Extendable lead or long training lead?

(29 Posts)
BatleyTownswomensGuild Fri 31-Jul-20 11:37:32

Calling experienced dog owners!

We're getting a dog in a few weeks and she's known for going after a scent and hasn't got great recall at the moment. We have a lot of open countryside that she's going to enjoy, but think we're going to need to walk her across the fields on a long lead for a while - at least until she's better trained. Trying to decide between a retractable tape lead (very useful and adjustable but have heard the odd horror story of them breaking) or long training lead (hard wearing but can't adjust length.)

Can I gauge people's opinions?

Thanks so much!

OP’s posts: |
SlothMama Fri 31-Jul-20 11:41:06

I have both and personally I prefer a long line, the retractable stops suddenly and cause neck injurys particularly if they are running. I recently got a biothane long line for my puppy and it's great, it's wipe clean and he doesn't mind it trailing behind him.

Yaottie Fri 31-Jul-20 11:43:26

My long line kept getting caught under my dog and eventually rubbed her. I use an extendable lead attached to a harness and am training her to slow down when I shout so she knows she's getting to the end.

tabulahrasa Fri 31-Jul-20 12:48:43

Depends... I use both

A retractable lead isn’t actually as useful for training recall, but, I find much easier with a dog with no recall at all for a bit more freedom.

You do want a tape one though and tbh flexi branded as cheap ones can be very dodgy, I’d swap it from a normal lead when you get to where you’d actually use it both for safety and also so it’s much easier for the dog to know when it’s supposed to be walking nicely on lead or is allowed to wander a bit more and obviously never have it on full length near other dogs or people.

For training recall a longline is better as they’re effectively loose but if the recall fails you can stand on it and then get them back.

tabulahrasa Fri 31-Jul-20 12:49:43

Oh and neck injuries, you should never use either with a collar... always a harness with the fastening on the back for the lead.

Floralnomad Fri 31-Jul-20 14:15:03

I’ve used both but I only used the longline when I was training recall , now he’s trained if I go somewhere where he needs to be on a lead but can have a bit of freedom eg a NT property I use a retractable as it’s so much easier to control and doesn’t get wet and dirty .

UrsulaPandress Fri 31-Jul-20 14:25:21

Used both and for training definitely a long line but be careful you don't get friction burns.


RunningFromInsanity Fri 31-Jul-20 14:46:47

Depends on the size of the dog.

Extendable/retractable leads are good for smaller/lighter breeds and allows them to explore whilst still being safe.
As above, always wear on a harness never a collar.

For bigger breeds I would go for a long line/training lead that would trail on the ground.

Sitdowncupoftea Fri 31-Jul-20 16:56:47

I exercise my dogs on a long leash attatched to harness. They have a strong prey drive. How big is your dog. The shop bought training leads have a clip fastner as on a dog leash which if you have a large dog may snap. I attach mine with a carabiner. I lasso them in and out on a 30ft line. I live rural so I dont usually bump into anyone except bambi.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Fri 31-Jul-20 20:03:13

I prefer a longline though I can understand that there are time when a retractable is better. Both can be dangerous (I've been felled by own longline and friction burned by a mate's retractable) but IME retractables are worse.

I will admit that I am prejudiced against them as round there they are favoured by people who cannot be arsed to train their dogs, so they restrain yappy little fuckers with no manners.

However, a badly used retractable is bloody lethal

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 31-Jul-20 21:57:42

Long line as retractable leads are responsible for multiple injuries in dogs and the owners. The have been some truly horrific def loving injuries of owners fingers with retractable leads as well as the neck injuries of dogs previously mentioned.

KindKylie Fri 31-Jul-20 22:03:57

I really don't like retractable leads as they are so thin and therefore sharp as they spoil, plus the yanking is really painful. They don't seem to really do much for recall either.

MyGirlDaisy Fri 31-Jul-20 22:27:52

Long line on a harness - please don’t use an extending lead as @Lonecatwithkitten says they can cause horrible injuries to your own dog, other dogs and humans. I walk dogs for other people and I will not use an extending lead for those very reasons.

pigsDOfly Fri 31-Jul-20 23:59:59

I've used a retractable lead with my dog for 9 years and never had any injuries to her or to me, or to any other dogs. She's small and some of the places we walk have high banks and water courses that could be dangerous for her if she fell in. A retractable lead gives her freedom to explore in such places whilst being safe.

