Loose Leash Walker

The safety and advantages of different Types of Leashes

October 2, 2020

This morning, I was on a walk, and we ran across other dog lovers, walking and enjoying the beautiful fall weather with their dogs. I saw a lot of different types of leashes on those walks. I started wondering if the people who had their dogs on those walks understood the advantages and disadvantages, including the safety and risks, with the different leashes they were using.

So I thought I’d do a video on it.

Fixed Length Leashes

Each type of product has advantages and disadvantages, plus risks and safeties attached to it. The most common kind of leash is a fixed leash. It’s usually between four and six feet long, but they can be as short as a foot long. So, people who have large dogs that don’t want the dog to have the power of getting away from them, they might have just a one-foot traffic lead to keep that dog really close. This type of leash doesn’t expand.

A fixed-length leash is your safest option. It’s great for city walks, anytime you’re indoors and high traffic areas.

The disadvantage of a fixed-length leash is if you want to do anything in the line of distance games, coming when called or retrieving, you can’t get the distance in there. But this is the leash that gives you the most control and the best safety, so that’s the one that I use the most.

Long Line or Leash

Your next option is a long line. A long line is any leash longer than six feet. You see them in 12, 16, 30 foot, and 50-foot lengths. The disadvantage of a long line is tripping and tangling.  If your dog circles behind you and coming up on the other side, you will get tangled and trip on the dragging line.

Long lines are useful when you want to play distance games. If you wanted to teach coming when called and your not willing to bet $5,000, your dog would turn on a dime and come racing to you; you need control.

For safety, only use this leash when your dog is not overly excited. If your dog is too excited, it will have the power and speed to pull the leash out of your hands or pull you off your feet.

When using a long leash, all of your attention needs to be on the leash and your dog. only use this leash outdoors, a distance from people, animals, and vehicles that are a distance away that is at least double the leash’s length.

Your long leash will get dirty as it drags on the ground, but they are easy to wash.

To store this leash without it becoming tangled mess finger crochet the leash. The handle of the leash is a loop. Put your fingers into the loop. Slide the leash into the loop, grab it with those fingers, and pull it through the loop. Then pull down on the tail of the leash to pull it tight. Repeat for the length of the leash. When you want to use the leash, all you have to do is pull the end, and it completely unravels.

Retractable Leashes

The third type of leash is a retractable leash. These are the most controversial. Most dog training facilities that are into positive training and safety don’t allow these leashes because of the safety issues.

Many people think the locking mechanism on these is going to hold if the dog pulls, but that’s not the case. Many times, when dogs pull, the locking mechanism releases, and the dog is shooting 30 feet away at an incredible speed. The result is people fall because their dog’s strength builds with speed, or they have the leash fly out of their hands and now the dog is loose.

There is also a large precedence of people losing body parts, typically fingers, because the leash will get wrapped around it, and the dog pulls, and it snaps it off. Rope burns are also a big issue with these retractable type leashes.

If you’re using retractable leashes, they do have some benefits. The leash is not dragging on the ground. So the chance of you tripping over it is less. Other people might trip over it, but you tripping over it is less. Also, you don’t have a tangled mess. You can’t let sand get into them. Otherwise, they will immediately break. But you’re not typically going to be washing them, and you don’t have the storage issues.

I recommend if you’re using a retractable leash, that you’re in an open area, and you have doubled the distance between you and any people, any dogs, any animals, any vehicles, that your dog’s not excited, and you have your full attention on your dog. Use it on a walks but not on a city street when no other dogs or people around, and your dog’s not excited.

What Leash Should You Pick

Each product has its advantages and disadvantages. Your job is to pick the right tool for each environment to keep the safety of you and your dogs safety in mind. But the big part is also to maintain the safety of other people and other animals a top priority. You get to choose the product, but the safety of others and yourself has to be a top priority in the tool that you pick.

Want to share this video with others?  Send them to my YouTube page.

In the comments section, tell me what your good and bad experience with different leashes has been.


Author – Debbie Schaefer

Debbie has been successfully teaching dog lovers how to rambunctious, rude, disobedient dogs into Well-Mannered companions since 1987.

That means there are few bad behaviors Debbie can’t tame or troublesome pups Debbie can’t help turn into well-mannered dogs.

With training, your dog can be a great companion, a fun part of your life.