Best Retractable Dog Leashes in 2017 Reviews
Welcome to our review of the best retractable dog leashes. As any dog owner will know, while a dog does need to be controlled when out in public places, dogs do love to have the freedom to be able to run about, and that’s where retractable dog leashes come into play.
The best retractable dog leash will have a long leash that can be locked to any length and it will retract back into the hand unit at the push of a button. That allows you to let your dog run around when you are in open spaces, but still be allow you to stop your pet running off bothering other people or getting lost. It also means that you can lock the leash on a shorter length when you are walking your dog on a sidewalk or in a busy area.
If you have never bought a retractable dog leash before, there are quite a lot of different makes and models to choose from. So, to help you choose the best retractable dog leash for your dog, here are our reviews of five top rated retractable dog leashes and some tips and advice on how to choose the best retractable dog leash for your pet.
I. The Main Types of Dog Leash in the Market Today
A dog leash is essential for keeping your pet safe when you are walking your pet outdoors in public places and, in some circumstances; it is a legal requirement to have your dog on a leash. Retractable dog leashes give you control over your dog, while still allowing your dog some freedom to run around, but there are, of course, other types of dog leashes as well. Here are the other main types of dog leashes that are available.
1. Standard leashes
Standard leashes, which every pet owner will be familiar with, are usually made out of leather or nylon and are fixed in length. They are straight forward and simple and they work.
2. Chain leashes
Chain leashes come in all sizes, some are heavy-duty for big dogs and some are more lightweight for smaller dogs. What they all have in common is their durability, and that makes them great for dogs that have a habit of chewing through their leash.
3. Adjustable leashes
Adjustable leashes are very similar to standard leashes but they have a series of hooks and locks that allow you to adjust the length of the leash. They are not as flexible or as convenient as a retractable leash, but they do give you more flexibility than a simple standard leash would.
4. Martingale Leashes
Martindale leashes are not all that common and they are generally used as a training aid and are especially useful if you have a dog that pulls on the leash a lot. They are a combination of collar and leash, all in one, and they cause the dog mild discomfort if they pull on the leash. They are usually only used for training.
II. Things You Should Know Before Buying a Retractable Dog Leash
If you are going to buy a retractable dog leash for your dog, they are usually better used with dog harnesses, rather than dog collars. The reason of this is that when the dog reaches the end of the retractable leash, they may get pulled back suddenly and a harness won’t hurt the dog as much as a collar would if that happens. See Top 10 Best Dog Harness and Top Retractable Dog Leashes for Walking Your Dog
Retractable dog leashes also work better with dogs that have already been trained to walk properly on a leash and that come when called. This is because a retractable dog leash does allow your dog to get quite a distance from you, so you will still need to be able to have control over your pet, even though you do have the leash to pull your pet back if you need to.
The features that we would advise that you look for in a retractable dog leash are a strong, durable ribbon style cord, a good break, lock and rewind mechanism, easy controls, ergonomically designed handle and if you intend to walk your dog at night, reflective neon strips and or an attached flashlight.
III. 5 Best Retractable Dog Leash Reviews
1. Our Pick for The Best Overall
The TaoTronics 16 ft. Dog Retractable Dog Leash is a strong retractable dog leash that would be ideal for the larger breeds of dogs. The leash has a full 16 feet of fray-proof nylon ribbon, so your dog will have the freedom to play, but you will stay fully in control.
This best retractable dog leash has easy to use controls. You can leave the leash to run free and you can put the brakes on easily and lock the leash at a desired length with a push of the handily located button on the top of the main unit. When it’s time to reel in the leash, there is a strong spring that that winds the leash back in quickly and smoothly.
The TaoTronics 16 ft. Dog Retractable Dog Leash looks and feels like a well-made product. It’s weatherproof, which is a must with any retractable dog leash, and the heavy duty handle grip is comfortable to hold. The handle also has an ant-slip material on it, which would be useful if you have a dog that pulls on the leash.
