Sunday, March 27, 2011

Step Away from the Flexi and No One Gets Hurt

I have noted, in the past, that guns create a great deal less unintentional mayhem than most people believe.

New York City -- ground zero in the war against guns -– has 2.6 million children under the age of 10 and approximately 3 million guns owned by adults.

Yet, accidental gun deaths among children under age 10 averages only 1.2 per year in that city

Clearly, most gun owners are pretty safety-conscious. The same cannot be said for automobile drivers or mothers who do not bother to read the instructions that come with child safety seats.

I have also noted in the past the flexi-leads can very easily kill you:

Retractable string leads are inadequate to control even a small dog, are easily chewed through, are almost impossible to affix to a fence or post, and can easily trip you. In short, there ought to be a law against them.

What I missed, however, is doing a comparison of guns and flexis. 

Janine at Smartdogs Weblog did the work of putting the data together, and it is an excellent and illuminating read. 

...based on 2007 data compiled by the Center for Disease Control – you are more likely to be seriously injured by a leash than by the unintentional discharge of a firearm.

Read the whole thing, which also notes that:  

The Flexi lead’s product safety warning is over 1,400 words long. Glock’s is less than 250.

That might tell you something right there!

A final point: Flexi's aren't cheap

In fact, they cost more than twice what a nylon leash will cost you, and they last less than a quarter as long due to rapid wear, mechanism breakage, and bite-throughs. Combine that with the injury rate and the fact that you can't reliably control any dog with a flexi, and you have reason enough to dump the "string lead".
A Flexi can injure others - and you may be liable..
A flexi can snap and take out your eye.
A flexi can easily trip you up and cause you to break a leg.
The product insert specifically warns about finger amputation.

Think you can get by with a Flexi because you have a small dog?  You can't -- not safely.  As the product insert itself notes:..

Even small dogs can pull hard enough to injure you, particularly because the length of the leash allows dogs to run and build up speed.

Bottom line: Step away from the Flexi!


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I disagree. Flexi leads have a place in the dog world, when used in the right place, by the right person and with the right dog.

I agree, most people do not use them correctly, and nothing angers me more seeing a dog running ahead alongside a busy road.

However in a remote area like where I live, I find they are an excellent lead for some dogs.

Viatecio said...

There at least needs to be a rule against them in veterinary hospitals.

There is NO reason WHATSOEVER that your dog should have MORE than 2-4 feet of leash, and most people with regular leashes generally do not let the dog get the full length. Not to mention it is easier to restrain and control a dog on a regular leash than by holding a bulky plastic handle. Even when the leash is locked, I despise the feeling of having to hold onto that handle. If I had my druthers, there'd be someone at the door doing a Flexi check: "Here, I'll take that for you, here's your number and a slip lead. You can pick up your retractable lead when your appointment is done."

As an aside, I'm about to go postal from the sheer number of dogs that go into vet clinics on collars that are way too loose. Between the possibility that they are ALSO wearing a retractable lead and the reality that they can slip their collar, that's just asking for trouble.

dp said...

Flexis can also injure a dog. We had an incident where it broke a dog's neck when the lead got entangled in a bush.

Unknown said...

In addition, if a dog jerks the flexi out of ones hand, it would be less likely to stop or return with that flexi banging the ground behind it.

JaderBug said...

I can't stand Flexi leads either, drives me nuts when I see people walking their dogs with them.

However, as I tend to do quite a bit of short-period dog sitting, I've found a cheap Flexi is very handy during potty breaks when the dog can't decide where it wants to do its business... I refuse to use them on an outing though.

Marie said...

I will have to disagree on this one Patrick (as I do on the dog food issue lol).

We've found the Flexi to be rather useful in certain situations. Have had the same one for years. For quick potty breaks they're great, some dogs don't care to relieve themselves with someone standing right next to them as a standard 6 foot leash does.

Can they be everything you say? For certain; in the hands of morons.

Seahorse said...

I mean no disrespect, and everyone is free to do as they please, but a dog that is shy about peeing or pooping at close range to its human would get over it with consistent handling. I don't much like the stench of fresh-from-the-factory dog shit, either, but stand on my 6 foot lead and do it, or explode. Thus far, I've not yet had a dog explode on me.


Viatecio said...

Agreed with Seahorse. I've yet to have a dog explode, or worse, decide that going in the house is a better option than going in front of me. They all learn to potty with me there before they get the privilege of doing so with me at a distance.

As for using them vs a long line, I much prefer a standard cotton long line. Granted, it can still tangle and probably burn a little bit. It's not packaged all nice and neat. It sometimes gets muddy, or heaven forbid, urinated on sometimes. drags harmlessly on the ground, comes in lengths longer than the standard 26', and I actually know where the end is as opposed to a retractable lead feeding out and out and--oops, ran out of cord.

By the way, Sarah, nice to see you here! This is Xbreed-that-was.

pitbullpony said...

Back in the day; in one of my horse magazines; there was an ad for a horse flexi -- can you imagine the shit show that would cause! Never seen it since; someone somewhere smartened up!

I teach driver's ed and this is actually a discussion we have re: pedestrians to watch out for. We put kids and pets on the same level (don't understand traffic; need to have responsible control, etc.) I'll run through a fairly extensive list of what is CONTROLLED VS. UNCONTROLLED; and to a class; they all identify the dog on a flexi; as UNCONTROLLED. Smart kids!

Seahorse said...

Geeeeeeeeeeeezus, a horse flexi??? That redefines box-of-rocks stoopid!


Karen Carroll said...

I also cringe at the use of a flexi type lead as a dog walking tool. It just teaches poor leash behavior for the dog. I've seen one used on a toddler back harness, as mom was busy setting her sales tent. Thought that was a good idea. Kid stayed within range of a busy mom. Since 1998, I use a 23 foot Flexi II as a lure spool for my falcons. I have had great luck in controlling where my falcon lands when she catches the lure. But a HORSE Flexi/ Stupid!!!