Related Articles: Dog Leash

Which Retractable Dog Leash is Best?

TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash
  • Small Leash is Suitable for Dogs Under 35 lbs; Medium For Dogs Under 55 lbs; Large For Dogs Under 110 lbs; Retractable Leashes Not Suitable For Chewing
  • 16 ft Tape Leash With Easy-Adjust Retraction; Tangle Free 360 Degree Tape Movement
  • Quick Lock And Unlock Feature - Easy Roll-On and Roll-Off With Your Thumb

What Is a Retractable Dog Leash?

A retractable dog leash is a dog leash that extends out to a determined length, most often 16 feet, and is able to be retracted back to a shorter length.

The retractable dog leash has a plastic handle that the leash reals back into with a spring and coil mechanism and allows the dog freedom while walking. It also features a braking mechanism to stop the leash from extending too far.

Are Retractable Leashes Good for Dogs?

Yes, the retractable dog leash is good for dogs, when used correctly and responsibly. Here are some of the pros of using a retractable leash:

  • Easy Use. Retractable leashes have features such as a soft grip and ergonomic leash handles. They are also lightweight, which provides ease during long uses.
  • More Freedom. Retractable leashes offer a lot of freedom. They allow the dog to wander back and forth, thus making long walks more enjoyable.
  • Dog Training. A retractable dog leash is an excellent tool for certain forms of dog training. For example, the leash is good for mastering the recall command.

However, we should note that the retractable leash is not right for all dogs. Namely, only dogs that know how to behave on a regular leash are candidates for retractable ones.

Is it Cruel for Dogs to Wear a Retractable Dog Leash?

No, the retractable dog leash is not cruel.

However, as with any other pet item, caution is required upon use. For example, the owner needs to be careful and ensure the retractable lead does not get wrapped around the dog’s legs or neck. This can cause injuries or discomfort for dogs with certain issues like arthritis.

We should also note that retractable leashes give dogs more opportunities to roam, which makes them more prone to encountering hazards.

The Best Retractable Dog Leashes Reviewed

The retractable dog leash comes in many designs and sizes – from x-small to x-large. To help pet owners find the best product for their dogs, we have reviewed some of the best-selling retractable leashes on the market.

TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash

TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash

Get it on Amazon        Get it on Chewy

Summary: This dog leash features a 16 ft tape with easy-adjust retraction and tangle-free 360-degree movement for dogs and dog owners to enjoy. The quick lock and unlock feature is controlled by a simple thumb roll. A comfortable, ergonomic handle provides comfort on long walks. A heavy-duty internal coil provides consistent retraction, and a robust locking system prevents unwanted escapes.

Features: Heavy duty retracting system, anti-slip handle, 16 ft tape, tangle-free design

Pros

  • Available in a wide variety of colors
  • Tangle-free design
  • Anti-slip handle
  • Quick lock feature
  • Made for dogs up to 100 lbs

Cons

  • Some stronger large dogs may be able to break free from the leash

Review: Most of the 78,000+ reviews on Amazon and Chewy praise this leash for its smooth reel and locking system. They were happy their dog walking was seemingly easier now that their dogs were able to wander away from them during a walk. Critical reviewers were less satisfied, however. They complained the lock was unreliable and the tape was not suited for their large dogs.

Alicedreamsky Retractable Dog Leash For Small Dogs

Alicedreamsky Retractable Dog Leash For Small Dogs

Get it on Amazon

Summary: Featuring a strong nylon tape, this dog leash is capable of handling dogs up to 33 pounds. The 360-degree swivel allows for a tangle-free experience and allows your dog to walk freely around you. A quick lock and unlock button allows you to operate the leash with just your thumb. The ergonomic, anti-slip handle provides comfort for long walks.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, nylon tape,

Pros

  • Anti-slip handle
  • Tangle-free design
  • Strong nylon tape
  • Scratch free material
  • Easy-to-use locking system

Cons

  • Only handles dogs up to 33 pounds

Review: Positive reviews expressed satisfaction with the size, weight, and price of this leash. They were impressed with the quality of the handle and the tape and said they had a little problem using it daily. Other reviewers, even those who left five-star reviews, complained about how their dog behaved on the leash and warned other potential buyers to be aware that the leash extends far enough out for the dog to become tangled while walking.