Only ever use a 'Flexi' lead and only ever tape, the metal ones are very dangerous and can cut humans and dogs very badly.

They will not cause neck injuries to a dog if you use them properly with a harness as it says on the packet. They should never ever be used with a collar.

Having said that they are not meant as a training tool. For training a long training lead should be used.

GameofPhones Sat 01-Aug-20 00:05:32

Retractable lead cut into my fingers the first time I used it, when my dog suddenly took off after a cat. Never used it again.

tabulahrasa Sat 01-Aug-20 00:11:31

You can cut your fingers on some long lines if you grab them too... I know, I have done.

From experience you can also get pulled over standing on a long line and busy up your knee badly enough that it’s still sore when it’s damp about 6 years later... lol

You’re not actually supposed to touch the tape part, just the handle and buttons.

I mean you have to be careful using both things, but used carefully they’re both useful, just for different things.

BatleyTownswomensGuild Sat 01-Aug-20 10:09:02

Thanks for your input. This is really helpful.

I think we might go with a long line for now, just until we know what we're dealing with. She's a good natured dog but has a strong scent instinct so might pull somewhat in the fields. Have already bought a harness for her. (Hate seeing dogs dragged around by their necks. One of my neighbours suggested a choke chain and there's no bloody way on earth I'm putting a dog in one of those!)

Have also bought a short lead for pavement walking around our village.

OP’s posts: |
Sitdowncupoftea Sat 01-Aug-20 10:54:28

@BatleyTownswomensGuild I walk my dog on short lead then put the longline on once I get to the fields. I have a webbing long line same fabric as my leash. I have a pair of weightlifting gloves because the lead drags though mud and water. I've had no accidents my dog comes back etc when told on the long line. Some breeds can't go off leash due to following scents etc. Dogs are under control when they are on a leash same goes for a long line. There are many off leash dogs that are badly trained and dont go back to owners. If your dogs on a long line at least your dog is under control. Apart from the local farmers I have yet to meet a dog with good recall. People should not let dogs off leash unless they have a very good recall and you are doing the sensible thing. We have had a spate of sheep attacks at the moment. I saw one sheep attack it was horrific. I told the dog owner off and reported it. The idiots answer was normally he comes back. Personally I recommend them.

Clymene Sat 01-Aug-20 11:08:22

A tape retractable is unlikely to cut your fingers and much less likely to snap than a cord one. But I wouldn't use them with a dog with no recall. My dog has one now but it's really to give him more sniff room in the park. If we're anywhere with livestock or wildlife more interesting than a squirrel, he's kept very short so they're no danger of it injuring anyone

BatleyTownswomensGuild Sat 01-Aug-20 11:15:57


Thanks for this. I have a hunch that she may be such a dog. She's lovely with people but the force is strong with this one! I have no problem with keeping her on a long line permanently if necessary.

OP’s posts: |
Sitdowncupoftea Sat 01-Aug-20 12:44:15

@BatleyTownswomensGuild If your dogs strong you can have the added security of a waist belt to attach to. Buy a decent padded one. The ones I've seen on some sites would cut you in two. Go to a sled dog website. They have padded thick ones so your back is not damaged. I have one I have two strong dogs and on long walks have them attached to my waist so I'm hands free. It looks like a weightlifting belt no plastic connectors as they would snap. The same goes for harnesses from shops. I buy mine from a sled dog supplier.

BatleyTownswomensGuild Sat 01-Aug-20 18:45:18

Thanks for the tip! I look into that should the need arise!

OP’s posts: |
Delatron Mon 03-Aug-20 15:44:04

I’ve had the most awful friction burns from a long line but understood the retractable leaves are more dangerous.

Not sure what the answer is when you have a big, fast dog with dodgy recall! The waist belt sounds interesting..

Delatron Mon 03-Aug-20 15:44:29

Retractable leads.. not leaves

cherrypiepie Mon 03-Aug-20 16:14:21

Just another thought here. The long line is much easier to get a good grip on as you can put your wrist through the handle and grab it. The plastic handle of the extender cannot do this so if dog tugs unexpectedly sharply or is strong it could slip out of your grip (talking from near-experience!) (my dog trainer uses long line for recall training)

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