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The 12 Best Retractable Dog Leashes

Retractable dog leashes are perfect for dogs that like exploring, but they must be safe for your pet, you, and other dogs and people. It should also be durable enough to resist the pull of your four-legged companion and be classified as suited for their size to avoid it from breaking too readily.

A leash that is simple to clean is especially advantageous if your dog enjoys jumping in puddles and running through muck.

Below are ten of the best retractable dog leashes, available in a range of sizes and with a variety of tape and cord options to accommodate any budget.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has also included a guide on selecting the best retractable dog leashes, so he or she may enjoy some freedom without you having to worry about escape or property damage.

Reviews

Flexi Traditional Nylon

Cord and tape are the two forms of retractable leashes. Cords are thin, easily worn or broken, and more susceptible to tangling around legs and other objects.

Tape leashes are broader and more durable. They are seen as vital for huge and powerful dogs, but smaller dogs often appreciate them as well.

According to the maximum suggested dog weight, the Flexi Classic Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash is available in many sizes.

The medium is appropriate for dogs weighing up to 55 pounds and has an extendable nylon tape leash part with a metal clip for attachment to a collar or harness.

The ergonomic handle makes it pleasant to grasp and the brake button prevents your closest companion from going too far away or tangling too much.

Consider that the smaller versions have a smaller hand hole area, so if you have huge hands, this may not be an acceptable option. The combination of a reasonable price, a sufficient length, and the safety of the nylon tape make this the finest retractable dog leash overall.

Pros

  • Available in several more sizes
  • tape is more secure than cable
  • The 16-foot leash is of sufficient length.
  • Decent price

Cons

  • The hand hole can be too small.

 

Classic Flexi Nylon Cord

Tape leashes are often safer and less prone to tangle, although cable leashes are less expensive and less enticing to chewers. They are appropriate for smaller dogs and those that walk sensibly without excessive tugging.

The Flexi Classic Nylon Cord Retractable Dog Leash is inexpensive in comparison to comparable-sized and rated retractable leashes, despite its wide variety of available sizes.

In addition to selecting the appropriate size, you may also choose from one of Flexi’s four available colors.

This retractable dog leash has a reasonable length, is inexpensive, and is available in a wide range of sizes, making it our top pick.

However, the cable is very thin and difficult for the dog to grasp for additional support. In addition, the metal clip is little and quite fragile.

Although it is manufactured by the same firm as the tape leash above, the maximum weight guidelines are different; thus, you should verify this before purchasing.

The maximum weight for the medium tape leash is 55 pounds, while the maximum cord leash is only recommended for dogs weighing up to 44 pounds.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Excellent range of sizes and hues
  • Excellent length

Cons

  • The cord is very fine
  • Maximum weight constraints are rather modest.

 

Stretchable Giant Nylon Tape

It is still feasible to use a retractable leash with a large dog, but there are various variables to consider. Not only should the leash tape be thicker, but the clasp should also be robust, and the handle should be made to be pleasant to grasp under steady strain.

The Flexi Giant Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash is pricey, but it is also the greatest retractable length for big dogs due to its 26-foot tape leash and its maximum weight of 110 pounds.

The tape has a thickness of 0.75 inches and an internal spring that maintains tension on the leash at all times, preventing even the largest dogs from readily breaking the locking mechanism.

It is built such that the brake and lock are located at the thumb end of the handle, and it features a collar-connecting chrome snap hook.

In addition to being pricey, the thick nylon tape is an invitation to dogs who like chewing, and although it is meant to withstand pulling and tugging, it is not chew-resistant.

Pros

  • Extra-wide tape collar made for large dogs
  • Stronger clasp made for large dogs
  • Ergonomically designed positioning of the brake handle and button

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The tape is not chew-resistant.

 

Tug Nylon Tape

The Tug Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash is a 16-foot retractable leash designed for dogs weighing up to 110 pounds and offered as big.

It includes a curved hand hole with a textured surface to avoid slippage, thumb-operated brake, and lock buttons, and a reasonable price. It is equipped with a metal hook for attachment to collars and harnesses, as needed.

