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When I take my dog out I like to let him off the lead and be able to have a proper run about as he is very well behaved and comes back to me when I tell him too but my local park has decreed that dogs must always be kept on the lead so needs must.
I take him plenty of other places but because the park is so convenient we still go there very often. I still want him to be able to get a proper sniff about so I have a Flexi lead and even though I don’t really like using the lead it means that my dog can have a run and a sniff while still following the rules of the park.
The Flexi lead cost me £14 so quite high for a lead but it isn’t just a plain piece of cloth so probably justifies its price and to be honest I have seen these for so much more money.
The lead comes with a square plastic handle with a hand hole in it. The plastic square houses the lead which is extendable to up to a few feet in length. It is easy to use as you just clip it on your dog lead and then your dog is free to go exploring while you still have overall control on where he is going.
There is a button for controlling the lead and you can push this to keep the lead short or allow it to extend. You can also choose what length to have the lead as it is completely flexible and up to you.
I do like the fact that this lead allows my dog to be able to properly stretch his legs and be able to explore while still being on the lead and me being in control of it. The lead itself is really strong and there is no way it is going to snap even if it is pulled a lot.
I just dislike the fact that I find it very uncomfortable to use. The handle is heavy and bulky and not very comfortable .It is also so easy to drop it and I much prefer using his leather lead. This is a good quality lead and it is a really good idea and It’s good for dogs to be able to explore while you are using this but I would never choose to use this unless I had to such as at our local park.
We have had a flexi lead almost as long as we have had our dog - four years now. We are currently using our second flexi lead. You buy these leads with the size and weight of your dog in mind, as they come in different sizes for the type of dog. Our dog is 11kg so we opted for a medium flexi lead suitable for dogs of up to 20kg in a red colour.
The flexi lead is a retractable lead which clips simply on one end to the dog's collar. The handle is comfortable to hold and can be operated using just one hand. There is a catch which if released allows the lead to stretch out and if depressed holds the lead in place. Our medium flexi lead stretches out to about 7-8 metres if you want to allow your dog to wander a bit. There is no internal mechanism which automatically rewinds the lead -if you have allowed the lead to go to full stretch and then want to 'reel in' your dog, it does seem to involve catching up to your dog somewhat and reducing the length as you go. The lead can also be locked in place by pushing the catch forward.
It's a very simple mechanism to get the hang of and easily demonstrated to friends and relatives who have taken care of our dog when we have been away.
Some caution has to be taken when using the lead - don't be foolish and grab at it suddenly like I did when a rather large hound surprised us from the bushes. The retractable part of the lead is made of extremely strong, thin material and when I grabbed at it instinctively with my dog still on the move I got quite a nasty rope burn across my hand.
The leads are very good quality, durable and easy to use. The mechanism still worked fine on our first lead when we had to buy another - it was our dog's particular habit of skimming closely around the edges of the low brick garden walls in our neighbourhood which after a couple of years had caused the lead to start to fray and prompted a replacement.
The flexi lead is so much better than an ordinary lead in my view, as it allows your dog a bit of freedom whilst being kept under control. Would recommend.
Currently available on Amazon for £12.11 (medium flexi lead as at 13/08/13)
We have tried numerous dog leads with Eddie over the last two and a bit years and now I think we have finally found one that works really well for us and him. Eddie is a working cocker spaniel so he is very full of life and doesn't like to be on a lead. He will pull and tug at his lead until we can finally let him off and he is very strong so with a regular lead this is quite annoying. Once we get to the fields I am able to let him off his lead but around the streets it is not an option for him to be loose and so I need a lead I can rely on.
We decided to buy this retractable lead as it enables you to let your dog go a bit farther than they normally could on a regular lead but still be attached to you. In this way you can pull them back if there is any danger (a car passing on the road etc) but they still have the chance to sniff and explore. Eddie loves this extra freedom and he wanders around sniffing everything but does not pull me anymore which is great. The only problem I have found with this is that sometimes he can get himself in a bit of a tangle if he runs around lampposts or the pushchair etc but its fairly easy to untangle him and get him back!
