Extending leash

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GundogGuy
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Extending leash

Post by GundogGuy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:53 pm

Hi folks,
I was just wondering what you experienced folks think of those extending (or retractable, depending on which way you look at it) leashes... Are they useful or more trouble than they are worth?
"Oh what gold there is to find when one is blessed with an open mind" - me, not five minutes ago :-)

Wicket
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Wicket » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:15 am

I don't like the flexi leashes, but I use the nylon-cotton 15 ft long lines when the dogs and I are in the park or going for tracking walks. I found when I was using the flexi leashes, I had a harder time keeping it my hands when the dogs would pull, but with the nylon leashes, I could put the handle around my wrist and hold it.

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Nettle
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Nettle » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:58 am

If I ever become Emperor, I'll ban the ruddy things. So dangerous!

Well, dangerous if misused - Mattie uses them but Mattie uses them properly. Few people have any idea there is a proper way to use them.

Caveats:

Other dogs can't see the thin line. There have been some awful accidents (think broken legs or necks) from off-lead dogs running into the string they can't see, or the dog on a string running round the other dog so that the string tangles with its legs and pulls it down.

Breaking strain - the metal clips and plastic handles have a lesser breaking strain than the string, so dogs charge the lead and break the clip or handle - and get loose.

Responsibility - people think because their dog is running around on the end of a bit of string that it is "under control" and don't bother to wind it in when other world inhabitants approach. I nearly had a horse I was riding brought down by a Yorkshire terrier on a string being allowed to run through his legs :shock:

Lead manners - the extending lead teaches dogs to pull unless used with a command to tell them when to go forward and one when to get to heel. Otherwise the dog runs to the end of the string and then P-U-L-L-S.

People can be brought down by the line as well. Some dog owners seem to leave their manners behind, and let their dog-on-a-string run around and in front of other people. I once had a Gordon Setter that had pulled its owner over and got free wrap its lead round my legs twice and pull.


If dogs must be on a line - and some training schedules include the use of a long line - the best to use is a horse lunge line. Everyone can see it, and because it doesn't retract, people tend to be more responsible with its use.

*goesoffspittingandsnarlingaboutextendingleadsandtheir misuse* :evil:
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GundogGuy
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Re: Extending leash

Post by GundogGuy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:10 am

My sentiments exactly... I'd ban them tomorrow. In addition to the points above in the wrong hands they actually teach the dog to pull. By that I mean... dog goes left, string goes tight... owner pushes button... dog gets reward by going forward etc...

I'd be interested in hearing Mattie's opinion though. Of course if you train your dog to heel and have a release cue there shouldn't be an issue but for the average dog owner???
"Oh what gold there is to find when one is blessed with an open mind" - me, not five minutes ago :-)

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Mattie
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Mattie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:25 am

I used to take 3 dogs out all with extending leads on, I was able to do this because I taught my dogs how to behave when they have them on. There are places like walking along busy roads that I won't use them, that is dangerous, you may think you have the lock on but they can slip, that is if the owner bothers to put the lock on to stop the dog running into the road.

I used to walk along a quiet country lane were there leads were very useful, my dogs were able to wander a bit but I still had control if a vehicle or pedestrian came along. Long lines are dangerous in this situation because you have no way of stopping the dog from running away from you, you can't put the lock on, and dogs are better with more freedom than normal length leads.

Like all gadgets for dogs, it depends on how they are used, it is the idiots that cause the problems not the leads themselves, pity you can't do anything about stupid, there are many times I wish I could. :lol:

I don't use them as much now I have moved house, I use short leads to take my dogs to the field, Bonnie and Tilly run off lead, Dolly trails the long line and I keep hold of the long line for Cyril. They are now kept in the caravan as I do sometimes use them when away.
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Sarah83
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Sarah83 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:49 am

Oh I HATE these things with a passion. The brake mechanism fails easily, they're flimsy enough that a large dog can snap the clip easily, the ones with the thin cord are absolute hell to get tangled up in and can cause pretty severe injuries, the handle is horribly bulky and can be difficult to hang on to, you can't get a proper grip on the leash with both hands if necessary and people don't use them properly for the most part. I can understand using one in Matties example but for the most part a long line would work just as well.

I actually had someone send their dog across a relatively busy road to "say hello" to my dog :shock: If a car had come around the corner it would have hit the cord and god knows what would have happened.

