Best Dog Retractable Leash – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Dog Retractable Leash – Reviews & Buying Guide (December 2019)

Updated: November 13, 2019

Flexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog Leash

After 52 hours spent researching the best dog retractable leashs, we think Flexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog Leash is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: brand, length, color, type, weight capacity, brake, safety, casing, grip, clip, resists twisting, easy to untangle, weatherproof, washable, and weight, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingQualityDurabilityAppearanceMaintenanceValue for Moneybrandlengthcolortypeweight capacitybrakesafetycasinggripclipresists twistingeasy to untangleweatherproofwashableweight
Flexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog LeashFlexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog LeashCheck Price4.95.05.04.55.05.0FlexiUp to 26 ftBlack, grey, yellowNylon beltUp to 110 lbsLock and release buttonReflective beltPlasticErgonomic rubberBolt snap clipYesYesYesYes1.9 lbs
Flexi Classic Cord Retractable Dog LeashFlexi Classic Cord Retractable Dog LeashCheck Price4.85.05.04.54.55.0FlexiUp to 26 ftRed, blackCordUp to 26 lbsLock and release buttonReflective cordPlasticErgonomicBolt snap clipYesYesYesYes0.5 lbs
Dial-A-Distance Retractable Dog LeashDial-A-Distance Retractable Dog LeashCheck Price4.55.04.54.04.54.5Dial-A-DistanceUp to 15 ftGrey, blackNylon tapeUp to 70 lbsLock and release buttonNot specifiedPlasticErgonomic rubberBolt snap clipYesYesYesYes0.98 lbs
Tug Patented Tangle-Free Retractable Dog LeashTug Patented Tangle-Free Retractable Dog LeashCheck Price4.24.54.04.04.04.5TugUp to 16 ftBlue / Red / WhiteNylon tapeUp to 110 lbsLock and release buttonNot specifiedPlasticErgonomicBolt snap clipYesYesYesYes0.9 lbs
TaoTronics Tangle-Free Retractable Dog LeashTaoTronics Tangle-Free Retractable Dog LeashCheck Price4.45.04.54.04.04.5TaoTronicsUp to 16 ftBlue, blackNylon ribbonUp to 110 lbsLock and release buttonNot specifiedPlasticErgonomicBolt snap clipYesYesYesYes0.82 lbs
Best Dog Retractable Leash

If your dog enjoys walks and they love to explore, it’s a fantastic idea to get the best dog retractable leash that you can find.

A retractable leash provides your dog with freedom, no matter where you are.

Making life exciting for your dog can be a lot of fun, and you want to have everything possible to make it fun. Playing with an automatic dog ball launcher or fetch toy is always a blast. And, when they’re done playing, having their dog cooling pad set up can help them chill out.

Food is at the center of a dog’s life – most dogs get quite excited for it. Instead of just feeding the dog or puppy food in a standard dog bowl, maybe you want to get an automatic dog feeder and a dog water fountain to keep things exciting. And, don’t forget their dog treats!

Grooming them regularly keeps them looking sharp and keeps their skin and coat healthy. Maybe you want to consider a dog grooming table. And, on top of that, keep around dog shampoo, a dog brush, nail clippers and other supplies to make it easier. A calming dog collar can help them to relax while you’re grooming them, too.

Going on the road is fun, too! Do you have a dog carrier or car seat? Maybe you bike with them, so a dog bicycle leash or dog bike trailer is a must. Their dog life jacket, dog raincoat, and dog muzzle should also be packed in your bags for long trips.

If you want the most flexibility in a dog leash for walks at home or on a trip, you may be looking for the best dog retractable leash, which can keep them within a safe distance and give them a bit of freedom to explore.

Selection Of The Best Dog Retractable Leashs

Here are the best dog retractable leashs for most people according to Outlinist:

Flexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog Leash

Flexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog Leash
(rated 4.9 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Flexi Classic Cord Retractable Dog Leash

Flexi Classic Cord Retractable Dog Leash
(rated 4.8 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Dial-A-Distance Retractable Dog Leash

Dial-A-Distance Retractable Dog Leash
(rated 4.5 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Tug Patented Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash

Tug Patented Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash
(rated 4.2 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

TaoTronics Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash

TaoTronics Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash
(rated 4.4 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Best Dog Retractable Leash Buying Guide

Length of the Leash

How much space does your dog need? Do you need a retractable dog leash of 50 feet, or are you going to be okay with just 10 or 15 feet of length?

