6 Best Retractable Dog Leashes (2021 Reviews)

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Retractable dog leashes are a popular tool, yet there’s some controversy about using these devices as they pose some potential dangers to both humans and dogs that traditional leashes don’t.

However, if used correctly and responsibly, retractable dog leads are safe!

And they can be useful as they can satisfy your canine’s innate instincts and curiosities by providing your furry friend with more room to wander and explore while still ensuring that you have some degree of control.

Below, we’ve compiled some of the best extendable dog leashes on the market, listed down things you need to look for, and give you tips on how to walk your dog with one of these leads to ensure both you and your fido’s safety.

Here are the 6 top-rated retractable dog leashes in 2021.

Our Top Picks Product Weight Length
Our Top Pick TUG 360° Tangle-Free Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash (S) 35 lbs
(M) 55 lbs
(L) 110 lbs
(S) 16 ft
(M) 16 ft
(L) 16 ft
Best Value TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash (L) 110 lbs (L) 16 ft
Best Overall Performance ThunderWorks Dial A-Distance Retractable Dog Leash (M-L) 70 lbs (M-L) 15 ft
Longest Retractable Dog Leash Flexi Giant Tape Leash (M) 55 lbs
(L) 110 lbs
(XL) More than 110 lbs
(M) 26 ft
(L) 26 ft
(XL) 26 ft
Best for Early Morning or Night Time Walks Flexi Neon Leash (S) 24 lbs
(M) 44 lbs
(L) 110 lbs
(S) 16 ft
(M) 16 ft
(L) 16 ft
Best for Large Dogs Hertzko Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash (L) 110 lbs (L) 16 ft

** Best Retractable Dog Leashes Comparison

1. Our Top Pick - TUG 360° Tangle-Free Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash

TUG 360° Tangle-Free Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash
Photo Credit : TUG

Does your dog like to move sideways, and sometimes you can’t predict where they want to go next? Then, you may want to consider the TUG 360° Tangle-Free Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash.

With the 360 degrees tangle-free retraction design, you don’t have to worry about your furry friend getting tangled in the leash when they move in an unexpected direction. It can extend up to 16 feet long, plus it has a quick lock and brake system that allows you to free, pause, lock, and unlock the leash, giving you full control over how far your dog can wander from you.

This retractable dog leash is durable, made of high-quality internal parts to ensure it can withstand your fido’s pulling force, as well as to achieve consistent retraction. Also, it has an ergonomic anti-slip handle, making it one of the best options for daily walks.

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2. Best Value - TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash

TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash
Photo Credit : TaoTronics

Not only is the TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash affordable, but it also has all the features you would want in a retractable lead. Plus, it comes with a bone-shaped waste bag holder, helping you make the most out of your money.

It is a 16-foot long leash, equipped with a durable plastic casing, chrome-plated snap hook, and reinforced joint plastic for added strength and durability. And it also has a unique release and recoiling system, allowing you to apply the brake and lock the lead at a distance that you consider safe.

Additionally, this extendable dog lead is weatherproof. Meaning you will be able to walk your dog in any weather conditions without affecting its functionality. What’s more, it has a 1-year warranty!

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3. Best Overall Performance - ThunderWorks Dial A-Distance Retractable Dog Leash

ThunderWorks Dial A-Distance Retractable Dog Leash
Photo Credit : ThunderWorks

You don’t like most retractable leashes as you worry that your canine will get used to tugging to get more length and lead to some behavioral problems down the line? Check out the ThunderWorks Dial A-Distance Retractable Dog Leash.

It has a dial on the side that allows you to lock in a safe range between 0 and 15 feet, in which the leash will automatically stop when your four-legged friend reaches the predetermined distance. And it also includes a manual push-button brake, giving you the ability to stop your pup short of the set safe range whenever necessary to ensure safety.

This retractable lead uses a ribbon-style leash rather than a cord, which is more durable, and it also has a wide, ergonomic rubber handle that can provide a secure grip.

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4. Longest Retractable Dog Leash - Flexi Giant Tape Leash

Flexi Giant Tape Leash
Photo Credit : Flexi

Want to give your furkid a bit more room to wander? Look no further than the Flexi Giant Tape Leash.

