often a deep cut - especially when combined with the speed of a bolting dog. A simple internet search yields countless stories of owners who have suffered from falls, lacerations, vision loss and finger imputations as direct results of accidents caused by retractable leashes. As we head into some of South Florida's most perfect dog walking weather, remember that just like any other task, walking our dogs requires the right tools for the job.