This retractable leash also comes with a bone shaped carrier for holding those all-important bags for cleaning up any mess, although the bags that are supplied with it aren’t exactly the best quality. That aside, the TaoTronics 16 ft. Dog Retractable Dog Leash is a good, solid product that we would rate as being one of the best retractable dog leashes for large dogs.
Things We Liked
- Smooth spring retraction of leash
- Comfortable to hold
- The brake and the lock work well
- Nylon leash looks strong and durable
- Waste bag holder is a nice little bonus
Things We Disliked
- The handle may be bit small if you have very large hands
- Waste bags are low quality, but they are free
- The clasp for connecting the leash to the collar is quite small
2. Flexi Neon Leash 16ft Small-Large
The next model in our pick of the best retractable dog leashes is the Flexi Neon Leash 16ft retractable dog leash. This dog leash comes in three different sizes, small, medium and large, so you can pick just the right leash for your dog. They all have a 16 foot cable. The small size is designed for dogs up to 26 pounds, the medium for dogs up to 44 ponds and the large for dogs up to 110 pounds.
Both the leash and the handle of this model have a reflective material on them, so this would be ideal for walking your dog at night-time. We found that the brake was very effective and the locking mechanism held fast, even with a big, heavy dog pulling on it. The retraction of the leash also worked very well. It brought the leash back into the handle smoothly, all the way up to the collar hook.
The bright neon belt on the Flexi Neon Leash 16ft Small-Large is a great safety feature. It makes you more visible at night and it stops other people walking into the extended leash. Overall, we rate this model up there as a best retractable dog leash, especially if you take your dog for walks in unlit areas.
Things We Liked
- Bright neon design is a great safety feature
- Tape style leash stops tangles
- Rewinds easily
- Brake holds well
- Nice and comfortable to hold
Things We Disliked
- The light yellow colour will show up any dirt after a while
- The handle may be a little too small for some people
3. Flexi Vario Tape Leash XS - L
The Flexi Vario Tape Leash XS – L is a retractable dog leash that comes in a variety of lengths, all the way from a relatively modest 10 feet, right the way up to a huge 26 feet long. This best retractable dog leash also comes in a range of colours. You can choose between anthracite, blue, brown, pink, red, and the whole thing looks very stylish indeed.
The leash has all the standard features that you expect on a good retractable leash, including good solid brake and locking mechanism and a spring loaded rewind to bring that leash back into the hand unit. It has an ergonomically designed handle, which is comfortable to hold, and you can keep a good grip on the leash, without your fingers getting tired. Like all the models that we have mentioned here, you can use this retractable dog leash as a retractable dog tie out too.
The Flexi Vario Tape Leash XS – L feels tough and strong too. It is recommended for dog’s weighing up to 110 pounds, so it would be good for large dogs, but with so many options on the leash length, you could use this dog leash or most breeds of dogs.
In summary then, if you have been looking for the best retractable dog leash for large dogs, we recommend that you have the Flexi Vario Tape Leash XS – L on your shortlist.
Things We Liked
- Great choice of leash lengths
- Stylish design with choice of colours
- The 26ft length of leash gives great freedom to a dog
- Good braking and locking mechanism
- Very comfortable to hold and it has and adjustable handle
Things We Disliked
- No reflective material for safety at night
- It’s also quite heavy
4. Flexi Explore Retractable Dog Leash
The Flexi Explore Retractable Dog Leash is available in three different lengths, the longest being 26 feet, and you get a choice three different colours; black, blue or red. While you do get the choices of colours with this best retractable dog leash, it is fair to say that it doesn’t look as stylish as the Flexi Vario Tape Leash XS – L that we looked at in the previous review. However, the Flexi Explore Retractable Flexi Dog Leash is a reliable retractable dog leash and one of the most popular models on the market.
The leash is designed for dogs of up 110 pounds and the 26 foot tape leash is great for walking a dog in open spaces. It has a patented, one hand braking and rewind system, which we found very easy to use and it gave us good control. All the controls are in the ergonomically designed handle, which makes it easy to adjust the length of the leash whenever you need to.
Despite its length, the Flexi Explore Retractable Flexi Dog Leash still wound back into the handle smoothly every time. The whole unit is well-designed and well-manufactured and we liked the quality of this product a lot.
