Best Retractable Dog Leash

With all the moving parts in a retractable leash, they are well known for breaking and falling apart. However after reviewing all the most popular models, we were surprised to discover that many of them actually stood up to the test.

This combined with a few cool innovations in the last year makes a retractable leash a very good and versatile dog walking solution for anyone.

ProductDetails

Best Retractable Leash 2019

Featured Best Retractable Dog Leash

Flexi Classic

  • Lightweight
  • Durable German Parts
  • 10-26ft Lengths

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Runner Up

Featured Runner Up Best Retractable Leash

TUG 360° Tangle-Free

  • Tangle-free Design
  • Dogs up to 110 lbs
  • Comfort Grip / Ergonomically Designed

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Best For Large Dogs

Featured Best Retractable Leash For Large Dogs

Flexi Giant Tape Leash

  • Extremely Durable
  • 26ft Cord Length
  • Suitable for Dogs Up To 110 lbs

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Best For Night Time

Featured Best For Night Time Walking

Flexi New Neon Reflective

  • Highly Visible
  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight

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Best Budget Option

Featured Most Affordable

Fida Heavy Duty

  • Well Built
  • 4 Sizes
  • 5 Color Options

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Do you need a neat and compact leash that gives you the flexibility to both safely walk your dog in high traffic areas, however at the same time offers you some freedom to let him roam? Or, perhaps you happen to live in an area that is plagued by “leash only” areas, which is ruining your pups ability to adventure? Either way, the retractable dog leash may be the perfect solution for you.

What Makes A Good Retractable Dog Leash

Comfort

Some retractable leashes can be uncomfortable to carry and some of them can downright hurt your hand after a while – especially if your dog is young and still in his training phase. Opt for an ergonomically-designed grip that offers ultimate comfort and, if you’re feeling especially fancy, why not opt for a nice anti-slip grip?

Grip

Whether you plan on hitting the dog park with multiple dogs, carrying your groceries home at the same time as walking, or suffer from arthritis – a comfortable grip can make your walkies all the more enjoyable.

Length

The length you end up choosing will depend on a few factors, notably the areas that you plan on walking and how well behaved your dog is. For perfectly-mannered pooches that you plan on walking in open meadows, parks, and grassland – a super long lead can work a treat.

But, for those rambunctious youngsters, or if you’re planning on walking through dense undergrowth or woodlands, a shorter lead is advisable, so they don’t end up tangling themselves, and you, in a big old patch of poison ivy!

Size

Retractable Dog Leashes In 4 Different Sizes

The size of your retractable dog leash might not seem like a big deal, but some of these handy-dandy devices can be pretty weighty. From experience, I can tell you that going for what was supposed to be a nice, long, relaxing walk with your pup the day after arms day at the gym – can turn into a second and very much unwanted arm workout!

So, for the love of your arms and shoulders – opt for a lightweight option that you won’t even notice when carrying around for miles at a time.

Colour/Visibility

The main consideration that dog owners should think about when picking the color of their fluffy pal’s new accessory is not how fashionable it will make their dog look, but how visible it will be.

When out walking your dog, especially if you’re going to give your dog a longer distance to roam – it’s important that you can see him easily and, more importantly, that other walkers and passing drivers can, too.

You may be thinking, “Oh, but Mr. Fifi Von Trixibelle is such a well-behaved poodle.” But, it’s not just about your dog – other not-so-well-behaved canines could be lurking nearby.

Swivel Clip

Did you know that if your dog leash doesn’t have a swivel clip, it means that your leash can twist into a knot and make the retractable functionality stop working altogether? Not too convenient.

Most leashes now include this handy doo-dad, but it’s important to double check the product details before purchasing, as, otherwise, you could end up spending your hard-earned money on a product that doesn’t work as intended.

Locking Type/Mechanism

Most retractable leashes offer a stop or lock button. These essentially work by pressing against the coil of leash available, or against the strand currently being released. This stops the leash from being released any further.

