10 Best Retractable Leashes | April 2017

10 Best Retractable Leashes
Best Mid-Range
Best High-End
Best Inexpensive
We spent 36 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. If you don't quite trust your four-legged friend to stay close at heel or you live in an area that has leash laws, you can keep your dog safe and legal while still giving him or her the ability to run around, sniff, and explore when on your daily walks. These retractable units offer lengths of up to 26 feet, so they should let Fido and Fifi get all the exercise they need. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best retractable leash on Amazon.
The Cloud 9 Pet Supplies features a flexible nylon ribbon and an anti-tangle feeder designed to prevent the belt from twisting, allowing your pet to move freely. The simple push button lock mechanism allows you to easily train your animal to heel.
  • rust resistant collar clip
  • training e-book included
  • handle is a bit narrow
Brand Cloud 9 Pet Supplies
Model pending
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
The Sammi's Choice is designed with safety in mind. The detachable flashlight has nine LEDs and is perfect for lighting your way and offering maximum visibility on nighttime walks. The sturdy, impact resistant casing is made of eco-friendly materials.
  • hook under handle holds keys
  • soft rubber palm grip
  • goes through batteries fast
Brand Sammi's Choice™
Model pending
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
The Happy Dogz Security Pro was designed by a dog trainer to be one of the highest quality options on the market. The 16-foot tangle-free cord provides ample length for your pets to wander and obtain privacy while they are doing their business.
  • strong inner spring mechanism
  • available in two sizes
  • not good for extra large dogs
Brand HappyDogz
Model pending
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
Good for dogs up to 110 pounds, the TaoTronics Retractable is one of the most heavy duty, yet economical, units available. Its durable ABS plastic casing is paired with an ergonomic grip and an anti-slip handle that fits comfortably in your hand.
  • extends up to 16 feet
  • weatherproof core spring
  • a little on the heavy side
Brand TaoTronics
Model TT-PA001
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
Combining three great features in one compact body, the multifunctional Baby Run 3 in 1 is part LED flashlight, part dog leash, and part plastic bag dispenser, leaving you fully prepared to walk your pet wherever, whenever the impulse strikes.
  • features improved inner construction
  • comes with trash bags
  • batteries not included
Brand Baby-Run
Model pending
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The BonaFido Pet is designed for small to medium dogs, but has a large, comfortable handle that is easy to hold. The end of the cord features a strong swivel snap hook that prevents it from twisting, and it comes with a whimsical bone-shaped waste bag holder.
  • 20 free waste bags included
  • one button operation
  • choose from blue or pink
Brand BonaFido Pet Supplies
Model BF-RL-SM-B
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
With a strong nylon band and stylish case, the Comsun One Button is perfect for individuals who own more than one breed of canine. The all-purpose unit can handle a variety of dog sizes with ease, from 100-pound dobermans to 20-pound terriers.
  • bright green color
  • rope is fray-proof
  • backed by lifetime warranty
Model FBA-PET-013
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The colorful Urpower Black incorporates a simple one button brake and lock mechanism that allows you to make quick adjustments, helping you keep your friend reigned in at all times. The cord extends up to 26 feet, giving your dog enough range to explore.
  • made of tough long-lasting nylon
  • value priced under 20 dollars
  • comes in a sleek design
Model DL-004
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
The Flexi Neon is a basic, bestselling unit that comes in at an affordable price. The durable plastic casing is covered in reflective neon stickers, as is the 16 foot long band, offering greater visibility when walking on busy streets at dusk.
  • lightweight and compact
  • smaller and larger models available
  • made in germany
Brand Flexi
Model 403134
Weight 8.5 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
The robust Flexi Giant has been updated with a brightly colored belt so it stands out better in the dark. The extra large size accommodates big, active dogs up to 110 pounds, and an innovative recoil system gives you greater control in any walking environment.
  • extends up to 26 feet in length
  • easy adjustment
  • safety collar is included
Brand Flexi
Model GT4.210.S NEO.16
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Invention Of The Retractable Leash

The first retractable leash was invented and patented in 1908 by a woman named Mary A. Delaney. This was a time when the average dog was still either used for some form of work, such as protection or herding, or living in the streets scavenging for food.

