It seems like a non-confining leash that gives your dog more freedom to roam the neighborhood would be a great idea! However….. there are many hidden dangers to this type of leash!

1. Your dog will take advantage of the situation to have a little fun. Picture this! You are in our office lobby chatting away with the friendly front desk staff and all of a sudden you realize Sophie is no longer beside you. Where did she go? Right out the exit door with a client who was leaving as you were having a friendly conversation. This situation can quickly turn dangerous! With leashes reaching up to 26 feet in length, this pooch could have easily been hit by a car flying into our parking lot. Not to mention make a few ‘friends’ with other pets that may not be as friendly as your pet.

2.  There may be pets with contagious illnesses waiting to see the doctor – allowing your pet to approach other dogs can expose them to unknown viruses or bacteria!

3.  It is very difficult to get control of your fishing pole-type leash if an aggressive dog approaches your pet. These string leashes can easily fray or break over time. Dogs have had terrible injuries as a result of sudden jerk on their neck or leash cords wrapped around their neck or limbs (lacerated tracheas & injuries to the neck/spine).

4.  YOU can get tangled up in the cord resulting in road rash, cuts, broken bones or worse!

5.  The noise! Many dogs – especially fearful ones – are terrorized by the sound of a dropped retractable leash handle and may take off running, which is dangerous enough. To make matters worse, the object of the poor dog’s fear is then “chasing” her, and if the leash is retracting as she runs, the handle is gaining ground on her – she can’t escape it. Even if this scenario ultimately ends without physical harm to the dog (or anyone else), it can create lingering fear in the dog not only of leashes, but also of being walked.

6.  Puppies or untrained adult dogs learn bad habits.  By their very nature, retractable leashes train dogs to pull while on leash, because they learn that pulling extends the lead and will continually take advantage of the situation. It will be difficult to maintain control over your precious pet should an emergency situation occur! 

What do our veterianarians recommend? A good ol’ simple 6-foot standard leash does the job. Ideally, a properly fitted harness along with a standard leash will enable you to have the most control over your pet. Both you and your pet will more likely enjoy walks, parks and trips to the Vet!!

We have plenty of simple slip-leads here at the hospital which are available to you for free!  Stop by to pick one up before your appointment or grab one on the way in – we have them hanging right inside the front door.


Thank you “Edmund” for modeling our very own AHSH leashes! 😉