Why You Should Not Use A Retractable Leash With Your Dog

Leash Training Northern Virginia



On a daily basis at our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, I tell people, “My first piece of expert advice is to go home, throw away this retractable leash, and buy a standard 4′-6′ leash.”

In my blog on The Key Elements To A Proper Heel, I discuss in more detail what you need to do in order to get your dog heeling.

Why Are Retractable Leashes Bad For Working With Your Dog?

As I have probably said over a thousand times, “I have never seen a dog in my life that heeled really well, and the owner had a retractable leash.”

Let me say that just one more time in case you missed that, in over 5000+ dogs trained,us training 7 days per week, 65 dogs per week, “I have never seen a dog in my life that heeled amazingly well, and the owner had a retractable leash.”

Why this is important is anytime the owner has a retractable leash, there is generally no structure to the walk, whatsoever. Meaning the dog is generally walking ahead, cutting behind, cutting across, pulling out more leash, and just wondering all over the place.

The Biggest Problems I See With  Retractable Leashes Are: 

-A retractable leash actually teaches your dog to pull, not only does it teach them to pull but it also REWARDS their pulling.  What does a retractable leash teach your dog?  “The harder I pull, I get more leash.”  So, your dog is constantly pulling (even though they are at the end) because the leash has conditioned them to learn “by pulling, I keep getting more distance and more leash.”

-It often times to lead to improper greetings with other dogs, which can lead to a dog fight or altercation.  If another dog is coming while walking your dog on a trail,  they can take off running and get 15+ feet momentum to run over to the other dog.  This can cause for an improper/uncontrolled greeting with the oncoming dog can interpret wrong, causing an altercation between the two dogs.

-If your dog is a prey-driven animal, and they see a squirrel, cat, rabbit (etc), they can  take off running at full speed, the retractable leash gives them 15+ feet of momentum and speed in order to drag you to the ground.  We hear these stories on a daily basis at our dog training facility in Northern Virginia.  If you take the same dog and put them on a 4′-6′ leash, they do not have enough ground in order to get their speed and momentum going which prevents them from being able to pull you down.

-A lot of people have received rope burn from these retractable leashes.  Almost every retractable leash has a very thin leash.  If this thin leash gets caught around your hand, leg, ankle (etc) and the dog takes off running at a high rate of speed, this cord can cause sever rope burn.

In summary, if you have a retractable leash, do yourself, your arm, and your dog a favor and  get rid of it.

You can look at over 400+ of our videos on our YouTube Channel if you want to see what a structured, disciplined, a controlled heel looks like with training.





About Off Leash K9 Training

My name is Nick White, I am the owner of Off-Leash K9 Training. I am a former US Marine Iraq War Veteran, and former US Secret Service, also, I currently have 12 locations in the United States. We specialize in basic obedience, advanced obedience, personal protection, and drug detection. About us: As you will see, our client list includes: NBA Star John Wall, UFC World Champion Jon "Bones" Jones, World Champion Boxer Roy Jones Jr, UFC Announcer Bruce Buffer, film star Ron Jeremy, 3x UFC Champion Rich "Ace" Franklin, WWF World Champion Iron Sheik, Kane Hodder ("Jason" from the Friday the 13th movies), the staff from the hit show "Operation Repo," and Elliot's dog from Elliot in the Morning on DC 101! See them in our highlight video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T17ZgrOc7k&list=UUv67Xn3BwFJgPLigquueb4A&index=5 We also had yahoo do a special on us, as well! http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/driven/dog-training-secrets-milit As you will see on our website, we are getting a lot of publicity and it's continually growing! We've had American Legion, US Military Veterans, NoVa Dog Magazine, Military Times Magazine, Smart CEO Magazine, and The Virginia and Maryland Dog Magazine do stories on us (just to name a few). You can see all of these articles if you go to our "About Us" page of website and scroll to the bottom. We are also the official trainers for ABC's "The Pet Show with Dr. Katy Nelson." Recently, we were named one of the top trainers in the world by the Dogington Post! There are over 400 videos of dogs we have trained on YouTube so you can see the amazing results we get verse us just tell you about it, so we would highly encourage you to check out our Youtube Channel and was some of the stuff we do! Thank you for your interest in our amazing training. -Nick

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