Are retractable leashes good for large dogs? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Are retractable leashes good for large dogs?

Retractable leashes are good for puppies since you can use them as a training tool. You can give puppies more freedom in grassy areas, and then retract it so that they walk next to you when it is time to walk.

But, is it suitable for large dogs?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 09:36 AM
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Please understand, this is only my opinion, but retractable leases are never good for any size dog for any reason. I am opposed to them. I have seen too many problems and accidents occur because of retractable leashes. Your situation and experience may be different than mine. You should use your best judgement to make the best decisions for your dog.

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Last edited by Ricky Ricardo; 05-24-2019 at 11:25 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 04:32 PM
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I don't think retractable leashes are always bad, but I think the number of situations where it's appropriate to use one is tiny, and a walk in a neighborhood definitely isn't one of those places. My husband likes to use one when he takes our dog on walks in more isolated areas. In most places a dog has to be on a 6ft lead, and this is a more comfortable length for me to manage my dog's behavior anyway. So I personally don't use one. I think most of the dangerous incidents I've heard about involved retractable leashes to manage dogs with poor recall and puppies dashing around, so using them with a dog that isn't well trained seems risky to me. And then, if the dog IS well trained, isn't he more likely to be off leash?

Just my opinion, and it's based on pretty limited experience with a very high energy little dog.


What I really wish is that there were more places to allow my dog off leash, because my guess is that they came to be so common as people are trying to find ways to allow their dogs to run around in spite of so many restrictions.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 06:56 AM
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I am not a fan for puppies either - because you're teaching them that they _should_ pull on the leash (After all , the retractable is always taunt) so you never teach good loose leash walking. Yes, it's convenient, but so is moving your hand up and down the regular leash to let it feed out or come close.

I have used one for a medium size dog without incident but even though I own one I've never used it with Perry.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 07:18 PM
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I'm a dog trainer, and I don't let my (human) students use retractable leashes in puppy classes. My reasoning is that puppies need to learn how to walk on a loose leash-- this involves paying attention to where your body is. With a retractable leash, there is always a bit of tension around the dog's neck. So the puppy never needs to pay attention to where you are-- the tension makes it clear where you are-- and the leash is never loose. I find this makes it harder for puppies to learn how to walk on a loose leash-- they tend to pull on a regular leash. If you train puppies to walk on a regular leash, when they walk close enough to you, they have the reward of having no pressure around their neck. They also must pay more attention to which way your body is moving, and you are close enough to them to give them tasty treats to reward them for their attention and good behavior, which usually leads to more attention and good behavior (loose leash walking).

I would say that a retractable leash would be more appropriate for an older dog who already knows how to walk on a loose leash, rather than for training purposes.

Just my two cents!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 09:30 AM
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Here is my contrary view.
I use 6 ft. tape flexi-leashes for walking both my dogs. My older dog’s lead gets clipped to my belt and I hold Bingo’s leash so I can easily detangle when they cross paths. The tape (as opposed to string) leash is not dangerous and as easy to grab and hold as any other leash. So, for instance, if I see a rabbit coming up, I can either click the buttons, or just hold the tape to control the dogs as we walk by. The 6 ft length is ideal for in town walks and the greatest benefit with small dogs is never having a slack lead getting under their legs (I think the length is key - a longer retractable would equal less control).
I have an extra carabiner on my “leash belt” so I can clip Bingos leash there as well and have both hands free if I need them. Very convenient for poop scooping.
I have had no problems whatsoever teaching polite walking - I use front clip harnesses and yes, there is always a slight tension with a flexi leash, but they can easily tell the difference between that and the amount they create when they pull at the end of the tape. They know that their walking position is next to me with a little leeway behind or ahead. Mitzi knows she is to stay on the left and Bingo is allowed to choose sides but to never cross in front of me. They know that when we stop to sniff they are not to pull or strain at the ends of the leashes.
It was no harder to teach this than with any other leash. Personally, I would never use anything else with a small dog.



Cheers,
Ci




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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 03:12 PM
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I know some trainers that use them for various things., but they are quite dangerous for many people. Here are some examples of negative things https://healthypets.mercola.com/site...dog-leash.aspx

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 03:23 PM
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one example of an ok use is for training outdoor potty where you take your pup to the back yard to eliminate and you don't want to let him play or go far. It also gives your dog some privacy space because most dogs don't like to go right beside you.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 01:50 PM
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Zenith, thanks for taking the time to explain the downside of retractable leashes. I'm going to have to look up your posts to see if you've given other valuable training advice!

Ci, it sounds like you are a very conscientious dog owner. Kudos to you for coming up with a system that works for you and your two dogs. I love all those pictures of Bingo in your sig. And your avatar is a riot! That big dog next your Havi is . . . a minpin!

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