One of the most popular and in-demand forms of dog leashes in today's world are retractable dog leashes, a training tool millions of dog owners around the world swear by when it comes to results they've seen with their dogs, as well as a very valuable pet tool that comes in very handy when outside the house with our dogs.
Even though retractable dog leashes have their fair bit of controversy surrounding them, with part of the dog owner community being pro retractable dog leash use and another part being anti retractable dog leash use, the decision is yours to make in the end when it comes to determining which type of dog leash is best for your needs and those of your dog.
Let's kick this article off by having a quick look at our top 5 recommended retractable dog leashes available in today's market.
Our List Of The Top 5 Retractable Dog Leashes - (Updated List For 2018)
Top Pick: Flexi New Comfort Retractable Tape Dog Leash
Pick #2: Flexi New Neon Retractable Tape Dog Leash
Pick #3: Wigzi Dual Doggie Retractable Leash
Pick #4: Frisco Reflective Tape Retractable Dog Leash
Pick #5: Hertzko Retractable Dog Leash
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Best Retractable Dog Leash Reviews - (Top 3 Options In Depth)
Pick #1 (Top Choice & Best Retractable Dog Leash For Large Dogs) - Flexi New Comfort Retractable Tape Dog Leash
Impressive Leash Length: Giving you the ability to extend the retractable tape for a very impressive distance of up to 26 feet (almost 8 meters), this retractable dog leash was designed to cater for the needs of dog owners who want to give their pups as much freedom as possible when on their leash.
Even if you prefer to grab the small or medium size options, you'll still get far more extandability to work with if you were to compare these similar sized options to other brands on the market. With both the small and medium sized options, you're still getting a very impressive distance of up to 23 feet (approximately 7 meters) to work with.
If maximum leash length is a pillar criteria you're after because you want to give your dog the freedom to roam free in large and open spaces, then this is definitely the #1 choice you could go with.
High Weight Limit: If you've got a powerful and fairly large sized dog at home and have been trying to figure out what kind of retractable dog leash you should be getting without having to replace it the next week because your dog broke it, then we've got good news for you - this Flexi retractable dog leash can support dogs that weigh up to a whopping 110 pounds (50 kgs).
Very Durable Leash: This leash is one of the most durable ones you'll ever get your dog to wear, and the chances of it becoming damaged are very slim, unless you were to deliberately try to (or your dog were to decide to use this leash as their chew toy).
Lock Button: Even though you're given to option to let this leash extend up to its full capacity of 26 feet, there's also a lock button in place for when you want to limit and stop it from extending at any given distance you choose below the 26 feet.
Sometimes you're out somewhere and want your dog to be no farther away from you than 5 feet, other times 15 feet, and other times you want them to roam free within the full 26 feet range.
This Flexi retractable dog leash gives you exactly this flexibility you need at different times and in different places.
Pick #2 (Best Reflective Retractable Dog Leash) - Flexi New Neon Retractable Tape Dog Leash
Reflective Material: One of the first aspects you'll immediately notice when taking a look at this retractable dog leash, a feature we would have loved to see in our #1 pick above, is the reflective material the majority of this unit is made of.
The reflective tape, reflective stickers and neon-colored components this unit is made of tremendously helps out in having your dog stand out from the crowd, being more visible and hence ensuring their safety.
This may not be much of an important issue for you if you only take your dog out to secluded places for walks, but will definitely be a game breaker for you if you happen to have your dog walked in fairly crowded places and/or areas where a dark colored, non-reflective retractable dog leash will just blend in with the rest of the environment in terms of color.
If reflective material that makes your dog stand out and appear very clearly to the likes of cars from as far as 160 yards away isn't exactly a concern of yours, then sticking to our #1 recommendation above would be best.
However, if reflective material in a retractable dog leash is a big concern of yours for Fido's safety, then this is by far the best retractable dog leash for you.
Pick #3 (Best Dual Pet Retractable Dog Leash) - Wigzi Dual Doggie Retractable Leash
Two Dogs At Once: For those of you reading this that want to walk two dogs at once while using one retractable dog leash and not having to buy multiple ones to be able to do so, Wigzi has got you covered with this option.
This unit gives you two leashes to control your two dogs separately, and both leashes are tied back to one main base that you control with just one hand - how cool is that?
And, with this dual dog pet leash, you have the ability to stop one dog in its tracks and prevent it from moving any further while keeping the other dog's ability to move further in place if they're still within their "safe limits", as well as stop both dogs at the same time if need may be.
Weight Limit: One thing you have to keep in mind before going ahead and grabbing yourself a unit of this retractable dog leash is that you're limited to just 35 lbs per dog, as this leash won't be able to handle your dogs if either one of the two is over 35 lbs.
Non Tangling: Wigzi designed this retractable dog leash with one very important feature in mind, that it be a non-tangling one. Leash tangling is a very annoying problem that's more commonly found in longer-extending retractable dog leashes rather than shorter ones that extend up to 10 feet like this one, but it does nonetheless still happen with shorter extending leashes as well.
Why Should I Use A Retractable Dog Leash?