The lead has a big plastic handle which is really quite comfortable and easy to hold. Its a bit heavy but not uncomfortable and actually the handle is angled which makes it nice to hold. At the top of the handle is the button you press to stop the chord. The chord is quite thin but actually its surprisingly strong and I don't ever feel like its going to snap or anything like that.
The cool thing about this lead is that Eddie can wander off but then when he comes back towards me the lead retracts into itself as well so you don't have to feed it back in yourself which is great. Its almost like Eddie is on a long bungee cord that comes back and forth when you need it to.
Above the button that you press to stop the cord is another button that actually holds the cord in place so if you have let it out to a length that you are happy with and your dog is happy with you can set it here so it will always be at that length and it will not move. I like this function and use it to keep Eddie close to me when I need him to be. The lead took a bit of getting used to when I first used it. I had been so used to tugging on a regular lead to get Eddie to stop pulling and when I tried to tug this lead in the same way it didn't do anything but now I know to push the button so it locks the cord into place and then Eddie will stop like I want him to.
The lead is easy to attach. It has a hook opening that I just clip onto Eddie's collar and away we go. A lead I definitely recommend.
For dogs who are wandering, inquisitive souls, constantly keeping them on the lead can seem a bit spirit-crushing; on the other hand, there are plenty of times when you've got a little space for them to explore in, but don't want to let them off the lead completely. This is where this Flexi lead really comes into its own, and it really helps on walks, especially if you have to walk for a little way before you can release your dog.
The lead is several metres long, and gives the dog plenty of exploration opportunities. At one hand there's a large plastic handle which is easy and light to hold, and comfortable to grip. Within this, the unused extent of the lead is concealed, rolled up. It's let out via a trigger on the handle, which also features a locking mechanism if you want to keep the length of lead constant.
Just like any normal lead, you affix it to the collar with a simple, easy-to-use clip, and this is plenty secure.
All in all, this is a really practical buy, and makes a real difference to the amount of freedom you can allow your dog when out on a walk. You can change the length of the lead easily, allowing your dog to walk well away from you or to walk closely - the only problem is that you've got several times as much lead to trip people up with and get tangled around trees. Swings and roundabouts and all that.
Flexi leads are the very popular extending leads you'll have seen loads and loads of dog walkers using, and there's a good reason why they're so popular!
The basic concept is that the lead is, as the name suggests, flexible! It can allow your dog some freedom to potter around and sniff and wander a bit further from their owner than a normal lead but it can also keep them close and safe and right by your side.
The extending function of the lead works a bit like a tape measure. As the dog moves further away a strong string lead reels out of the handle, and when the dog comes closer it automatically reels back in, it doesn't require much input from the human at all. When you want to keep the lead short there is a simple locking mechanism so you can transform it to a normal length secure lead just by pushing a button.
The handle is comfortable and easy to grip, even with gloves on, or in cold weather. Its very ergonomic, the button to lock the lead is in a comfortable place so you can get to it quickly and easily and the handle has a nice soft rubber grip.
Flexi leads aren't right for every dog. If you have one with a high prey drive or who is very excitable they may not be suitable as you wouldn't want the poor dog to run right to the end of the lead and be 'pinged' back painfully, or if the dog is big then you wouldn't want it to pull your arm out of the socket! However, my dogs have always learned pretty quickly where the end of the lead is and how far they can wander when they're on it, so I've not had that problem.
I think flexi leads are a great solution for when you're walking your dog somewhere where it isn't safe or appropriate to let them off the lead but where they don't necessarily need to be right by your side. It gives them a little bit of extra freedom to explore while you can keep full control over them. Just be careful you don't end up getting tangled if you're walking more than one dog at a time or if you bump into other dogs also on flexi leads and they decide they want to play!
The flexi lead is more expensive than most ordinary leads, but I think its worth it due to the extra functionality, and I've never had one break or wear out in any way. They come in a variety of sizes and strengths to suit different breeds of dog and also in a range of colours to suit the owner's tastes! I got mine from Pets at Home but they are also available widely online, and probably cheaper!
First off I must point out that I am reviewing the Flexi Comfort '3' Lead and that Dooyoo told me to pop my review on here so here I am!
