Over the last few years retractable leashes (or flexi-leashes) have become all the rage in the dog world. However, you should be made aware of the downfalls of this latest fad. 1- Your dog never learns where the end of the leash is because it constantly changes. I have seen dogs choke themselves again and again by running away from their owners only to be gagged by reaching the end of the leash. 2- Dogs that meet each other while on a flexi-leash will surely entangle themselves and their owners with the thin retractable leash, causing confusion, and danger. 3- The thin leashes can break, resulting in a dog on the loose and an owner without a workable leash on hand. 4- Some have tried to stop their dogs from running away by grabbing the retractable part of the leash itself. This can cause a severe rope burn to the owner. 5- It is very difficult to control your dog from 20 feet away. If your dog is meeting a new dog and they get into a fight while you are still 20 feet back, it is very difficult for you to intervene quickly.6- Dogs get used to pulling when they are attached to a flexi-leash because it, in a sense, rewards a dog with “freedom” when he pulls.

Finally, please keep in mind that if your dog is in front of you, you are not being a pack leader; you are being a follower. Make your dog a happy follower by leading him! Put those flexi-leashes away, teach your dog to heel and deepen your relationship with your pooch. Lead Your Dog!