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Discussion Starter #1
The classical retractable leash can be very dangerous for humans and dogs a like. A lot of the dangers don't have to with handling it the right way, but they come through situations you as a handler can not control.
I just read in another forum of a young lady accidentally amputating the first phalanx of a finger because of a flexi leash.

- they can lead to ugly cuts and burns when humans grasping the leash in reflex
-they're not easily seen in the dark which can lead to people falling over the leash or runing into it and hurting themself and the dog
- the stop button sometimes stops working and can lead to the dog running on the street: dog dead.
-when the leash spool slips out of your hand you can hit the dog with it and it gets hurt
- sudden contact with other dog, can lead to other dogs getting hurt
- a stronger dog can easily snap the cord, which is not very insecure and can lead to dog running away or infdront of a car
-the dog can get tangled up and the leascuts them
-everytime the leash is in tension and you push the stop button and make the dog stop suddenly it can hurt the dogs neck and/or spine.

Such a leash also doesn't help with leashtraining too
-the dog does learn that it is normal that there is tension on the leash, which incourages leash pulling
-the dog can not estimate how long the leash is until they get stopped forcefully


Yes, of course you can also hurt yourself and others with another leash, but because the Flexi gives even more opportunities to hurt others or yourself or a dog, please think about it carefully before buying and using a Flexi leash.



Retractable leashes pose problems for people and their pets

Injuries, behavioral problems linked to retractable leashes - VIN
 

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I used to use a Flexi leash with my Lab mix. She was a dream to walk, so I never had a problem, but I hated them just the same. They're clunky and annoying and the button on mine would always catch.

My trainer had me buy a 15' braided-type long lead to train with Chisum...sometimes it's cumbersome but overall it's wonderful. He still gets the extra freedom, I don't have to worry about burns (or amputation!), plus it's very soft and pretty. :) I could go on. Way better choice than the Flexi.
 

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I absolutely hate retractible leashes. They are extremely clunky. The normal ones are too large for my hands and the small ones I can't even fit my fingers through the grip. I know people want their dogs to have freedom, but I view these leashes as a liability. You have basically no control over your dog, especially if you let it run to the end of the spool.

The majority of people whose dogs I have run up to me are those with such a leash. I love dogs, but I have been attacked by an off leash dog in the recent past (IMO, a retractible leash is no better or safer than letting the dog roam leash free). I hate it when people let their dog bound up to you while saying "oh he's friendly!" You don't know me. I might hate dogs. I might have a terrible fear of dogs. You don't know if your dog might decide out of the blue it doesn't actually like me. You know nothing of the dog I might be walking. HE might not be friendly. People are dumb.
 

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^If feel like retractable give people and excuse not to train their dog how to walk nicely on a leash, because it gives them extra room to move and most dogs won't pull when they have a choice.

Every single dog I've seen on one has been poorly trained, poorly socialized, and under-managed by their owners.

I say let's ban the flexi-lead and make people accountable for properly training their pets! I mean if my 30kg lab mix can walk nicely on a leash, the average 6kg shih tzu should be able too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
^If feel like retractable give people and excuse not to train their dog how to walk nicely on a leash, because it gives them extra room to move and most dogs won't pull when they have a choice.

Every single dog I've seen on one has been poorly trained, poorly socialized, and under-managed by their owners.

I say let's ban the flexi-lead and make people accountable for properly training their pets! I mean if my 30kg lab mix can walk nicely on a leash, the average 6kg shih tzu should be able too.
the problem I see is that an untrained dog is even more likely to be unpredictable and then hurt themself or others with such a leash.
especially for an untrained or badly trained dog i wouldn't take such a leash. Plus a lot of people don't really use the stop button and their 40 kg labrador bolts towards an other dog and either the poor dog gets hit by the spool or tangled in the cord. :(
 

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I agree, they are awful. Virtually always used by people that haven't trained their dogs, and let them run around acting a fool. They give very little control, and are clumsy and dangerous.

I expect my dogs to walk quietly beside me on a loose leash, and never use more than a 4 foot leash unless doing agility.