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Mattie
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Mattie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:28 am

Sarah83 wrote:Oh I HATE these things with a passion. The brake mechanism fails easily, they're flimsy enough that a large dog can snap the clip easily, the ones with the thin cord are absolute hell to get tangled up in and can cause pretty severe injuries, the handle is horribly bulky and can be difficult to hang on to, you can't get a proper grip on the leash with both hands if necessary and people don't use them properly for the most part.
There are different sizes for different sized dogs, I always use a size bigger than my dog, having a lead not up to the size of the dog is the main reason why they brake mechanism fails, another is if the brake is not put on properly, that has happened to me. If the dog is trained properly they shouldn't get tangled up with other dogs or people.

Why do you need to hold onto the lead with both hands? I used to walk 3 dogs on them regularly and my hands are not big.
I can understand using one in Matties example but for the most part a long line would work just as well.
If a long line worked as well I would use one Sarah, for where I was walking my dogs a long line was dangerous especially when a dog was like Gracie when she first came, she wanted to kill every dog she saw, a long line would give her access to the other dogs.

It is like everything else, train your dog and use the properly, if you don't you are bound to have serious accidents, I used these for about 20 years without an accident.
I actually had someone send their dog across a relatively busy road to "say hello" to my dog :shock: If a car had come around the corner it would have hit the cord and god knows what would have happened.
Some people shouldn't have dogs or any other animal, not even children, but that is another subject. :lol:
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Sarah83
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Sarah83 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:22 am

If a long line worked as well I would use one Sarah, for where I was walking my dogs a long line was dangerous especially when a dog was like Gracie when she first came, she wanted to kill every dog she saw, a long line would give her access to the other dogs.
As I say, I can understand why you used one but in most cases and for most reasons people seem to use one (lack of recall but wanting to give the dog some freedom) a long line would work just as well. I would like to know how you managed to hold 3 flexi leashes though :shock: The handles are way too bulky for me to hold more than one in each hand.

As for why do I need both hands on the leash, well one hand just doesn't give me enough control when someones out of control dog charges up to Rupert and he wants to kill it.
There are different sizes for different sized dogs, I always use a size bigger than my dog, having a lead not up to the size of the dog is the main reason why they brake mechanism fails, another is if the brake is not put on properly
Actually I think a lot of them fail because people have picked them up for a couple of quid from the pound shop and the quality of them is awful. The one I bought was meant to hold a 50kg dog according to the packaging, I wouldn't have trusted it to hold a 5kg dog in all honesty. The plastic handle was coming apart, the brake mechanism was already dodgy and the clip to attach to the dogs collar was tiny. The ones I've seen for sale in Pets at Home look a lot sturdier than that but most people I saw with a flexi had the distinctive looking ones from the pound shop.

As you say, most of the issues come from people not using them properly (and/or having an inferior product) but unfortunately that seems to be the vast majority of people who do use them.

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Mattie
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Mattie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:32 am

Sarah83 wrote:
If a long line worked as well I would use one Sarah, for where I was walking my dogs a long line was dangerous especially when a dog was like Gracie when she first came, she wanted to kill every dog she saw, a long line would give her access to the other dogs.
As I say, I can understand why you used one but in most cases and for most reasons people seem to use one (lack of recall but wanting to give the dog some freedom) a long line would work just as well.
It depends were you are walking, I rarely use them when walking along a road, but if I was going to the post office at the start of the walk I would use an extending lead because my road was quiet, a long line should never be used on the road for any reason, it will be to easy to slip through your hands and there is nothing to stop it. At least with an extending lead even if the brake fails it still slows the dog down and give you second or 2 to do something else, with a long line the dog doesn't slow down.

I would like to know how you managed to hold 3 flexi leashes though :shock: The handles are way too bulky for me to hold more than one in each hand.

I had a very big one for Merlin, the bigger the lead the bigger the handle so was able to put my hand through the big one and hold the next size down. The other hand I just had the next size down in it.
As for why do I need both hands on the leash, well one hand just doesn't give me enough control when someones out of control dog charges up to Rupert and he wants to kill it.


In this situation I used the "Voice of doom" on the other dog, would boom out sit or down, etc. it usually stopped the other dog, he would then start to creap forward so would get it again. I would then shout to the owner to get their dog or they will be responsible for my vet bill as well as their's. The "Voice of doom" also gave the other owner time tyo get their dog. Body blocking works as well but when you have 3 or 4 dogs you can't stand in front of them all.
There are different sizes for different sized dogs, I always use a size bigger than my dog, having a lead not up to the size of the dog is the main reason why they brake mechanism fails, another is if the brake is not put on properly
Actually I think a lot of them fail because people have picked them up for a couple of quid from the pound shop and the quality of them is awful. The one I bought was meant to hold a 50kg dog according to the packaging, I wouldn't have trusted it to hold a 5kg dog in all honesty. The plastic handle was coming apart, the brake mechanism was already dodgy and the clip to attach to the dogs collar was tiny. The ones I've seen for sale in Pets at Home look a lot sturdier than that but most people I saw with a flexi had the distinctive looking ones from the pound shop.
I bought mine from Pets at Home when I first got Gracie in 2004 and they are still good even though they were used most days before I moved. As I taught my dogs to walk on them they rarely put any pressure on them.
As you say, most of the issues come from people not using them properly (and/or having an inferior product) but unfortunately that seems to be the vast majority of people who do use them.
My neighbour went away for the weekend and forgot her extending lead, her dog was also taught to walk on one properly, she bought a cheap one, that went very quickly. When it is for my dogs I always go for quality, don't for myself, most of the things in my house come from Ebay or Price Drop :lol:
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Sarah83
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Sarah83 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:31 am

