Compared to a traditional short one, a retractable dog leash makes dog walking a little less limiting for our pooches. While some dog parents don’t find them strong enough for handling large breeds, with the right product and important features chosen wisely, a retractable leash can become your favorite piece of the dog walking kit.
The best thing about these leashes is the adjustable length that allows your dog to roam freely, but there are also other notable benefits that will be further explained.
Based on 13 years of experience in canine wellbeing, as well as the satisfied customers’ honest opinions, we’ve reviewed the best retractable leashes on the market and narrowed them down to a list of 12 top picks to help you find the perfect match for your furry friend.
Why should you consider getting a retractable dog leash?
While some veterinarians and dog enthusiasts point out some safety problems with extendable leads, the freedom of movement and convenience they offer is certainly worth considering. Here are valuable benefits of retractable leashes:
Controlled leash length
In most circumstances, dog walks involve a combo of smooth pavement, rocky terrain, vast meadows, and heavy traffic. For different circumstances, you need an extra length of the dog leash, depending on whether you want your dog to heel or let him explore his surroundings freely. A retractable dog leash allows you to control the cord length with a button click. When you’ve chosen the right length, you secure it with a switch, and there’s no pulling.
A useful tool for training
The lead’s adjustable length makes these leashes a fantastic training aid that helps with safety and brings immediate results. Recall training involves your dog responding to your voice commands and being able to come when summoned. In the process of teaching puppies, adopted dogs, or stubborn little rascals, a secure leash is necessary so that your dog doesn’t wander off and get lost. The cord of retractable leashes is usually long enough to let the pup do his business without feeling leashed; then, when he’s summoned, you can easily retract it as short as you need it.
Comfortable for the owner
Traditional dog leashes usually feature a leather or nylon loop handle that often chafes the skin and uncomfortably wraps around the hand, especially if the dog is firmly pulling on the leash. Retractable leashes come with a hard plastic box-like handle (that holds the wheel mechanism), which is ergonomically designed to provide maximum comfort and eliminate skin irritation. On top of that, the fact that you can always control the cord length means there’s no more arm pulling, hard tugging, and painful sudden yanking.
More possibilities for people with disability
As much as they adore their pups, a lot of disabled people who are physically limited are not able to walk their beloved dogs as much as others. While durable and secure, conventional leashes require arm strength, control, and a fast walking pace. An extendable lead enables you to sit or stroll while your dog’s enjoying his outdoor time without restraints. This, of course, is applicable for enclosed areas without heavy traffic, like parks, meadows, and ample nature.
Who should avoid retractable leashes?
All the advantages mentioned above can be a disadvantage for some dog owners. Muscular and robust dogs like Pit Bulls, Cane Corso, Bull Terriers, Boxers, and similar breeds with behavior issues cannot be controlled safely on a retractable dog leash. Traditional metal leashes are much more secure for both the owner and the dog as they shorten the distance between them; thus, they are more comfortable to monitor. If yanked too hard and abruptly, the retractable leash cord can snap and hurt you or your dog. So to conclude, if you have a pup who needs some additional training and you don’t know how to control their size adequately, then a retractable leash might not be the best idea, at least not in the beginning.
How to find a perfect retractable dog leash?
In an array of different products, it can sometimes be overwhelming to find the perfect match for your dog. Here are essential features to consider when buying a retractable dog leash:
The right cord length
Extendable leashes can go between 5 to 26 ft, appropriate for small and large dogs, depending on what you need. If you live in an open-field area with lots of space for running, then look for longer cords in these leashes. On the other hand, if you own a small pup who needs walks around the block, then you can look for products with 10 to 16 ft long cord.
Look for handles that are made of heavy-duty ABS plastic, which will ensure a non-slip grip. An ergonomic sturdy handle is a must if your dog likes to pull hard on the leash and will suddenly start chasing a cat or other dogs.
One of the mentioned drawbacks of retractable leashes is the lack of strength and durability that metal, rope, or conventional leather leads offer. Luckily, there are unique brands (which are all mentioned in our list) that make heavy-duty cords made of vinyl-coated with plastic. The cord should be flexible enough to provide maximum tensile strength and wheel mechanisms strong enough to endure the toughest of dogs.
When investing in a good quality retractable dog leash, why not get the best of it? Different brands have come up with ways to make their leashes even more appealing, so you can find products that offer cool features like a built-in flashlight, an attachment for waste bag holders, or collapsible water bowls included with the leash. Another useful feature is reflective components, like reflective stitches or threading of the cord material to improve night visibility. There are also double-corded leashes that offer the possibility of walking two dogs on the same handle.
