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10 Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash When Walking Your Large Breed Dog

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

Walking your large dog should be a fun activity for both you and your pup. Dog walking is good exercise for both of you, and you should go for several walks every day. There are basically two kinds of dog leashes to choose from; an ordinary leash, or a retractable leash.


A retractable dog leash is a long cord with a spring-loaded device housed in a plastic casing, made to fit your hand comfortably. It has a button on the handle that stops and releases the leash.

A retractable leash might seem like a good idea, as it gives the dog a lot more freedom, but here are a few pointers as to why they're not.



The 10 Reasons Not to use a Retractable Leash

  1. It's a lot harder to train a dog to walk nicely next to you. The whole point of a retractable leash is that when the dog pulls, the cord is extended. This way your dog will not know their walking boundaries the same way a properly leash-trained dog will.

  2. Other dogs might respond with aggression. A retractable leash allow more freedom to pull, and other dogs might see this as an aggressive act, causing them to attack your dog, or even you.

  3. Your dog might sustain an injury. When a large dog runs off leashed with a retractable leash, the impact when it reaches the end of the cord, the sudden stop might injure your dog, including neck- and spine injuries.

  4. You might sustain an injury. Same as above - when your dogs run out of leash, the sudden stop will pull you with a lot of power, and might knock you off your feet causing injuries like broken bones, bruises, dislocated shoulders or worse. Quite a few injuries are also caused by the cord when the person walking the dog gets tangled into it or grips the cord, causing burns or cuts.

  5. The cord might snap. An ordinary leash is more durable than the retcractable leashes. This is especially something owners of large dogs should keep in mind when walking their dogs with retractable leashes.

  6. The leash might malfunction. Over time, mechanical devices fail. With a large dog pulling at the end of the leash, they wear out more quickly.

  7. The retractable leashes are easier to drop. As your large dog runs off, the bulky handles are easily pulled out of your hands, resulting in a runaway dog.

  8. It might scare your dog if dropped. If you drop a retractable leash, it makes quite a bit of noise, and this might scare off your dog. To add to the situation, if the dog starts running, the leash will follow your dog, causing even more panic.

  9. Retractable dog leashes are too long! Some retractable leashes can extend to 26 feet, and this might in it self cause trouble. When they get this far away from the dog walker, dangerous situations with other dogs or people might occur if they make any unwanted contact, and worst case, the dogs wanders off into the street getting hit by a car.

  10. Defending your dog against other aggressive dogs is not possible. At full length, you have less control over your dog when taking your dog for a walk. If an aggressive dog approaches your dog, there's not much you can do to take control of the situation from where you are standing.


Our recommendation is clearly to opt for an ordinary leash. They are often a lot cheaper than the retractable ones, and the cons of the retractable leashes are just far too many. Leash training a dog is a lot easier on an ordinary leash, and walking and playing off leash for a while each day will give your dog the freedom they need to roam around a bit. Just make sure your recall training is spot on first.


The Black Rhino Dog Leash is a really good choice. With two padded handles it's easy to stay in full control at all times. The padding makes it comfortable, the reflective stitching keeps you a little more visible in the dark, and it comes in several different colors to suit your style. This heavy duty leash is built to hold any size large breed dog.


Buy from Amazon here.


It's not impossible to get your dog trained and used to a retractable leash, but it's hard for the dogs to know the difference, and it will take both more time and effort to get where you want. For leash training you'll ned the short ordinary leash anyways. If you've succeeded training for both, that's just great. The goal should always be a dog trained well enough for you to handle them your way when dog walking.


Happy dog walking everybody!




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