It depends were you are walking
Usually along the main road where I lived. Dog at the full extension of the leash, tripping people up and wandering into the road. Might as well have been on a long line or even off leash to be honest for all the control the person holding the leash had. Not the sort of place I'd use anything but a regular leash for. Quiet back roads or something, fair enough. I imagine you're not the sort to be wandering along, chatting on your mobile phone while paying absolutely zero attention to what your dog is doing or whether there's a car, horse, other dog or whatever coming though :wink:
I had a very big one for Merlin, the bigger the lead the bigger the handle so was able to put my hand through the big one and hold the next size down. The other hand I just had the next size down in it.
Ah, I had a vision of you somehow juggling 3 of those boxy things, never thought of slipping a hand through the handle of one of the large ones. Knowing my luck I'd get my arm stuck :lol:
In this situation I used the "Voice of doom" on the other dog, would boom out sit or down, etc. it usually stopped the other dog, he would then start to creap forward so would get it again. I would then shout to the owner to get their dog or they will be responsible for my vet bill as well as their's. The "Voice of doom" also gave the other owner time tyo get their dog. Body blocking works as well but when you have 3 or 4 dogs you can't stand in front of them all.
I lose my voice on a regular basis so unfortunately voice of doom isn't always an option. Works well when it is but if it's not it's a case of silently hanging on to Rupert while trying to keep myself between him and the other dog. I usually have Calvin with me at the moment so he intercepts the other dog while I try to get Rupe further away. 2 hands on leash is also handy when a cat decides to dart out from under a car right in front of him and race away down the street.

I don't cut corners on quality of leashes etc, I'd rather buy a more expensive good quality one than cheap rubbish that'll snap at a crucial moment. His favourite bed however cost me a couple of quid from a pound shop :lol: He's had it about 4 years now and still prefers it over his other beds. Course the sofa or our bed is preferable to any mere dog bed.

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Mattie
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Mattie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:20 pm

Sarah83 wrote:
It depends were you are walking
Usually along the main road where I lived. Dog at the full extension of the leash, tripping people up and wandering into the road. Might as well have been on a long line or even off leash to be honest for all the control the person holding the leash had. Not the sort of place I'd use anything but a regular leash for. Quiet back roads or something, fair enough. I imagine you're not the sort to be wandering along, chatting on your mobile phone while paying absolutely zero attention to what your dog is doing or whether there's a car, horse, other dog or whatever coming though :wink:
With 3 dogs on extending leads, how do I hold the phone? Image
I had a very big one for Merlin, the bigger the lead the bigger the handle so was able to put my hand through the big one and hold the next size down. The other hand I just had the next size down in it.
Ah, I had a vision of you somehow juggling 3 of those boxy things, never thought of slipping a hand through the handle of one of the large ones. Knowing my luck I'd get my arm stuck :lol:

Only my had goes through just enough for me to hold the other lead.
In this situation I used the "Voice of doom" on the other dog, would boom out sit or down, etc. it usually stopped the other dog, he would then start to creap forward so would get it again. I would then shout to the owner to get their dog or they will be responsible for my vet bill as well as their's. The "Voice of doom" also gave the other owner time tyo get their dog. Body blocking works as well but when you have 3 or 4 dogs you can't stand in front of them all.
I lose my voice on a regular basis so unfortunately voice of doom isn't always an option. Works well when it is but if it's not it's a case of silently hanging on to Rupert while trying to keep myself between him and the other dog. I usually have Calvin with me at the moment so he intercepts the other dog while I try to get Rupe further away. 2 hands on leash is also handy when a cat decides to dart out from under a car right in front of him and race away down the street.

Try a whistle, a referees whistles have a different sound to a dog whistle.

