10 best retractable dog leads for 2022 | The Sun
WHEN it comes to walking your dog, the best retractable dog leads offer both freedom and security – so we've picked out the best on the market for you.
As the name suggests, a retractable dog lead essentially extends as your dog moves and enables you to retract the lead when you want your pooch closer. Because of this, they're a great way to give you the safety of your dog being on a lead, while still giving them some independence to roam and explore.
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Retractable dog leads can extend to anything from three metres up to eight metres, so it's entirely up to you how much free reign to give your four-legged friend.
They also come in a range of styles and designs, with features like a brake-and-lock system being key: after all, you're the one in control, so it's crucial you can use the brake safely without damaging the mechanism.
Comfort is also a massive factor when it comes to choosing a retractable dog lead. Staying tangle-free and avoiding the dreaded rope burn is massively important – so we've paid attention to the reviews of other shoppers to make sure we've selected the most durable and ergonomic models on the market.
Read on below to discover the best retractable dog leads, for all needs and budgets.
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1. Best for small dogs: Flexi Extending Dog Lead Fun Cord 5m Red Small
- Flexi Extending Dog Lead Fun Cord 5m Red Small, £9 from Pets at Home – buy here
Flexi consistently comes out top for retractable dog leads, so we've gone straight in for this small lead which is suitable for dogs up to 12kg.
With a five-metre cord and an eyecatching red body, it features a two-button braking system.
Reviewers are really happy with the design, with one commenting: "Great lead, still strong even though it's small. Fab for my 6-year old too as he can hold it well."
2. Best for visibility: Flexi Giant Neon Lead
- Flexi Giant Neon Lead, £38 from Pets At Home – buy here
Walking in weather with reduced visibility is often a concern for dog owners, but luckily, Flexi has got you covered with this "highly visible" retractable lead.
Featuring bright neon tape, there'll be no missing this lead when you're out about.
Plus, it's suitable for large-sized dogs up to 50 kgs, with eight metres of tape that gives them plenty of freedom.
3. Best for a pop of colour: Clever Paws 8M Retractable Lead – Pink
- Clever Paws 8M Retractable Lead – Pink, £9.99 from The Range – buy here
Who said retractable dog leads couldn't look cute too?
Finished with pink trim, this lead by Clever Paws will add a pop of colour to your walk.
With eight metres of lead, it's ideal for dogs up to 50kg and also features an ergonomic handle that promises to be super comfy on long walks.
One reviewer notes that it's a tape lead rather than corded as described, adding: "If you're looking for a tape lead, these seem quite robust and good quality with good tape retraction".
4. Best integrated features: Ultra Retractable Dog Lead with LED Light 15ft Long Waste Dispenser
- Ultra Retractable Dog Lead with LED Light 15ft Long Waste Dispenser – Blue, £12.99 from The Range – buy here
Nightime walker? This retractable lead by Ultra is perfect for after dark.
It features a four LED dog light at the front which is controlled with a simple switch, so you can leave it on – or off – for as long as you like.
There's even a built-in waste bag holder, with a roll of 20 bags to get you started. Clever!
Suitable for dogs up to 35kg, the anti-pull design features an automatic telescopic control for controlling the lead length.
There may be no reviews, but for the price and extra features, it's definitely worth a try.
5. Best for comfort: KONG Terrain Retractable Dog Lead Black 5m
- KONG Terrain Retractable Dog Lead Black 5m , £19 from jollyes – buy here
This five-metre retractable lead by KONG has a soft-grip handle, so your hands will feel comfortable even on the longest of walks.
With an intuitive brake system, the lead locks after a fixed distance so you can keep your pooch at a safe distance.
Shoppers are really impressed, with one writing: "Very good quality. Might be a bit extra money than other brands but definitely worth it. Comfy grip and the tape retractable one is far better than the wire one."
6. Best for quick braking: Doodlebone Rambler 5 Meter Retractable Dog Lead Purple
- Doodlebone Rambler 5 Meter Retractable Dog Lead Purple, £17 from Jollyes – buy here
The Doodlebone Rambler is pretty snazzy as dog leads go: check out that two-tone purple colourway.
It has the specs to back up its looks too, with a one-touch quick-stop braking button to keep your dog under control and a soft rubberised handle to keep your hands comfy.