As most of you may now know by reading my reviews me and my mate Liz share a dog called Daisy who is a stunning white toy poodle. She stays here alot of nights and most days me and Liz are together which means so is Daisy and we take her out with us very often of course and I take her out alone as well as I live right by the beach and a lovely park that she adores.
We actually, between us have a huge collection of leads and swap and change them round often. My friend bought this one in a charity shop with me and Daisy in tow for the great price of £2.00 and we got it at the time as a spare and cos it looked such good quality and we knew it was a good investment.
This comes in several colours which are red, blue, grey (the one we have), green and black and is really designed with larger dogs in mind such as German shepherds, Boxers and Collies etc (up to 60kg in weight but you can use this on smaller dogs as we do if desired). We have to use ours with a harness and its great even on smaller dogs as it has a flex on it of 5m which allows Daisy some independence but we still get to be in charge!
So you get a big plastic handle where the flex is stored in of course. The handle section is black in contrast to the rest of the grey coloured plastic (in our case) and is really large and the top of the handle there is a button you can click to stop your dog going any further in that moment or you can simply let your dog choose the length and secure the button in and it keeps to that length without budging at all.
It is of course a retractable lead so if you do nothing with the button the lead adjusts to the right length at the dogs own accord and its really strong and made from thinnish but robust cord that goes into the unit easily and with little noise and then has a thicker more robust section of cord with a giant silver clip on it to attach to a harness or collar.
This is actually a brilliant lead and perfect for all of us. It is a little bulky and rather heavy but it feels secure and I trust it a 100% and it never lets me down or puts Daisy in danger. Just a little fishing about today online at prices this is about £30.00 to purchase new on Amazon and £20.00 at the very least on other sites and when you see and hold this you can see why its simply just great quality. I like the length of this and the fact that the silver clip is so secure. Daisy loves this lead and although it isn't all that pretty and is a little heavy its worth it so that Daisy can be independent!
We bought our Flexi Classic Dog Lead about eighteen months ago from an online petshop. It cost us around £10 at the time and I think they are about the same price now. It is black with a plastic handle and is fully retractable. We bought it because we wanted to give our dog a bit more freedom when we took him out for a walk, but also still be safe in the knowledge that if he saw another dog (or even, God forbid, a cat) that after the initial mad dash, we wouldn't have lost him forever. He is an exciteable dog so we thought this was a great idea.
It has proven to be a godsend to be honest and has made walking our dog a much more enjoyable experience in my personal experience. It will retract a good five metres in length and glides back smoothly afterwards without sticking at all. It is very strong and shows no signs of wear and tear and no fraying, and he does pull on the lead a lot and he's not small dog by any means. This lead is designed for dogs of all sizes - large and small, and so is very versatile.
The only downside to this lead is I think the handle. It is made from hard plastic and once you have been out walking for a while and the dog continues to keep pulling, it can become quite uncomfortable and even painful on the palm and the fingers. Other than that, though it's perfect.
He looks forward to his walks every day, twice a day, and we look forward to taking him out.
Review also posted on Ciao as sorehead.
Owning a pet of any kind can be expensive as many people will know, you are fully responsible for their health and welfare but the enjoyment they can bring far outweigh the costs involved in their care. I've had my dog, Barney, since he was 6 weeks old and has been my faithful and loyal companion for the past 9 years, he goes everywhere with me and when the time comes for him to leave this mortal coil he will leave a irreplaceable hole in my life. I try to pander to his needs as much as I can and he is a pampered pooch, demanding at times, frustrating at others but he loves me and I know it. He asks for very little really though when I think about it, food when he wants it, doggy treats when he thinks he deserves them and nice long walks to stretch his legs and the chance to sniff out points of interest that capture his attention.
A dog lead is therefore crucial for us to be able to go out and about together and the Flexi-lead is the one I have for Barney and have owned it for a number of years now. Yorkies by the nature are inquisitive and headstrong little dogs and whilst Barney will respond to his name and will come to me when called he is a 9 year old who thinks he's still a puppy and will wander off by himself and get into all manner of mischief given half the chance. The Flexi-lead gives us the best of both worlds as it gives Barney enough freedom to be able to explore where he wants to go but I am safe in the knowledge that he can't go too far and as this review will hope to explain why I think its a great lead and one that I would recommend to other dog owners.
