Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Bad Idea for 70 Years

From the Jan, 1941 issue of Popular Science comes this idea that has crippled people, killed dogs, and resulted in endless amounts of canine confusion:

Click to enlarge.


geonni banner said...

AAAACK! Flexi-leads! The worst idea ever. (Well, OK, conformation breeding and the atom bomb are worse. But not much.) I almost lost a finger to one of those things due to an encounter with a bone-headed Labrador Retriever and his even more bone-headed owner. It nearly sawed off my left pinkie. And this was at an off-leash dog park. Every time someone passes me on the street with one of those I back up against a wall or fence and put my dog in a sit at heel. And then there are the people who tie their dogs in front of cafes with them and the dog runs out in the street or crosses the sidewalk to lie in front of the cafe door making it impossible to get by without risk of tripping or entanglement. They oughta be outlawed.

Rick said...

When you see me coming down the street, with two big dogs on fixed length leads, and a small one on a flexi-lead, I have this to offer: "Don't try this at home, this is a trained professional!" Having been trained in rigging of all sorts, from Boy Scouts to the Merchant Marine, trucking, tree climbing, radio tower maintenance, up-high construction work and the occasional macrame project, my particular hypocracy is to still use a flexi-lead, even though I know the dangers. But I worry about others who use them, and I worry for their dogs' safety. All the reasons I have heard about the problems one can encounter through the use of a flexi-lead are true. But I don't think they should be outlawed, though I wonder if regulation would do any good. Probably not. There will always be ignorant knuckleheads who will endanger themselves and others in their pursuit of their freedoms. I'll just watch from the sidelines.

BeachDog said...

Yes, the flexi is used wrong far too often, but please don't push for a ban just yet. I've found these to be a great tool in the right hands under the right circumstances. I'm currently working with a timid dog who pancaked at the first sign of anything scary - which was pretty much everything. We go to the park early when it's deserted. I put her on a flexi and allow her to explore as far as she feels brave. Her other "coping" mechanism is to bolt and the flexi gives her a 28 feet of freedom to explore while keeping her safe from dashing into traffic in a city park. She is making steady progress overcoming her fears.

With this tool comes the responsibility to use it properly. We avoid other dogs so that no one gets tangled. If the occasional person is approaching, she is recalled and we work on heeling. We never use it as a tie out (seriously? who does that?).

You can not be distracted when your dog is on a flexi. You have to be paying attention so that your dog isn't peeing on something is shouldn't, eating something it shouldn't, or pestering anyone. Inside the dog park? Absolutely not! It's actually a good tool for the right dog, under the right circumstances.

Viatecio said...

What this woman has over all the other advertisements for this product is that she is not welding a cell-phone. She actually seems to be paying attention to her dog, even thought it is 12 feet out and STILL pulling on the leash.

OK, that and there's no reference to "pet parent."

Thanks for putting a date on that, though. Didn't know these things were out in dog owners' hands that early!

Beth F. said...

Flexis are a tool which can be used correctly and incorrectly. Unfortunately, many people use them in inappropriate places with dogs not trained sufficiently to control them. A flexi is a way to give a dog who has been trained to off lead control some freedom at a time where the off leash is not allowed or not smart. I use them on the beach, or outside of a motel in a yard for 11 pm potty time (with the handy dandy flashlight attachment that finds the poop so I can clean it up), or in an open field where we are in close proximity to a road or visible to someone who would come cite me for an off leash dog. They are not for vet's offices, crowded streets or dog parks. I also train my dogs on the flexi, including dropping the handle so it clatters to the ground and "chases" them, so they realize its not really chasing them before I use one in public.

seeker said...

If they're going to make them, They should have a rewind button on it. The problem I've seen in a dog walking group is that once the dog gets the 12 foot out then comes back to the owner there's still all that string out there. Now if it had a rewind button, like a metal tape measure it would help a lot.
But, I agree. Like a shock collar, Don't like them, don't use them. Never will. TRAIN YOUR DOG. What a concept.

Debi and the TX JRTs