Top Pick: Flexi Classic
Why We Chose It:
- Secured and controlled walking.
- Ergonomic grip.
- Available in variety of lengths and thickness.
- Made of nylon.
- Bolt snap closure.
- 16 feet in length.
A good leash is one of the most important tools that you’ll have for your pet (and also can make a great present for the holidays for other dog parents – particularly when coupled with matching flair). Not only is this tool a great way to keep your dog safe (like a wireless fence), but it also has a fantastic amount of utility for those who want to take their dogs out of the house and maybe even going on adventures. If you’re looking for a leash, it often makes sense to look for a retractable dog leash that will help you to give your dog enough room to roam while you are outside.
It’s important to remember, though, that not every retractable leash is actually worth your money. You absolutely need to make sure that the leash you choose is going to be the right fit not only for your needs but also for your dog. We’ve compiled this list of great retractable leashes, looking not only at the best places to buy them but also at the factors that make them stand out. If you need a great leash, you’ll find something to love here.
Best Retractable Dog Leashes In 2021
Even the best dog leashes vary greatly in terms of what they bring to the table. While every leash we discuss is a great fit for someone, you need to find the leash that is the best fit for you. Look at the major features of the following leashes to figure out what’s going to work best for your dog.
Flexi Classic Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash
- Quick-response one-hand braking system
- Ergonomically designed grip
- High strength cord and durable clip
- Precision engineered with 90 different quality checks
It’s always good to set your expectations for what you can get in a retractable dog leash. Though there are many different kinds of leashes on the market, the truth is that most of them are going to look the same unless you know exactly what you are looking for. This leash from Flexi does a great job of setting the standard for the product category, allowing users to figure out exactly what they should expect from one of the better retractable dog leashes out there. If you’re not sure what features a good leash should have, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this model.
Much of what makes this dog leash useful comes from basic internal engineering. It has a particularly strong cord, which means that it’s going to be difficult for appropriately-sized dogs to snap the leash when walking. It also has a very strong clip, which means that one of the most common points of failure is strengthened enough that you won’t have to worry about your dog. This is a dog leash that stands out not because it adds any kinds of unique features, but rather because it manages to do its most important job – keeping your dog safe – very well.
The leash also has some very positive features on the user experience side. It is designed to be ergonomically friendly, so you won’t have to worry about your hand cramping up when you take a walk with your dog. The braking system is also designed to be easy to access and quick to function, so you can quickly stop your dog when he or she might be heading towards something dangerous. The leash is even designed for a greater range of movement, which will allow your dog to run around more freely without causing the leash itself to get tangled. This is an excellent leash that sets a standard for the rest of those on the market, which is why we’ve chosen the Flexi as today’s best retractable dog leash.
Fida Retractable Dog Leash
- 16-foot retractable dog leash
- 360-degree tangle-free design
- Designed for small dogs up to 26 pounds
- Soft handle for greater comfort
Smaller dogs need their own special kinds of equipment. While there always seems to be plenty of equipment out there designed for the needs of big animals, there’s almost an assumption that you can get away with buying sub-standard equipment for smaller animals. While smaller dogs might not need a material that’s quite as reinforced as their bigger cousins, they do still need accessories that are specifically engineered for their needs. That’s why this great leash from Fida stands out as a good choice for owners of smaller dogs.
Fida’s sixteen-foot retractable leash is designed to work for dogs of up to 26 pounds. This not only makes it a great fit for toy breeds but an excellent fit for those smaller dogs that tend to get ill-served by equipment made for bigger animals. While you might think that a leash designed for a smaller dog wouldn’t necessarily need to be tough, Fida clearly didn’t cut any corners here. Instead, they managed to make sure that all of their big engineering changes went into dealing with those problems with which owners of small dogs are likely to deal.
The leash may not be particularly reinforced, but it is designed so that it doesn’t tangle as easily as some other leashes. This is especially good for those smaller dogs who are more energetic, as the feature keeps the leash from getting caught when you try to retract it to a safe length. The leash is also designed so that you can access all of its features quickly, allowing dog owners to feel a little bit safer when they know they need to bring their animals back closer to them. This is a very well-engineered leash that is a must-have for any owner of a small dog, and we’re proud to include it on our list of today’s best retractable dog leashes.