The worst is when you're at a crowded event and people use them. Like what are you thinking??? They tangle people up and harass other's dogs, and it's just common sense to at least not use one in that situation.
 

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Both my dogs have retractable leashes and they're both perfectly fine on it, I find it helpful How they can be long for when they're in the yard and short for when they're on a walk. They are clunky and annoying to hold but I haven't had many problems with it. When I was little though and just learning to use the leash I almost cut off my finger lol but I'd still rather use them then the short fabric leashes honestly
 

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Yucky pictures but I personally use a flexi with no problem. My dog knows the commands "walk with me" and "go ahead" so he knows when he's allowed to pull and when he's not. I don't have a flexi brand, the handle is big and it has a light on the front for nighttime and the leash part itself has that fiber woven into the middle that allows you to see it in the dark (not sure what it's called exactly the name escapes my mind it's that stuff on the vests roadwork people use)

I would never use one on an untrained dog that pulls. They're often used as an excuse to not leash train your dog and that's when it gets dangerous. I love mine and my dog is trained well so we have had zero problems :)
 

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Also a couple points from that list you wrote:

My retractable leashes button has NEVER stopped working and I've been using them for years
I wouldn't press the button to make my dog come back from walking in the street, I taught him to walk on the sidewalk and stop at the end of sidewalks. He also knows the basic command "here"
People using normal leashes can yank a collar on any dog and hurt their neck or spine, and normal leashes for a pulling dog can cause trachea collapse which is why in either situations people should train their dogs.
I've had moe difficulty with normal leashes getting tangled with other dogs because it doesn't retract with me, it simply tangles.
 

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The better brads or retractable leashes, like the Flexi, are not as prone to failing like the cheap ones are. A major problem with any of them is that people who have no idea how to use them are the main ones that buy them.

I used to use them and knew how to control my dogs while using them. I never had a problem with the dogs going in the street, or running up to strange people or dogs, that's what I used the break for. While walking around people I locked the break and kept the leashes short so no one was in danger of tripping over the cord or getting wrapped up and cut by it. I knew better then to grab the cord, I knew how to use the break to stop the dog and pull the dog back if necessary. I never let my dogs play with anyone while on the leash. To be honest though I have had the lead wrap around my legs more then once, mainly because unless a person keeps the dog walking at heel it's bound to happen if the dog goes behind you then comes up on the other side then goes to the original side, When that happens and two dogs are being walked it's difficult to quickly untangle the leads before the cord touches you, it's not a problem if you're wearing pants, but a major one if you're wearing shorts. I never got burned from it, but came close a couple times.

Unfortunately I've seen a lot of people using them that have no idea how to control the dog with it. I've more then once watched in horror as a person grabbed the cord to stop the dog rather then using the break. I've also seen people let dogs run amuck on them. The cheap retractable leads are a nightmare, I've seen those fail to retract so that the leash just stays out, and I've seen the break fail so that the owner has no control over the dog. I've seen them used with reactive dogs, and the dog will be at the end of the leash acting out and the owner is 20 ft back unable to do anything.
 

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Also a couple points from that list you wrote:

My retractable leashes button has NEVER stopped working and I've been using them for years
I wouldn't press the button to make my dog come back from walking in the street, I taught him to walk on the sidewalk and stop at the end of sidewalks. He also knows the basic command "here"
People using normal leashes can yank a collar on any dog and hurt their neck or spine, and normal leashes for a pulling dog can cause trachea collapse which is why in either situations people should train their dogs.
I've had moe difficulty with normal leashes getting tangled with other dogs because it doesn't retract with me, it simply tangles.
Different people have different experiences.

- About 1/4 of the retractable leashes I have used (provided by clients) have had malfunctioning buttons. Even though I'm super vigilant, I find this to be dangerous and I hate walking with them.
- Approximately 90% or more of the dogs I have met in my lifetime, including ones that I care for, are severely undertrained... if at all. I'm talking zero recall. I wish I could train them, but that's not my job (eventually... if I actually go for those animal behavior/psychology courses).
- Pulling on any leash with a collar can cause damage. I tend to prefer a good martingale or harness that fits properly. Even with an untrained dog, it's better than letting them hurt themselves.
- Funny enough I never get tangled in normal leashes, even with dogs who don't know how to heel. I do, however, constantly get tangled up in retractable leashes. It's just more length to get caught up and wrapped around things, in my personal experience.
 