There are two main types of mechanism. In first, a stop button pauses the leash being let out, which stops your canine from moving further away. To do this, the owner presses down on the button, which you’ll usually find on the top of the leash handle.

The second type works in much the same way as the first, except that it also offers the dog owner the option of locking the stop button in place, meaning that it can stay in a stop position without the owner needing to hold the button down.

Cord or Tape Leash Type

We have seen quite a lot of confusion from dog owners wondering whether they should buy a cord or tape leash and whether there is even any difference between the two. Well, I’m here to tell you that yes, there is a difference.

Cord-style leashes are often the lighter-weight option and can work for smaller dogs, but they also pose a greater risk of possible injury, whereas the tape-style leash is stronger and can work for small and large dogs.

Attachments

There are certain attachments that you can buy for your retractable dog leash to make them even more useful. Some of the most popular attachments are; an attachable flashlight, poop bag holder, and even a treat holding pouch.

Product Reviews

#1 Flexi Classic:

Best Over All

  • Stop Or Lock: Both
  • Swivel Clip: Yes
  • Cord Or Tape Leash: Both options available.
  • Weight: 3.85 oz
  • Sizes: X-Small 10ft, Small 16 ft, Medium 16 ft, Large 16 ft, X-Large 26 ft
  • Colours: Black, Blue, Pink, Red
  • Guarantee: 2 Years

PROS:

  • Available in multiple sizes and colors – ideal for the multi-dog household!
  • Was made in Germany, the home of quality engineering.
  • Incredibly lightweight.

CONS:

  • The nylon leash wears and breaks easily.
  • Won’t stand up to dogs that pull.

This lightweight, retractable dog leash is a great option for the owner of several small dogs. Available in multiple colors and sizes, you can easily pick up a couple of leashes and take your two or three dogs out for a walk concurrently, thanks to this product’s lightweight design.

Use the stop button to slow your over-excited dog from running too far ahead and, once you’re happy with a length of leash, you can even lock the leash at that specific length, so you no longer have to worry about your pooch getting too far away.

You can also use this leash with accessories that can be bought separately, including the Flexi Flashlight, and the Flexi Multi-box, which is handy for holding treats or even poop bags!

#2 TUG 360° Tangle-Free:

Runner Up Best Over All

  • Stop Or Lock: Both
  • Swivel Clip: Yes
  • Cord Or Tape Leash: Tape
  • Weight: 11.2 oz, 14.4 oz, 1.05 lbs
  • Sizes: Small 16 ft, Medium 16 ft, Large 16 ft
  • Colours: White/Orange, Blue, White
  • Guarantee: 1 Year

PROS:

  • Suitable for dogs up to 110 lbs.
  • Comfort grip and ergonomically designed handle.
  • Tangle-free design to stop the leash getting knotted inside or out of the internal coil.
  • Super simple lock feature, ideal for owners with joint issues.
  • A great option for dogs that tend to pull in all directions.

CONS:

  • The webbing isn’t the thickest and your dog could chew through relatively quickly.
  • The inner mechanism can become less effective over time.

If your dog tends to pull, leap all over the place, or generally be unpredictable in their movement, that can decrease the effectiveness of a retractable dog leash, as most don’t have a mechanism that can stand up to sideways movement.

Luckily, the TUG 360° heavy-duty leash can stand up to all of that! So, for the active dog owner – most notably those with dogs between 6 and 12 months who are going through that delightful stage of testing the boundaries, this can stand up to the job!

Whether you’re the owner of a tiny toy Chihuahua or a gargantuan Neapolitan Mastiff, you’ll find a leash to suit and, not only do you have options for different canine sizes, but also for those with different styles, too! Choose between Classic White, Crisp Blue, or Retro White and Orange.

This leash can also work with some accessories (purchased separately), including a poop bag dispenser, and an incredibly handy attachable, chewable extension, to avoid damaging your brand new leash!

