Why I don't recommend a retractable leash
I have never been a fan of the Flexi leash. The Flexi leash is that long, retractable leash so many people use to walk their dogs. Some Flexi leashes extend out to about 20 feet. I don't recommend these leashes because it is impossible for a dog owner to control his dog when she's 20 feet ahead of him, they are dangerous, and they teach the dog to pull.
It is impossible to control a dog when it is at the end of a 20-foot Flexi lead. With a Flexi, a dog owner can't pull his dog in like he would with a normal leash. The Flexi lead is thin, flexible and hard to grip. The only way to “reel the dog in” is if the dog creates slack on the leash. So, to walk his dog on a Flexi leash, the dog owner needs to be in an area where controlling his dog won't be an issue, like an open field. Even then, it is important for him to watch out for anything his dog might take after such as birds or other dogs.
Flexi, retractable dog leashes are dangerous.
Flexis are dangerous because a big dog could easily pull the lead from her owner and either bite another dog or get hit by a car. There is a man in my apartment complex who walks his German shepherd mix on a Flexi. The dog barks and lunges at Ace and I, and the man cannot control his dog with 10 feet of slack between them. I have seen the man out running with his dog 10 feet ahead of him on the Flexi. One time the dog decided to go around some trees and tripped the man in the process, tangling them both. Another time, I was trying to check my mail at the row of mailboxes, and the man walked his dog near us. The dog began barking and pulling to get at us as usual, tangling himself up between the mailboxes.
Small dogs can get themselves into trouble on a Flexi lead, too. Let's say a bigger dog charges at a small dog while the small dog's owner is too far away to do anything about it quick enough. Also, like large dogs on a Flexi, small dogs can run and cause an accident for a biker, roller blader or runner. Plus, the are likely to annoy someone who is just walking. Not everyone likes dogs, and most people don't like a dog that runs up and jumps on them.
The retractable Flexi dog leash teaches a dog to pull.
The dog owner is supposed to control how far to extend the leash, but if he allows his dog to run as far out as she wants, she will think that the harder she pulls, the further out she can go. She will continuously pull until her owner gives in and lets the leash out further. Even once the leash is extended as far as it goes, the dog will try to pull further away, because she won't know the difference.
All that being said, I do know some people who love the Flexi. My uncle uses nothing but Flexis to walk his Cairn terriers. It works OK for him, especially in a field or the woods because the dogs can run ahead and smell for rabbits. They get more exercise this way. Others like to use this leash so their dogs can swim for several feet while remaining on a leash. Through my dog walking business, sometimes I've used a Flexi leash for this purpose.
Overall, I will rarely use a Flexi retractable leash for the reasons mentioned above. I would rather train my dog to walk well on a normal leash and continue training him to respond while off leash. I see no use for a Flexi.
What do you think of the Flexi lead?