The Flexi-lead is available in different shapes and sizes suitable for all breeds of dog and depending on the size and weight of your own pet will determine which lead will be suitable for them. Because Barney is a Yorkshire Terrier I have the 'small' version of the Flexi-lead which is suitable for dogs up to 12kgs in weight. The lead is a retractable one with varying lengths of cord or tape available and range in length from 3 metres to 8, the longer the lead the more expensive it is and prices start from around £9.00 and go up to over £20.00 for the large Flexi-lead with an 8 meter cord.
Barney's lead is blue in colour and is made from a plastic material, there is a metal clasp situated at the end of the lead itself which is designed to be clipped onto his harness and the cord control is located at the top of the lead which is operated by a button, this presses in to lock the lead and when released gives me and Barney the full length of cord for him to be able to explore his surroundings. The retraction of the lead is smooth and doesn't snag either at full length or when it is winding back into the body of the lead and the clasp is of a decent weight and thickness that it feels strong and sturdy. My Flex-lead is an early incarnation of the 'comfort' range and as such features a slightly cushioned grip and whilst this is relatively comfortable to hold in my hand, after a while of holding it still starts to make my hand ache and I find that I switch from right to left hand if we're out on a long walk together.
It's an easy lead to operate and when the lock is in its open position its the weight of your dog that releases the cord and allows them to walk ahead of you, I can't comment on how reliable this would be for either very heavy or light dogs and should your dog be one that pulls then there is a possibility that they could dislodge the lead from your hand. As already mentioned, Barney is an inquisitive dog and will go off in his own direction whenever he gets the opportunity to, he never quite grasped the concept of 'Heel' and taking him for a walk often sees him meandering around in a haphazard manner as he likes to check out any smells that interest him. There are times when he gets a little ahead of himself and will run out of lead, the jerking action this causes can be startling and there have been times when I've dropped his lead, conversely the locking action is a handy function to have if there are any dangers that you spot and the lead does offer plenty of control in how far your dog is allowed to wander.
I have used both this lead and the traditional fixed length lead in the past and consider the Flexi-lead to be the better of the two. Given the fact that I've owned this for a number of years now I do think its durability is remarkable and it is used at least twice a day, every day. Later versions of this lead seem to feature a more cushioned handle which probably make them better to handle than mine and should the day come when the cord of mine breaks I would have no hesitation in buying another Flexi-lead and would expect it to provide many more years of reliable service.
It's a five star product as far as I'm concerned, it may be a little more expensive than other leads which are available to buy but the freedom they give your dog when on a walk plus the control it gives makes it worth the few extra pounds they cost. Available from pet shops, Argos and Pets at Home the Flexi-lead gets the thumbs up from me and comes highly recommended. Thanks for reading my review.
Please note that this review also appears on ciao under my username.
I have used a Flexi lead for the passed four years with my Rottweiler. He was a rescue dog and had no training, after working hard with him it was obvious that I was never going to get a reliable recall on him in dangerous situations. Due to him not really being a sociable dog he did not mind not being able to run and play with my othe dogs and gave me peace of mind when out walking.
I would not recommend this lead for normal road walking as it does not give you a great deal of control over a stong dog but when other dogs are off lead, my Rotti goes on this lead.
The length is perfect and gives him the freedom to be able to move a round and sniff and be like a normal dog whilst I have control over him.
My Rotti is 45kg and very strong when he wants to be and when he sees Deer on the horizon I am confident that no matter how much he pulls the lead will with stand him! It also withstands sudden jolts when he decides to run and the line runs out, although I usually end up a few feet forward!
I did have the "Giant" verson of this lead but it is very big and cumbersome. On buying a replacement after the Giant lead was lost I opted for the "Large" size. This is smaller and easier to handle and still withstands his strength!
As stated the replacement was only because I lost the first one, My boyfriend left it by the car after putting the dogs away and we drove off without it!!! Ultimately the one I am using now has lasted two years of constant use and is still going strong.
I would be lost without this lead, I prefer dogs to be running free but this suits my needs perfectly and it a wonderful item to give my dog freedom but stil giving me the control in case a horse or deer is smelt!
