Nothing could be more fun than walking your lovely dog on a hiking terrain, especially if you’re an ardent dog lover. These incredible human companions adore being taken for a walk in the wild whenever it’s convenient to do so. However, such walks won’t be fun for both of you if you still rely on traditional rope leashes that lack in several ways. The best retractable dog leash for large dogs offers immense benefits, functionality, and ease of use.
We reviewed dozens of high-quality retractable dog leashes to help you identify the best of the best. To come up with the list, we looked at the durability, strength, length, construction, and cost. We also considered the extra features that make these retractable leashes safer and convenient for use in complex and challenging terrains.
Top 10 Best Retractable Dog Leashes for Large Dogs
When it comes to dog leashes, the most recommended type is no doubt the retractable leash. Typically, the best retractable dog leash is designed to keep your pet safe and secure while walking. Also, a good retractable leash won’t get tangled up easily, allowing you to seamlessly walk your pet or train her to walk at a certain distance away from you.
Having said that, it’s important to find the right retractable dog leash that can go along with your dog head halter or dog harness. We have created detailed reviews of certain products that we believe are the best among the best to make your shopping experience a lot easier. Read on!
|Brand||Product Name||Editor's Pick||Price||Rating|
|Hertzko Heavy-Duty Retractable Leash||Best Overall||$$||4.2|
|WIGZI Dual Doggie 2 Dog Retractable Leash||Best For Dual Retraction||$$||4.5|
|TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy-Duty Retractable Dog Leash||Best 360 Degrees No-Tangle Design||$$||4.4|
|Flexi Giant Tape Leash||Best For Extra-Long Walks||$$$||4.6|
|UPSKY Retractable Dog Leash (16 Ft)||Best Budget||$||3.6|
1: Best Overall: Hertzko Heavy-Duty Retractable Leash
We gave the Hertzko Heavy-Duty Retractable Leash the top spot for obvious reasons: functionality and attractive features. It stands out from the rest of the dog leashes on this list with its unique black and purple color scheme.
This retractable dog leash features a tangle-free design that allows the leash to exit at the top of the handle. It allows you to walk your dog seamlessly as it can swing a full 360-degrees around the comfy grip without tangling. To ensure your comfort and proper grip, the handle has a non-slip rubber coat to prevent hand fatigue. The control button is fitted closer to your hand to allow you to lock the leash and release it quickly when you need to.
Another impressive feature of the Heavy-Duty Retractable Leash by Hertzko is the 16-foot nylon ribbon that is light in color and reflective. Due to the flat shape, this leash won’t easily bunch or snag on objects along your trail, making it much safer for you and your pooch.
2: Best for Dual Retraction: WIGZI Dual Doggie 2 Dog Retractable Leash
If you’re searching for an extra-strong dog leash to walk two dogs, the WIGZI Dual Doggie 2 Dog Retractable Leash is your ideal choice. You can comfortably walk two dogs weighing 50 pounds each with this single leash.
When you often walk more than one dog, you may have realized that walking them with multiple leashes can be an intimidating experience. This leash lets you walk your two pooches at the same time using a single leash.
It comes with two separate leashes built-in, each unit coming with a separate retractable system. That way, you can seamlessly walk your dogs together while tethering them independently for more freedom.
The best feature of this dual retractable leash is its controls. Each leash comes with separate brake and lock controls that uniquely match the end of the leash, making it easy to control each pooch more effectively. Additionally, the controls have bright colors to make them visible even in dark places.
The leash also features a rotating handle and retractor assembly to prevent the leashes from tangling quickly. The leash separates the handle from the retractor system where the leashes extend from. Every time the dogs switch sides, the handle rotates to keep the leashes from tangling, making it much safer for you and your dogs.
3: Best 360 Degrees No-Tangle Design: TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy-duty Retractable Dog Leash
The Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash from TUG comes with an anti-slip handle to allow you to control your dog easily on the walk. It features a nylon tape leash design with a chrome-plated buckle, making it weather resistant. The components are attached through a thick reinforced attachment clip for added durability.
The brilliant color of this versatile leash makes it easy to find. More importantly, it uses a patented 360-degree tangle-free design, making the leash resistant to binding or snagging. The opening where the leash exits the handle is designed in a way that it completely rotates without problems.