#3 TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash:

Best For Large Dogs

  • Stop Or Lock: Both
  • Swivel Clip: Yes
  • Cord Or Tape Leash: Tape
  • Weight: 1.19 lbs
  • Sizes: One size for medium/large dogs – 16 ft
  • Colours: Black, blue
  • Guarantee: 1 Year

PROS:

  • Designed with an ergonomic and anti-slip handle.
  • Made from strong and durable nylon.
  • Comes with a free poop bag holder and roll of bags.
  • The core spring is perfect for cold weather, able to withstand temperatures of minus 86F
  • One-hand braking that even works with large dogs that pull.

CONS:

  • The clip is small and not the sturdiest.
  • The locking mechanism can get stuck occasionally.

The retractable dog leash from TaoTronics is made for the medium to large dog, weighing up to 110 lbs. If you happen to live in a colder area, this could be a good choice for you, as the inner spring is capable of standing up to temperatures as low as minus 86 degrees Fahrenheit without affecting the functionality of the leash.

With a one-handed braking system, this could also be a good choice for the owner of two medium/large dogs, as even bigger dogs that tend to pull can be slowed down or stopped with one hand, unlike many low-quality options.

And, if the manufacturers of this leash hadn’t thought of everything you need on your walk already, they decided to throw in a free roll of poop bags and a holder that attaches straight onto your leash – that way, you’ll never forget them when heading out on your daily walk!

#4 Peteast Retractable Dog Leash:

Best For Multiple Dogs

  • Stop Or Lock: Both
  • Swivel Clip: Yes
  • Cord Or Tape Leash: Tape
  • Weight: 1 lb, 1.32 lb
  • Sizes: Medium 16 ft, Large 16 ft
  • Colours: Black
  • Guarantee: 6 Months

PROS:

  • The nylon leash features reflective stitching for safe nighttime use.
  • Made from premium quality materials, including ABS plastic casing.
  • Comes with a free, eco-friendly poop bag dispenser and one roll of bags.
  • Contains a Japanese stainless steel coil, for superior functionality.

CONS:

  • The leash can fray easily if your dog pulls.
  • Retracts slowly, so the leash can end up dragging on the ground and getting covered in mud.

This retractable dog leash features some of the most durable materials around, with stainless steel, ABS non-toxic plastic, impact resistant nylon, and plastic reinforced with fiberglass – not too shabby!

With many leashes, the plastic casing which holds the leash isn’t strong enough to withstand sudden pulling from a larger dog – this can result in the plastic fracturing or shattering, not only meaning that you wasted your money on a poor quality leash, but also risking injury to you and your dog.

Peteast, the manufacturers of this product, have designed a product that they believe in, with a strong plastic that they say will hold up to those sudden jerks when your dog spots the neighborhood squirrel and decides to go from 0 to 60 in 0.2 seconds flat!

In fact, they believe in the quality of their product so much that they offer a 180-day warranty to anyone that purchases this retractable dog leash.

#5 SENYE Retractable Dog Leash:

Best For On A Budget

  • Stop Or Lock: Both
  • Swivel Clip: Yes
  • Cord Or Tape Leash: Tape
  • Weight: 10.2 oz
  • Sizes: One size – 16ft long
  • Colours: Black, Green, Pink, Red
  • Guarantee: None

PROS:

  • Can work for small, medium, and large dogs.
  • Available in four snazzy colors.
  • Ergonomic handle.
  • Fray-proof nylon leash.
  • Lightweight – making it a good choice for kids.

CONS:

  • Even though it’s fray-proof, it’s not chew-proof.
  • The lock button isn’t always easy to press or release.

The lightweight and simple design of this leash makes it not only a great budget option, but also a great choice for those minimalist dog owners who just want a good quality product that will do what it’s supposed to and stand the test of time.

Even though this leash is pretty standard, it offers all of the functionality that a dog owner would want from a retractable leash, including a stop and lock button, multiple color choices, and fray-proof nylon.

While most manufacturers sell leashes that are only suitable for a certain size category, this leash stands out, thanks to the fact that it works for all sizes of canine – making it a handy option for multi-dog households.