TUG Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash
- Non-slip handle design
- Designed to be tangle-free
- Internal core provides for quick retraction
- Designed to easily fit in the user’s hand
If you are looking for a good retractable leash, there are two features to which you really need to pay attention. The first is the leash itself – how well it stands up to use and how easy it is to use. The other feature, though, is the handle – you’ll need to focus on how it feels in your hand and how well you can access its features. If you are looking for a great leash that manages to do well on both accounts, you’ll absolutely want to look at this great leash from TUG.
TUG’s leash definitely does well on the first factor. Strong, flexible, and easy to retract, the leash is great for dogs of almost any size. It’s strong enough to provide a good safety tether but still flexible enough to allow your dog to wander a bit, with a great anti-tangle design that will keep you from having to take knots out the leash every time you go on a walk. It even has a great internal mechanism that ensures that it moves quickly and fluidly, helping you to make sure that you won’t have to tug on your dog’s collar to get the leash at the length it needs to be.
The handle itself is also quite nice. It is designed to be ergonomic so it fits in your hand well, but it’s also relatively comfortable compared to most other retractable dog leashes. The body of the leash is also very well designed, so you won’t have to worry about causing anything to break if you happen to drop the leash. This braking button is also well-placed on the unit, making it easier to use than average. This really is a great all-around leash for dog owners who want the best of the best.
Flexi Giant Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash
- 26-foot retractable dog leash
- The braking button is positioned for easy access
- One-hand braking system
- Chrome snap is engineered to be tough
Sometimes you want to make sure that your leash is a little longer than average. While it is still important to make sure that your dog is safe, you do want him or her to be able to play and get some exercise. Investing in a leash that has a twenty-six-foot length is a good way to give your dog a little more freedom, at least if the leash is made well enough to support your dog roaming. If you’re going to look for a longer leash, you’ll definitely want to look at this one from Flexi.
Flexi’s longer dog leash is a really good fit for those who love to give their dogs some space while out on a lock. Though the leash is longer, that doesn’t mean that it’s any weaker. In fact, this leash is strong enough to handle appropriately-sized dogs without causing their owners to worry. The leash is also engineered to be tough, all the way down to a chrome snap that is less likely to break or shatter when your dog is pulling. This is a really good example of how even a longer leash can stay safe.
This is also a leash that gives dog owners a good bit of control. Ergonomically designed, the braking button is placed so that you can quickly bring your dog to a halt without straining yourself. The handle is fairly comfortable to hold and you won’t find your grip slipping, which does make it easier to ensure that your dog cannot runoff. If you are in the market for a well-engineered leash that is going to give Featuresyour dog more room to wander than average, this might be the leash against which you measure all others.
EC.TEAK Retractable Dog Leash
- 26-foot retractable leash
- Great for dogs of up to 110 pounds
- One button brake lock
- The anti-slip handle makes it easy to grip
Big dogs need special equipment. Not only will you need a tougher-than-average leash, but you will also need to make sure that you’re able to hold on to that leash while your dog is running. If you’re in the market for something strong, you should definitely take a moment to consider getting this excellent leash from EC.TEAK.
EC.TEAK’s leash is rated for dogs that weigh up to one-hundred and ten pounds. While this isn’t the upper limit for size in all breeds, this does mean that the leash is safe to use with some fairly big dogs. As with most products made for bigger dogs, that means that you are going to great a generally higher level of toughness with this product. The actual cord portion of the leash is very unlikely to break and you’ll almost certainly be able to feel comfortable even if your dog is pulling on the lead as he or she walks.
A lot of the real value here comes in the form of the handle. It is designed not to slip out of your hands, which means that you’re going to be able to keep a grip on your dog even when he or she gets excited. Importantly, the design also puts the one-touch brake in a place that’s easy to access so that you can stop your dog from going where he or she doesn’t need to be. This is really an excellent product that suits the needs of those who own bigger dogs.
