Leashes are important tools that keep your dog safe. Before buying your next leash, know the dangers of the worst leashes for dogs based on professional recommendations. If you don’t know me, my name is Jena Howard and I am the owner of Muddy Paws dog walking and pet sitting. I founded Muddy Paws back in 2007 and only regret not starting this business sooner. It has been a dream to work with animals on a daily basis. It truly is a dream job. However, that job comes with a lot of responsibility and working with animals is not always fun and games (although some days it is!).
I have literally walked thousands of dogs over the years. The dogs have ranged from gigantic to teeny-tiny is size. Their personalities have been all over the place as well, some dogs are crazy hyper, while others are very relaxed and borderline lazy. And, of course, there have been MANY dogs in between who love to walk, get excited by many different things (other dogs, humans, falling leaves, sticks, etc, etc, etc).
Reading professional recommendations for worst leashes for dogs should help you figure out which leash(es) to avoid. With so many leashes to choose from these days, the task of buying a leash has become overwhelming and complicated. It can be a daunting task, so it’s important to read what the experts recommend and which leashes they consider the worst leashes for dogs.
Avoid These Dog Walking Leads
Keeping your dog safe is part of your dog parent responsibility. A quality leash is an essential tool that provides control and keeps your pup safe. Because dogs need to be leashed in most public places, choosing a quality leash is an important decision. Conversely, choosing an inferior leash can lead to a disastrous situation. That being said, it is important to know which leash you should choose as well as which leashes you should NOT choose.
Here is my short list of leashes I feel are the worst leashes for dogs. Of course, I will go into detail about each of the following leashes to explain the dangers so that you understand why this list came to be.
- Retractable Leash
- Rope Leash
- Bungee Leash
If you have a retractable leash, stop what you are doing and throw it away right now! I am not kidding.
I despise retractable leashes. In fact, as a company rule, I do not allow Muddy Paws dog walkers to use retractable leashes even if the customer has one of their own. Rather, I instruct them to use the 4 feet nylon leash they are provided upon hire.
Retractable leashes consist of a thin wire leash that is extendable that is housed in a plastic case, molded to be used as a handle. Additionally, your dog can have an adjustable length of leash for different situations. In theory, it sounds like a great tool to use. Great, right? NOPE!
Why retractable leashes are dangerous:
- Severed limbs
- The wire can burn your skin
- The leash can snap in half
- The locking mechanism can jam or break, leaving your dog to fend for himself
- Failure to retract the leash in time can have deadly consequences
- Failure to lock the leash quick enough can result in catastrophe
- The leash can easily slip out of your hand
- Allowing for too much leash, encourages pulling
The eight reasons listed above are just some of the devastating things that can happen when using a retractable leash. These are not exaggerations, they are based on many horror stories. Back in the day, I used a customer’s retractable leash on their dog. The dog saw a cat and immediately pulled towards it. He pulled with such force that the leash snapped in two pieces and he flew after the cat! Thankfully, he did not catch the cat and he was not a flight risk and came back to me after giving up his search for the cat. I got lucky. That day could have been much worse and I think about that situation often.
Retractable leashes are dangerous. So again, if you have a retractable leash, stop what you are doing and throw it away right now! I am not kidding.
The bungee leash is supposed to be a shock absorber and act like a cushion from any sudden moves made by your dog. This leash is supposed to bungee your dog back to you, when your dog pulls suddenly and stretches out the leash. However, once your dog gets to the end, there’s no more shock absorption and it will jerk just as much as a regular leash. Also, it could be harder to control your dog or work on loose leash walking because you can’t control the leash as well because of its flexibility. But depending on the brand and how much flexibility it has, this leash could be a good option for a mild to moderate puller.
The rope leash is just like a “regular” leash, however, it is braided like a rope. Therein, lies the problem. Have you ever slid your hand down a rope in a quick motion? YIKES, does that hurt! You can literally get a rope burn. Yes, rope leashes are strong for dogs who are strong pullers. However, in my opinion, this leash will be dangerous for the handler. You can rip apart your hands. If you somehow get tangled up in your dog’s leash, the rope can rub against your arm or legs and create a rope burn. This does not need to happen. Therefore, a rope leash is on my list of worst leashes for dogs. There are many other leashes to choose from that will not cause this type of concern.
Muddy Paws Recommendations
After reading about the 3 dog leashes; retractable, rope, and bungee, it is clear the retractable leash should be avoided at all costs. Rather, dog owners should stick to a basic leash such as a 4 foot nylon leash and learn proper dog handling techniques. Don’t rely on a leash to do the work. Dogs should be trained to walk leisurely on leash and stay next to their handler to be safe. I repeat, do not rely on a leash to keep them safe. Leashes are dog walking tools and should aid in dog walking, but a properly trained dog is what will ultimately keep them safe. Being a responsible dog owner is properly training your dog.
There are too many other leashes out there that are much safer in terms of proper dog walking training, handling, and are far less hazardous. My favorite dog walking leash is a 4 foot nylon leash. Nylon leashes are strong enough for the strongest dogs and are the perfect length for a leisurely walk. A quality leash does not have to cost a fortune or look extra pretty. Look for safety, versatility, and easy of use. Consequently, a nylon leash checks all the boxes. Therefore, a nylon leash is the best leash for dogs based on my professional opinion.
Read my professional recommendations for best dog leashes to choose the best leash for your pup here.