The patented tangle-free design combined with an easy-to-use locking control button makes this leash a great training tool. You can quickly and easily adjust the length of the leash to fit your training needs. This unique feature is helpful for keeping control of your dog, especially when training him to walk with you.
4: Best for Extra-Long Walks: Flexi Giant Tape Leash
If you’re looking for a retractable dog leash that allows you to enjoy extra-long walks with your pup, the Flexi Giant Tape Leash tops the list. With an impressive 26-foot long leash, your pooch will have ample space to roam around while still being under your control. The handle design is different from other designs on this list. The leash comes out of the top of the handle and not the front. This gives the handle a wider range of motion. As a result, it can spin almost all the way around the top of the leash, reducing its ability to tangle.
Another impressive feature of the Flexi Giant Dog Leash is that it comes with a tape leash as opposed to a rounded rope that is prone to tangling and twisting. Most of the time, tape leashes are made out of nylon, which is highly durable and non-binding. Combined with the unique handle design, this leash will less likely get tangled on itself.
To top it all off, the retractable leash features a highly visible neon yellow reflective tape. This makes it highly visible during the night, keeping you and your dog safe at all times.
5: Best for Budget: UPSKY Retractable Dog Leash (16 ft)
The UPSKY Scalable Dog Walking Leash is an ideal choice for shoppers on a tight budget. But don’t be fooled by its affordable price tag; the retractable leash still provides many impressive features you’ll find in other costly leashes on this list. It is designed for smaller dogs who don’t pull too aggressively but it’s still durable and easy to use.
Perhaps the best feature in the UPSKY Retractable Dog Leash is its production process. It is made of durable and eco-friendly materials, including ABS plastic and other non-toxic materials. The leash is good for your dog as well as the environment.
It also comes with a smooth retraction action and an integrated LED light to make night time walks safe and seamless. Combined with its bright blue and white color, this leash enhances your visibility in every situation.
6: Best for Small Dogs: Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash
Flexi is a reputable brand when it comes to manufacturing high-quality retractable leashes, and the New Classic model is no different. This versatile retractable dog leash is made for people who own smaller dog breeds. It comes with a 10-feet cord and is made specifically for pups weighing up to 18 pounds. However, you can also choose medium and large versions for medium and large pooches.
The New Classic dog leash comes with a very comfortable handle and a reliable one-handed braking system. Additionally, it includes a reflective bite belt for extra safety and visibility under low-light conditions or during the night.
7: Best for ease of use: TAOTRONICS RETRACTABLE DOG LEASH
If you’re looking for a tangle-free dog leash with dog bags included, look no further than the Taotronics Retractable Dog Leash. Comfort, control, and ease of use are some of the outstanding features of this dog leash. The leash can extend up to 16 feet, allowing you to give your dog more freedom of movement, especially when walking in an open field.
Additionally, it has a comfortable and ergonomic handle that is quite easy on the hands. In terms of durability, you don’t have to worry as the casing is made from strong ABS plastic. Overall, the Taotronics Retractable Dog Leash is a durable, weatherproof, and long-lasting leash.
8: Best for Night Time Walks: FLEXI NEON LEASH
If you’re a nightwalker, the Flexi Neon Leash offers high visibility during the night with its reflective design. This unique design ensures that you and your dog are safe when walking out at night. That aside, the leash is made of premium components and is designed with your dog’s safety in mind.
Although you can find multiple high-visibility dog leashes on the market, the Flexi Neon still stands out since it’s made of neon-colored components. The leash is also covered in reflective stickers to grab the attention of passing drivers. According to the manufacturer, the leash can be visible up to 160 yards away.
9: Best for Durability: URPOWER RETRACTABLE DOG LEASH
The URPOWER leash is another tangle-free leash that comes with a 16-ft nylon ribbon, a smooth brake and lock mechanism, and a comfortable handle. Aside from that, it’s among the most durable retractable leashes you’ll find on the market.
The functional brake and lock system even comes with a pause function to let you adjust its length anytime you want. As a result, you don’t have to lock the leash while retracting since this new function makes the whole process a lot quicker and easier.
Additionally, its plastic casing is made of durable ABS plastic. Overall, the leash is really reliable, durable, and provides you with comfort as you walk your pooch.
