Flexi or retractable leads are sold in many pet shops and on line.

Dog owners buy them as they believe it is a great accessory to use when walking their dogs to allow them freedom if they don’t have the confidence to let their dogs off lead.

The leads are dangerous and are not a great accessory to have for your puppy or dog.

I have listed below some reasons why they shouldn’t be used.

Flexi lead

Flexi-leads are often used on a puppy or dog who haven’t been taught how to walk correctly on a lead. Using a flexi lead will give your dog the wrong information. It will teach them to walk in front of the owner and pull.

I often see them attached to just a flat collar or even on half choke collars.

When a dog is running and the line is pulled out from the handle part of the lead the lead stops suddenly when it reaches the end and this will cause unnecessary stress and impact on the dogs neck which can lead to your dog having spinal injuries.

When a dog is running at speed on a flexi-lead this can cause severe injuries to the handler.

I have listed some below:

  1. Upper arm strain
  2. Shoulder dislocation
  3. Broken bones
  4. Severe 3rd degree burns to the fingers and hands where the handler has tried to take hold of the cord as the dog is running
  5. Broken fingers or lacerations or amputations where the handler has taken hold of the cord as the dog is running
  6. Severe burns and lacerations on legs when the dog has become tangled in the handler
  7. Severe Injuries to members of the public when out walking and leads have become tangled round their legs. (Dog owners have been prosecuted)
Flexi-leads have a stopper that is meant to lock the lead in place. These have been known to break due to the excess strain that is put onto the lead. Dogs have run off from owner and have in some cases run onto roads and been severely injured or killed by vehicles.


There are no positive uses for a flexi-lead.

If your dog hasn’t been taught a good recall work with a trainer to improve your dog’s recall. Only exercise in securely fenced spaces and recall your dog frequently. Ensuring that you reward with a high value treat every time. We teach recall in our puppy training classes.

As an alternative to flexi-leads use a long line.

These are readily available and come in various lengths.

Long lines should only be used in open spaces.

Visit our online shop to order a training line that will be suitable for your puppy or dog.