Here's a list of some of the most notable advantages you'll experience if you choose to make use of a retractable dog leash with your dog instead of a regular and general-use dog leash that we're all familiar with.
Increased Range: If you find that a normal dog leash isn't giving your dog enough movement space and that the range of movement it's allowing Fido is way too limited before you have to run after them in order to keep up, then a retractable dog leash is an excellent alternative for you to consider.
With a retractable dog leash, you're able to give Fido the opportunity to wander around with a bit more freedom while you're still walking behind at a slow speed without having to catch up because the leash isn't long enough.
Dogs don't like it if they feel that they're forced to remain very close to you when going out on walks or for exercise, they prefer to be given the freedom to "roam around" and feel like they're able to explore spaces without having you 5 feet away at all times.
With a retractable dog leash, you can give that privilege to your dog while still having the ability to confine their movement immediately whenever you see the need to.
Useful Training Tool: Not only is a retractable dog leash very useful when you want to go outdoors with Fido for something like a walk, it's also one of the most useful training tools you could add to your set at home.
For those of you having trouble teaching your dog certain commands, especially the "come when called" command, a retractable dog leash can be the perfect help you need.
The concept and process is a very plain and simple one, and we've dissected it into the following steps.
- Step 1: Fully extend the retractable dog leash while it's attached to your dog.
- Step 2: Call your dog by their name or use whatever command word you're training them to associate with the command "come".
- Step 3: Call your dog by their name or use the command a few more times in case they weren't very responsive in following your orders the first time around
- Step 4: Gradually shorten the retractable dog leash bit by bit until your dog comes back to you.
- Step 5: Use positive reinforcement techniques with your dog such as heaping praise and giving them one of their favorite treats in order to let them know that you're happy they came back.
- Step 6: Repeat this technique a few times and, before you know it, an association will have formed in your dog's mind and they will have mastered the "come when called" command in no time.
What Criteria Sets Apart The Best Retractable Dog Leashes?
Here's a list of some of the most important aspects and criteria you should be looking for in a retractable dog leash if only getting the best of the best is what you're after.
Bright Visible Colors: When it comes to buying the best retractable dog leash that's able to guarantee your dog's safety as much as possible, it's best that you stick to buying one that's relatively bright in color and not dark in color.
Retractable dog leashes that are bright in color tend to stand out much better wherever you are than retractable dog leashes that are dark in color, something which:
- Guarantees your dog's safety much better by making them more visible.
- Guarantees the safety of pedestrians walking around since darker colored retractable dog leashes sometimes tend to blend in with the environment and not be seen as visible as brighter colored ones.
That's not to say that you have to get a dark colored retractable dog leash in all cases alike in order for it to be safe for your dog and anyone around, you have to consider where you're planning to walk your dog and use the leash and whether a dark colored retractable dog leash will blend in with that environment or not.
In certain areas and on certain surfaces, a black retractable dog leash will stand out more than fine, so you're good to go, but in other areas and on other surfaces a black retractable dog leash will blend in with the environment so you're better off going with something more bright in color.
Dog Size: Before you go ahead and buy any retractable dog leash for Fido, you have to make sure that it's appropriate for their size.
There's no one retractable dog leash that's perfect for dogs of all size, the best retractable dog leash for small dogs may be different than the best retractable dog leash for large dogs because of the different physical capabilities between the two dogs that required a difference in the manufacturing process of the leashes.
You want to make sure that you get a retractable dog leash that was specifically designed for large dogs if you have a large dog at home so you can ensure that it'll fit them perfectly, they'll remain comfortable wearing it even for prolonged periods of time and that the leash will be able to do its job effectively - and the same holds true if you have a small dog at home or a medium sized dog as well.
Firm Handle: Another criteria that you have to pay special attention to when buying a retractable dog leash, and this goes hand in hand with the issue about size we talked about in the point mentioned above, is that it must have a firm and strong handle that you can make use of, and not one that's made from weak material.
When walking your dog with a retractable dog leash that doesn't have the strongest and firmest of handles, you may be able to get by if you have a small sized dog that starts to pull and you have to pull back while grabbing the handle in order to stop them from going somewhere they're not supposed to go, but you definitely won't be able to get by if you're walking a medium or large sized dog that's more powerful.
In such a case, your medium or large sized dog will have enough power in them to cause the handle to break while you're trying to pull back in order to stop them from going somewhere they're not supposed to.
When Is Using A Retractable Dog Leash A Bad Idea?
While retractable dog leashes can be very useful given the right circumstance and under certain conditions, there are times when using a retractable dog leash can actually be a very bad idea.
Crowded Areas: If you're out with your dog for a walk or whatever reason and you're in a crowded area where a lot of people (and perhaps other pets) are around, then it's best that you don't use a retractable dog leash and that you stick to using a regular dog leash instead.
The extra moving space a retractable dog leash gives your canine is very useful in areas where it's less crowded, such as in the park where you can walk for a long amount of time with your dog without necessarily coming too close to anyone or any other pet that may be walking with their owner.
However, if you're walking your dog on the street and it's very crowded, you can't afford to give them this much extra moving space (both for their safety and the safety of anyone around), and you need to make sure that they're very close by your side at all times.