Merlin once went under a bush and brought a cat out in his mouth, the cat boxed his ears and Merlin went into shock. Image
I don't cut corners on quality of leashes etc, I'd rather buy a more expensive good quality one than cheap rubbish that'll snap at a crucial moment. His favourite bed however cost me a couple of quid from a pound shop :lol: He's had it about 4 years now and still prefers it over his other beds. Course the sofa or our bed is preferable to any mere dog bed.
Didn't think you did, these type of conversations can help people looking for ideas of what to use and why they shouldn't use some things. Most of my dogs beds are old sleeping bags from the caravan.
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GundogGuy
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Re: Extending leash

Post by GundogGuy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:25 pm

Incidentally, the only dog I know who walks properly on an extending leash is a Staffie called Taz. :D

I know a very large GSD who is very, very attached to his owner. She was recommended by a very well known, qualified and experienced behaviourist/trainer to use one to help lessen the dogs reliance on the owner...
"Oh what gold there is to find when one is blessed with an open mind" - me, not five minutes ago :-)

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Mattie
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Mattie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:40 pm

GundogGuy wrote:Incidentally, the only dog I know who walks properly on an extending leash is a Staffie called Taz. :D
Well training Staffies are wonderful pets, wish it was 6 months on with Cyril. :lol:
I know a very large GSD who is very, very attached to his owner. She was recommended by a very well known, qualified and experienced behaviourist/trainer to use one to help lessen the dogs reliance on the owner...
Did this trainer say why it would lessen the reliance on the owner?

With an extending lead on the dog can feel tension on the lead all the time so they know the owner is there, with a long line they can't. My Greyhound Merlin wouldn't leave my side if he was on a long line or free, he stuck his nose on me and it never moved, with an extending lead on he had the confidence to investigate the undergrowth.

Emma may know Chris Biggins, she is a very good trainer but moved to Bridlington, when I first got Bonnie I took her to Chris and the others went as well, Merlin felt safe enough to investigate the field, it wasn't very big but very secure, he realised Chris had treats in her pocket, stuck his nose in and never took it out, he didn't eat any of the treats, just had his nose in her pocket.Image
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Re: Extending leash

Post by Horace's Mum » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:06 pm

I use a flexi led a lot with Horus, but also equally use short leads and longlines. Each lead has a different purpose, and he is trained to each one. Short lead is for busy roads, morning round the block walks, town walks (once in a blue moon!) and anywhere I need the control or the distraction (Horus redirects into tuggy on his lead when stressed).

The longline is for when we are walking in places where he can go off lead but I need chance of a an emergency recall - it gives me 15ft extra and is easier to jump on the end of than trying to race to catch him up. Also means if he spots something I can quietly pick up the end and have control if I need to, without him knowing and associating it with whatever he has seen - I work very hard to ensure he never has any negative connotations to being put on lead. He is confident on his longline but will always check in with me because he can't feel if I am still there. He is trained to stop and wait if anything tugs his longline.

The flexi lead is for walking along our incredibly quiet country lanes, anywhere where it is not safe to let him go on his longline because I can't see or it is unknown territory, or for long walks when we are in the Lake District or similar, out all day, I don't want to carry a longline but i want to give him the freedom to roam and find his own path. He is very confident on his flexi because he can feel me, and will often walk way out in front and not check in as much. But he is trained to respond to a swaying movement along the line (like a soundwave!) and also has an emergency recall of a quick tug which makes him turn, and then I can recall and/or send him to the side of the road ahead of me, where he will wait for me to catch up.

Needless to say all lead except his short lead always go on a harness. I also would only ever buy the original flexilead, never any copies of any kind. i have had my original one 3years but will replace it shortly, I don't want to risk it breaking. It is checked regularly! I also keep my thumb on the button even when it is locked, just in case the lock slips, and no-one else ever walks him on it - and unless they learn how to communicate with him with it they never will.

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Re: Extending leash

Post by ladybug1802 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:18 pm

I see I am in the minoroty but I really like my retractable lead. Admittedly, I dont use it much.....if I am walking along the roads I use his short lead and he walks nicely to heel, and if I am in an area I dont know well or know it is near roads/cliffs (for example, my parents have a place in Dorset and we go there sometimes.....there are a cpouple of walks where one the other side of some hedges are some cliffs and Dylan wont know they are there) I have him on his long line. But I like his retracatble lead on occasions for being able to walk along somewhere where he needs to be on lead (such as, for example, a field of sheep - sometimes fields here dont have cattle/sheep but sometimes they do - or along some quiet lanes near where I live where I can see and hear any car coming a long way off because its so quiet) but letting him run about a bit too. And unlike with the long line, you dont have the lead dragging on the floor.

The brake mechanism on mine has never ever failed and I have had it for ayear.

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