Frisco Nylon Tape Reflective Retractable Dog Leash
- A 16-foot long retractable leash
- Easy to lock leash length
- Automatically lengthens and shortens
- Soft grip reduces hand strain
Sometimes you just want a leash that works. While there are some great leashes out there that boast a host of impressive features, sometimes it’s just more important to have a leash that’s going to do its job without much input from you. If that sounds like your ideal leash, you’ll definitely want to look at this model from Frisco.
Frisco’s leash is only sixteen feet long, which is just enough room for most dogs to feel comfortable without letting them wander out of your zone of control. What’s impressive, though, is that this sixteen-foot leash makes it very easy to allow your dog a little more freedom by automatically lengthening and shortening as your dog wanders. It’s a small addition to an excellent device, but it’s also one that is going to inevitably change the way that you look at retractable leashes.
At the same time, the leash ensures that you’re going to feel comfortable using it with your animal. The soft grip is designed to make sure that you don’t get hand cramps or lose your grip, which in turn makes it easier for you to take your dog on longer walks. The lead itself is also quite strong, being unlikely to break no matter how hard your dog pulls while you are outside. This is a really good example of a leash that does its job without requiring much from its owner, a product that definitely ticks all the boxes of those consumers who favor simplicity.
Ruff ‘N Ruffus 360° Tangle-Free 16 ft Retractable Dog Leash
- Works for dogs up to 110 pounds
- 16-foot length retractable leash
- Single-button brake and lock
- Comes with bag dispenser, waste bags, and travel bowl
Getting a good leash is just the first step towards making sure you have everything your dog needs for a walk. While there are some other great accessories, you need to make sure that the leash itself is the centerpiece of your set. If you’re looking for an excellent leash that comes with plenty of extras, you’ll love this leash from Ruff ‘N Ruffus.
The centerpiece of this kit is the lash, an excellent retractable leash that has a sixteen-foot lead. Able to brake and lock with a single button push, it’s a good fit for those dog owners who want to give their dogs plenty of freedom but who also want to be able to keep them safe at the same time. It’s a solid piece of work that’s suitable for even bigger dogs, but it really shines because it simply feels like it’s reliable when it is in use.
The other major selling point for this leash is that it comes with several accessories. Perhaps the best addition is that of a waste bag carrier and extra bags, which are accessories that no responsible pet owner should be without. The leash also comes with a travel bowl, which is a nice accessory to have if you frequently travel with your dog. If you’re looking for a great leash that also comes with some nice extras, it’s definitely worth your time to take a look at this set.
ThunderLeash Nylon Retractable Dog Leash
- Models range from ten to nineteen feet
- Soft-touch handle for extra comfort
- Designed for dogs who pull
- Converts from retractable to no pull
One of the tougher types of dogs to deal with when you are trying to walk around is a dog who pulls. Not only are these dogs very hard to handle in a physical sense but it can also be quite difficult to keep them from hurting themselves. As such, it is often best to be on the lookout for leashes that attempt to curb pulling behaviors. One such leash is designed by ThunderLeash and it really does do a very admirable job of helping even rambunctious dogs learn how to stop pulling on their leashes.
It’s often difficult to recommend a retractable leash for a dog who tends to pull. After all, these dogs will generally run as far as they can to the end of the leash and then they will begin pulling their owners after them. Not only does this put the dog in danger of hurting himself or herself but it also makes it very difficult for the owner to stop the dog. This leash solves that problem by being able to immediately convert from a traditional retractable leash to a no-pull leash, giving you more control over how and where your dog moves.
This leash is also great for those dogs who are a little more sedate. It feels fairly comfortable and generally works well as a daily walking leash. Though the bulk of the design leans on the side of toughness, it won’t hurt your hands or slip from your grip. This is a great leash for virtually any dog owner.
PET&CUDDLE Retractable Dog Leash
- Very resistant to wear and tear
- Sixteen-foot retractable leash
- Smooth belt feeder eliminates tangles
- Single lock and release button
If there’s one thing that tends to annoy dog owners about retractable leashes it’s the fact that they can get both internally and externally tangled. The latter causes owners to have to spend too much time untangling knots while the former can actually make the leash far less useful. If you’re looking for something that avoids this problem, you’ll love this leash from PET&CUDDLE.
