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Retractable Cord Leashes vs. Retractable Tape or Ribbon Leashes: Which One Is Better?

Retractable Cord Leashes vs. Retractable Tape or Ribbon Leashes: Which One Is Better?

When it comes to picking a retractable dog leash, there’s one critical design element that needs careful consideration – the type of leash used to extend the lead from the handle.

In the past, retractable dog leashes featured a nylon cord, which is like a single line of material that allows the leash to extend. That nylon cord design was the only thing available in the early days, and it led to some safety problems, which has caused the Internet to fill up with outrage about the dangers of retractable leashes.

However, in recent years, new, much safer designs have been debuted, and we’re pleased to inform you that these modern tape or ribbon-style retractable leashes are perfectly safe, as they overcome the issues presented by the old cord-style leashes.

Modern ribbon or tape-style leash provide the flexibility that is one of the most desirable features of a retractable leash, along with strength, control, safety and comfort that make using a retractable a good idea.

Taking the time to learn more about types of retractable leashes can ensure that you choose one that’s right for your dog, so with that in mind, this post will explain why you should choose a tape or ribbon-style leash, and how you can pick the right leash for your dog.

Retractable Cord-Style Leashes: Are They Worth It?

A nylon cord leash is the original design of retractable leashes, but it’s one that’s certainly not optimal and is now considered sub-par compared to newer designs.

You might hear this style referred to as a nylon cord retractable or classic retractable leash. This style of leash uses a single nylon cord to attach your dogs lead to the handle you carry while walking them, and it’s an obsolete option.

Here are the key points you'd like to consider before getting a cord-style retractable lead: 

  • Nylon cord leashes are more likely to snap and break when you’re mid-walk.
  • They’re more likely to wrap around your legs, your dog, or other obstacles, making the daily activities with your dog a real challenge. 
  • Cord-style leashes far more likely to cause burns, scrapes, and cuts as well, resulting in serious injuries and weeks of recovery afterward. 
  • Compared to other leash types, cord leashes are much heavier, so if you're opting for a long retractable - the weight difference will be even more noticeable. 

Some people say that cord leashes are less likely to get tangled, but this is quite a rare thing for retractable dog leashes, where the lead is tensed evenly. 

Overal, when you’re choosing a retractable leash, it’s important to avoid one made with a nylon cord and to instead opt for a ribbon or tape-style leash, as these designs are far safer.

Are Retractable Tape or Ribbon-Style Leashes Better?

So, if a corded leash is obsolete and potentially dangerous, what’s the best option that still affords you the flexibility of retractability? A tape or ribbon-style leash can be a thing.

As the name indicates, these leashes look like ribbon or a measuring tape, as they’re wider, flatter, and larger than a nylon cord. These also have some great features for both dogs and their owners:

  • A tape or ribbon leash is stronger and more durable, which means you don’t have to go on walks with the constant worry it will snap.
  • They’re much less likely to wrap around you or your dog, and they’re just safer overall than a corded leash.
  • Tape or ribbon-style leashes are much easier to clean - an excellent advantage for those who prefer brightly colored leashes (like, the pink retractable dog leashes!) 
  • They usually come in diverse designs and patterns, which ideally fit even the pickiest dog owners.  

Even beyond the overt safety issues, when choosing a tape or ribbon-style leash, you’re going to get more use out of it. They’re more durable because they won’t fray like nylon.

When you choose a great quality leash that retracts, you can enjoy your time spent outdoors with your dog, rather than worrying about everything that can go wrong.

How to Shop for a Safe Retractable Leash

Choosing the right retractable leash for your dog is very specific to their weight and size, their behavior, and your preferences. It’s not a one-size-fits-all selection process. Regardless of the dog size and breed, every dog owner will want to get the safest option for their four-paw friend. 

The following are some of the major factors to consider for getting the safest dog onwer:

  • Comfortable Handle: Another big component that matters for an excellent experience while walking with your dog on a retractable leash is how comfortable the handle is. Ideally, the handle should feel comfortable in your hand and won’t get too hot or cold, depending on the temperature. We suggest looking for a handle that’s rubberized and ergonomic. Along with that, a good handle is going to make you feel more empowered and in control when you’re walking your dog.
  • Sturdy Clip: Look for a retractable leash with a clip that swivels. If the clip is inflexible and doesn’t swivel, then it increases the likelihood it will twist around itself or knot. Additionally, make sure the clip effectively prevents tangles, is easy to open and use regularly. The clip should stay securely closed even when there’s tension. Avoid clips that are easy to break, or don't fit your dog's size or harness measures.
  • Proper Leash Style: This is what was discussed above—there are nylon corded leashes, and these should be avoided. Instead, look for a ribbon or tape-style leash that won’t fray or snap while you’re walking.
  • Brake Controls: The most appealing feature of a retractable leash is the fact that it gives you flexibility. That flexibility is dependent on good brake control. Brake control is what lets you provide different lengths of the leash to your dog, depending on the situation.
  • Relevant Weight Limit: Before you choose a leash, make sure it’s appropriate for your dog’s size and weight. Check the leash rating, go up a bit to give yourself more coverage if it's needed. You’ll particularly want to size up if your dog is very strong or is prone to pulling.
  • Durability & First-Class Materials: When you’re choosing a retractable dog leash, you'll want to ensure it’s worth the money spent, meaning it's going to fit for daily use. In fact, you might use your leash multiple times a day, which only increases the importance of getting a durable and strong option. It should fit different weather conditions and activities. That is why it's essential to ensure the materials used to make the leash are going to stand up to different scenarios.
  • Tangle-Free Feature: A retractable dog leash should have design features that prevent it from wrapping around itself or the internal handle mechanisms.