Best retractable dog leashes: 2020 Review
Based on the crucial criteria we’ve discussed above and buyers’ experience with the products, we’ve created a nifty list of the best models available. Read on to find out about our top picks:
Fida Retractable Dog Leash
Fida is one of the notable brands that know well what dog enthusiasts need for their furbabies. One of their unique products is the 16 ft retractable heavy duty leash, perfect for small to medium-sized dog breeds. Its classic design and intuitive retracting mechanism with a single button make it ideal for those who enjoy the simplicity and high quality. It rotates 360 degrees, preventing tangling and jamming. The handle loop is ample enough and ergonomically designed to allow a firm but soft grip. The leash is available in an array of fun colors and 4 standard sizes for tiny teacup breeds and larger dogs too. If for any reason, you’re not satisfied with this leash, there’s a 1-year warranty and 30-day back guarantee for every dissatisfied customer.
Nevertheless, customers praise the quality of Fida’s product and like the durability and longevity it offers.
TUG 360° Tangle-Free Retractable Dog Leash
Dog parents who nurture gentle giants can relax, as this heavy-duty retractable dog leash is strong enough to withstand up to 110lbs. It features a high-quality ABS plastic case with a durable metal wheel mechanism. The leash is tightly woven with sturdy nylon threads, with a rust-proof metal clasp attachment. At TUG, they recommend checking their measurement chart for the size to get the right model. This amazing leash was created to eliminate tugging as much as possible, which is why it operates on a quick button slide mechanism you can easily control with simple thumb movements.
Customers are fascinated by this product’s quality and simplicity and recommend getting one for smaller to medium-sized breeds. Note from the manufacturer: don’t try to open the case as it can compromise the retraction mechanism.
Hertzko Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash
We present another great leash for small to large breeds, the L model withstanding up to 110 lbs. The strong nylon threaded tape cord has proven fantastic with excessive pulling and yanking during long walks. It features a comfortable casing with an ergonomic handle for maximum security and a firm, smooth grip. It can be retracted up to 16 ft. The reliable and straightforward lock system allows you to control the length of the leash and quickly lock it when necessary. Thanks to the adjustable handle, it’s suitable for small and large hands, providing a smooth and natural grip. This retractable dog leash is available in 4 standard sizes and fun double-colored designs (grey, pink, green, etc.). Customers like how small and flexible the collar clasp is, as it prevents tangling and is great for attaching to harnesses, not just collars. Hertzko pays special attention to their customers and makes sure their buyers are fully satisfied, which is why you get a 30-day free use and a refund option if you need to replace it.
FLEXI New Classic Retractable Dog Leash
Reliable German quality and a classic design are what this Flexi Retractable leash promotes. It comes with an intuitive and easy-to-use stop-lock handling system. The casing is made of hard and ergonomically designed plastic, while the leash is made of flexible and robust nylon to maximize stability and tensile strength. The front part of the leash is extra improved for more security around the collar or the harness. If you like long walks, hiking, or camping trips, there’s an option to accessorize this stylish leash with a LED lamp and a multi-purpose box (for treats or waste bags) to create an ultimate walking kit. All in all, this quality retractable dog leash puts up with dragging, hits, and bumps and hardly loses on performance.
Customers are delighted with its retracting capability and recommend the leash for all dog sizes.
Flexi Giant Tape Leash
As the name suggests, the Flexi Giant Tape Leash is specifically made to withstand heavy and large dogs that are more challenging to handle. The tape leash is made of strong and flexible nylon, able to extend to a whopping 26 ft! It features a permanent stop button, easy to lock or unlock with simple thumb movements. This heavy-duty leash also comes in a neon-colored tape to maximize visibility and keep you and your pup safe on evening walks. The handle is ergonomically designed and gentle to use, comfortable for both small and large hands. Flexi’s retractable dog leash is suitable for well-behaved pups to more rebellious pullers, which is why buyers enjoy its fantastic versatility.
EXPAWLORER Dual Retractable Dog Leash
This leash is perfect for multi-pet households and dog lovers who need a multi-purpose walking unit. This is a retractable dog leash but comes with two leads fastened around a 360-degree metal swivel that is rust-proof and tangle-free. Your two dogs can sniff around and move freely as they won’t, but the rotation system won’t allow them to get tangled and bump into each other. The tape leash is made of durable nylon tightly woven to provide flexibility and sturdiness for robust dogs. This Expawlorer product was designed for adventurous walkers who like to explore different terrain and go for night time walks. The leash is reflective to prevent accidents and improve visibility for vehicles. To complete the experience, it also features an ergonomic easy-to-use handle and a lock mechanism that is quickly locked and unlocked when necessary.