It was also a time when city dog-catching officials were highly concerned with rabies and public health corps were labeling dogs as miscreants, stating that they were unfit as pets in urbanized areas. Dogs had yet to become the four-legged children as we think of them today. Considering all of this, it is not hard to see that this was much too early for retractable leashes to become commonplace.

It wasn't until the 1970s that the idea of a retractable leash started to gain some traction. In the mid-1970s there were two retractable leash patents issued that bear resemblance to the kind in use today.

The first was issued to Manfred Bogdahn in 1975, and the second was issued to James Otis Umphries and William Howard Brawner in 1977. The main difference between these early models and those used today was the material make-up, with the ones of the 1970s being comprised of wood instead of plastic.

Benefits Of Retractable Leashes

Retractable leashes offer a number of benefits over traditional leashes. Giving a dog more freedom is one of the most often cited benefits according to dog owners. Nothing beats the smile on your dog's face as they romp around and explore the surrounding area without feeling like they are tethered to your side the entire time. Not only can it give a dog more self-confidence, it also allows them to get more exercise on their walks, without the owner having to run around, too. This makes a retractable leash more fun for the owner and the dog.

If you are having trouble teaching your dog to come when called, a retractable leash can be a useful training tool. One can take their dog to secluded area and give them a few minutes to explore on their own with the leash fully extended. After a long enough period of time and after the dog has forgotten about the leash, the owner can call their dog by name or use the come command. If the dog doesn't come, a slight tug and release can be performed with the retractable leash, prompting the dog to come. Once the dog has returned to their owner's side, he or she can be given treats or lots of petting and praise as a reward. This will teach a dog to come back when called in future, even if it is off the leash.

When using the clicker method of training, the noise caused by a retractable leash's stop button can signal to a dog when they are free to roam, and when they need to stay close at hand. Many owners also prefer the feel of the plastic or rubber grip of a retractable leash in their hand over the feel of a piece of rope or leather. This large handle is also an ideal place to secure waste pick-up bags and hand sanitizer.

For those who have had the experience of walking their dog in the rain -- and let's face it, every dog owner has -- a retractable leash offers one the ability to allow their pet to do their business without having to leave a covered overhang or porch.

Using A Retractable Leash Correctly

While retractable leashes can be a great addition to a dog owner's equipment, they can also cause a lot of problems if used incorrectly. There are a few things one should keep in mind before, and while using a retractable leash.

They should never be used with an untrained dog. If your dog does not know how to walk properly on a leash without pulling, using a retractable leash is a bad idea. This will increase their tendency to pull, making the walking experience worse for both the owner and the dog. If a dog refuses to come when called, a retractable leash should only be used as a training tool to help teach them to obey that kind of command. Once a dog reliably comes when called, then the retractable leash can become their everyday walking leash.

Retractable leashes are also not ideal for use in crowded situations. Owners often become distracted in busy areas and may not pay enough attention to their dog. If the dog is on a retractable leash, they may approach a dog that is aggressive towards other dogs, resulting in a fight. Even if they approach a friendly dog, there is a chance of the leashes getting tangled and causing one or both dogs to panic. People can also get tangled up in a retractable leash, which can lead to injury. Legs and hands getting tangled in the cord can also suffer from rope burn or be cut if the dog is moving quickly.

It is also important for one to use a retractable leash that is properly sized for their dog. Because of the extra length between the owner and the end of the cord, retractable leashes are more susceptible to breaking, especially if the dog has some momentum going before they reach the end. Make sure to buy a retractable leash that is sturdy enough to handle the strength of your dog.

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Last updated on April 28, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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