A good rule of thumb is that you want to be sure that you’re within enough distance to control your dog if necessary. Most people like having a leash that is around 10 to 20 feet, and not much longer. It still allows for freedom without potentially putting them in danger.

Grip

The retractable dog leash holder is also an essential part of the device. You want to have something that fits in your hand comfortably, without being too bulky or difficult to get a grip onto.

The grip should be made from a material that is comfortable to hold onto, and that is anti-slip. Rubber and silicone are two of the most common options for holders on these types of leashes, which means your hand won’t get all scraped up or injured, even if your dog tries to pull hard past the length of the leash.

Handbrakes

The most important retractable dog leash mechanism is the handbrake. If, for some reason, you need your dog to stop, or you want them to start coming back, you need to have a decent handbrake installed in there.

Handbrakes should be sturdy enough to resist your dog pulling, but they shouldn’t jerk your dog around when they are used. Many handbrakes are built in a manner that allows you to use them slowly, so your dog notices that there is no more give before they get jerked.

Leash Strength

You never want the leash to be able to wear down or snap; it should be durable and made from materials that are meant to last. Obviously, a leash for a small dog needs less strength, so their leashes will have a lower weight limit and will often have less material.

For large dogs, you want to get the strongest retractable dog leash possible. Some of these are reinforced with some sort of wiring or other strong material, allowing you to have maximum control, even if you have a giant breed like a Great Dane or a Newfoundland.

Customization

How do you want it to look? Many of us want to have a leash that matches our dog’s collar; others just want something that works well. Do you have a favorite color that you’d like it to be, or do you want it to be as plain as possible?

There are even some options that have nameplates or spaces where you can write your name and address, in case your dog runs off with it or you forget it at a hotel or other place where you stay with your pet.

Night Visibility

Many people walk their dogs at dusk and dawn, and night visibility is essential. Bright colors can definitely help with this, and some leashes are going to have reflective material on your grip and on the entirety of the leash.

You can also get a retractable dog leash with an LED light. These are built kind of like flashlights with a small battery (either an AAA or a watch battery) on the inside, and the LED light projects from the front of the mechanism, out to where your dog is.

Your Dog’s Size

As you search for the best retractable dog leash, you want to always keep your dog’s size in mind. Smaller dogs need a smaller area (and could even be fine with a retractable leash of 10 feet or less); larger dogs may need some more space.

On top of that, certain leashes are just not built for big dogs. You need the leash to have some bulk and weight to it, allowing it to keep your dog attached and in your control.

Collar Included

Some retractable leashes will also include some type of dog collar that has been specially designed to work with the leash in question. These can be high-quality collars, but they aren’t always the right choice.

If there’s a collar included, be sure that it has a space where you can put their dog tag. If not, then you may need to buy another collar so that they can have some form of identification on them at all times, even if you’re on a walk together.

Weight

While your leash needs to have strength, it needs to do so without being way too heavy to handle. If it’s too heavy, you or your dog may not like using it at all.

Your best bet is to keep the entirety of the leash between 2 and 5 lbs. (including the grip area where the leash retracts into). This ensures that you won’t get a sore hand or wrist from holding it. And, your dog won’t feel a lot of weight and pressure when you’re using it, either.

Poop Bag Holder

There are a lot of times where we just need to take the dog out so that they can do their business. Because of that, you want to have a convenient way to hold any poop bag you may take with you.

Nowadays, most of these leashes have some form of poop bag holder that you can just clip onto the side. Or, they may have one that’s built in, which makes it simple to grab a bag after your dog has done their business.

Leash Material

The majority of retractable dog leashes are made from some sort of nylon, because it’s durable and easy to wrap up in the retracting mechanism. Others are made from some style of fabric, braided into a rope.

Nylon and braided fabric (rope) are strong materials that do really well in different types of weather emergencies. On top of that, they last a lot longer and you don’t need to worry about them snapping or breaking.

Cord vs. Tape

Cord is a popular option for a high-quality retractable dog leash. The cord, which is typically made from some style of rope, has multiple points of strength, making it less likely that your dog will get away.

Tape, however, is much lighter. It looks similar to the tape you’d find in a tape measure, but it’s made from woven nylon on some sort of plastic or metal material. This actually helps to reinforce the tape, making it strong enough for most dogs.

