top of page

You asked about retractable leashes! Gizmo answered.

Gizmo, what's so wrong with retractable leashes? ~ Marwa

Hi Marwa! Glad you asked. With an oversaturated market of leash brands, many dog parents are unaware that retractable leashes are considered old school dog products and highly dangerous, but these products continue being promoted as relevant and "safe". I don't agree with their place on the market or the use of retractable leashes, so I asked our knowledgeable CPDT-KA, BSc, Jessica Powell, Owner of Proud Paws Dog Training about her take on retractable leashes. I hope it's an eye opening read for all!


My friends at Paws of L.A. Rescue use only Nylon leashes with their rescue dogs, and have worked with dogs with a past of only being on retractable leashes. These dogs end up with additional training to help show them what an enjoyable and positive walk for everyone can truly look like.

Jessica, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant has kindly walked us through what is really wrong with this type of "leash":

Two things always cross my mind when I see a dog on a retractable/flexi-leash...

1) what a shame that dog and their human aren't having a connected walk together and, 2) how unsafe.

As a previous reactive dog parent, I always dreaded the sight of one of these dogs approaching us, trying to see if the human's attention was on them or on their phone and there are some tragic stories of little dogs meeting their end with a coyote because the leash has allowed them to wander too far.

What's wrong with retractable leashes:

  • Actually teaches the OPPOSITE of a connected, attentive and engaged dog on walks.

  • Teaches the dog that pulling allows them access to everything in their environment.

  • Causes an abrupt pull on the dog when shortening, which can result in injury to the spine/trachea.

  • Dog meets the world and every possible hazard BEFORE the human. This includes UNCONSENTED greetings with people/dogs.

  • Can scare/startle/hurt the dog if dropped, causing them to try to run away from the leash and the human!

  • No ability to make clean, coordinated direction changes OR to handle your leash effectively in an emergency.

  • Tripping/tangling hazard for anyone that comes between the human and their dog. In turn, will cause skin burns and slicing to dogs body.

  • Can cause skin burns and slicing to human hands and legs.

Your walking equipment can be a huge compliment or a huge detriment to your training... and yes you are training whether you realize it or not.

Follow Jessica on Facebook and Instagram!

Paws of L.A. Rescue was not compensated by Proud Paws Dog Training to publish this blog post.


Psst: Although Gizmo is very smart, and has many areas of first-hand expertise, it is best to get the final word on medical or legal related issues from your favorite vet or lawyer.

Did this remind you of something you'd like to Ask Gizmo?

Go for it and ask him HERE! Or...

· email us:

· private message us on

· direct message us on

I'll be strolling around (on my Nylon leash) until your next question!


bottom of page