#6 Flexi Giant Tape Leash:

Best For Large Dogs

  • Stop Or Lock: Both
  • Swivel Clip: Yes
  • Cord Or Tape Leash: Tape
  • Weight: 15.4 oz, 1.31 lbs, 1.9 lbs
  • Sizes: Medium 26 ft, Large 26 ft, X-Large 26 ft
  • Colours: Back and neon (as pictured)
  • Guarantee: 2 Years

PROS:

  • Extremely robust tape leash that can stand up to even the biggest of dogs.
  • Single-handed brake button.
  • Super long leash length.
  • Neon-colored tape is easily visible from afar.
  • Smooth release and retraction.

CONS:

  • The lock can sometimes stop working.
  • While the tape is incredibly strong, the attachment to the clip can loosen.

For the owner of an especially large dog, this is a strong and durable option. The thick nylon rope doesn’t fray easily and offers a smooth release and recoil into the quality plastic casing.

An extra-long option, we only recommend releasing the entire length of the leash when in an open area with your well-trained dog and no other canines nearby.

#7 Flexi New Neon Reflective:

Best For Night Time

  • Stop Or Lock: Both
  • Swivel Clip: Yes
  • Cord Or Tape Leash: Tape
  • Weight: 10.7 oz
  • Sizes: Small, Medium
  • Colours: Black and fluorescent neon
  • Guarantee: 2 Years

PROS:

  • Reflective paneling on sides for superior visibility at night.
  • Quick-stop braking system.
  • Can be purchased as a pack with treat and poop bag storage.
  • Vivid leash color for added safety.
  • Durable construction means that this leash stands the test of time.

CONS:

  • The stop button is hard to hold down and doesn’t work as well as other products.
  • Release and retraction function can become stiff over time.

Unlike the classic version of this product, this vividly-colored retractable dog leash will ensure that you don’t lose sight of your pup while out on nighttime walks, ever again.

With a bright leash and reflective side paneling, you’ll easily be spotted by passing cars and other dog walkers, which will keep you and your pooch safe while you get those daily steps in!

Only available in one size, which suits medium dogs weighing up to 55 lbs, the handle of this leash is also a great size for women and children and offers a nice grip shape that’s easy to keep a hold of, even if your dog tries to dart after a passing pigeon.

This leash is great for the active dog owner who is often on the go and, as it features a strong nylon leash, tough plastic casing, and a durable metal clip – it can stand up to pretty much anything.

Not to mention, you have the option to buy an add-on storage compartment that attaches to the leash and comes in handy for poop bag storage or even dog treats.

#8 Fida Heavy Duty:

Runner Up – Budget

  • Stop Or Lock: Both
  • Swivel Clip: Yes
  • Cord Or Tape Leash: Tape
  • Weight: 9 oz, 10.7 oz, 15 oz
  • Sizes: Small 16 ft, Medium 16 ft, Large 16 ft
  • Colours: Black, Blue, Coffee, Red, White
  • Guarantee: None

PROS:

  • High visibility stitching for nighttime use.
  • Easy roll-on and roll-off stop and lock button, which you can operate with one hand.
  • Ergonomic comfort grip makes this a good option for long walks and hikes.
  • Available in an impressive five color choices.

CONS:

  • The leash can get stuck while trying to retract.
  • Can be tempting for dogs that chew and easily chewed to pieces.

This leash not only offers a sleek and stylish design but great functionality, too. With an easy-to-use stop and lock button and an ergonomically-designed handle, this leash is a good option for dog owners with mobility or joint issues!

The nylon leash is available in five colors, so there should be something to suit every dog, and it also features heavy-duty reflective polyester tape, so that you can use it during your daytime walks or even at night.

If your dog happens to be quite the rambunctious little dude, worry not, because even if he gets over excited before walkies and likes to fetch his own leash, you’ll be happy to hear that the outer casing of the leash is scratch-resistant.