If you have a large strong dog make sure you pick the "Tape" version rather then and "Rope" version as it is stronger.
I have two of the leads, the Flexi Lead Classic Long, which is much like the picture above except that mine is blue. It consists of a plastic handle and spool, a short segment of nylon lead and a longer length of heavy string. I also have the flexi lead maxi which is made only of the nylon lead material, which the manufacturer refers to as tape. Both leads work in exactly the same way, the only difference being that Flexi lead maxi is meant to be much stronger and less likely to break. At 8m, it is also longer than the Flexi Lead Classic ordinary which is only 5m. The Flexi Lead Classic Long is also 8m so, I find no difference. They all work the same way, the lead is let out of the spool as the dog pulls and automatically wound back up when the lead goes slack. A lock button is meant to hold the leash at one length and prevent it from extending further but is not 100% reliable.
Flexi Leads are something you either love or hate. I personally really like them, they do have their purposes, unfortunately, they are often used incorrectly. Additionally, there have been a number of cases of the string ones coming undone at the end. Theoretically, the Flexi Maxi is a better choice for a more powerful dog, but I am still not certain I would be comfortable with a very large and aggressive dog on the end of one of these.
Personally, I have owned both types for over 8 years without problem, so I can not say from experience that one works better than the other, as both have worked perfectly for me. If I take into consideration customer accounts, especially those with large breeds like Rottweilers though, I would say the Flexi Lead Maxi is less likely to break and a much better choice for powerful dogs.
The Flexi Lead was designed for use in training dogs for tracking. This kept them in a reasonable distance without the long leads getting tangled up. They were quickly seized on as ideal in certain stages of obedience work, and later for just taking the dog for a walk. The most important aspect of correct usage is to know the tools limitations. These leads are famous for the locking mechanism giving way when a dog is in full charge, leading to many a dog fight, and quite possible car accidents as well. These leads are ideal in teaching a dog to come and stay as I find them much more convenient than a long line. They are also nice to allow a new dog a bit of freedom without totally losing control.
They can be used to allow a dog a bit more on lead freedom as well. I have severe pain in my hands and expect my dog to walk in a loose heel position on lead. However with this on she can forage ahead a bit, stop a have a wee snoop etc.. , the flexible nature of this leash will prevent any shocking pulls against my hand. The dog also knows when this goes on she is allowed more freedom. I do take her off lead at times, but there are other times and places where this is a better option. Additionally I often watching my boys ride about on their bikes on the green. If I am just standing or sitting on a wall, she can have a bit more freedom to roll in the grass or explore without being off lead in a very busy area.
The main thing about using this is, your dog should be walking or maybe trotting a wee bit, it should not really be running ahead. As mentioned, if the dog gets into a full gallop, I do not think this product is 100% reliable in stopping the dog. Using a smaller size lead than required for your breed of dog makes accidents more likely as well, as do cheaper imitations ( Of which I have broken three). Of course common sense does apply here. If you won a Yorkie it is unlikely she will break through this. If you own a Malamute who is wearing a harness, it becomes very likely! Consider the dogs size and strength.
Also, I am amazed at how many people seem completely oblivious of their own dog with these. The owner must remain in control. I personally hate it when people let their dogs come up and wrap around my legs with these (I fall easily). It is also asking for a dog fight to allow your dog to jump all about a strange dog and tangle the both of them up in lead. If the lead should pull and hurt either dog, or even just annoy one by restraint, you have two fighting dogs who are tied together. I once had a lovely lab pup tangled up so badly that when my dog moved it badly tightened the poor pups choke chain, causing her to lash out. Thankfully no real harm was done but it scared me to death and had I had less control of my own staffy it could have been a very bad situation indeed. The only casualty was my hand, which thankfully it was just puppy teeth so no real harm done.
The absolute best example I have seen of incorrect usage though was a fellow with some type of really long Flexi Lead. He stopped at the traffic light and did not even appear to notice the dog had crossed the street without him. The next motorist stopped as the lead stretched across the road like a police barrier. The less intelligent of the two creatures with the leash proceeded to shout at dog who ran and then attempted to come around the back of the vehicle. The leash got trapped in the bumper and by now several cars were cued up beeping horns and shouting "suggestions" to the poor dumb creature who was becoming more and more distressed. The dog wasn't too happy either. All in all it was a it amusing, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for the dog, and it could just as easily have resulted in a serious accident.
