- A young boy dropped the handle of a retractable leash, which hit the dog in the head, frightening and injuring the dog.
- The clasp broke, snapped back and hit a young girl in the eye resulting in a detached retina.
- A retractable leash broke and the dog escaped, was hit by a car and injured.
- A dog was at the end of a retractable leash, chased a rabbit into the road, was hit by a car and killed.
- A cyclist walking his dog on a retractable leash was pulled into traffic when the dog chased a squirrel knocking the cyclist off his bike. Both the cyclist and dog were injured.
- A dog at the end of a retractable leash was hit by a car and killed when a driver backed out of her driveway.
Retractable leashes are extremely dangerous when used with choke chains, pinch collars or head halters because if the dog runs ahead and hits the end of the leash, the handler has no control over the intensity of the jolt to the dog’s head or neck.
If the plastic casing is dropped, the dog can be frightened by the handle “chasing it” causing it to run away, become lost, injured or killed. And if a dog encounters another dog or animal at the end of the leash, because the handler is not close enough to the dog to control it, it can result in bites and fights.
The list of risks, concerns, injuries and deaths is long making it clear that the risks far outweigh the benefits and as result we do not allow them in our training classes, discourage their use, will not recommend them to our clients and will never use one on our own dogs. Due to these risks, IPDTA has deemed retractable leashes to be unacceptable due to potential for misuse, abuse and/or malfunction in the hands of the average handler resulting in a high risk of accidents, injury and/or death.
We love our dogs and make all of our decisions based on risk verses reward. Because the risks associated with retractable leashes are so high, we will never recommend or use them.
Copyright June, 2017 - Norma Jeanne Laurette * Greg Ceci, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training