PINA Retractable Dog Leash

PINA Retractable Dog Leash

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This retractable dog leash has a lead from 16-26 feet long. It is available in sizes to suit dogs up to 110 lbs and has a 360-degree swivel to prevent tangling. It features a reflective cord, so walking in low-light conditions is safer. The impact-resistant ABS material prevents breaking when dropped, and the quick lock mechanism prevents unwanted escapes.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, 16-26 ft cord, impact resistant

Pros

  • Tangle-free design
  • Anti-slip handle
  • Capable of handling dogs up to 110 lbs
  • Comes with a dog collar, collapsible water bowl, and waste bag dispenser
  • Reflective cord for high visibility

Cons

  • The longer leash may pose a danger to the dog and user

Review: Customers were happy that the leash was reflective and said the cord was strong enough to handle their large breed dogs. However, even those who left good reviews noted the locking mechanism sticks sometimes, and others who were more critical referred to this leash as a “toy” and say the cord gets tangled in the handle more often than they would like.

MK-DEF Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash

MK-DEF Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash

Get it on Amazon

Summary: The simple and practical design of this leash features an ergonomic handle and a 26 ft tape. The tape is professional grade and designed to be tangle-free with 360 degrees of movement. The multi-function lock button can be used to lock, pause, and recoil the tape. The lock is engaged when the button is not pushed, so the lead is only ever as long as you want it to be.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, 26 ft tape

Pros

  • Multi-functional locking mechanism
  • Easy-to-use tangle-free design
  • Durable polyester tape
  • Stainless steel hook
  • Convenient anti-slip handle

Cons

  • This leashes 26 ft length may be dangerous for inexperienced dog walkers

Review: Reviews left by satisfied customers noted the leash’s sturdiness and ability to handle drops as reasons they were impressed with it. They were also happy the tape prevents tangling, although critical remarks made up nearly 10% of total reviews. These people were unhappy that the leash locked automatically when the dog pulls and said the leash would not retract once it was extended all the way, with one reviewer saying her dog wandered into the middle of a busy road during one of these moments.

Mighty Paw Retractable Dog Leash 2.0

Mighty Paw Retractable Dog Leash 2.0

Get it on Amazon        Get it on Chewy

Summary: This retractable leash features a one-touch locking system that makes it easy to control your dog and keep the leash the length you want it. The tangle-free design prevents snags and unwanted mishaps while the U-shaped leash guide inside the handle winds the cord up properly. The 16 ft nylon tape is made to withstand dogs up to 110 lbs and is reflective and made with high-visibility orange color for low light conditions. An ergonomic, anti-slip handle helps to prevent fatigue on long walks and keeps the leash secure in your hand.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, one-touch locking system

Pros

  • Tangle-free design
  • The high-visibility design makes it safer for low-light walks
  • The ergonomic handle prevents fatigue
  • U-shaped wheel inside the handle makes the tape wind up straight every time
  • 360-degree swivel hook prevents twists and tangles in the lead

Cons

  • The lead may wear quickly if used every day

Review: Most of the positive reviews on this product were happy that the reflective strips were so bright. They said it made long walks more enjoyable although they do not use this leash every day. The most common complaint was that the leash material itself was not strong or durable and was torn or broken soon after purchasing.

Fida Retractable Dog Leash

Fida Retractable Dog Leash

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This leash features a strong, reflective polyester tape for safety in low-light conditions. The ergonomic, anti-slip handle prevents unwanted drops and mishaps. It is available in sizes large enough to handle dogs up to 110 pounds and comes in a wide variety of colors. The durable, rust-proof swivel hook prevents unwanted tangles, and the impact-resistant ABS material is sturdy enough to withstand daily use.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, rust-proof swivel hook

Pros

  • Tangle-free design
  • Ergonomic, anti-slip handle
  • Rust-proof swivel hook
  • Reflective polyester tape for high visibility
  • Made with impact-resistant ABS material

Cons

  • The leash may be a bit undersized

Review: Consumers were overall happy with this product. Some gave it an A++ rating, and others said it worked great for their smaller or older dogs who like to wander. One even said it works great for her macaw, who likes to fly around the house. The most common complaint, however, was the size of the leash. Buyers were disappointed in how small the handle was and said the hook was smaller than they expected and were concerned about the strength of the latch.

