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Why Your Professional Dog Walker Won’t Use a Flexi-leash

The flexi-leash has now been on the scene for a few years. If you don’t know what a flexi-leash is, here is a brief overview (and pictures below). It comes in many different sizes, from teeny tiny ones to walk chihuahuas and ferrets, to gargantuan monstrosities used to walk large exhuberant dogs, as well as giants like Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds. The leash, which extends out from the reel, is either a cord or a flat nylon strip. You can purchase different lengths of leash as well. Most only go between 15 and 25 feet. A button on the top can either lock the leash in place at it’s current length, or you can push it again to let go of the hold and let the dog take the line out. Kind of like fishing. With your dog as bait.

Flexi-leashes may be the trendy new “freedom leash” people are buying to walk their dog, but they are not doing themselves, or their dog, any favors. As professional dog walkers, we see these plastic-covered leash reels on a daily basis. And we leave them right where they are and use our own equipment. Why? There are a multitude of reasons why these contraptions are such a bad idea. The following are just a few:

DAMAGE TO DOGS

Damage done to dogs by flexi-leashes usually has a human accomplice who is not paying attention. These leashes are responsible for A LOT of dogs running out into traffic and getting hit by cars when their handler has their nose in their phone. It also gives the dog leeway to approach another dog, on leash or off, which could result in an altercation.

The dog itself is not taught proper leash manners when allowed to run around and zigzag from one side of the street to the other during a walk. We have experienced first-hand how hard these dogs are to walk initially on regular equipment. We have to basically teach them that the leash is now only 4 to 6 feet long, so no more zigzaging! They get it after a couple of walks and do much better on regular leashes.

DAMAGE TO HUMANS

This is where the graphic pictures usually come in, but I will spare you the sight of the gore. Just picture walking a large dog on a Flexi and he sees a squirrel/rabbit/other dog and takes off. Part of the leash happens to be wrapped around you. You can do a Google image search of “flexi-leash injuries” if you want to see evidence of the carnage in the wake of the flexi-leash. If not, just know that the words burn, slice, and cut appear a number of times. Even a couple of “amputated”s.

 

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