This PET&CUDDLE leash has a smooth belt feeder which eliminates tangles in the leash. That not only means that you’ll get smoother action when feeding the leash out so your dog can run but also that you will have to worry about fewer tangles when you retract the leash. It’s a simple solution to a common problem but it’s also one that makes quite a bit of sense.
This leash also has many of the same features you’ll find in other leading retractable leashes. It has a single button lock and release button, which can help you to control your dog when he or she is running around. It is also designed to be comfortable slip-proof so that you won’t have to worry about hand cramps causing you to let go of the leash. This is a great example of how adding just one feature can turn a good dog leash into something greater.
UPSKY Retractable Dog Leash
- 16-foot retractable leash
- Designed for small and medium-sized dogs
- Ergonomic non-slip handle
- One button brake and lock
It’s always a best to make sure that the leash you get is the right size for your dog. That’s not to say that there is inherently anything wrong with buying a leash that’s meant for dogs of multiple sizes but rather to say that having a more specific product can help your pet. One of the better leashes for small dogs is definitely this one from UPSKY.
UPSKY’s leash is meant for small and medium-sized dogs, which means there’s a lot less emphasis on toughness and much more on control. The leash has a single button brake and lock, which can help you to keep your dog at a safe distance when others are around and give him or her more space when it is possible. The leash is also very easy to keep in your hand, which in turn makes it easier to control your dog over longer periods of time.
Though not necessarily as over-engineered for toughness as those leashes meant for bigger dogs, this leash does do a very solid job of standing up to repeated pulling. It’s going to do a good job of keeping your dog safe when he or she is out, especially when you’re exercising the right amount of restraint. This is a great leash for those smaller dogs who just need a little extra help while out on walks.
Wigzi Nylon Reflective Retractable Gel Dog Leash
- Soft gel handle for extra comfort
- Reflective panels and ribbon for safety
- Retracts smoothly and easily
- Designed to last for years
It’s amazing to think about how the little features of your dog’s leash can impact the process of taking your dog out on a walk. Though most people spend a lot of time thinking about how the strength of the least might impact that process, few think about things like the color design. While the goal is always to make sure that your dog stays with you on a walk, it can be hard to spot your dog if he or she runs off with the leash. Fortunately, this great leash from Wigzi solves that problem by being particularly easy to see.
Reflectivity is a fairly common element of safety coloring. This leash has reflective panels not only on the handle but has reflective ribbons, which means that you’ll always be able to spot where your dog might be. This comes in handy when your dog runs off, but it can also be useful when you are out at night. The leash itself really does feel like it is designed with the safety of your dog designed in all of its elements, from the coloration to the fact that it is designed to keep working for years at a time.
This leash is also a comfortable fit for most hands. That might not seem like a safety feature, but a properly held leash is also a leash that’s less likely to be dropped. This is very beneficial if you’re sick of your hands cramping up while you are on walks, of course, but it’s even better when you think about the ways that you can lose your grip when your dog starts investigating things outside. This is a solid piece of engineering that goes a long way towards making your dog’s life a little bit safer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are retractable leashes bad for dogs?
No, there isn’t anything inherently bad about retractable leashes. Though there are definitely some problems with using these types of leashes with certain dogs, the truth is that most dog owners who use retractable leashes are perfectly happy with the products. These leashes are better suited for dogs who will respond to verbal commands and who don’t have as much trouble with running off, but they do work very well when used in the right circumstances.
Are retractable leashes better?
Retractable dog leashes are certainly better for some dogs. The big selling point of these leashes is that they are certainly much longer than standard leashes, which can give your dog much more room to wander. These leashes are a really good fit for those who have backyards that aren’t fenced in, for example, or for those who visit wide-open spaces and who still have to follow leash laws. There is no single perfect kind of leash, though, so it’s important to make sure that you find the leash that is the best fit for your dog.
What is the longest retractable dog leash?