It is a very long, 26-foot leash, offering your pup plenty of freedom and space to run around while still keeping them secured, making it an excellent option for walking dogs in wide-open spaces. You also notice where the leash comes out sits closer to the handle instead of opposite your hand. That is to allow for smoother operation and reduce the chances of tangling.

And as you would expect, there’s a brake button that you can use with just one hand and comes with an ergonomic soft-grip handle for your comfort. Plus, it has a highly reflective neon-colored belt to help keep your dog safe.

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5. Best for Early Morning or Night Time Walks - Flexi Neon Leash

Flexi Neon Leash
Photo Credit : Flexi

Have a full-time 9 to 5 job and the only time you can walk your pup is in the early morning or late evening? Then, you would probably want to consider the Flexi Neon Leash.

It is a 16-foot lead that comes with a bright neon yellow belt, and the casing is covered in highly reflective stickers to help both you and your dog stay safe when walking in low-light conditions. It also has a short-stroke braking system, allowing you to lock the leash in place and temporarily stop it from extending further.

This German-made retractable dog leash comes in three different sizes, small, medium, and large, and is suitable for dogs weighing up to 26, 44, and 110 pounds, respectively.

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6. Best for Large Dogs - Hertzko Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash

Hertzko Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash
Photo Credit : Hertzko

Do you have a large dog and need something more durable to secure them? Check out the Hertzko Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash.

It can hold large dogs of up to 110 pounds and has a robust nylon ribbon that can smoothly glide in and out of the mechanism. It also includes a metal swivel hook to reduce tangling and has a reliable braking and locking system to allow for instant retraction of your four-footed friend whenever needed.

Additionally, this 16-foot retractable leash features a rubberized handle to ensure you have a firm grasp on your pooch, even in wet conditions. Plus, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee!

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Benefits of a Retractable Dog Leash

Dog Walking with Retractable Leash
Caption : Dog with Retractable Leash
  • The length is adjustable. One of the key benefits of a retractable dog leash is that you can extend or shorten the lead’s length whenever required. In other words, you can choose to give your pooch more space to explore when you are in an open field or keep them next to you in places you consider not safe for them to roam a bit farther.
  • It gives your canine more freedom. Using a retractable leash can provide your furry friend with more room to wander and explore, which your pup will surely appreciate and happier as they can go on their sniffing adventure without you pulling them from time to time.
  • It is less likely to get twisted into knots. Does your furry friend always get their traditional leash tangled up? With a retractable leash, it is less likely to happen as you can retract the lead back into the casing to keep any unused slack to a minimum, and as a result, minimizing the chances of twisting and tangling.
  • It ensures your dog has adequate exercise. As you may have already known, dogs who don’t get enough exercise can lead to many problems. But there will be times you are too tired and don’t have the energy to walk as far as your dog could, especially after work. That’s when you will find a retractable dog leash handy. It allows your pup to run and exercise within the extendable range, and at the same time, letting you slack and rest while still keeping them under your control.
  • You can use it for recall training. While calling your dog’s name and getting them straight back to you is vital, a reliable emergency recall can take a while to train. When the training progresses to the stage where you need your canine to stay farther away from you, you clearly will need a longer lead to secure them. That essentially means you have to buy multiple leashes with different lengths for different stages of training. However, a retractable dog leash can save you from all that hassles.
  • It is useful for owners with limited mobility. Owners who have difficulties walking, especially those who need to use a wheelchair or are physically impaired, obviously can’t exercise their dogs as much. While the disabled dog owners can surely hire a professional dog walker or get their pups a dog treadmill, a retractable leash for dogs can come in handy when needing to walk their furkids outdoors themselves.
  • It may aid in elimination. As absurd as it may sound, some dogs would love to have privacy and don’t like their owners standing right next to them when they need to do their business. Or else, they may choose to hold it up and refuse to potty. A retractable leash allows them to find a more private place to urinate and defecate.

