Best Adjustable and Retractable Dog Leads 2018 – Our Favourite Picks

What makes a good Retractable Dog Lead? A look at 10 of the best.

It is probably your dog’s favourite moment of the day. You, the beloved owner clipping the lead onto the dog’s collar. Poop bags in your pocket, a treat or two in the other pocket just in case. The door swings open and the two of you rush out into the sunlight for your exercise.

Is it your favourite moment of the day? As with most things, the quality of the tools you use can have a huge effect on what you are trying to do. A good retractable dog lead can make your walk so much more fun. It gives you great control. Your dog can sniff and search as it likes without dragging you all over the place. You can enjoy the walk at different speeds. A sturdy handle with a lock button that does what it is supposed to do makes all the difference. We would not recommend these kind of leads for running, instead, have a look at our selection of some of the best leads for running.

There are many, many retractable leads on the market, so what makes a good one?

Model
Features
Flexi Giant Retractable Lead.


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  • Extremely robust tape lead for active dogs up to 25 kg.
  • Good great freedom of movement for dogs thanks to the 8 m tape.
  • Convenient handling thanks to single-handed use of the brake button, permanent stop feature and ergonomic soft grip.
  • Neon-colored belt improves safety due to better visibility.
  • Wide, stable belt smoothly retracts and extends

Arova Retractable Reflective Lead.


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  • Resistant to wear Durable ABS plastic casing with ergonomic grip and silicone anti-slip handle fits in your hand, provides enjoyable walking experience with your pets.
  • The 1.3 cm wide rope with reflective line of the rim for good visibility at night.
  • A reliable lock button ensures the capability to adjust the length of the leash as you need.
  • For any types of dog with up to 50kg/110lbs in weight, works for large dogs, as well as medium sized and smaller dogs.

GHB Retractable Lead.



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  • Can hold dogs up to 50kg. It's only for adult use.
  • 5m retractable tape lead does give enough freedom of movement for your lovely dogs.
  • This extendable dog leads have an ergonomic and comfortable rubber grip for you to hold.
  • Easy to use brake button with one hand. You can shortly stop, lock or unlock the dog leads.

Pyrus 26 feet Retractable Lead.


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  • The maximum length can be extended to 8m/ 26 feet.
  • Be able to withstand the impact of the 120 pound dog running high speed.
  • Based on the humanized design, fashionable style, comfortable to use.
  • One key operation to change the length of the ribbon which is more convenient to use.
  • Lock & Release Button works every time, built-in light easily detaches, perfect for evening walks.
Flexi Vario Retractable Lead.


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  • Extremely robust tape lead for active dogs up to 25 kg.
  • Good great freedom of movement for dogs thanks to the 8 m tape.
  • Convenient handling thanks to single-handed use of the brake button, permanent stop feature and ergonomic soft grip.
  • Neon-colored belt improves safety due to better visibility.
  • Wide, stable belt smoothly retracts and extends.

A look at some of the best retractable leads on the market.

Flexi Giant Retractable Lead.



The Flexi Explore is made in Germany and gets positive reviews from almost everyone. Suitable for dogs up to 100 pounds, it is very strong. It extends to 26 feet which is the longest on the market. The lead is a flat belt, rather than a cord which prevents tangling. It comes in 4 sizes with a neon lead. Everything works as advertised. The lock is strong, and the handle ergonomically designed to be a snug fit in your hand. This is a heavy-duty product designed to work well on the biggest of our furry friends.

 

Arova Retractable Reflective Lead.


Heavy duty. Suitable for dogs up to 110 pounds and extending to 16 feet. The one touch lock button works well and is strong and secure enough to hold the biggest dogs. The flat, tape like lead has reflective dots along both sides for increased visibility.

GHB Retractable Lead.


Comfortable and functional rubber grip. Suitable for dogs up to 110 pounds and should be used only by adults. Blue, Purple or red housing on the handle. Strong and reliable, but a bit heavy for small dogs.

Pyrus 26 feet Retractable Lead.



A beast of a lead. Extends to 26 feet and claims to be suitable for dogs up to 120 pounds. The claim is actually that it can withstand the impact of a 120-pound dog running at high speed. I am not sure if your wrist could! Lock and tension seem to work well. Reviews seem to complain that it is a heavy unit and a lot to carry around. Certainly, smaller dogs do not need all this firepower! Choose from black or blue.

Flexi Vario Retractable Lead.



The usual functions work well and there are 4 sizes ranging from 10 feet cords for dogs up to 25 pounds right up to 25 feet cords for dogs up to 110 pounds. The key, award winning feature is interchangeable belts. You can flip between different colour leads and choose cord or tape leads. Having a choice is popular and the product is well reviewed. Colours available are trendy and funky. Anthracite, turquoise and pink for example!

Flexi New Classic Retractable Lead


Ever the innovators, Flexi have added the option of accessorizing the handle with an LED lighting system. Fun and very practical when it comes to being spotted at night. Kids will love it. Comes in the usual Flexi range of sizes and gets solid reviews.

Timocy retractable lead with LED lights.


Another lead that offers detachable LED lights for walks in the dark. Great fun for the kids as well as practical. Extends up to 16 feet and is suitable for small to medium sized dogs up[ to 70 pounds. Strong polyester ribbon, ergonomic, non-slip grip. Well reviewed by users.

Safety.

It is all about having a sturdy, strong handle to grip. A dog of any size can suddenly jump forwards and the grip needs to be good enough to stop the lead slipping out of your hand. Consider the size of your hand when looking at options. A big, strong handle is great but can your hand fit snugly round it and in it? How about with gloves on?

Watch your fingers!

One of the biggest mistakes is to ignore the fact that the handle does not sit well in your hand and wrap the cord around your fingers instead. Cords have been known to sever fingers if a big dog takes off quickly and suddenly. At the very least, bruised fingers, split skin and a dramatic rise in your heartbeat are side effects.

Confidence in the locking mechanism is a big factor in safety and peace of mind. The lock cannot slip. You should be very sure that whatever length you decide to let out, you are always in control. A flat, wide belt is best rather than a cord if possible. A cord gets tangled more easily which can lead to malfunctions and sticky moments. Always remember, your dog is quite capable of surprising you. Just when you think you have seen it all, a sudden, sideways dart towards a squirrel will catch you out.

No substitute for proper training.

It needs to be said that you should still have your dog properly trained. A dog that pulls on a short lead will still pull on a retractable lead. Letting your dog run with 20 feet of lead is not a solution to the fact it pulls and will not walk properly. Pulling on the lead can cause a host of neck problems for a dog, not to mention the strain on your wrist and sanity.

Also, consider the dog’s body language when it is straining. It is rigid, tail up, short of breath and leaning forward. These are all aggressive actions in the animal world and other dogs might take one look at your dog’s body language and react aggressively. Not what you want in close quarters with people, dogs and kids around. Finally, training will give you peace of mind. If your dog should suddenly manage to yank the lead out of your hand, your command should make it stop in it’s tracks. You should always be in command.

Go for strength.

The strength of your retractable lead is so important. Carefully read the weight limitations on the package. If your dog weighs 60 pounds, a lead stating it is good up to 60 pounds is not enough. Nylon seems to be the material of choice, but leather could also be good. Pay attention to the quality and sturdiness of the collar and clip that you use. The best lead in the world will let you down attached to a cheap, bendable clip.

Colour.

Consider the colour. It can be a great idea to get a colourful or even neon cord or strap. Remember that a dog running 20 feet away from you is trailing 20 feet of lead for someone to fall over or get tangled in. Bright colours are easy to spot. Neon cords can help you see more at nights. It all helps make everything just that bit safer.

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