When you have a big dog, the time you spend outdoors with them on walks is so important.
Walking not only helps big dogs get much needed physical and mental exercise but it also promotes good behavior.
That said, it’s important to choose the right leash for your big dog. You want a leash that offers control and strength but also lets your best friend explore his or her surroundings.
Retractable leashes are an excellent option for big dogs, and there are some key features to look for if you’re considering this option. Some owners are apprehensive about using a retractable leash for a big dog, but if you choose a quality option that’s designed with safety in mind, it’s the best type of leash.
What to Look for in a Retractable Leash for a Big Dog
When you’re looking for a retractable leash for your big dog, there are some features to keep in mind, including weight limit, clip size, and more.
With a great leash, both you and your dog will look forward to your walks!
Big Weight Limit
The weight limit of a retractable leash will be clearly displayed. The weight limit is a core consideration when choosing a new retractable leash for your big dog. You want a leash that is going to be strong, particularly if your dog is big and powerful.
Additionally, you might want to buy a retractable leash with a weight limit that’s a bit higher than your dog’s actual weight. This will ensure that you have the strength you need. You can go up as much as 20 pounds more than your dog’s weight.
If your dog is aggressive, lunges, or tends to pull on walks, definitely size-up. If your dog is 100 pounds for example, you might be able to go up to a 110 or 120-pound weight limit.
Appropriate Clip Size
When you’re comparing retractable leashes, you want a clip that swivels. Without a swivel mechanism, your dog’s leash could twist and become knotted.
You also want a clip that’s user-friendly, meaning you can open it easily and it stays closed.
For a big dog, the clip size should be big too. If you get a clip that’s too small, it’s not going to be strong enough. You want a clip that’s sizable enough to hold your big dog securely.
If your leash gets tangled while you’re walking a big dog, it can be dangerous for you, your dog, and everyone around you. That’s why quality and design are such important considerations when you’re choosing a retractable leash.
You want a ribbon or tape-style leash that is specifically designed to prevent it from wrapping around itself and the internal mechanisms inside the handle.
A differentiator between better-quality retractable leashes and lower-quality or cheaper options is often the tangle-free element.
For big dogs, tangle-free designs are of the utmost importance because if there is a tangling issue when you’re walking a big dog, their size can make it even riskier.
Easy Brake Control
When you use a retractable leash, the objective is to have flexibility. When you’re in a more crowded area or place with obstacles, you can keep your dog close to you. Then, when you’re somewhere with open space, you can give your dog the freedom to explore. This dynamic makes for a more enjoyable experience for your dog and helps build their confidence.
With that in mind, consider brake control features as you choose a retractable leash.
With brake control, you can set an upper limit on how far your dog can go at that moment. If you’re in a place that’s congested with people, cars, or other obstacles, you may want to keep your dog nearby. Then, when you have the chance, you can change the brake control to give 15 feet or more of roaming space.
Also, look for a retractable leash that will retract itself if your dog decides to stay closer to you than what you’ve set the brake control at to reduce tangling.
Safe Leash Style
In the past, some people got the wrong impression about retractable leashes thinking they weren’t safe. There was a reason for this—old or cheap retractable leashes were often made with a cord leash style.
Now, it’s rare to see that style and if you do, avoid it.
Instead, opt for a ribbon or tape-style leash. These are safe and there’s a very low risk that they’ll break or snap. You’ll find they’re incredibly durable.
How to Use a Retractable Leash Safely with Big Dogs
No matter how good the design and construction of a retractable leash is, if you’re not a conscientious owner and dog walker, you could be creating a risk.
Too often dog owners will “zone out” during walks. This can mean that you are at risk yourself. You’re also putting your dog and other people at risk. Learning safe walking practices will help you reduce risks and have a more enjoyable experience that you can look forward to each day as a time to disconnect from technology and other distractions.
When a retractable leash is used correctly, it is just as safe as a traditional fixed-length leash.
Keep the following safety tips in mind when using a retractable leash to walk your big dog.
- Pay attention: When you’re walking a big dog, they can have a lot of force and power. If you’re not being mindful and paying attention even for just a second, the results can be disastrous. This is particularly true when you’re walking near a lot of obstacles. Put your phone away while you walk, and just be in the moment.
- Watch the slack: Don’t give your dog more slack on the leash than what the situation calls for. When your dog is getting closer, reel the retractable leash in. Too much slack in the leash can lead to tangling and other mishaps.
- Watch the tangling: If you’re alert and actively watching your dog and the environment when you’re walking, your risk of finding yourself in a tangled situation is greatly reduced.
- Don’t panic: If your leash does tangle or something happens, rather than panicking, take a deep breath and work to fix the situation. Untangle your leash, set the brake, and move away from other dogs, people or obstacles.
What Retractable Leash Should I Get for My Big Dog?
When you’re choosing the best retractable leash for your big dog, the key features you should remember include the right weight limit, a clip that’s big enough, and a durable, tangle-free design. Avoid corded retractable leashes, and instead, opt for a tape or ribbon leash style.
No leash design or style can overcome a lack of attention on your part, so keep that in mind as well.
Pet & Cuddle has the best, most durable, and high-quality retractable leashes for big dogs. Take a look at the selection of leashes specifically for your big dog that can make your walks the highlight of both of your days.
Questions About Retractable Leashes for Big Dogs
Still have a few questions about choosing the best dog leash for your large-sized dog? We’ve got you covered. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions on how to pick up the right accessories for big dogs.
Is it hard to put a retractable leash on a big dog?
Putting a leash on any dog is quite simple and straightforward. It may take extra time and patience to teach an aggressive, nervous, or active dog to accept the leash. However, with the proper training and lots of patience, you'll surely succeed.
Is a tape or cord retractable leash better for large dogs?
Regardless the size of your dog and its weight, tape or ribbon-style leash is the most durable choice for a retractable leash. With this type of 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.
Should I use retractable leashes for reactive dogs?
A retractable leash is an excellent tool for reactivity training of any breed. While training, make sure to keep the length locked so you can fully control your dog’s movements.
Can I use a retractable leash with a dog harness?
You can absolutely use a retractable leash with a dog harness, and it’s a great combination that enables an effective training and joyful walks for you and your fido. However, you should ensure the leash doesn't generate tension when you’re using the front clip of the harness because this can be confusing: your dog may think he’s pulling when he’s not.
Are chain leashes better for large dogs?
Chain leashes should only be used on training dogs who tend to chew through their leashes. However, because they are so heavy and hard, they could cause injury to your dog, so dog trainers recommend switching to the ribbon leashes once the dog has been taught not to chew its leash.