#9 SlowTon Retractable Dog Leash:

Best For Small Dogs

  • Stop Or Lock: Both
  • Swivel Clip: Yes
  • Cord Or Tape Leash: Tape
  • Weight: 9.6 oz
  • Sizes: Dogs up to 50 pounds – 16ft
  • Colours: Grey, Pink
  • Guarantee: 1 Year

PROS:

  • A lightweight option for kids to take their dogs out on walks.
  • Easy one-handed use, even works while out jogging with your dog.
  • The 55 lb dog version offers a grip inspired by Harley Davidson ergonomic design.
  • Utilizes a tape that gives with dog’s movement to prevent tangles.
  • Made out of durable and non-toxic materials.

CONS:

  • The section that clips onto the collar can break easily.
  • Has a tendency to get stuck when retracting while jogging.

Available in two options, the SlowTon Retractable Dog Leash original model comes in grey or pink and is suitable for dogs weighing up to 50 lbs. The newer orange version can accommodate dogs weighing up to 55 lbs and includes updated components like a Harley Davidson-inspired ergonomic comfort grip.

With a 16 foot leash length, you can happily provide your small to medium canine with plenty of freedom to roam while out on your walks in the country. This could be a good option for a well-behaved canine who you can trust with that length of leash and doesn’t tend to pull.

While we don’t recommend leaving your dog with access to the leash when alone, it’s good to know that all materials used in the construction of this retractable leash are non-toxic.

What Is A Retractable Dog Leash?

A retractable dog leash, as the name suggests, is a leash which can be lengthened and retracted at the push of a button. When used on a well-trained dog, a retractable dog leash can offer an unparalleled opportunity to exercise and tire out those high energy pups, while keeping full control – and it is a great solution for those pesky “leash only” areas!

But, how do they work? Well, they’re pretty similar to a tape measure. A long leash (usually from 10-30 feet in length) sits on a reel within a lightweight, handheld, plastic casing. This allows the dog owner to let their pooch roam at will, while retaining full control. Most provide a button on the plastic casing to lock the leash at a certain length – should you need a little additional control.

It’s crucial to note that you should only ever buy a good quality retractable dog leash, as the low-quality versions of this product can be dangerous to not only your pooch but you, too, with countless injuries occurring from owners getting their fingers caught up in the leash.

Due to this and the fact that many of the cheap options on the market tend to only last a few walks, we’ve steered well clear of poor quality products in this guide. Instead, we want to bring you a selection of only the best options that will help to make your daily dog walks all the more enjoyable!

The Benefits Of A Retractable Leash

Gives Your Dog More Freedom

Do you want to find a way to enrich your dog’s life a little more? You’ll be pleased to hear that the simple act of giving your dog more autonomy in where he goes on your daily walks will help engage him mentally and increase his physical exertion.

In fact, after just one walk with a retractable dog leash, you’ll likely find that your dog is more tired than usual – which is just what we’re looking for.

Perfect for Well-behaved Dogs

You don’t have to keep your dog by your heel at all times. Giving your dog the reward wandering around while being well behaved can work wonders.

An incredibly well-trained dog can get burnt out if he always feels as though he has to be in “ultimate obedience mode,” and having some scheduled “free to be a dog” time can help keep his happiness and obedience levels strong for the long haul!

A Loophole to Those “Leash Only” Zones

Nowadays there are quite a lot of places that require your dog to stay on the leash at all times and, while this rule probably started thanks to a few naughty pooches whose owners didn’t teach them good manners, this affects all dog owners, even those who happen to have perfectly well-behaved four-legged friends.

But fear not my fellow obedience-loving pal! Because, instead of boring your dog with a run-of-the-mill walk on a short leash, you can grab your trusty retractable dog leash that offers pretty much all the freedom that leash-free walkies can provide!

Great Option for Owners With Mobility Issues

If you struggle with mobility issues, but don’t want this to affect your able-bodied canine, the retractable dog leash could be a great option. For the wheelchair user, this handy gadget allows you to give your dog the opportunity to run around in the muddy puddles surrounding the path. Or heck, you can even let him run on ahead at full speed to use up some energy, if he’s in especially high spirits!