MigooPet Double Retractable Dog Leash, suitable for Two Dogs
Check out yet another excellent retractable dog leash. The MigooPet leash is more suitable for small and easy-to-handle dogs, but it can also be suitable for medium-sized breeds (both dogs up to 100 lbs). It features an ergonomic, sturdy plastic casing with a comfortable handle and a straightforward-use lock button mechanism. You can extend the cord up to 16 ft. The dual-use technology is provided by the 360-degree stainless steel swivel that prevents tangling and uneven pulling. The metal hook clasp is easy to attach to collars or harnesses, enabling your pups to move on their own and not bump into each other repeatedly. Migoo is so confident about their product that they offer a full money-back guarantee for all dissatisfied customers. Buyers are amazed at how durable this leash is; it can withstand dogs’ chewing, yanking, and constant retraction and extension—all in all, definitely worth a try.
FLEXI New Classic Retractable Dog Leash (26 ft)
If you enjoy Flexi products but need more freedom for your furry friend, this 26 ft long tape retractable dog leash may be just the product for you. It offers Flexi quality, classic design but reinforced with a robust longer tape leash for outdoor ventures and more possibilities for your pup. You can accessorize this leash with a multi-purpose box for treats and waste bags, or with a convenient LED flashlight, great for night walks and potty breaks. It features a smooth slide button to lock or unlock the tape, easily handled with your thumb. If you like to combine your dog’s walking equipment with other clothes, you can get this leash in red, blue, and black, while smaller sizes also come in bright pink.
When it comes to customers’ experience, apart from the praised long tape, buyers enjoy the durability and longevity of this product.
FLEXI New Comfort Retractable Dog Leash (26 ft)
For upgraded comfort, safety, and freedom, Flexi has come up with another amazing retractable dog leash that is 26 ft long. If you live near an open field, park, or mountainous area, this leash will help your dog live his best canine life without any restrictions and withholding. You can also relax and control your walking pace while your dog does his own business.
This leash operates on a simple brake button slip mechanism, with a comfortable non-slip handle and ample space for both small and large hands. Like other Flexi leashes, this extendable lead can be upgraded with an LED attachable light or a multi-use box for treats or waste bags. Another plus for this leash is that it is available in many vibrant colors for all tastes and preferences. Customers are generally very satisfied with this leash, pointing out the durability and sturdiness of the tape leash.
WOT I Retractable Dog Leash
The camo WOT I leash was designed to replace traditional heavy-duty short leads and enable large and heavy dogs to get the freedom of movement they deserve. It’s perfect for camping trips, hiking, beach walks, or several-day outdoor ventures. It features a LED flashlight on the top to help you control the dog at night and a plastic hook-like extension on the bottom for a waste bag dispenser or anything that you want to bring with you on long walks. The metal clasp that attaches to the collar is larger and heavier to provide a firm hold and prevent snapping or breaking in case the dog yanks the leash hard and abruptly. The leash retracts and extends thanks to an easy-to-use control button; you just slide it up, to the middle, or down depending on whether you want it to grow or to lock it.
Customers say the leash is much bulkier and more massive than similar ones, but that contributes to the quality and sturdiness necessary for handling large dogs.
Beaston Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash
Equipped with a 16 ft long nylon tape leash, this amazing Beastron product is ideal for eager walkers with small to large dogs. The two-colored handle component is ergonomically designed and adjustable to fit different hand shapes and provide comfort and non-slip grip during walks. The tape is made of high-quality nylon that is tough enough to endure dogs weighing up to 110 lbs. When you order this retractable dog leash, there’s a free waste bag holder (in acute bone shape) included in the price, so you get another fun product alongside this amazing leash.
Customers with large dog breeds, like Golden Retrievers and Labradors, have changed their opinion about retractable leashes thanks to this durable product that proved strong and long-lasting, even for heavy dogs who like to pull hard on the leash. Also, the waste bag dispenser proved to be convenient and practical.
PETDOM Running Dog Leash
Our list wouldn’t be completed without the PETDOM retractable leash, aimed for long walks, running, and challenging outdoor activities with your furry companion. It features a tape nylon ribbon leash extending to 16ft, just enough for free-roaming and exploring. This heavy-duty leash is ideal for large and muscular breeds, such as Pit Bulls, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, German Shepherds, etc., as it can withstand up to 110 lbs. The sleek and ergonomic design enables a firm but comfortable grip, while the lock button mechanism is intuitive and easy to use, just with a few thumb movements. It also comes with a free waste bag dispenser (with bags).
Customers choose this product because it has proved to be reliable, cost-effective, beautifully designed, comfortable to use, and strong enough for larger breeds.
Which one is the best retractable leash for me?
After reading this concise review, you probably already have your favorite options. Depending on your needs and preferences, you will choose a product that best corresponds to your dog’s size, behavior, walking habits, and other determining criteria, which is why singling out only one product does not do any justice for the potential customers.
All of the leashes discussed above are high quality, versatile models that proved to last long and serve their purpose just as explained.
Our final tip would be to think about your dog’s size, breed and stamina before making a purchase, while the leash handle also needs to be comfortable for you to use it, just as much as it needs to be durable.