Extendable Lead -The Pros and Cons

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Some people don’t have 100% recall on their dog, but want their dog to be able to run. An extendable lead can provide this opportunity, but these types of leads often have a few drawbacks and safety issues to consider. Today, we weigh up the pros and cons of extendable leads.

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flexi VARIO Retractable Lead Cord, X-Small, 3 m, Turquoise
flexi Giant Professional L Tape 10 m black/ neon yellow
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TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Lead for Up to 25 kg Dogs | 5 m Strong Nylon Tape/Ribbon | One-Handed Brake, Pause, Lock (Medium, Black)
flexi VARIO Retractable Lead Cord, X-Small, 3 m, Turquoise
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flexi Giant Professional L Tape 10 m black/ neon yellow
flexi Giant Professional L Tape 10 m black/ neon yellow
£62.77
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flexi Leash New Comfort Leash, Medium, 20 kg, Red
flexi Leash New Comfort Leash, Medium, 20 kg, Red
£20.64
TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Lead for Up to 25 kg Dogs | 5 m Strong Nylon Tape/Ribbon | One-Handed Brake, Pause, Lock (Medium, Black)
TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Lead for Up to 25 kg Dogs | 5 m Strong Nylon Tape/Ribbon | One-Handed Brake, Pause, Lock (Medium, Black)
£15.99
flexi VARIO Retractable Lead Cord, X-Small, 3 m, Turquoise
flexi VARIO Retractable Lead Cord, X-Small, 3 m, Turquoise
Price not available
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What is an Extendable Lead?

An extendable lead, also known as a telescopic or retractable dog lead, is a type of dog leash that can be lengthened or shortened with the click of a handle. A leading pole , with similar functionality, extends from the same place on the collar instead of being attached to it. However, a leading pole’s retractable line is attached to the centre of its handle rather than on its end. There are different types of extendable dog leads available, including those that use bungee cords, springs, gears and levers to enable them to expand and retract.  

Extendable dog leads are an option for owners who want an alternative to fixed-length leashes that might not be long enough when their dog pulls ahead or too long if they dogs stay by their side. They’re particularly helpful for training retrievers, who may need to work at various distances from their handler.

As the name suggests, an extendable dog lead is suited to dogs that are well-behaved on a leash and do not tend to pull when they walk. However, this type of leash does not solve all common problems related to poor walking habits in dogs.

Which Extendable Lead Should I Choose?

The most common type uses a spring-loaded handle that can be lengthened by depressing it and pulling the cord. The lead goes from an attachment on the collar to the end of its line and then retracts when the owner releases it, which pulls the loop back to close to its original size. Some extendable dog leads are made from coated or braided metal and use a handle that is pushed in to lengthen, but others are built entirely out of bungee cord and expand when they are pulled.

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Some retractable dog leads can be adjusted so the owner chooses what length it becomes. They might have different settings between one and three or five metres (3.3 or 5.5 yards), which are the most useful lengths for walking dogs in public spaces like sidewalks and parks.

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Extendable dog leads with a maximum length of between one and two metres (3.3 – 6.5 feet) can be used to walk dogs in small areas, including their own backyard, on an enclosed patio or in a home with limited space.

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There are also longer versions that can reach up to 5 or 6 metres (15 or 20 feet), which let owners control their pets when they’re out on walks in open, public spaces like streets and parks. The long lines may be useful for keeping dogs away from busy roads and ensuring the safety of those around them.

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Advantages of Extendable Leads

The advantages to this type of lead are that it can keep dogs away from danger, and they don’t have to strain their necks to keep up with their owners. It also lets them wander a little bit more freely when they want, since the line is flexible and can retract at any time. Owners may be able to use this kind of lead to control their pets while they’re walking them on a crowded sidewalk or in other areas where there are lots of people or animals around.

Disadvantages of Extendable Leads

A well-trained dog on an extendable lead can learn to pay attention to their owner, walk by their side or slightly in front, and will not pull on the line. Owners should reward them when this happens with food treats or something they value like toys. They could also give them a quick tug on the leash if they start pulling.

But if the dog carries on pulling or begins to walk in reverse, it signals an ineffective training regimen. It may mean that the owner needs to train them more thoroughly. If a dog always pulls and their owner uses an extendable lead, they can become frustrated and lose faith in their pet’s ability to learn. They might end up abandoning training altogether.

An extendable dog lead may have more disadvantages than advantages if used with a dog who is not well-behaved on a leash. These are some of the problems that might arise from using one:

  • Extendable leads, especially those made of rubber or coated wire, can be difficult to control and could hurt the user’s hands if they accidentally give them a sharp tug.  
  • A dog may follow the lead to the end and pull on empty space. The line could get wrapped around objects, cars or other dogs. 
  • An extendable lead can be tough for inexperienced handlers to use properly. A poorly trained dog might take advantage of this and keep pulling anyway, or they might pull against the extendable line with more force than usual.
  • Dogs may become distracted by their surroundings and decide to run off or chase other animals, even if their owner is close by.  
  • An extendable lead can be difficult to use in narrow or crowded spaces like elevators, stairwells, store aisles or hallways, as the line is fixed to a pole.
  • A dog’s body gets tangled up with the lead and its handle if it runs past the length limit of an extendable leash. The owner might have to chase them up or down stairs while holding onto the awkwardly curving handle rather than having both hands free to help them climb.  
  • An extendable dog lead can be dangerous if it breaks apart after being pulled too hard. A dog could get tangled up in the cord or a person could injure themselves reaching for it.

Top Tips for using an Extendable Lead

If you decide to use an extendable lead for your dog here are some top tips to help you to use it safely and effectively:

  • Choose a strong and durable well made extendable lead. Cheap ones are likely to snap and break easily which is dangerous – you may lose your dog.
  • Wear jeans! These extendable leads can cause painful friction burns when your dog runs and pulls it fast
  • Avoid using an extendable lead on footpaths near roads – this is dangerous if the clip releases by accident as your dog could run out into traffic.
  • Don’t let them greet other dogs also on extendable leads – they will probably tangle each other up!
  • Attach the extendable lead to a harness rather than his collar to prevent jolts to the neck when your dog reaches the end of the line. We like to use the perfect fit harness with our Jack Russell cross.

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