Things We Liked
- Choice of colours and sizes
- Solid construction
- Smooth rewind and braking
- Strong nylon leash
- Ribbon leash doesn’t get tangled as easily as a cord does.
Things We Disliked
- We found the handle just a little bit awkward to hold
- It’s a lot of leash if you get it tangled around some bushes!
- Some people have reported that the leash doesn’t always wind all the way back
5. Cool-Shop 16ft Retractable Dog Leash with 9 LED Detachable Flashlight
The Cool-Shop 16ft Retractable Dog Leash with 9 LED Detachable Flashlight really is a cool looking retractable dog leash with a flashlight! This is quite probably the retractable dog leash with flashlight for walking dogs in the dark. This model only has a 16ft leash, but much more than that would be too much for nigh time walks anyway.
The Cool-Shop 16ft Retractable Dog Leash has a strong and durable leash ribbon that doesn’t get tangled, and the brake, lock and rewind functions can all be operated with one hand. The flashlight that comes with this model is abright LED light that runs on AAA batteries. You can detach the flashlight for daytime use. The handle is comfortable to hold and it has a soft rubber grip on it so your hand won’t slip.
The built in flashlight is more than just a gimmick; it really does work. It is so much easier than holding the leash in one hand and a flashlight in the other. Overall, rate the Cool-Shop 16ft Retractable Dog Leash with 9 LED Detachable Flashlight as the best retractable dog leash with a flashlight, but even without the light, it would still make into our best retractable dog leash reviews.
Things We Liked
- Powerful, detachable flash light
- Strong a and durable leash
- Efficient locking and retraction mechanism
- Comfortable, soft rubber grip
- Perfect for nigh time dog walking
Things We Disliked
- Reflective material in the leash cord could be better
- The tension on the leash is quite tight
- Feels slightly top-heavy with the flashlight attached
IV. Benefits of Retractable Dog Leash
Retractable dog leashes have a number of benefits over the traditional standard leash. Here are some of the main ones.
1. It gives your dog more freedom
For your dog, a retractable leash will mean that your pet can roam around a lot more and explore which is just what dogs like to do.
2. Your dog will get more exercise
The long leash that a retractable dog leash has will mean that your dog can run and a jump around, and you can just carry on walking beside your pet. Dogs need their exercise, but you can’t always let them off the leash. A retractable dog leash solves that problem completely for you.
3. You retain control
While you are able to give your dog more freedom with a retractable leash, you will still have full control over your pet. That will stop your dog running away and you can pull your pet back to you if the dog is bothering other people, or getting into fights with other dogs.
4. It’s easy to adjust the length of the leash
With this style of dog leash, you can either have it extended to its full length, or you can use it at a traditional standard dog leash length. That means that you can use it in busy built up areas, just as well as you can use it in open spaces where you might want to allow your dog a bit more freedom.
5. You won’t have to chase your dog when it’s time to go home!
Dogs do get carried away sometimes when they of the leash, so if you have a dog that doesn’t want to come when it is called, a retractable dog leash will mean that you never have to go chasing after your dog to catch him when it’s time to go home.
6. You can keep your dog out of trouble
Even though you can give your dog more freedom with a retractable dog leash you still have control to pull your dog back to you should he get in a fight with other dogs or be approaching some kind of danger. And, of course, you know that your dog can’t wander off somewhere and get lost.It’s a more convenient way to exercise your dogMost of all, a retractable dog leash just makes exercising your dog so much more convenient. There is no bending down to put a leash on and off, no danger of your dog wandering off, and your dog gets the freedom that he wants to. You can even use a retractable dog leash as a dog tie when you want to sit down for a rest.
We hope that you have found this review of the best retractable dog leashes and flexi dog leashes helpful and it helps you find the best retractable dog leash for your pet. We think that a well-designed retractable dog leash has many advantages over the traditional style of a dog leash, both for you and for your dog. Your dog gets the freedom to run and around and play, while you have the comfort of knowing that you are still in control. That’s why we think that retractable dog leashes are the best type of dog leash around.