The Dangers of Extendable Leads

Ringwood Dogs

Potential Dangers for the Dog:

We often get asked what our view is on using extendable dog leads. It’s quite simple really, they pose a danger to both the dog and the walker and should not be used.

Extendable dog leads have become more popular in recent years. This is probably because as dog owners see them as a way to provide exercise to their dog without worry of allowing them free run off lead.

So, what are the Dangers of Extendable Dog Leads:

  1. Over time the cord will become frayed. In the worst case they will break when put under strain. This is of course a risk with all types of dog lead but as the cord is hidden when the lead is retracted, the damage will not be noticed.
  2. Extendable dog leads rely on a locking mechanism to stop the lead from extending. If this “lock” is not engaged properly, then walker will lose control of the dog. There have been cases of dogs running into traffic on extendable leads with tragic outcomes.
  3. When fully or even partially extended, the cord can become a danger to the dog. It can get caught around a limb causing friction burns, lacerations or even breaking a limb.
  4. When attached to a collar, a dog can incur neck and/or spinal injuries. Dogs love to run and will do so until the lead extends to its full length. At this point the dog is jarred to a halt, much like a human who suffers whiplash in a car accident.

Potential Dangers to the Dog Walker:

  1. The cord can become tangled around a leg or finger. When pulled tight by the dog, this can cause friction burns, lacerations or in the worst case very deep cuts.
  2. If the dog runs and hits the end of the extendable lead, the walker could incur a jarring shoulder injury or at worst be pulled over.
  3. Other people are in danger too as the dog could run around the back of another person taking them off their feet as the extendable lead tangles around their legs.

What are the Alternatives to Extendable Dog Leads:

In the first instance we would always recommend recall training with a properly qualified dog trainer. So that your dog can be walked off lead where it is safe and sensible to do so. Assuming that your dog is not ready to be walked off lead; then we have a couple of suggestions to avoid the dangers of extendable dog leads:

  1. Swap your extendable dog lead for a “Biothane Long Line”. These can be purchased from us in a variety of lengths and colours. This will reduce many of the dangers posed by extendable dog leads.
  2. Utilise “safe and secure” dog walking fields. These are becoming common place and for a small charge you can walk you dog off lead in a fenced area.

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