10: Best for the Largest Dogs: HAPPYDOGZ SECURITY PRO RETRACTABLE DOG LEASH
Compared to the rest of the products on this list, the HappyDogz Securit Pro Leash goes a little bit further in terms of supporting heavier dogs who weigh up to 220 pounds. That said, it is a sturdy, heavy-duty retractable dog leash that is designed for the bigger breeds.
However, if you have a small or medium-sized dog, you still have the option to choose the HappyDogz’s smaller version that is designed for dogs weighing up to 44 pounds. In terms of features, this powerful retractable leash comes with an ergonomic handle, a secure retracting mechanism, and a tangle-free nylon lead. The leash is also capable of extending up to 16 feet long and fits most dog collars.
The Buyer’s Guide For Retractable Dog Leashes For Large Dogs
While there are numerous retractable leashes on the market, not all leashes are made for hiking and long distance walks. They differ significantly in terms of features, with some bare-bones models featuring nothing but the essentials. High-end models, however, feature a variety of bells and whistles to improve value and functionality. Regardless of your budget and preference, you’ll want to consider various features when shopping for the best retractable dog leash. But first, let’s look at the benefits of retractable leashes.
Who Should Use a Retractable Dog Leash?
Retractable dog leashes are pretty helpful tools in several situations. Think of them as a fishing reel for your pup. You can allow your pooch to run off a little bit to sniff a nice smelling shrub or chase after a sumptuous-looking squirrel, while still keeping your dog securely under your control. Then, once your pooch has lost interest in the distraction and retreated to your side, you can seamlessly tighten the slack.
Generally, retractable dog leashes are helpful in many situations, including:
- Small, friendly breeds who walk familiar grounds- If you often take your outgoing Golden Retriever to the same park daily, and he behaves perfectly during each trip, you can use a retractable leash to allow him to reach out to his friends without requiring you to walk too far off the track.
- Hikers, walkers, joggers, and runners who don’t like to stop- If you’re out for exercise or hiking expedition, it can be difficult to keep your heart rate elevated if you have to keep stopping for your furry friend to pee or say hi to her friends- A retractable leash allows you to give adequate slack to accommodate your pooch’s errands while you keep your legs moving.
- Dogs who constantly tangle the leash- Some dogs are just notorious at twisting leashes into knots. With a retractable leash, you can keep the slack to a minimum to help avoid twists and tangles.
- High-energy dogs who won’t just tire- If you own a big breed, it can be difficult to give them sufficient exercise that can exhaust them. If your Dalmatian or Husky never tires, a retractable leash can offer them more room to roam, tuckering them quicker.
When A Retractable Leash Is Not Recommended
It’s important to note that retractable dog leashes may not be ideal for certain situations. For example:
- Dog owners who can’t grip the leash securely- People with weak hands can often drop a retractable leash, causing it to chase after the dog as it reels in the line. This can cause unnecessary panic during walks.
- Dogs who forcefully pull on their leash- You can’t have as much control over your pup when using a retractable leash, so they may not be suited for dogs who treat every walk as a tug of war.
- Owners with huge hands- If you have really massive hands, you may find it difficult fitting your fingers through the handhold, especially for retractable dog leashes that come with relatively small handles.
- Walking in congested areas- If you often walk your pooch in a densely populated urban area, you can expose your dog to danger by allowing him to wander far off.
- Walking in unfamiliar areas- You need to have your eyes on your pup whenever you use a retractable leash to avoid dangers. This may be impossible when traversing unfamiliar territories.
Benefits of Retractable Dog Leashes
Just like any other dog product you’ve ever bought, a retractable dog leash comes with its own advantages. They include:
1- You can adjust it to your preferred length
One of the outstanding benefits of a retractable leash is that you can conveniently adjust its length to suit your needs. For instance, if you’re walking your pup in an area with lots of people or obstacles, you can simply shorten the length of the leash. You can even shorten much closer to allow your furry friend to stay by your side.
Meanwhile, if you’re walking your pooch in the open field, you can easily extend the length of the cord to allow your pup more freedom to explore nature. Technically, it is entirely up to you to adjust the length of your retractable leash depending on the circumstances.
2- You can use it for recall training
Training your dog to come to you whenever you call his/her name is known as “Recall training.” It is a very important kind of training if you’re serious about raising your dog to behave properly. Other than that, it can help improve his/her safety each time you’re outdoors.
