This is somewhat of a tense subject among dog owners, but it’s safe to assume that the opinions are divided and there’s no way to reconcile the two camps. However, the truth is there is no such thing as a dangerous leash, and only human error and lack of attention or judgment can result in the unfortunate accidents that everyone is so afraid of.
Before buying a retractable leash, you need to make sure that you live in an environment that’s suited for this type of control, given the fact that such an item can offer your dog up to 30 feet of personal space. He can walk away from you far enough to become difficult to control, and this can result in unpleasant situations if you’re not paying attention.
For example, if you live in a crowded city and you’re used to walking your dog alongside busy streets filled with traffic, then for sure buying a retractable leash isn’t a good idea. Just imagine how hard it would be to spot your dog when he’s walking 30 feet in front of you and there are dozens of people in between.
Needless to say, it would be impossible to stop him from getting involved in a traffic accident or become aggressive towards pedestrians. If you know your pet has problems with his conduct in public, has a difficult temper or acts aggressive towards strangers, we definitely recommend you to avoid this type of leash.
However, there’s also a bright side. If you live in the countryside or your regularly walk your dog outdoors, in a large park maybe or even on a field, a retractable leash can be a great device to help you keep him within sight but still allow him the freedom he needs to explore the environment.
You still have to pay a lot of attention to your pet, since even though he’s free from the dangers of the crowded city life, such as car accidents or careless pedestrians running him over if they’re not paying attention, he can still be harmed by eating things he finds on the ground that he probably shouldn’t be swallowing, such as sharp rocks or poisonous plants.
It’s important to mention the fact that most of the pet owners that are vocal against this type of product are aware of the mistake they make themselves, and don’t want to take any risk when it comes to the safety and health of their beloved furry friend.
While that is a sensible decision, you also have to consider your pet’s freedom of movement and the joy he gets from exploring unknown spaces. You need to avoid making him so dependent that he can’t handle things on his own, but make sure he has the proper education first.
Essentially, what we’re trying to say here is that while you may know that your pet behaves himself in public places and can stay away from harm, allowing him a little freedom can’t hurt. Buying a retractable leash can be a way of offering him personal space, but only if you are sure that you both can handle it.