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I just invested in one of these this week for the few instances where I wind up walking dogs in public parks with leash laws. I like how it works with a back clip harness, but then again I'm using it on dogs who are actually trained to roam around off-leash without approaching people/dogs unless they have my permission.

Honestly, if I had my way I'd prefer that there were no leash laws, or very relaxed leash laws, but for the dogs I walk that are fabulous off the lead, the Flexi is just another way that I can get young, energetic dogs the exercise and stimulation they need without getting a ticket.

So SO FAR, as a leash that does not in any way serve as a leash (except legally), I've found them to be quite handy.
 

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Honestly, if I had my way I'd prefer that there were no leash laws, or very relaxed leash laws, but for the dogs I walk that are fabulous off the lead, the Flexi is just another way that I can get young, energetic dogs the exercise and stimulation they need without getting a ticket.
I am all for leash laws until people get their heads out of their butts and start training their dogs properly. If there were no longer any leash laws, then all hell would break loose. It's bad enough that there are people who allow their dogs to pull them up to people while on a leash. I would hate for there to be no leash laws and have these idiots out there with their dogs off leash and running rampant because people don't bother to train them even a simple recall. Like, if the dog didn't come back to you after you screamed its name 20 times, what makes you think it will the 21st?

Of course, there will always be idiots who ignore leash laws with their untrained and potentially dangerous dogs. One such case recently... someone was out with their two, large DA dogs (off leash). Someone else was walking their little Cavalier (on leash). The two larger dogs ignored their owner and attacked the Spaniel, nearly mauled it to death. Thank heaven it was taken to a vet quickly and patched up...
 

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I am all for leash laws until people get their heads out of their butts and start training their dogs properly. If there were no longer any leash laws, then all hell would break loose. It's bad enough that there are people who allow their dogs to pull them up to people while on a leash.
This is my beef. I live in an area where leash laws are enforced and it does nothing to stop horrendous mauling and killing of dogs. Happened the other day to a local therapy dog the town next to me:

200-lb. Bullmastiff attacks, kills therapy dog Buttons outside Pitt Meadows coffee shop

But he was on a leash!

... Yeah, until he wasn't. Like every other severely reactive of aggressive dog that owners fail to control with 6' of nylon. OR for that matter... A flexi!

I know Britain has fairly limited leash laws. Indeed, I think it makes more sense to assess offending dogs on a case-by-case basis rather than assuming dogs are not a threat for the simple sake that they are on leash.
 

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@kelly528 I default on considering every strange dog a threat until told/proven otherwise. I don't like to take chances. No matter what dog I'm walking, I can go across a street or turn a different direction. If it's a small dog, I can even pick it up. During the early summer I and a dog I was walking were attacked by a large bully-type thing that was off leash with no collar. It bit my hand and got "my" dog's ear slightly before I managed to grab it by the back of its neck and hold it back (which wasn't easy because it had little loose skin and a really thick neck). I ended up dislocating my thumb -__- but at least we were safe. The owner never showed up for the court date, but she did pay her fines. The judge also ended up requiring that the dog be supervised and handled at all times by the owner to prevent such a thing from happening again... lo, the next time I drove past a few months later they had their front door wide open and their dog wandering, collarless again, around the townhouses' yards.

Honestly, once any owner fails to have control and lets go of a leash, the dog should technically be considered off leash...
 

