Retractable leads have the ability to strike fear into those you have had the misfortune of being at the end of its fury. Owners love these leads as it gives the dog more freedom without letting them loose. They can sniff and run ahead or lag behind depending on the mood. They are great for the little pottering pup that likes to have a little leeway but won’t go very far very fast.
The problem arises when bigger/stronger dogs walk with these leads. They may have a tendency to run off after a bird suddenly and without warning, causing problems for everyone involved. Retractable leads have a thin rope that could cut through your finger if used incorrectly. This is not an exaggeration, these actually have amputated fingers, severely cut legs and dogs necks due to misuse. One of our very own nearly had an eye out when the retractable lead snapped and retracted back hitting her just below the eye.
If you have a dog that pulls, which a majority of people have, this is exactly the opposite of what you should be using. Pulling ahead allows them to get a head; if you ever tried to train a dog to walk slower when they are 35 feet ahead of you…it just won’t work. Furthermore if your dog is off to the side, behind you or somewhere you can’t see him, how do you know what he’s up to? Being the responsible owner that you should be, you will be picking up after your dog, how you can do this if you can’t see him. You should be able to see your dog at all times when at the park to make sure he is acting appropriately and not being hassled by other dogs.
So maybe rethink your walking equipment and make sure it is suitable for your dog. Long lines can be used instead of retractable leads, they are thicker and allow you to have more control.