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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Over the past several weeks we have been talking about getting your dog ready for Spring and Summer, showing you must have products for walks, and outdoor adventures. You might have noticed that we have not mentioned and don’t carry retractable leashes.  Here is why…

Injuries – Retractable leashes can cause injuries to humans and dogs.

Human Injuries: If Fido suddenly jets past you to get that squirrel, the thin-string on retractable leashes can zip across your exposed skin (or your child’s) in less than a second. If the dog’s collar were to suddenly break and come off, the leash cord would retract with such rapid force that it could strike you (or someone else) in the face, teeth, or eyes.

Dog Injuries: When your dog bolts on a retractable leash and they hit the end of it, their back and neck can be seriously injured from being suddenly jerked.

Injuries to Both: The retractable string can get twisted around your hands, another person’s ankle, your dog’s neck and legs, a tail or even a pet’s neck. If your dog senses he’s hog-tied and thrashes around, it can cause the cord to pull tighter. This could lead to a life-threatening situation in a matter of seconds.

Cord Breakage – Many retractable leashes are not strong enough to handle the dog that is attached to them. If a dog bolts or takes off running they can often snap the then line or tape before you even realize what happened. And even worse, the plastic hand-held retractor may come out of your hand and go banging down the pavement after your dog, causing him to panic and rush into traffic or a busy bike path.

Boundaries – Retractable leashes encourage dogs to pull. If we as pet-parents don’t provide consistent boundaries, how is Fido supposed to knowwhat is acceptable? Sometimes with retractable leashes they are given 2 feet, sometimes 6 feet, and if they pull a little harder they might be given 10 feet. Then, when you only give them a few feet they begin to pull (because normally this results in getting a few more inches or feet, right?) and they are instead “corrected” because you are in a busy area and not behaving well. What?? How confusing for Fido!

Uninvited Meetings – Retractable leashes allow your dog to approach other dogs for an unwanted meet-and greet. This might just lead to an irritated owner, but it could cause the spread of disease, disruption of a healing injury, or even a sudden and aggressive dog fight.

Instead of worrying about injuries, and hoping for good behavior, you can provide guidelines and boundaries that your dog needs and desires to have a great walk with a standard (non-retractable) leash. Ask any of our Team members to show you some dependable, sturdy standard-leash options!

 

 

On a daily basis, we are asked at Two Bostons if we carry retractable leashes. Our answer is no for a few different reasons. We know there is a large demand for retractable leashes and we could sell a ton of them, but that is not a good enough reason for us to carry something we truly do not feel is beneficial (and quite honestly, sometimes harmful) to our customers, both two and four legged.

The main reason we don’t recommend retractable leashes is that they can be dangerous and cause accidents very easily including cuts, burns, and worse.

Really, when the main company of retractable leashes has warnings on their packaging about possible injuries to your eyes or face and mentions possible finger amputations or fractures, it should make people stop and think if it is really worth using, right?

 


Keep in mind that the dogs on the other end of the leash can be the victims of the same types of injuries. What is seen more often, are injuries to the dog’s neck and back due to being jerked when they suddenly get to the end of the leash after running after that rabbit or other dog they saw out of the corner of their eye.

 
Currently, a lot of companies are touting a “safer” retractable leash option due to a wider tape being used in place of the thin cord. While this would help prevent a lot of the human injuries, it does not reduce injuries to the dogs due to sudden jerking.

 

This brings us to reason #2 Two Bostons does not recommend using a retractable leash. It’s simple really. It actually encourages dogs to pull. Think about it: if we as their guardians do not provide consistent boundaries, how are our canine companions supposed to know what is acceptable? Sometimes they are given 2 feet, sometimes 6 feet, and if they pull a little harder, they may be given 10 feet. Then, when only a few feet are provided because they are walking in a busy area and they begin to pull (because normally this results in getting a few more inches or feet, right?) they are instead “corrected” because they aren’t behaving well. What??? How confusing!

Being a mom of human children as well, I equate it with the “cookie scenario”. (I am sure those of you who are not parents have witnessed something like this in the grocery store line, as well!)

Kid: “Can I have a cookie?”

Mom: “No.”

Kid: “Pleeeese, can I just have one cookie?”

Mom: “I said, no.”

Kid: “Mommmmmmy! I just want one!”

Mom: “Oh, alright. Just one!”

We’ve all done it. We’ve all witnessed it. It takes care of that instant, but what problems are we creating for the future? We are teaching our children to ask (or pull) just one more time and then mom will eventually give in.
So, instead of hoping for good behavior and no broken or amputated fingers, let’s just decide to use a standard (aka non-retractable) leash and provide the guidelines and boundaries your dogs need and ultimately desire to have a great walk. And maybe, just maybe…there will be a cookie waiting for you at the end of your walk!