Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Retractable Leash as Dog Training Tool

From the January 1941 edition of Popular Mechanix:

Dog Leash on Spring Reel Plays Fido Like a Fish

A leash attached to a spring-operated reel is a new wrinkle for dog owners. Encased in a light but sturdy aluminum housing, the reel carries twelve feet of waterproofed leash strong enough to hold a great Dane yet light enough for use with a Pekinese. A hook forming part of the housing allows the owner to hold the device securely, while the dog is free to run for a distance of twelve feet. As he returns nearer to his owner, the spring reel winds up the leash cord to prevent it from becoming tangled. A button-con-trolled lock makes it easy to stop the dog at any time as he is running out the leash, and to keep him in hand.


As a dog walking tool, I consider the retractable leash a nightmare in the hands of most pet owners, but as a dog training tool, the retractable leash is a very good long line, as it's easy to get it out of the way as you teach recall and work with distractors.

Jay Jack has a $10, 15 page e-booklet on how to use a retractable leash that covers how to hold it for control, how to make sure the reel never leaves you even if the dog jerks very hard, why a web retractable is better than a string retractable, and how to use rewards and a retractable leash to teach heel and a few basic commands, etc. 

Bottom line:  Retractable leashes have a place in dog training.


Jacinta Denton said...

The "button" that is supposed to stop the leash unreeling, isn't up to a borzoi in full stride and attack mode. When the button failed, like a fool, I grabbed the string. Took a lot of staples to close up my hand. Just lucky there were veterinarians nearby. I have seen people tangled up and pulled down by unruly dogs strung out from clueless owners. Not a fan of this invention.

CJames said...

I like a web retractable a lot for walking my own dog, but I know they can be problematic. It's really nice with a small dog, it avoids dragging leash slack through winter muck or tripping over it. When we were training more actively I used it locked short for loose leash walking and for recall work. I hook it to a clip on belt sometimes, otherwise it is easy to drop. We practiced so the dog was used to it skittering towards him.

I think if you actively train your dog, teach them loose leash walking, and train solid recall it doesn't matter much if you use a retractable. Like e-collars I feel like it's a useful tool that causes trouble when someone buys a cheap one and uses it badly.

Narlee said...

Not a prepared user either obviously.
Hope your hand healed well.