Mastering recall training can take a lot of time and dedication. Fortunately, a retractable dog leash can help reduce the training time by allowing your dog to move a bit farther from you bit by bit. Release the leash and allow your pup to wander some distance away and call out his name. Once he returns to you, increase the distance gradually and monitor the effectiveness of the training.
3- Can be helpful for dog owners with mobility issues or disabilities
Dog owners who suffer from physical limitations can greatly benefit from retractable dog leashes. Although most well-trained dogs can assist their senior or disabled owners during walks by obeying orders, there are still some breeds that might be a bit uncontrollable. For such situations, a retractable dog leash can come in handy.
4- Can help your dog answer the call of nature with ease
You might not have realized it, but most dogs don’t feel at ease pooping with someone standing right next to them. Dogs also need privacy when it comes to answering calls of nature, and a retractable leash can allow you to free your pup to go hide behind a shrub and ease himself with ease!
Features of the Best Retractable Dog Leash
While it’s possible to find lots of retractable dog leashes on the market, each model actually comes with its own set of different features. You can find simple ones with just the essential features and premium ones with more advanced features. To help you make an informed choice, here are the important features you need to look at when shopping for a retractable leash for your furry friend.
1- High-Visibility Components
You want to ensure that motorists can see you and your dog, especially if you often walk in low-light conditions. Due to the increased distance that a retractable leash allows between you and your pooch, consider models with high reflective and visibility features.
2- Extra Length
Most standard retractable dog leashes come with a 16-foot-long lead, which is pretty adequate for most dogs and their owners. However, if your pooch is trustworthy and you live in a wide-open area, you may opt for a longer lead of up to 20 feet or more to allow your dog to stray a bit far.
3- Leash type
Leashes are designed with different shapes with each offering a distinct advantage over the other. Rope leashes are often thicker and more durable while tape leashes are generally flat and can be longer and more visible than rope leashes. Generally, go for a product that’s made using a high-quality leash material.
Although most leashes are made of vinyl-coated with plastic, some of them aren’t really that strong or durable when you consider the tensile strength. That said, pay attention to the reviews of the customers who have used the leash before so you can be certain of its longevity and durability.
4- Attached Flashlight
Although this is an optional feature, a retractable dog leash that features a flashlight can help increase your visibility and help you take better control of your pooch when walking at night. Consider models with high-quality spotlights that can withstand the outdoor weather rather than a dollar-store-caliber product.
5- Comfortable, No-Slip Grip
When walking your dog using a retractable leash, it is imperative that you keep a good grip on the handle. Accordingly, you’ll want to avoid models that do not feature a comfortable, no-slip grip. Bypass leashes that could easily become slick when your hands get sweaty or if it rains.
6- Multi-Dog Functionality
Although it’s possible to use two independent retractable leashes to walk two pups at the same time, it doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy doing so. Trying to hold two retractable leashes simultaneously will make it difficult for you to use your hands for any other activity, such as answering your phone or pulling your keys out of the pocket. Fortunately, a few retractable dog leashes are designed to allow walking two dogs at once.
7- Weight limit
Each dog leash has a calibrated maximum weight that must not be exceeded. Consider the size and weight of your dog before picking on a retractable leash, otherwise, your leash could break under the force of a stronger or heavier dog.
8- Tangle-free Design
Some retractable leashes can feature a tangle-free design that makes it more difficult to tangle the leash. If you have a naughty dog who frequently tangles his leash, having this feature can greatly improve your safety and the safety of your pooch.
9- Brake and Lock Controls
Retractable leashes usually come with a stop or brake system that allows you to stop your dog from pulling out excess leash. That way, you can quickly react and stop a problem without harming your hand. Some models also feature lock control to allow you to control the length of the leash by locking it at your desired size.
10- Recoil Control
Last but certainly not least, consider a retractable leash with recoil control to reduce the strain on your hand when stopping the extension of the leash. The mechanism helps absorb some of the impact so you won’t hurt your hand when your dog is pulling too hard.
Proper Care and Maintenance of Retractable Dog Leashes
Even the best retractable dog leash will wear out quickly or break down when not properly maintained. Be sure to remove dirt and debris from the leash and hook immediately after use. Clean the mechanism with a damp cloth and keep the leash out of the elements when not in use.
