Retractable Dog Leads

Extending dog leads are the perfect way for on-lead dogs to have some extra freedom. Doggie gets some essential space to roam and you stay in control without long-lead tangles and stress. From lengths of 3m, 5m and 7.5m and weights up to 70kg, we have the extendable lead for you and your dog.

Extendable dog leads UK

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A retractable dog lead is a tape or cord wound around itself inside a case. As the dog moves away the lead extends out and when the dog comes closer again the lead reels back in. This gives your dog more freedom than when using a standard dog lead because it rolls in and out with the movement of the dog, giving room to roam with no trailing trip hazards on the ground.

Are retractable leads good?

Retractable dog leads are an indispensable walkies tool for many dogs and their owners for many different reasons and in many situations. Extending leads allow dogs on lead to exercise with more ease and freedom, which is so important for their mental and physical health. Not all dogs can go off lead for various reasons. Other dogs might be fine off lead but the area or situation doesn't allow it. So there are lots of times and reasons why an extending dog lead can be useful.

Used sensibly, an extendable dog lead can be an incredibly useful piece of dog walking kit. Many areas now state by law that dogs must be kept on lead, so by using an extending dog lead you are fulfilling your obligations whilst still allowing your dog some freedom to enjoy their walk. Or if you have a dog who can't be let off lead for whatever reason, this type of lead is going to be very useful. They can also be a handy tool for recall training.

What are the best retractable dog leads?

Cord ones are usually lighter to carry but can be more dangerous so we always recommend buying a tape lead. Your retractable tape dog lead should clearly state what dog weight it has been tested to. It should have an easy to use and well positioned brake button that also easily locks into place when required. The handle is also incredibly important. It should be easy to hold and designed with a good grip so, if your dog does pull, it won't go flying out of your hand.

What features to look for?

As mentioned, when looking for dog leads extendable ones come in two main sorts. There is the thin cord lead, mostly used for small dogs at short distances. The other sort is a tape lead with is preferable because they are safer - more easily seen and less likely to cause injury if the worst should happen and legs or hands and fingers get involved.

The length is important to know and will vary so be sure to check the length before making your purchase. The KONG range, for example, comes in three different lengths - 3m, 5m and 7.5m.

Another very important thing to check and sadly this is often overly looked but is of the highest importance is the weight restriction of each lead. They all have weight limits as each is a mechanism designed to cope with a certain amount of weight / strain. So before you make your purchase, it is imperative that you check if the lead is for a 10kg, 20kg, 30kg or more sized dog. If you walk say a 30kg dog on a lead intended for a maximum weight of 20kg then you risk failure of the lead which could be very dangerous.

Also, look for an extending dog lead with a comfortable handle and good grip. These types of leads can be harder to hold than a standard dog lead and if you don't have a good grip it could more easily be yanked from your hands if the dog suddenly pulls.

Best retractable dog lead brand

Your dog's safety is reliant on this piece of mechanical equipment so don't go for the cheapest one you can find. The best retractable dog lead is a brand you can trust so do your research. The two biggest names in the extendable dog lead market are the Flexi lead and KONG retractable dog leads.

The Flexi extendable dog lead was the original extending dog leash but when we saw the features on KONG's retractable lead range, we were impressed. Each of their extending leads caters for different dogs with different needs. KONG is also a brand that can be trusted. This is really important with one of these leads as there are moving parts, brakes and so on. It is vital that a retractable dog lead is well made, so always buy one made by a high quality brand that you trust.

Summary of KONG options

  Feature Tape Lengths for Dogs Max. Weight
Terrain Everyday Black 3m (10ft) & 5m (16ft) X Small to Large 20kg, 30kg and 50kg
Explore Longer Matching 7.5m (24ft) Medium to Large 50kg
Trail Compact Black 5m (16ft) Small to Large 20kg, 30kg and 50kg
Reflect Visible Reflective 5m (16ft) Medium to Large 30kg and 50kg
Ultimate Big Dogs Reflective Stitching 5m (16ft) X Large 70kg

As you can see in the table above, KONG retractable dog leads come in a range of types and styles to suit different dogs and owners. The Trail 5m lead is a retractable tape dog lead which is short, lightweight and compact. The Terrain is a perfect every day lead for just about any dog and owner. For more length, go for the Explore which offers a 7.5m tape and is for large dogs. For giant breeds up to 70kg, the Ultimate heavy duty dog leads extendable to 5m is a beast of a lead and will cope with the weight of even the biggest breeds.

Are retractable dog leads safe?

Yes, but like any piece of equipment, they should be used responsibly. Don't be a danger to your dog or other people. Do not use when road walking or in any other potentially dangerous situation. Use the break button to stop your dog going forward - do not use your hands. Use only in places where there is plenty of space and where the lead is not going to get tangled around things or injure other people. It is important to keep your dog's retractable lead in good condition. A poorly maintained extending dog lead can be very dangerous. If the lead or brake are not working optimally, dispose and replace the lead. Safety first, always.

These types of lead are very handy and also safe when used correctly but they do get some bad press. If you look into the extendable dog lead horror stories, you will see that they are mostly from misuse of the lead or use in an inappropriate situation. It is essential to use the brake to stop and start the lead. Using your hands could cause injury. It is also important to only use them in safe to roam areas. If your walk to the park involves a road side walk or similar situation, use a standard dog lead near roads and traffic and switch to the extending lead when you get to a safer space. At the end of the day this is a mechanical piece of equipment and equipment can fail.

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