EC.TEAK Retractable Dog Leash

EC.TEAK Retractable Dog Leash

Get it on Amazon

Summary: The nylon tape on this retractable dog leash is made of the same material as car seatbelts to be strong and prevent breakages. It features a stainless steel, rust-proof swivel hook for a secure connection to your dog. The handle is made of ergonomic TPE anti-slip material to provide an easy and safe grip on long walks. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee that allows buyers to return the item for any reason if unsatisfied.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, 26 ft nylon tape, stainless steel swivel hook

Pros

  • Tangle-free design
  • Stainless steel swivel hook
  • One-touch lock/release mechanism
  • Soft, ergonomic grip for comfort and reliability
  • Nylon tape leash design helps to prevent twists and tangles

Cons

  • Extending out to 26 ft can pose a danger to the dog

Review: Overall, customers were happy with this product. Some said they used it to allow their dog to go outside without having to follow them out, while others said it was a “great unit” and suitable for their Great Danes. Others were let down by this product and displayed in their reviews this item did not hold up to daily walks and failed within a few weeks.

PETIMP Lightweight Retractable Dog Leash

PETIMP Lightweight Retractable Dog Leash

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This retractable dog leash comes with waste bags, a waste bag dispenser, and a collapsible water bowl to prepare for walks right away. Its lightweight, 6.6-ounce design is made for small and medium-sized dogs, and it features a tangle-free nylon tape for extra security. An anti-slip handle allows for consistent grip on long walks to prevent escapes or accidents. Its compact design, abrasion-resistant tape, and scratch-proof material are made to be durable and practical.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, comes in a combo package, compact design weighing only 6.6 ounces

Pros

  • Tangle-free design
  • Comes with a collapsible water bowl and waste bags
  • The lightweight design prevents fatigue on long walks
  • The anti-slip handle provides a secure grip
  • The nylon tape is abrasion resistant to prevent breaks and tears

Cons

  • Only suitable for dogs up to 44 pounds

Review: Many happy customers raved about the design and the practicality of this product. They called it “cute” and were excited it came with waste bags so they could use the leash right away. Negative reviews made up over 10% of reviews, however. This is a lot for a dog leash. These customers were unimpressed with the quality, and numerous reviews stated, “you get what you pay for.”

Flexi Giant Retractable Dog Leash

Flexi Giant Retractable Dog Leash

Get it on Amazon        Get it on Chewy

Summary: Featuring a 26 ft nylon tape, this oversized retractable leash is durable enough to walk dogs up to 110 lbs. A neon-colored nylon tape provides visibility from a distance, even in darker conditions. These are hand assembled and stringently tested to ensure the best quality product goes to store shelves. For dogs’ safety, the braking system reacts to split-second changes in force, preventing unwanted running off.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, neon-colored tape for high visibility, 26 ft nylon tape

Pros

  • Practical and easy-use tangle-free design
  • The braking system engages when a dog pulls hard
  • Anti-slip handle provides a secure grip
  • 8 mm wide neon-colored tape provides visibility from a distance, even in low light conditions
  • Assembled by hand and stringently tested to ensure reliability

Cons

  • The 26 ft length may pose a danger to dogs in busy areas

Review: Owners of large dogs were excited about this leash. They liked the oversized nylon tape, and the fact that it was neon for greater visibility was a bonus to them. The most common complaint was from customers who ordered a new leash and seemed to have received a used item instead, with one buyer showing pictures of a severely scratched leash and moldy nylon tape as an example.