Water will likely rust the internal mechanism and affect the leash’s ability to retract. If the mechanism gets wet, pull the ribbon all the way out of its housing as far as it can go and set the lock so it doesn’t retract. Leave the ribbon out to dry before allowing it to slowly retract back into the mechanism.
More importantly, don’t let your pooch put the ribbon in his mouth. It’s not only harmful to your dog, but it can compromise the integrity of the ribbon. Regularly check the trigger snap to make sure it is operating properly and has a solid attachment to the end of the ribbon.
Safety Guidelines on How to Walk Your Dog with a Retractable Dog Leash
Retractable leashes aren’t a rocket-science-caliber technology, but they often work best when you learn a few helpful tips and tricks. While retractable dog leashes can keep your dog safe when properly used, you must employ good common-sense safety guidelines whenever you take your canine for an adventure around the neighborhood. Here are some helpful safety tips to help you out:
i- Don’t Allow Your Pooch to Walk on the Opposite Side of the Road
You’d assume that this would be self-evident, but some dog owners make the mistake of letting their pups wander across the street, exposing their pets to immense danger. If a car speeds down the road and hits the leash, you and your dog could be seriously injured.
ii- Practice Using the Dog Leash in a Controlled Environment
Retractable leashes are fairly simple tools to use, but flustered owners can panic and make costly mistakes. For example, you may accidentally hit the release button instead of the lock button, or you can completely panic and grab the lead with your bare hand. The former example may release your dog to run into the street as a car approaches, while the latter will leave you with a painful rope burn.
iii- Keep the Slack Tidy
Retractable dog leashes are designed to maintain slack to a minimum, and you should use this capability to your advantage. Allowing your pooch too much slack can eventually tangle you or your dog in the lead. As a result, you could easily fall and suffer nasty injuries, or you could find yourself dropping the leash and exposing your dog to danger.
iv- Beware of the Metal Clip
Some dog owners have occasionally unhooked the clip from their dog’s collar, causing them to bruise their knuckles from the metal clip as it speedily retracts. Always be careful when unhooking your pooch at the end of the walk and allow the leash to slowly retract fully before unhooking your dog. That way, you should be able to avoid such nasty problems.
v- Keep the Leash Dry
It is important to always keep the internal spooling mechanism of your retractable leash dry to ensure a long product life. Other than keeping the handle dry during rainy walks, you’ll want to unspool your leash all the way and let it dry out completely before re-spooling it.
Best Retractable Dog Leash FAQ
Are retractable dog leashes any good?
When used correctly, veterinarians advocate that retractable dog leashes are fine. You, however, need to apply common sense and vigilance to walk your dog on a retractable leash properly. But take note that retractable leashes are not safe in all situations, for instance, when walking your dog along a busy street.
Do retractable leashes break?
The length of retractable dog leashes can extend up to 26 feet, which allows dogs to get far enough away from their owners. However, such a situation can quickly turn dangerous when the thin cord of a retractable leash breaks – especially when walking a powerful dog.
How do retractable dog leashes work?
Retractable leashes are designed to allow dogs to walk about 20 to 30 feet ahead of their human owners. They typically come with a plastic handle with a button that locks and retracts the cord. As a dog owner, you can regulate how far your pup can roam.
Why do dog trainers hate retractable leashes?
When it comes to dog training, you can’t easily give an effective correction using a retractable leash, and the constant pressure from the leash may have some negative effects on your dog. A flexi lead coupled with a “training collar” can desensitize your dog to the pressure, making this tool less effective for training.
While traditional rope leashes are reliable and easily available, they are lacking in a number of areas. The best retractable dog leashes offer several more benefits, functionality, and ease of use. That’s why numerous dog owners are today turning to retractable dog leashes for their pooches’ walking needs. Hopefully, our comprehensive guide has simplified your shopping experience. Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below!
Dr. Belinda Hawks earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2006 and has been practicing veterinary medicine since then. Dr. Belinda currently works as a passionate rancher and mixed animal veterinarian in a rural town in South Carolina. When not practicing veterinary medicine or writing, she spends her free time with her lovely husband and three kids (2 boys and a lovely girl) in South Carolina.