When a dog is on the Flexi Lead it still requires a good bit of supervision. You can not just forget he or she is on the other end. I do think the company needs to actively warn customers that the lock may fail, or that larger dogs may snap the end of this free. It has been some time since I purchased this, so perhaps there are adequate warnings and I do not remember, but so many people have been caught by surprise I must think not. But if used with proper precautions, this really is a handy item to have. I have given it 5 stars because I like it so much. I can not rate it down for the lock button failing as this has never happened to me, but I will still recognise that as a possibility. And of course without proper precautions, this lead becomes an accident waiting to happen.
Our dog Jess greatly enjoys being out and about on her flexi classic retractable lead. Jess was sort of semi abandoned,left in the middle of the night at a home for strays in Southern Spain but left with her dog passport which is a record of her injections and rabies jab. Being a softy golden retriver of 14months she was pretty traumatised and we found that she didnt know how to run about or play so we bought the lead to give her a bit of freedom whilst feeling securely in touch with us.It cost about 13pounds at a large pet store in Spain.
We have the version for large dogs as she is a solid 25kg and this lead extends to 5metres which has been good for training stay sit commands. It has a natty two toned cream and orange case(needs cleaning!) and a cream lead ending in a swivvel clipto connect to the collar. Apart from Jess chewing the end as she now leaps about its standing up well to its 2years of constant use.
The two thumb contols on the top edge of the case jam or release the lead as required but, a word of warning! do not unclip your dogs lead if someone else is holding the lead as you do not know if the y have the jam button on or not and 5metres of lead whizzing in with a metal swivvel clip on the end gives your fingers a really hard smack!Keep this in mind if you have kids, I heard of one owner who ended up with a really painful eye as a result of this. One other small tip, dont buy a black one you can never find it.
Jess is now a happy 3year old with bags of confidence and glorious eyelashes that are a real show stopper and I promise to clean the flexi lead tomorrow
I have decided to write a review on the flexi retractable dog lead, as on reading some of the other reviews their seems to be quite a variety in opinion. So I thought I would put my 2pence worth in too!
The leads themselves cover a huge range starting with 3metre length suitable for up to 12kg dogs, which costs around £12. The variation is not only on the lengths available but also the weight suitable depending on the specific flexi lead. This goes up to a 8metre lead suitable for maximum 65kg dog, costing around £28. The leads come in a variety of block colours and the prices can be significantly different from online and in shops.
The actual lead is enclosed inside a large plastic compartment which is handle held. This can seem quite cumbersome at first and it is, but you do get used to it after a while. The handle on mine is from the comfort flexi range and therefore is made of a slightly softer plastic under your grip, having had the other versions it does make a difference.
The lead part is remarkably thin. It is made of a type of cord, you can apparently get tape type ones but I have not seen these myself. I have to admit I was dubious about the capabilities of this cord for my dogs.
I have two siberian husky dogs. These dogs are well known for there pulling abilities! and they fact that they are extremely difficult to let off the lead, due to the fact that they chase anything for literally miles/hours and are particularly stubborn at recall.
Due to all of the above I personally find the flexi lead indispensable. I have one dog at 20kg and the other at 34kg and I have been pulled at length, especially when they see a rabbit! However the leads have never snapped as yet and I have had both nearly two years. Now saying that I do check the lead at the point where it joins (a small plastic section which stops the cord) each day for damage. The actual clip to the lead is simple and standard of most and can be attached to collar, halti or harness.
I realise I have been quite pro the flexi so far, this does not mean they are not without fault......
When your dog turns and runs in the opposite direction quickly, the lead will spin very fast back into the handle. If this happens to be on your skin, it will give you a rope burn :( I speak from experience. The length also means they do get tangled if they run around each other sometimes, although mine seem to be able to chase each other without doing this now and it's me that ends up twirling in the field!
