Dangers of retractable leash

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Boxer Insane
I usually don't forward "warnings," but this one seemed noteworthy. I feel if used with caution, care, and common sense the majority of products are generally safe. Now I'm not so sure about this one.

Here's a link to the story: http://www.foxpdx.com/Global/story.asp?s=737793

In a nutshell, a woman was walking her dog using a Flexi leash. The dog took off and the thin nylon part of the leash got wrapped around her hand and amputated 3 of her fingers! She is apparently now suing Flexi-usa and Petco for her injuries.

I know there could be arguments that the leash was being used improperly. But, this is still a very serious injury that could happen when using such a leash.

dan h

Super Boxer
Not to take the seriousness out of this subject, but is that the lady on the picture? She sure looks happy. Anyway, I can see how that can happen. Even when we use the training 6' leash, which is thin but not as thin as the retractable ones, I get leash burns if the dogs start pulling.

Amy Lyn

Super Boxer
There are pretty much dangers with everything out there. You just have to use common sense. When my dog takes off and starts to pull me, and if I have my baby in his stroller, if I can't quickly get him back to me, I let go. I'm not going to risk getting hurt and most of all, sending my baby flying in his stroller.

Also, one time when my dad came over, Wagner was going nutso bonkers-boy on him and my dad put his hand in his collar to keep him from going out the front door. Well, Wagner was going so crazy and jumping and kidney beaning that he turned and turned, leaving my dads fingers clamped into his collar. So not only was Wagner choking himself, but my dad couldn't get his fingers out and they were turning purple! We had to calm Wagner down and twirl the two of them around a few times.

That's just an example of how things you wouldn't think of can turn dangerous.


Boxer Insane
These kind of leashes shud be for only little dogs. and I also got my hand caught the way Amy Lyn's dad did, I was holding my rottie and he turned and my hand got caught in his collar, we learn by our mistakes, I would never think of holding the cord part of one of those extendable leashes they are so thin it doesn't make any sense.

thx for the info tho!


Boxer Insane
Originally posted by dan h
Not to take the seriousness out of this subject, but is that the lady on the picture? She sure looks happy. Anyway, I can see how that can happen. Even when we use the training 6' leash, which is thin but not as thin as the retractable ones, I get leash burns if the dogs start pulling.

No, the woman in the picture is the newscaster.

I have also gotten "burned" by nylon leashes. I hate the things! For walks, only leather leashes for me!

Bailey sometimes does that "trick" of jumping and turning when I try to hold her collar. I know exactly what that is like too!

I agree 100% with Amy Lyn. My policy is to let go, and I've taught my kids the same. There is NO way my 10 year old could hold either of our boxers if they were intent on darting off (I know, they need more training :rolleyes: ). The risk to the person trying to hang is much greater IMO than what my dog might do if loose.

The story about this incident in the newspaper said the woman was watching her daughter's softball game and the dog darted out. Apparently it happened so fast, she's not sure exactly how it happened. I cannot imagine ANYONE trying to hold on to the thin part of the leash. The stories said it somehow got wrapped around her fingers.


Completely Boxer Crazy
I always thought that these type of leads came with a thick plastic handle from which the thin lead emerged. You held on to the handle which had a button to retract the lead. I can't understand why anyone would be wrapping the thin lead round their hands.

I personally have never tried to use one of these since I was witness to a near fatal accident from someone using one. I was walking with my terrier who was being obnoxious as usual to another dog accross the road. Without warning to its owner the other dog suddenly snarled and took off across the road to my dog. He was on one of these retractable leads and the owner did not have full control of it. There was a screetch of brakes and the dog only narowly avoided being hit by a car already slowing down for a crossing. I'm sure they have there uses but on a busy road I wouldn't trust one.

diego's heart

Boxer Insane
I find it interesting how the cord got wrapped around her fingers when her dog darted :confused:. I say this because I got burned once when I grabbed the cord by instinct - stupid, stupid, stupid :rolleyes:! Since then, I let go of the leash as well, for both of our safety. I've also seen a few cords break as a result too.


Your Friendly Moderator
I too have seen people get caught up on those flexi-leashes and hurt themselves. One woman's little dog crawled up an embankment of brush on the nature trail and she couldn't get him down, so she went after it. The dog circled around and around her and wrapped her up around a tree! She was screaming for help as she was trapped and her dog was choking and she couldn't get loose. Two of us went to her aid and got her and her dog safely down.

Another safety precaution to consider with the flexi-leads: If you by chance let go of that large, hard plastic handle and the button is not in the "hold" position, the handle part can literally "FLY" up and hit your dog, injuring its head or possibly putting out an eye.

It is for these reasons that I tell my clients to NEVER use one of these type leads for training. I also never recommend them for any dog for any kind of walk.

What I don't understand is why would anyone want their dog to be so far away from them on a walk. I want my dogs near me on lead. If they are allowed to run and romp without leash, then it is in a safe, fenced place where they cannot be injured by cars, etc. My dogs' safety and health are my FIRST concerns, always. There is too much risk of injury using lexi-leads. I guarantee you you'll never see me using one with my dogs.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking with it. :D


Boxer Pal
Wow! I have used retractable leads a lot, especially with Buddy and never thought of the dangers. Actually on him I kept it short while we walked, but during the walk I would give him the slack so he could be a dog and snifff etc.

With Kailee, I do use one, but not for the walking part. In the evenings when we go for our walks she is on the GL and lead, but I take the flexi with me. When we get to the school yard up the street, I unhook her GL and attach the flexi lead to her regular collar so she can have at least 15 ft of freedom and some length to get somewhat of a play or run in. She has to be onlead there and this is my way to at least get her some exercise when we are not near an offlead area. Honestly, I have never run into anything that could cause Kailee or myself to be injured, but I will now think twice about it.



Completely Boxer Crazy
I had never used a flexi leash in the past until Tegan hurt her back and she couldn't run off leash. Tegan still needed her excerise but it had to be controled so I purchased the flexi leash.

The first time I walked her on this leash I got "burned" and I found it very difficult to walk Tegan in the flexi leash and Owen on the regular one.

Now we walk to the park on regular leashed and I bring the flexi leash and use it at the park only. Even at the park I find that we are forever getting caught on things...

I have seen some flexi leashes that have a thinker "rope", it's a flat tape like materail and they might be better... they look stronger.

I am always worried about the flexi leash breaking - I would never walk Owen on one, he is just much to stong for one I think.

Like any other product in the market, if used incorrectly you can hurt yourself.
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