How to Safely Use a Retractable Leash

Now that you know what are the different types of dog leashes and what actually matters in good retractables. Here, we'll explore what makes a dog leash really safe and secure for your dog's daily use. You'll definitely need to make sure that the selected high-rated leash is completely safe for your dog’s size and weight, typical behavior when you’re walking, and your comfort level.

For this reason, below we've covered the most essential things that matter for the secure using of retractable dog leashes:

  1. Choose the retractables according to the current parameters of your four-paw friend.
  2. Always double-check the leash prior to wearing it on your dog to prevent any injuries and other dangerous outcomes. In case it has any flaws or other suspicious issues that may come out while using, make sure to get them fixed beforehand or opt for a new retractable dog leash instead. 
  3. Make sure that you’re paying attention to what’s happening around you while walking, just like you’d need to do with a fixed-length traditional leash. This is the key factor in ensuring that you and your dog remain safe at all times while walking.
  4. Timely adjust the leash length according to the situation, minding the activity type and environment you're walking your dog in. This will help you to ensure full control of your dog's moves anytime and anywhere. 

In other words, be present and mindful any time you’re walking your dog. Regardless of how great your leash is, if you aren’t paying attention, you may be putting yourself and your dog or others at risk. Put your phone away and watch for obstacles. Give your dog as much length as the situation calls for at any given moment, and don’t allow slack to build up in the line.

These things are easier to accomplish with the retractable leash since it gives you options for lengths, and gathers up slack automatically. So, pick the right leash, use it safely, and you won’t have to worry about causing danger to yourself or your dog!

Which Retractable Leash Should I Get?

Again, always avoid a nylon cord leash. It’s not safe, nor is it reliable. Instead, opt for a leash with a tape or ribbon style.

Beyond that consideration, we want to make it easier for you to pick the right leash, which is why we recommend picking up a retractable dog leash from Pet&Cuddle.

Pet&Cuddle pet leashes all utilize tape-style designs, and they’re also built to provide maximum support, comfort, and safety for both you and your dog. Our retractable leashes for dogs are safe, comfortable and affordable, and designed to suit the needs of 99% of canines and their proud parents.

We offer leashes at different weight ratings, so you can find exactly what you need for your four-paw friend. Whether you need a retractable small leash for a dog or a retractable leash for a big dog, you can find it at Pet&Cuddle.

Explore our top-rated pet accessories, nutritious supplements and lots of other luxurious products for dogs at Pet&Cuddle!


Common Questions About Retractable Dog Leashes

If you’re still uncertain about what type of retractable leashes will fit best to your dog, we’ve got all the answers you need! Keep reading for some commonly asked questions about retractable dog leashes from our customers.  

Is a tape or cord retractable leash better?

A tape or ribbon-style leash can be a much more durable and easy-to-maintain choice for a retractable leash. With a tape leash, you don’t have to worry that it will snap; they’re also less likely to get tangled up around you or your dog and are super easy to clean as well. 

What is the best material for a leash?

If you want to get a durable, comfortable and easy-to-clean retractable leash that simply works, go for nylon. It’s also stylish and affordable, so you and your dog will enjoy using it for any adventure!

Are chain leashes really bad for dogs?

Because of their size and weight, chain leashes should only be used on medium- and large-sized dogs that tend to bite their leashes. However, you should use these leashes extremely carefully, as they could cause injury to your fido.

Can I leave my dog on a leash for a long period of time?

It’s usually ok to have your dog leashed throughout the day if you want to prevent destructive behavior like chewing. But, it's not recommended to leave a dog leashed overnight or when you aren’t around; as it can easily get tangled and cause a choking hazard.

 Are dogs required to be on a leash?

Whether or not you need to leash your dog public depends on the location you're living in. At the time of writing, only Michigan and Pennsylvania have state-wide laws that require dogs to be under the owner’s control when off their property.
It's recommended to check with your local government for leash requirements in your area.

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