Tangle-Free Options

Tangling is the bane of the dog owner’s existence, and it’s even worse with retractable leashes because tangles could get your dog stuck or injured. You want to be sure that the dog doesn’t get tangled around itself.

With today’s leads, you want to look for the words “tangle free” or something similar. There are many options that are reinforced with metal or cord in the center, preventing most tangles.

Lock and Recoil Options

If you are going to be using it for walks, you want to be sure that it has a locking function. This is different than a handbrake, because what it does is hold the leash at a certain length without requiring you to apply constant pressure to a trigger. It’s a good feature to have with a handbrake, because it’ll help your brakes to last longer.

You should also have an easy time bringing the dog back to yourself with the recoil. You want it to be gentle, but it needs to be effective. As the dog gets closer, the recoil should come in more and you should be able to brake or lock as necessary.

Multi-Dog Options

Getting a multiple dog leash that’s retractable can be fantastic if you have multiple dogs. These come with two or three leads, allowing the dogs to be ahead of you at different speeds and lengths. These are especially handy if you’ve got dogs of varying ages or abilities, because it can ensure that everyone is having a great time.

The best dog retractable leash for multiple dogs will also have the aforementioned anti-tangle options, since it’s a lot more likely for two or three dogs to get tangled up.

Flexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog Leash
Our pick for the best dog retractable leash is: Flexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog Leash. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching dog retractable leashs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are retractable leashes dangerous?

You’ll hear a lot about the dangers of retractable dog leashes, especially when it comes to smaller breeds of dogs. Typically, this is due to irresponsible use or if pet parents are not supervising their dogs as they should.

In short, you want to be sure that you always use it when they are supervised. If the dog runs out of lead, they will feel a bit of a jerk with their collar, and there have been citations of injury as a result. If you’re careful, your dog can use a retractable leash safely.

Can I put my dog on a retractable leash when he’s alone in the yard?

When you’re looking at retractable dog leash safety, one of the most important things is that you never leave your dog unsupervised while they’re on it. Unless you have it completely locked, you should always be with them.

If your dog does go outside alone on some sort of leash, find one that has 20 feet or more of length. That way, they have lots of room without some of the potential hazards of these types of leashes.

Can I use one of these leashes for training?

Absolutely! If you start with it early on in a puppy’s life, they can learn how to be careful when using it and get adjusted to how you’ll want them to act when they are on it.

Older dogs can learn how to use it as well. It may take a bit of time to try and get them to stop pulling, but as they get used to it, you’ll find it a lot easier to take walks and they’ll feel a lot better about how much freedom that they can enjoy.

Why should I use a retractable leash instead of a traditional one?

While there may be dangers, there are also benefits of a retractable dog leash. For example, if it’s raining outside and you don’t want to get wet, you can stand on the stairs or your porch while your dog does his business. Then, they can come back to you fairly quickly.

Retractable leashes also allow you to maintain control. Instead of allowing your dog to go off of the leash (which can be problematic if your dog isn’t good at listening), you can give them a lot of freedom, while still making it simple for you to recall them when necessary.

Can you use a retractable leash with a harness?

Yes. As a matter of fact, it’s a lot safer to use a retractable leash with a dog harness instead of a collar. Harnesses are built to reduce the pressure on your dog while they are on a walk; they’re supposed to even out all of the pressure and eliminate any pressure from affecting their neck when they pull.

The best dog retractable leash is going to be easy to connect to any harness, and it will provide your dog with the most freedom while keeping them as safe as possible.

Flexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog Leash
Our pick for the best dog retractable leash is: Flexi Giant Tape Retractable Dog Leash. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching dog retractable leashs.

Sources

  1. Worldwise Inc. Recalls Retractable Dog Leashes, United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Sep 3, 2008
  2. Retractable dog leashes: are they as safe as they seem?, National Institutes of Health, Jan 6, 2012
  3. Dog Leash Required, City of Long Beach
  4. Jogging With Your Dog, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, Jan 22, 2010
  5. Dog Leashes, Wikipedia
  6. Dr. Becker: 10 Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash, Mercola Healthy Pets, Jun 11, 2014
  7. Are Retractable Leashes Safe for Dogs?, petMD
  8. How to Use a Retractable Flexi Leash to Walk Your Dog, Youtube, Mar 17, 2012
  9. Leads: Retractable Dog Leashes & Designer Styles, PetSmart
  10. Retractable Dog Leashes, Chewy

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