Even if the handle is textured, the whole object is fairly hefty, which may not be a problem for a short stroll but gets awkward for extended journeys. Additionally, although the brake and lock buttons are conveniently accessible, the tape leash is quickly consumed.

Pros

  • Reasonable cost
  • Textured handle for improved grip

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Simple to chew

 

Stretchable Comfort Nylon Tape

The Flexi Comfort Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash is a 26-foot-long nylon tape leash and is rated as durable enough for 110-pound canines. The Comfort collection derives its name from its adjustable handle.

By rotating the dial inside the handle, it is possible to retract or extend a piece of the handle, making it ideal for walkers with hands of varying sizes.

Although they are sold individually, the LED light and companion box are compatible with the Flexi Comfort Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash.

The light is handy for illuminating your nighttime stroll or locating your keys, and the accessory box is ideal for storing poop bags or a training whistle. The Flexi Comfort Nylon is priced affordably for a big dog leash.

It is another hefty leash, which may create tiredness after a long walk, and the leash is taut, so there is minimal slack when the brake is used.

This means that when you use the brake, your dog is immediately halted in its tracks, although it might be unpleasant for a dog that is charging. The handle may need some texture to avoid slippage in damp conditions or with sweaty hands.

Pros

  • 26-foot lead
  • Size-adjustable handle hole
  • Compatible with LED lighting and accessories packaging

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Not much give when using the brakes
  • Wet surfaces are slick

 

Flexible Neon Nylon Reflective Tape

Visibility is crucial while walking a dog in any weather conditions, but it is particularly crucial during the dark and twilight hours. When utilizing an extendable leash, your dog may be some distance from you; thus, vehicles must be able to see you both properly.

The Flexi Neon Nylon Tape Reflective Retractable Dog Leash has the same smooth leash retraction technique that Flexi is renowned for, but it also includes a reflective sticker on the leash base and neon yellow tape, making it more visible to everyone.

The thumb-operated braking mechanism is located on top of the retractable handle, and there is a curved handle hole.

The handle might need a stronger grip, particularly because the leash is perfect for usage in terrible weather conditions, and the hole in the smaller versions is so tiny that it will be difficult to get your hand inside comfortably.

Pros

  • In low visibility, reflective stickers and fluorescent tape are beneficial.
  • Available in several sizes

Cons

  • The handle hole is tiny
  • The handle lacks texture

 

Retractable Reflection of Kong

In addition to a variety of food-dispensing rubber toys, King also manufactures retractable dog leashes as part of its assortment of canine accessories.

The Kong Retractable Reflect Reflective Retractable Dog Leash is available in medium and large sizes, and its weight limits are rather reasonable compared to those of competing products. For example, the medium is classified as suited for dogs up to 65 pounds.

It features a broad nylon tape that is 16 feet long, a fluorescent handle sticker that is retractable, neon tape, and reflective stitching on the leash itself.

It is rather pricey compared to other leashes with comparable features, and although the handle is relatively tiny for those with big hands, the locking button is difficult to reach with your thumb. However, it is a sturdy leash with an effective locking mechanism.

Pros

  • A robust and durable leash
  • Reflective sticker, reflective stitching, and neon tape
  • Medium is ideal for dogs weighing up to 65 pounds

Cons

  • The handle is too narrow for gloved hands with huge hands.
  • The thumb break is hard to reach.

 

Retractable Ultimate Kong

The Kong Retractable Ultimate Reflective Retractable Dog Leash is intended for enormous and extra-large dogs weighing up to 150 pounds and provides some of the same visibility advantages as the reflective leash made by the same firm.

It is available in three colors, each with a 16-foot-long, color-coded tape. The tape features reflective stitching so that your dog is visible to traffic and others, and so that you can locate your dog if he runs away.

The Kong retractable leash has an uncomfortably sized hand hole, however, unlike most other retractable leashes, this is due to the opening being too big rather than too small.