The longest retractable dog leashes usually top out at around twenty-four feet. That’s not to say that there aren’t leashes out there that go longer, but it seems like the longest reasonable length for being able to control your dog and to still be able to get the lead back in the handle is around that length. It’s much more common to find leashes that vary in length between sixteen and nineteen feet, though, especially if you’re looking at models that incorporate more of the common safety features.
Why do dog trainers hate retractable leashes?
Dog trainers tend to hate retractable leashes because they aren’t good training tools. Traditional short leashes not only make it easier to control your dog but they do a better job of teaching your dog not to pull. It’s actually best to start with a traditional leash while you are training your dog and then to move over to a retractable dog leash once you are able to trust your dog a little bit more. This isn’t to say that there is any kind of inherent problem with retractable leashes but rather to say that they simply are not an appropriate tool for training your dog.
Retractable Dog Leash Buying Guide
If you’re looking for a good retractable dog leash, you’ve got to go by more than what’s on the back of the packaging. There are many great leashes out there (make sure to check out these great alternatives to leashes, and perhaps consider a no-pull harness, too!) but not all of them will have the features that you need to feel comfortable and to keep your dog safe. Instead of looking at marketing fluff, you should take some time to think about the features that matter the most. Below are a handful of the features that typically matter to dog owners when looking at retractable dog leashes.
One of the most important factors at which you should look is the strength of the lead. This is going to determine not only how safe you feel with your dog while you’re out on walks but also how long the leash is going to hold up. Virtually every one of the best retractable dog leashes on the market right now is going to stand up to a lot of abuse but your goal needs to be to ensure that the retractable dog leash you choose actually stands up to your dog.
The best way to do this is to look at the recommended sizes on the retractable dog leash. The smaller the recommended weight, the less strength you’re going to find in the lead. Though it is definitely tempting to automatically go with a large breed leash just so that you get that level of over-engineered safety, it is usually best just to make sure that you pick something that’s an appropriate size for your dog. If there’s any doubt, though, make sure that you go a size up just to get some extra breathing room when it comes to safety.
How the retractable dog leash feels in your hand can actually play a bigger role than you might imagine. If a leash isn’t comfortable, the best-case scenario is that you’re going to get hand cramps and not want to use the leash any longer. A worst-case scenario, though, involves you dropping the leash and letting your dog runoff due to the pain caused by the poor design. As such, you’ll generally want to go with something that boasts a more ergonomic design that won’t cause you quite like so much hand pain.
There are plenty of different terms used to denote a leash meant to be handled for long periods of time. You might see ‘ergonomic’, ‘comfortable’, or even ‘no-slip’, but most of these terms are essentially going to mean the same thing. It might also be a good idea to go to a physical shop and get an idea of how specific models of retractable leash feel in your hand, as there are some handle designs that just feel awkward to certain people. Once you know what kind of design works for you, try to shop for leashes that exclusively use those designs.
Braking refers to the leash’s ability to stop your dog’s movement. Retractable leashes don’t just go out to their full extension – most of them can be stopped at specific points. Some dog owners will only ever use this to keep their dogs in specific ranges, while others will need the braking ability to ensure that their dogs can run towards something that might hurt them. It’s always a good idea to know how reliable the brake will be before you choose to make a purchase.
It’s usually a good idea to look for a leash that has one-button or one-touch braking. These leashes allow you to press down on a single button to bring the leash to a stop and usually hit a toggle with the same finger to lock the length in place. This makes it harder for your dog to pull past that point and makes it easier for you to focus on controlling your dog instead of working on the leash. This is one of the most important features of a retractable leash so make sure that the brake system works well before you make a purchase.
Color and Pattern
Finally, there’s nothing wrong with making sure the leash you buy actually looks great. You might want to buy a leash that matches your dog’s color or his or her personality, but rest assured that there are plenty of different color schemes out there. One thing you may want to be on the lookout for is a reflective leash, which can be incredibly useful for those who take their dogs on walks at night. These leashes tend to come in very bright colors, but the color scheme is really more of a practical matter than it is one of aesthetics.