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I would have thought I was totally in favor of leash laws until I traveled to an area where there were none and found the reality different than I'd imagined it would be. The public dog and leash-free culture seemed to result in less tolerance of nuisance dogs in public spaces and I pretty much saw zero reactivity and serious bad behavior while there despite seeing lots of dogs, many strays even, which seemed like a miracle to me at the time. Even individuals of breeds that are known for reactivity seemed well-conditioned to remain calm and mind their own business. People who weren't evidently quite able to control their dogs off leash just didn't take them out off leash. The dogs on leash were well-behaved around both on and off-leash dogs and people. Granted this was a developing country, so how it would work out in a place with more stringent animal cruelty laws I don't pretend to know.

I wouldn't at this point say I'm explicitly in favor of more lax leash laws - I generally am in favor of more tolerance of dogs in public spaces - but it's definitely complicated my views.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
what do leash laws have to do with dogs, especially big dogs on Flexis?

We've got leash laws in Germany, but they are only really inforced in certain environments (shops, city center, big events) or when your dog already "did" something...however even then...if you lead your St. Bernhard on a Flexi and it decided to go somewhere, it is as if wouldn't wear a leash at all. Especially of you don't know, like 80% of the people, how to push the stop button.
I prefer a off-leash nourvous but friendly dog any time over a nervous but friendly on-flexi dog that runs around me and my dog, so that weR'e all three tangled in that stupid cord. it hurts.
it's not leashes as a whole...it's specific leashes, that people should think about and decide after thinking carefully about it, knowing the risks that come with it, before they use it.
 

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what do leash laws have to do with dogs, especially big dogs on Flexis?

We've got leash laws in Germany, but they are only really inforced in certain environments (shops, city center, big events) or when your dog already "did" something...however even then...if you lead your St. Bernhard on a Flexi and it decided to go somewhere, it is as if wouldn't wear a leash at all. Especially of you don't know, like 80% of the people, how to push the stop button.
I prefer a off-leash nourvous but friendly dog any time over a nervous but friendly on-flexi dog that runs around me and my dog, so that weR'e all three tangled in that stupid cord. it hurts.
it's not leashes as a whole...it's specific leashes, that people should think about and decide after thinking carefully about it, knowing the risks that come with it, before they use it.
I think perhaps that's part of the point re: leash laws being brought up in passing (though maybe another thread would be better if people want to discuss it at length). Flexis in particular have a tendency to lull people into a false sense of security because of their being extendable, but at core I don't think that's really unique to Flexis. It's more evident with them sometimes because they are retractable and allow the dog more freedom, and have sharp cords and heavy plastic handles, yes. But the "my dog is on a leash so my dog is 'controlled' even if it's hardly trained and in reality can get where it wants to" attitude is an even more encompassing problem.

Even injuries aren't unique to Flexis... worse rope burn/cut I ever got was from a thin biothane long line that was pulled through my hands too quickly when my lunged at a squirrel - and I didn't even lose my grip on it.

I'm not saying leash laws are a bad idea because I'm not of that opinion, but I do think they sometimes provide convenient excuses for people. Why train your dog to behave when you can just keep them on a leash (Flexi or not)? Why train your dog to be comfortable with off leash dogs* (or nearly off-leash) dogs when you can just gripe about the owners not having them on a leash (or having them on a Flexi)?

I do think Flexis are worse for this because it's easier to use them irresponsibly but I can see how these discussions are quite related. I also think there can be responsible uses for Flexis - and that isn't a defense of my own practices, either, because I don't use one with my dog and wouldn't currently, at least not off of my own property.

*I don't just mean the off leash dogs that run up to people either... many reactive dogs seem to have worse reactions when they can see that another nearby dog is off-leash while they are leashed. I imagine having their movement restricted makes them feel at a disadvantage and defensive. I've had problems with this with my dog and at the time, yeah, I griped about the other owners and their off-leash dog (although even off-leash their dog was more under control than mine). They were breaking the law, which isn't good, but the bottom line is that it's my job to make sure my dog is emotionally prepared to handle those situations to the absolute best of my ability even if they're unexpected and illegal. Seeing so many well-controlled off-leash dogs all in one another's vicinity definitely put that into perspective for me.
 

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Wow... lots of typos there. Had to say that/apologize to everyone for it. I'm a rambler and my posts get so long I should probably just hire an editor. :p
 
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