This not only makes the leash difficult to hold but also makes it difficult to reach the lock and brake button with your thumb, necessitating the employment of a second hand.

Pros

  • Compatible with dogs up to 70 kg
  • The luminous stitching on the tape leash increases its visibility.

Cons

  • The handle hole is enormous and difficult to hold.
  • Uncomfortable access to the brake and lock buttons

 

Retractable Kong Exploration

The Kong Retractable Explore Reflective Retractable Dog Leash contains a 25-foot-long leash segment, as opposed to the typical 16-foot length. This is beneficial for dogs that want to roam and whom you trust.

The leash is designed for dogs weighing up to 110 pounds, and the luminous stitching on the broad tape makes them easier to discover and recognize.

It includes a soft-grip handle supposed to make it more pleasant to use, although the retractor has been known to break after a few months.

In addition, the tape is made of nylon, which makes it susceptible to being chewed, so you will need to keep an eye on your dog when it is away from you.

Pros

  • Soft-grip handle
  • 25-foot cord leash
  • Reflective embroidery on the tape

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Difficulties with retractor sticking

 

Thunderstrike Nylon

The Thunderleash Nylon Retractable Dog Leash is a mix of a training leash and a retractable tape leash. It is only appropriate for dogs up to 25 pounds in weight and is 15 feet long.

This is the shortest leash on the list, but by a very little margin, and 15 feet should be plenty for dogs of suitable size.

The Thunderleash is intended to wrap around the dog’s midsection after it is connected, so if the dog pulls or if you must apply a corrective tug, it is less likely to cause pain or discomfort around the dog’s neck.

However, the leash is pricey, only ideal for the smaller dog types, and difficult to retract, which is problematic if you need to bring your dog back to you during a stroll.

Pros

  • Engineered to resist pulling
  • Should be durable for very few breeds

Cons

  • Suitable only for extremely tiny dogs
  • Only 15 feet long
  • The tape becomes twisted and is difficult to retract.
  • Expensive

Conclusion

Although they are not ideal for all dogs or situations, retractable dog leashes do provide certain advantages. The best retractable dog leashes are described above, including the Flexi Classic Nylon Tape, which is inexpensive, durable enough for frequent use, and suited for most dogs.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) thinks that The Flexi Classic Nylon Cord Retractable Dog Leash is less expensive, but it is constructed with a cord instead of tape and is intended for tiny breeds.

Buyer's Guide

Leash is an essential element of a dog owner’s equipment. Whether you have a well-mannered Dachshund, a rambunctious Boxer, or a massive Great Dane, you need a leash that is safe for your dog, comfortable for you, and long-lasting.

There is debate around retractable leashes. On the one hand, they are favored for their practicality and because they enable a dog some freedom when walking.

The improper usage of retractable leashes, on the other hand, has resulted in incidents involving other dogs and humans.

What Advantages Do Retractable Leashes Offer?

Investigation – The retractable leashes on our list feature ribbons that range in length from 15 to 26 feet. This implies that instead of being restricted to the region directly around your feet, your dog may explore a larger area.

Get Your Dog Out From Under Your Feet – Additionally, this prevents your dog from darting about your feet. Dogs may get ecstatic at the possibility of going outside, since they want to take in as many scents and sights as possible.

As a result, they like to sprint from one patch to the next, often in your direction. A retractable leash decreases the possibility of your dog running away from you.

It Is Possible To Train The Recall Command – For recall training, you must allow your dog to leave your side. Initially, you may simply want them to go a few feet, but if they can be recalled successfully from this distance, it is advisable to extend their range. With a retractable leash, you can do this without ever losing control.

Why are retractable leashes viewed negatively?

It is more difficult to restrain an excitable dog – There is a stop and lock button on retractable leashes, allowing you to prevent a dog from going too far away.

However, it is more difficult to handle a dog that is 10 feet distant and you cannot pull or grip the leash with both hands. Trainers claim that when a dog is on a leash, he or she should walk beside his or her person, therefore a leash that extends beyond this length serves little use.