Flexi New Comfort Retractable Dog Leash

Flexi New Comfort Retractable Dog Leash

Get it on Amazon        Get it on Chewy

Summary: The handle on this dog leash is adjustable to fit any hand size and shape for comfort on long walks. It features a nylon tape that extends to 26 ft and is strong enough to handle dogs up to 132 pounds. Each product is assembled by hand to ensure the highest standards of quality. The locking system is reactive, braking when the dog pulls suddenly to prevent unwanted incidents.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, 26 ft nylon tape, reactive braking system

Pros

  • Tangle-free design
  • Capable of handling dogs up to 132 lbs.
  • The reactive braking system locks when the dog pulls too suddenly
  • Assembled by hand for quality assurance
  • Adjustable handle for comfort on long walks

Cons

  • Customers complain about an apparent change in design that has recently led to many leashes failing soon after purchasing

Review: Happy customers said they were satisfied with this product and have been buying Flexi leashes for years, sometimes decades. However, owners of large dog breeds complained this leash failed within one week, and many others said the design or quality of products has changed. They said they have been loyal customers of Flexi for years but are now switching to another brand.

Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash (Tape)

Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash (Tape)

Get it on Amazon        Get it on Chewy

Summary: This dog leash features an intuitive brake design that forces your hand to clamp on the brake when the dog pulls too hard, and you grip the handle. It is customizable with an LED lighting system and multi-box so that you can make this leash all your own. This leash is German-made and hand assembled for quality assurance. The 16 ft nylon tape is tangle resistant and strong enough to handle dogs up to 33 pounds.

Features: Anti-slip handle, tangle-free design, intuitive handle/brake design, customizable design

Pros

  • User-friendly and tangle-free design
  • Intuitive handle/brake for self-locking
  • Customizable with LED lights
  • An ergonomic handle promotes comfort while walking
  • Stainless steel and rust-proof hook for secure connection

Cons

  • Only made for dogs up to 33 pounds

Review: Customers call this a “terrific little leash” and are pleased with how sturdy this is. They say they wouldn’t buy anything else and claim this is handy for letting their dogs out in the rain without having to follow them outside. Other buyers were upset or angry that the leash had broken, and several tried to make claims of false advertising, saying their 45 lbs dog shouldn’t have been able to break the nylon tape.

What Should I Look for in a Retractable Dog Leash?

When looking for a retractable dog leash, there are several things to consider. Below we list some things to look for in a retractable leash:

  • Length of Lead. What most people tend to think is an advantage when it comes to retractable leashes is the length of lead the dog is allowed to run out with. Most standard lengths are 16 feet, but they do offer shorter and longer leads for those who prefer a length other than the standard 16 feet.
  • Type of Leash. Flexi leashes use tape instead of a cord to attach to your dog. Although they serve the same purpose, this is a consideration to make because tape can and will easily cut through the skin when the dog runs off, and you go to grab it.
  • Handle Type. Most handles are plastic but can be brittle or susceptible to cracks or separating and allowing the tape to escape and ruin the leash. Looking for something made of impact-resistant material is best, especially if your dog pulls hard on the leash.
  • Security Features. It is always a good idea to pay attention to security features such as self-locking mechanisms and stainless steel hooks that fasten securely. Also, you can opt for a reflective retractable dog leash that will make both you and your dog visible during night walks.

What Size Retractable Dog Leash Should I Get My Dog?

To determine what size leash you need, consider the dog’s size and the activity level as well as its temperament on a leash.

Leashes will have size guidelines on the packaging, so it is imperative you examine that before deciding to purchase a retractable leash to avoid any mishaps.

What is the Difference Between a Retractable Dog Leash and a Regular Leash?

A retractable leash allows the dog to wander out up to 30 feet with some leashes. The retractable leash allows greater room to roam during a walk and is more difficult to pull on for the human who is supposed to be in control of the dog.

Regular leashes are one length and generally made of nylon or leather. They do not allow the dog to roam freely and require the dog to stick near the human. This ensures more control in dangerous situations and encourages the dog to stick to your side.

What Can I Use Instead of a Retractable Dog Leash?

A regular leash works fine for any dog.

Retractable leashes encourage and reward pulling, pose a significant threat of injury to yourself and the dog (if misused), and allow the dog more freedom to get into trouble during walks.

It is essential to look for high-quality standard leashes instead of retractable leashes, as regular leases allow for more control and better opportunity for training than a retractable ever could.