Well, first of all, retractable leashes are bad for your dog. They make your dog more likely to bite, cause accidents, damage your vehicle or break your skin in unexpected ways. Most dog bites happen when your pet runs free to chase something, or when your dog runs loose. Most dogs bite dogs to relieve some kind of pain, but it’s true, sometimes dogs bite to protect their people, too!
But more importantly, retractable leashes are just a poor choice for dog owners.
In a survey of 10 million cats, researchers in Australia found that 95% of owners of cats with retractable leashes were using them to protect themselves. The study found that almost one-third of owners of adult cats also had retractable leashes, and nearly one-third were even using them together.
Some dog behaviorists recommend retractable leashes as a solution to all of your problems with your dog. They recommend retractable leashes because they stop your dogs from running wild, especially if you have a cat who often has the instinct to get your hands on a food bowl in your car as you drive by. Dog owners also often give their dogs retractable leashes to keep them calm and focused on what you’re doing around the house. But the reality is that the vast majority of dog owners find that retractable leashes are just not very useful.
My dog can never get to a fork, so no matter how much I help, she can always get to her food sooner. We tried one new product, but it didn’t work; my dog had this crazy bark all day and night because she wasn’t able to get to the fork until I took away her leash. But I also took away the leash because I was afraid to use a new product and a new product doesn’t work.
A lot of people believe this myth. They don’t realize that there are other options such as a harness, something called a cat carrier, or another item connected into a leash or other tether that can help your dog reach the food bowl without your help. If they are a bit worried about a puppy throwing a tantrum because he can’t get to that tasty treat, let’s talk about that!
Why I won’t take a retractable leash
I feel obligated to say that most retractable leashes are not the best use for your dog.
As you may recognize from my previous post about the dangers of retractable leashes, not every