The Final Station — Even though some extending leashes feature a cushioned brake, this might undermine the purpose of having a stop since the dog can continue to run.

A sharp brake, on the other hand, allows a rushing dog to be rapidly repelled by applying significant force around the neck and upper chest. Particularly rambunctious dogs may hurt themselves with this style of leash.

Potential Harm To Others – There have been reported instances of retractable leashes injuring other individuals. If your dog darts in front of a pedestrian who does not stop, the individual may trip over the leash.

A somewhat thinner cable leash is also capable of causing rope burn and other injuries, particularly on exposed skin.

Possible Personal Injury – These rope burns are also a source of worry for the owners. If your dog is tugging aggressively or if the leash handle is wrenched from your grasp, gripping the cable can cause hand burns and discomfort.

Potential Harm To Your Dog – The leash might get wrapped around the legs and body of your dog. Your dog may also be able to drag you into traffic before you get complete control of the brake.

Safely Utilizing A Retractable Leash

There are certain possible risks associated with retractable leashes, however, these risks may be avoided via cautious and vigilant usage. Follow these instructions to ensure that you use a new retractable leash safely:

Use With Caution In Congested Areas – If you walk your dog through town centers or other urban areas with plenty of foot traffic and other potential dangers, you should either lock the retractable leash at its smallest length or refrain from using one. You are more likely to cause an accident or harm under these conditions.

Know Your Environment – Be cautious of your surroundings when walking. If your dog is on a 10-foot leash, it may run 10 feet in any direction, including behind and to the sides of you.

Select A Visible Collar – It is possible for pedestrians and even pets to get entangled in the leash cable, so select one that is very visible. Thicker tape-style leashes are more noticeable, and some are available in fluorescent hues and with reflective stitching and/or stickers.

Longer Is Not Always Preferable – Consider the recall abilities of your dog. Some dogs may react to you when you are 10 feet away, but ignore you when you are 20 feet away.

If this sounds like your dog, restrict its freedom on the leash. Although several of the leashes on our list are longer than 20 feet, they are mostly useful in wide fields or on private land.

They Are Not Appropriate For All Dogs – Certain canines are better suited on a normal leash. Consider dogs such as whippets and greyhounds. They may wander calmly beside you for the most of the journey, but they may dart away if they see prospective prey.

Leash Design

When purchasing a retractable leash, there are two primary options:

Tape – Tape leashes are thicker and comparable to conventional leashes. They provide more control, are simpler to notice, and are less likely to burn your hands if you must grasp them. Nevertheless, they are often composed of nylon and may be bitten.

Cord – Leashes made of cord are thin and lightweight. They are challenging to chew, but more difficult to hold and more likely to break. Cords are often less expensive, however price is not the only consideration when selecting a leash.

Leash Duration

One of the major advantages of a retractable leash is that it allows your dog to go farther away from you, but you must always be aware of where your dog is and what it is doing. Lengths may range from around 10 feet to at least 25 feet.

Extremely long leashes are unsuitable for most situations, but are ideal for recall training in your backyard or a private area.

Suggested Weight

Check the leash’s appropriate weight. There are no standard sizes, therefore it is best to check the maximum weight and err on the side of caution when considering whether to choose a leash with a higher suggested weight.

Brake And Lock Buttons

On several times, you may need to prevent your dog from straying farther away from you. This is when the brake button is useful.

It employs a device to halt the leash at its present length and prevents the dog from extending it farther. A lock button allows you to lock it at this length without pushing the brake down continuously.

Reflective

Reflective leashes are advantageous because they make it simpler to detect a dog that has wandered off. Additionally, they guarantee that other people can see your dog, possibly reducing slips and falls and assisting cars in seeing the dog if it rushes into the street.

Handle Design

In 20 feet, a dog may acquire significant speed, and if this force reaches the end of the leash, it will pull strongly on the handle. Without a tight grasp, you are likely to lose the leash and may be forced to pursue your dog.

The handle should fit firmly around your hand and the brake and lock buttons should be easily accessible, but it should not be so tight that your whole hand cannot fit within.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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