Plus, the lead is made from reinforced nylon for extra strength and durability.
"5 Stars", says one succinct reviewer.
7. Best on a budget: Jackson Pet Co Extendable 5M Pet Lead
- Jackson Pet Co Extendable 5M Pet Lead, now £5.99 (was £19.99) from Mountain Warehouse – buy here
This striking lead is from Mountain Warehouse's own pet range, Jackson Pet Co.
And as you'd expect from a brand that specialises in the outdoors, it's more than equipped for the demands of dog-walking, with a five-metre extendable lead that will keep your pet in eye-shot – while still allowing them to explore freely.
The hook at the lead's end will latch straight onto your dog's collar, featuring buckles for easy and secure fastening.
It's at a great price so snap it up while you can.
8. Best freebies: Animigo Retractable Dog Leash
Retractable Dog Leash, £14.29 from Animigo – buy here
If you're worried about your dog's lead getting tangled, this one by Animigo takes care of that with its 360-degree non-slip handle which premises "tangle-free movement".
Elsewhere, the brand has really considered the design practicalities – from the corrosion and chew-resistant lead to the rust-proof hook.
It also comes complete with a garbage storage box and collapsible dog bowl – so it's great value for money.
9. Best all-rounder: Proudpet Retractable Dog Lead Anti-Tangle Pet Walking Leash – 8m
- Proudpet Retractable Dog Lead Anti-Tangle Pet Walking Leash – 8m, £12.97 from eBay – buy here
When it comes to choosing the best retractable dog leads, it all starts with a foolproof lock feature – and this one by Proudpet couldn't be simpler.
A quick flick of the button on the handle locks the lead and stops your dog from running any further, and reviewers agree it's really easy to use.
"Brilliant, strong enough for my small dogs (under 10kg), lock and release buttons easy to get used to, well worth the price," writes one happy customer.
Even better, the feeder of the lead is anti-tangle and anti-twist, so you can stay in control.
10. Best for durability: Flexi Retractable Dog Lead | Flexi Xtreme Tape Leash Shock Absorbing
- Flexi Retractable Dog Lead | Flexi Xtreme Tape Leash Shock Absorbing, £26.90 from eBay – buy here
Got a dog that's a little more boisterous than others, or perhaps you prefer tougher terrains? The Flexi Xtreme Tape Leash is the one for you.
Designed "for everyone who loves extreme outdoor activities" (that's you and your canine, then), the integrated shock absorber will remove the strain from any sudden pulls by your dog.
And with reinforced tape, it promises to withstand intense use, so you can be completely confident that it'll hold up and in no way be flimsy.
Available in three sizes, it's suited to the smallest of dogs, right up to bigger dogs weighing up to 65kg.
What to look for in a retractable dog lead?
Durability is really important here, so pay attention to the lead itself and check to see if it's been made with strong material or features any reinforcements.
Likewise, you want to make sure that your retractable dog lead stays tangle-free, so look out for designs where the feeder has a 360-degree turn.
The locking mechanism also needs to be easy and simple to use with one hand, which will save you lots of faff.
Similarly, a handle that's been ergonomically designed will offer plenty of comfort – which is super important on any dog walk.
Do retractable dog leads work?
Retractable dog leads are designed to keep your dog close by and in your control, while still giving them plenty of freedom – so yes, they do work for that purpose.
However, they do of course have their downsides: flimsy designs can break, so it's best to make sure you choose something durable and robust.
Some dogs will unsurprisingly, learn that pulling helps to extend the lead, so it's generally best to use them on pets that have already been lead trained so that you're not constantly being yanked along.
How thick should a dog lead be?
Lead thickness mostly comes down to the size of your dog – but of course, it needs to be comfortable for you to hold too, without causing friction.
For smaller dogs, a lead width of half an inch or less is suitable, while for medium and large-sized dogs, stick to widths of around one inch.
Are retractable dog leads bad for big dogs?
Retractable dog leads do carry dangers, so it's best to do your research – but overall they can still be suitable for big dogs.
Large dogs tend to pull on the lead more than smaller ones, so it's important to make sure that the lead you go for is designed for your dog's weight: you might even want to choose one that's suited for heavier dogs, to give you extra peace of mind.
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