There is also a sense of lack of control when they dog starts pulling when the lead is fully extended, but I think there is not much you can do about this really except be aware of your surroundings and what triggers your dog. Saying that I can often be seen dragged around the fields at arms length in each direction!!!
I think the flexi is very useful if you have dogs that are difficult to let off the lead for whatever reason, you can not always find a secure field and this gives them a chance to explore and chase. They are also useful for puppies to learn recall on and they do gradually learn the length they can go without it stopping them.
Yes the flexi is not without faults, but ultimately I could not do without mine.
Maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.
I recently reviewed the halti dog collar and explained that my 2 year old setter is a real puller on the lead! If you know anything about the breed, then you will be aware that English setters are prone to pull and that good recall is not one of their strengths! Setters have been breed to set birds and that's what they are good at! If my dog gets the scent or sight of a game bird, no amount of calling will persuade him to come back to me. We live in a rural farming area, with fields full of cows and sheep. It is really important to have a dog under control with stock about. However I also want my dog to be allowed some freedom and so decided to try a retractable lead, as I thought this would allow him to run ahead of me whilst I was still firmly in control.
Browsing in my local pet shop I was attracted to the Flexi classic retractable dog lead, mainly because it came in several sizes and looked like a quality product. The lead comes in clear packaging so you can see what you are buying. I opted for the lead for large breeds up to 65 kg as my setter is very strong and I wanted to be sure the lead would cope with him pulling! This lead is also available for small dogs up to 12 kg and for medium dogs up to 20 kg. The largest size can extend to 5 metres, so allowing the dog some freedom to explore. There were three colour choices including black, red and blue. I opted for red lead.I seem to remember paying about 20 for this lead. Prices do vary and it is always worth shopping around.
The handle of the lead is made of soft grip plastic and is ergonomically shaped. I found the lead fitted well into my hand and felt very comfortable to hold. The handle also feels soft to grip, although is very tough. I have dropped the lead on several occasions with no ill effects. The lead itself is contained within the handle and is extended or retracted by means of a small slider situated on the handle. The lead has a metal clip at the end to attach the lead to your dog's collar. The lead is made of thick, strong nylon.
You can keep your dog on a short lead by locking the slider mechanism on the handle. This is important near roads or when you encounter another dog you may be unsure of. It is also possible to hold the slider in the lock position when you want to keep your dog close to you for a short period of time. When you want to give him some freedom you simply release the slider, allowing the lead to extend to its full 5 metre capacity.
For the first few walks with this lead all went well. Although my dog pulled, I found the handle comfortable and easy to hold without getting blisters! I liked the fact that I could retract the lead and prevent it from dragging in mud when walking in the rain. I also liked the fact I felt in control whilst still being able to give him some freedom. I really was full of praise for this lead! However a few months after buying the lead, it all went wrong! Whilst walking through a field with the lead fully extended my dog spotted a pheasant and decided to give chase. The sudden pull managed to break the lock mechanism and my dog was able to continue the chase with no restrictions! As there were lambs at the top end of the field it could have had disastrous consequences! However luckily for me the pheasant decided to hide in the hedge and my dog did what he enjoys doing; he stopped and set! This gave me time to catch up with him and grab his collar.
The lead had completely come away away from the handle, although the lead itself was still in tact. I think this is an excellent lead for small to medium sized dogs, or a dog that is not a puller. However I really wouldn't recommend you use this lead if you have a large strong dog. The consequences of the lead breaking could have been much worse!
When out looking for a new lead for our German Shepherd, I was recommended a flexi lead for being one of the most reliable, easy to use and dog friendly leads. As with any pet owner, I want the best for our dog and happily paid £34.99 for a flexi lead which was the largest in the selection and it was extra large. The extra large size is supposed to be suitable for large dogs of up to 50kg.
I purchased the flexi lead in black for Ben. They do come in red and blue as well. The flexi lead reaches lengths of five meters but you can purchase even longer or shorter leads depending on yours and your dogs needs. On the top of the lead near to the handle, there is a locking mechanism which you simply press when you feel the lead has extended enough (or if you don't want to extend the lead at all). You press it again to release it. If you have extended the lead when you unlock the mechanism, the lead will retract again.
