I have written about how much I hate Flexi leashes before. But lately, I keep seeing more and more of these things. Flexi leashes are those flimsy, retractable leashes (like a tape measure) that allow a dog to pull ahead 20 feet or so.
I don’t know who is encouraging people to buy Flexi leashes, but they are a big problem. If you are considering buying a Flexi leash, it is a bad idea. Here’s why:
1. Flexi leashes are for lazy people.
These “leashes” allow you to stand there while your dog runs around you. Let’s face it, the majority of Flexi users do not train their dogs at all.
2. You can’t control your dog on a Flexi leash.
You just can’t. Sunday morning I was biking with Ace at my side. A block ahead of us, a German shepherd mix on a Flexi charged us, almost getting away from her owner who actually yelled at me to “hold on” as though Ace and I were the problem.
We just quietly continued on our way. Ace barely lifted an eyebrow as the shepherd barked and pulled. Her owner was unable to pull her back. I was so proud of my mutt for being calm through the whole thing.
I’ve seen even worse situations where the biker actually has his dog on a Flexi leash! Please, if you are going to bike with your dog, buy a hands free bike leash.
3. Flexi leashes teach your dog to pull.
The more the dog pulls, the more leash it is given. What a great idea. And if the owner is reluctant to allow the leash to extend, the dog pulls even harder until the owner gives in. How wonderful.
4. Flexi leashes cause accidents.
More than once, I’ve been biking, only to approach someone with a dog on a fully extended Flexi. Usually the owner just stands there with 20 feet of tight leash and a yapping dog on one end, unable or unwilling to pull his or her dog in. It’s hard to go around a 20-foot radius when you’re dealing with traffic and other pedestrians.
5. Flexi leashes put the dog in control.
When the Flexi leash is tight, the only way to shorten it is to walk toward the dog. This teaches the dog she doesn’t have to come to you. You will instead come to her. But that’s OK, because people with Flexis don’t want control over their dogs.
6. Flexi leashes are not for big dogs.
I would never buy a Flexi for any dog, especially a dog over 20 pounds. Every day I see people in my neighborhood walking German shepherds, labs and even huskies on Flexis. I think my favorite is the harness/Flexi leash combo.
7. Flexi leashes are awkward to hold.
I’d rather run or bike with my dog without holding onto a big hunk of plastic (that’s what the leash retracts into).
8. The dog can easily get away on a Flexi leash.
It doesn’t take much for a dog to pull the leash out of her owner’s hands when she has a 20-foot head start. When I let Ace outside at my apartment complex, we have to walk around a corner to the grass he uses.
I always make sure to keep him close to me because when we get around that corner there are often dogs on Flexis that lunge at us. These owners are always embarrassed to have their arms nearly ripped out by their dogs. No wonder on one picks up after their dogs around here. If they stop to pick up the poop, their dogs will get away!
9. Flexi leashes are the worst tool to walk your dog with.
In a proper heeling position, a dog should be at her owner’s side on a loose lead. Flexis are always tight and the dog is almost always several feet in front of the owner.
10. Dogs aren’t safe on a Flexi leash.
With that much slack in the leash, they can get hit by a car or bike, bit by another dog or just plain get away. They are a danger to themselves, their owners and others.
Of course, there are three or four people in this world who are responsible when they use Flexis. They use them to exercise their small dogs in an area where the dogs will be safe and under control, like out in a quiet field in the country. The problem is, the majority of Flexi users are careless and don’t use common sense.
If you think Flexis are great and want to prove me wrong, feel free to leave a comment.