Best Retractable Leash for Dogs Buyer's Guide: Important Features to Consider

When shopping for the best retractable leash for your pup, there are some features you need to have in mind before making your final decision. Here are some of them.

1. Type of the Retractable Leash: Cord vs. Tape

The first thing you need to pay attention to is the type of retractable leash. The two main types you can find are cord and tape, also known as a belted leash.

Cord

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Tape (Belted Leash)

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2. Length

Then you would want to check how long the lead is. Most retractable leashes on the market can extend up to 16 feet, which should be more than enough in most cases. However, if your four-legged friend would love to have even more freedom and you usually walk them in a wide-open space with less traffic, choosing a longer lead like the Flexi Giant Leash may be a better option.

3. Weight

Also, make sure to check the maximum weight limit. You will find some retractable leads are designed for pooches less than 50 pounds only, while some can handle dogs up to 110 pounds. And of course, you would want a leash that can accommodate your dog’s weight to prevent your canine from breaking it when they run at full force.

4. Anti-Slip Grip

It is also crucial to look for a retractable leash with a non-slip, rubberized handle. With that, it can ensure that you have a firm and comfortable grip and won’t become slick when it rains or if your hand gets sweaty.

5. Braking and Locking Mechanism

The best retractable leash for dogs should have a button that allows you to brake or lock the lead’s length. If you come across one that doesn’t, which is very unlikely, but if somehow you do, don’t even bother looking at it. Why? Because using a retractable lead with no locking mechanism is pretty much like letting your furkid walk or run off-leash, so what’s the point of buying it when you can’t even stop or keep your four-legged friend close on busy streets?

6. Reflective Components

Remember, now that your pup can roam farther away from you than they are allowed if kept on a conventional lead, you would want to make sure they are visible to motorists at all times. That’s especially true if you tend to walk your fido at night. So, getting a retractable leash with reflective materials like the Flexi Neon Leash and Flexi Giant Leash is a good idea.

Tips & Tricks for Walking Your Dog With a Retractable Dog Lead

Dog on Retractable Leash
Caption : Dog on Retractable Leash
  • Lock the leash and keep your dog close to you in high-traffic areas.
    Make sure to lock the leash and keep your four-legged friend close to you when walking them in high-traffic areas or places where there are obstacles that can cause the cord to become entangled.
  • Never let your canine walk on the opposite side of the road.
    As much as you want to give your furry friend more freedom to explore and sniff spots that interest them, you should never allow them to wander across the street by themselves. The reason is that if a car zooms down the road and hits the cord, your furkid can get heavily injured.
  • Get rid of the slack.
    Your fido will probably end up wrapping you around with the leash if you leave too much slack, which can cause you to fall and injure if they decide to charge forward after you get tangled in the lead line.
  • Keep your hands off the tape.
    Never attempt to grab the lead line, and make sure to keep your fingers away from it as it can cause burns or severe cuts, particularly when your dog is running at high speed.
  • Beware when unhooking your dog.
    Ensure the lead is fully drawn back into the casing before taking it off your dog. Otherwise, the metal swivel clip may hit your hands and cause bruises when the leash retracts.

Retractable Leash FAQ

Are retractable leashes suitable for all dogs?

No. Retractable leashes are only suitable for well-behaved dogs who want a little more fun and exercise. Canines who always pull on their leash need to learn how to walk properly with a traditional lead and harness designed to discourage pulling first before using a retractable leash. The reason is that the constant tension on the retractable cord will teach them to ignore any pressure put on them, and they will also learn to pull even more to get more space and freedom.

What are the dangers of retractable dog leashes?

Retractable leashes, particularly corded ones, can cause severe burns, deep cuts, or even amputations to fingers and limbs. Also, retractable leads can snap back and severely injure the handler. So, you have to be vigilant and never hold the leash by the cord, especially when your pup takes off at full speed. And make sure to inspect the retractable dog leash before each use. If it begins to show wear and tear, retire it and buy a new one.

Are retractable dog leads legal everywhere in the US?

No. Some cities require your four-footed friend to be attached to a 6-foot or less lead. And that essentially makes retractable leashes illegal in public. So, make sure to check your local dog leash laws before buying a retractable lead.