By Karen A. Soukiasian
It is amazing the number of people using retractable leashes. It is also amusing to watch how frustrated they get, because they have so little control over their dogs.
Actually, it is rather comical to watch even the smallest Chihuahuas and Yorkies drag their owners around. Then you have the ones with the Labs, Shepherds and other larger breeds, running behind their dogs, tripping over their flip-flops, arm stretched out, hollering for them to “STOP!”
Most fascinating though is the tangled mess the dogs manage to get themselves into! The owners look like fishermen untangling their lines. “Oh no! Look at the mess! I’ll pass my dog through there; you pull yours under the loop.”
Here is something to gnaw on – In 2007 there were over 16,000 hospital treated injuries related to retractable leashes in the U.S. They included burns, broken bones, bites (trying to untangle dogs), cuts, eye injuries and amputations. You read correctly, amputations. That was just the human count. Every day, veterinarians treat dogs injured by leashes, most commonly retractable! They include the same types of injuries as human.
No doubt we’ll be hearing from die-hard retractable leash aficionados, blustering about their military-style precision retractable leash techniques. Well, good for them!
However, if you are serious about obedience training your dog, if you are serious about having control of your dog; toss that silly thing out! Knowledgeable, experienced dog trainers do not allow retractable leashes when training a dog.
Retractable leashes encourage your dog to pull. Your dog will learn quickly; by pulling you will let out more line. Therefore, your dog associates a tight collar/leash is the way they are suppose to walk…rather than loose leash walking.
Do yourself a huge favor; invest in a quality 6-foot leather leash. It is much easier to control your dog, when they are six feet away from you, than when they are in another county!
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