Works as a Useful Training Aid

Have you recently welcomed a new dog into your family? Perhaps he’s still in the training phase and hasn’t reached the same level of obedience as your seasoned-pro pups? We understand and, when it comes time to train your new dog commands, such as “come”, it can be nerve-wracking to know whether he’ll come to your call, or run in the opposite direction.

With a retractable dog leash, you can use the leash as a back-up. You’re still allowing them to roam away from you freely, giving them the chance to listen to you calling them – but, if they don’t listen, you can press the stop button on your retractable leash as an additional reminder.

Perfect for Bad Weather Potty Breaks

For owners of puppies, potty breaks can be pretty time consuming and, on those cold winter nights or rainy days, standing outdoors waiting for your dog to do the deed can be a frightfully freezing task.

But, what are your options? Watch them from the window and hope they don’t get through that hole in the fence? Not anymore. Using a retractable dog leash allows you to have control of your puppy, while allowing you to stay indoors and out of the cold.

And, if he does get distracted or tries to make a quick dash for the open gate – you can easily stop him and re-focus his attention on the task at hand by pressing that trusty stop button!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reel my dog back in using a retractable leash?

Not really. The stop or lock button on a retractable dog leash works to halt your dog from moving further forward, but it doesn’t pull him back towards you.

Is a retractable dog leash suitable to use with a harness?

In theory, you can attach the leash to a harness, but, when using a harness, you want to avoid using constant pressure – as this can make your dog defensive. As a retractable leash tends to apply a small amount of pressure at all times, it might not be the best option if your dog has a tendency to become aggressive or defensive.

I have arthritis, will I be able to use the stop/lock button?

This depends on the specific leash that you decide to buy. Many offer an easy push or roll-on button, but some can be a little stiffer or require two hands to use. If you do suffer from any joint stiffness, it’s a good idea to look out for leashes that specifically reference an easy-lock system.

Should I buy a tape or cord retractable leash for my dog?

That’s up to you. But, as a rule of thumb, we recommend a tape version, as it’s not only safer but stands up to dogs that pull far better than a corded leash.

Is it safe to use a retractable dog leash with a wrist strap?

Yes. Having said that, many dog owners use the wrist straps incorrectly, which puts them at risk of serious injury should their dog decide to leap up and chase after Mr. Postman! The correct way to use a wrist strap on any dog leash is to wrap the wrist strap around your wrist after you have taken hold of the leash in your hand. You don’t have to hold the leash firmly, but it does mean that should your dog all of a sudden launch forward – you can quickly react and, with the leash being in your hand, you run far less risk of injury.

Can I use a retractable dog leash on my new puppy?

We wouldn’t recommend using this type of leash on a puppy out in public until you’re sure of his obedience. Some owners start using a retractable leash before their dog is ready and this can be even more dangerous than letting your dog off of the leash too early. If you have an enclosed yard at home, you can absolutely use this with your puppy during training sessions and bad weather potty breaks, but make sure to only give them enough slack to do their business or complete an exercise – and no more.

Aren’t retractable dog leashes dangerous?

Any product in the wrong hands can be dangerous. With a retractable dog leash, it’s important that your dog is obedient and listens to you before you try to use this type of leash. The unfortunate reality is that many dog owners who use this type of leash before their dog is ready can put themselves and their dogs at risk of injury.

My dog loves chewing, will he be able to chew through this?

Let’s be honest, a dog that loves to chew can chew through pretty much anything he gets his little teeth into. The best solution to this is to teach your dog that not everything should go into his mouth! And, secondly, to keep his leash well out of the way when not in use.

Final Thoughts

A retractable dog leash can be a great addition to you and your dog’s walking routine. Not only does it allow him more freedom – which offers more mental stimulation and enrichment, it also means that your dog will have the opportunity to get far more exercise on a daily basis – in the same amount of time!

But remember, as with anything new, it’s important to start slowly and build up the distance offered to your dog as he gets used to this new-found freedom. It’s easy to be lazy and let your dog do whatever he wants on a retractable leash, but, trust me – being lazy now will likely result in your dog needing remedial training down the line and nobody wants the hassle of that.

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