No, you should not train your dog with a retractable leash. In fact, it’s probably best if you never use one of these devices, because they are an accident waiting to happen.
Unfortunately, these potentially treacherous devices are favored by many pet parents. And, even if you don’t use one yourself, you may find yourself in a dangerous situation as a result.
The Many Problems of Retractable Leashes
Dog owners make the argument that these extra long devices (often 25 feet or longer) allow their pets to experience a greater freedom than a standard six-foot leash. But the point of leashing your pet is to have control. This is necessary for your pet’s safety, your safety and the safety of other pets and humans.
The list of dangers associated with retractable leashes is almost endless.
Your pet could easily run into the street and be hit by a car. He could get hold of a potentially dangerous substance and ingest it before you could reach him. The thin cord can quickly become frayed and worn, and can easily break. Your pet could take off after a cat or another dog and be injured before you got there.
Retractable leashes pose a significant physical risk to you as well. Pet owners have broken bones, lost fingers and even limbs. Read this Consumer Reports story for a few grisly examples of retractable leash injuries.
You Can’t Train Your Dog with a Retractable Leash
One point of leash training is to interact with your pet and enjoy the shared experience of taking a walk. But the leash is more than a vehicle for fun. It is a lifeline between you and your pet that plays a pivotal role in the training process.
If your pet can wander 25 feet ahead of you, how likely will he be to heed your command Even if your pet is not aggressive to other dogs, the other dog he can reach without you might be.
And let’s not forget that you are supposed to control the walk, not your pet.
Train Your Dog the Safe Way – with a Standard Leash
The issues related to retractable leashes may soon be less of a problem. They have been banned in many places already, a trend that is likely to continue. In fact, many municipalities that have leash laws limit their length to six feet.
Training your dog to walk on a leash is one of the first skills we introduce. Without this important aspect of dog training, you would be unable to safely take your pet to vet appointments and other public places.
Innovative K9 Academy provides expert dog and puppy training programs for clients in Salt Lake City and throughout Northern Utah. Contact us today to learn more about the safe and appropriate ways to train your dog to walk on a leash.