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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a retractable leash thinking it would be a good alternative for Charlie during our beach trip. We tried it out this morning and it did not go well. Perhaps others can give me some tips? Or maybe it is just not right for us.

Charlie is used to walking at my side using a 4' leash. When I extend the leash and lock the leash at 6', he was constantly getting it wrapped around his legs because it was dragging on the ground.

At the park, I tried to give him more leash but he still knew he was leashed and didn't venture far away. He didn't get the concept of using his extra leash length but maybe that would come over time. Still, he would get caught on bushes and his legs would get wrapped up.

Other dogs seem to extend their leashes at will but this would require pulling on their part. Charlie does not know to pull on the leash and I certainly don't want to teach him this. When the leash wasn't locked, he would feel the tension and stop walking.

So... any advice? I'm thinking of just returning it to the store.

Deb
 

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we don't use retractable leashes for precisely the reason you describe -- i think they encourage pulling on the leash. plus, i find the "handle" part really cumbersome to hold onto. for those times where we want to give the dogs more room to roam, we have a 20' canvas leash. we usually try to keep on top of the slack portion of the leash, allowing some to drag behind the dog and shortening it up some by hand when necessary. it takes a little practice, but is easy once you get the hang of it!

-em
 
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I use a retrctable leash with Maya only when we are on the beach. She isn't as trained as your dog to stay by my side so she just goes until the leash is out when she comes towards me it just comes back in. I will use it to tie her to the car or chair too. When I do that I pull all the leash out and lock it so she can wonder some while I am enjoying the sun.

When I took her on walks I painted a mark on the leash for 6 feet so when I see that mark I don't let her go any further.
 

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I guess our routine and my thinking differs from most. I think Tanner's walks are for him to sniff and enjoy exploring. For this type of walk I use the retractable leash. When we cross the street I tell him to "heel" and he has to walk by my side........then he gets a treat when he does. He is not a puller...and I don't expect him to walk miles at "heel".

That said, when we go somewhere where I want complete control, out comes the Halti collar or Gentle Leader and the 6ft. leash. That situation might be walking in a shopping center, vets office, anywhere that I need complete control to steer him away from something or someone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To clarify, Charlie does get alot of off-leash time for sniffing and exploring BUT when he is on-leash, he is by my side. He has done this naturally since the day we got him.

Annie and Heather, it sounds like you use the leash unlocked. Do your doodles mind the tension on their collars? Do they understand the difference between "pulling" and using the leash?

Deb
 

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We think the same as Annie. We only use the retractables when we want the doodles to go exploring on their own (and not walk near us). Both definitely know the difference. As soon as I put them on a normal leash they are more next to us, but as soon as they are on the retractable they take off.

This past week at the beach was interesting w/the retractable. Dex would go out into the water and play...then run after birds - sometimes pulling too far (to where the leash would hit its maximum). He almost pulled my arm off a few times. When he did this I would make him come to me and sit and calm down.
 
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Yeah Maya knows the difference and when at the beach she pulls my arm out of the socket a lot!!! Soon hopefully her recall will be good enough that I can just use a reg leash and have her come to me when called.
 

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Tanner doesn't pull...I pull sometimes when he stays in one spot too long sniffing. I have my finger ready though, just in case I need to reel him in for safety. Tanner is not the dog pulling out in front kind of dog. He is more interacting with me...looks up at me...sniffs....walks along for a ways...sniffs....looks up. He only pulls in front of us to get from the car to his daycare. Otherwise, this guy just is in no hurry...he is quite laid back like my husband.

I never use the retractable with the Halti or Gentle Leader.
 

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we use a Retractable leash ONLY for potty walks in my yard

otherwise it's the regular thick strong nylon leash or off leash
 

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I don't like retractable leashes...mainly because the first time I used it the dog took off after something and I didn't think...I grabbed the line! Yowie! Burns all over my palm! It hurt!!
Still, I do use them once in a while, but only when I want to let them have space...I much prefer regular leashes. I have a leash with a loop by the collar that I like because the loop gives me extra control.
 

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I've watched neighbors using retractable leashes. They have no control over their dogs, who forge ahead and go wherever they please with the human trailing behind. Retractable leashes aren't for me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I took it back to the store today. :D

I decided its just not right for Charlie and me.

Deb
 

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I bought my retractable leash for the express purpose of allowing my puppy to get his zoomies out. It works very well for a specific area. I can't wait til I get my fenced in area.
 

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I've only had Gunner less than a week, but I purposefully did not get a retractable leash. He pulls already and does not need a leash that makes pulling easier.

We've been using the gentle leader for serious walking. He sometimes in on a 30 ft. canvas leash in the yard for fun sniffing time.

Sara
 

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I must say that I do like the retractable if I'm not around other people and I don't have to worry about him wrapping himself around someone. But I don't have the control of him that I like, and he pulls horribly if he's on it and we go into "public". So, I think its a toss up
 

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Retractable comes with us when we go for off-leash walks down the dead end we live on because some people (only one or two) do not like Sampson loose by their yards. Then he can still explore and he doesn't go too far.
The regular leash we use in public and other places where we need more control.

He broke the HANDLE on the first one so we got a sturdier one for a do 100 lbs and up (he is about 68).
 
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