The body of the flexi lead is made out of hard plastic which is very durable - I have dropped it many times on the concrete floor and it has survived with a few scuffs. The lead itself is made out of a nylon cord.
The actual lead rolls out of the body of the lead very easily and nice and smoothly. It retracts quickly when you unlock it but this was only the case when used without a dog. When used with a dog you get a whole different story.
Sadly, I cannot recommend this lead for the size dogs it is actually supposed to be for. After taking Ben out for about 5 walks on this lead, I gave up with it and replaced it immediately. The lead just is not cut out for working dogs - in my opinion they are much too strong for it. When used with my dog, I found that I lost control of my dog and that he ran riot with it. He is a good dog normally but the slackness of the lead left him feeling like he was free from the lead if that makes sense. As an owner it left me feeling as though I had no control over my dog and I also felt that the lead could not cope with his strength. I found myself worrying that the nylon would eventually snap causing him to come off of the lead completely and if I am honest, it was just not worth the worry.
Sadly, I can only give this 1 DooYoo star as it is probably the worst lead you could purchase for a working dog despite what it says.
When we had our present dogs as puppies, you have to go through this routine of training them to come back to you before you can really let them off the lead in the open. It's not really good to do it with a shorter lead (the ones about 5 feet long) because the puppy is too close to you, and carrying around longer leads and long rope to allow it to roam a bit further isn't really practical.
So when someone told me about the Flexi leads I was quite intrigued. I eventually bought a larger version one from Amazon for just under £20 at the time. What you get is effectively a well designed retractable dog lead, which for my Comfort version had an 8 metre (26 feet) length of lead.
The one I have has a red plastic case with an enclosed handle in soft black rubberised plastic on one side and the lead bit coming out of the other. The lead bit has a swivel connection at one end to attach to your dog's collar, and then this is attached by about 16 inches of strong fabric tape up to the handle bit. There is a stop on the end to stop it going any further into the handle. But within the handle, this is attached to a further 7.5 metres of strong cord. So overall, with the handle the device is about 2 feet long in the closed position and 8 metres long in the fully extended position. The lead bit also works on an automatic recoil system - strong enough to come in on its own, but not so strong as to launch your pooch backwards through the air back towards you holding the handle. On the top of the handle bit you have a button which is the brake bit that controls how much of the lead it allowed to be drawn out from the handle. This also has an additional lock facility by this button allowing you to lock the lead at any length.
The idea is that you attach the lead to your dog's collar. If you are walking around town and want to keep your dog on a short lead, you can push the button on the top to apply the brake, lock it in position and then the device becomes a short lead. But out in the fields, you can allow the dog to wander further, pulling the lead out to the full extent if required, whilst you still keep full control of your dog. So this is ideal if you are a bit nervous about letting little Rover off of the lead in a park fearing that he won't come back, because you can still allow him to wander quite a way from you but still keep him under control and get him back to you when needed.
One thing of note is that if you have a large stubborn dog, it can be difficult to bring them back if they are tugging on the lead at full extension. The best method then is to use a combination of swinging your arm forward quickly to recoil some of the lead and then applying the brake. Then pull the lead handle back with the brake still on, release the brake and repeat the process again until the dog is back with you. I've seen people in parks with these leads trying to pull on the lead bit itself, wrapping it around their arms and legs and letting go of the handle trying to retrieve their stubborn pooches.
In my case I have used this lead to train both of my dogs with recall. The length of the lead allowed the puppy to get far enough away from me as to be 'absorbed' with something else of interest. Then when I wanted then to come back, if they at first didn't acknowledge my call, a gentle tug on the lead would get there attention. If they still didn't return I could gently draw the lead in using the method above to bring the puppy back to me as I called their name. Using this lead and training method on both of my dogs has been very successful to the extent that out in the open, nether of them are on a lead at all.
So as a training aid, to me it proved vital with the length of lead. But as a general dog walking aid, the flexibility it offers is invaluable. Lock it in the closed position for general pavement walks when you want your dog close by, and leave it run out to the full extent in an open field if you are unsure of what is around you or if your dog will run off chasing something. And of course you can have any length or setting in between, giving you total piece of mind that you have your dog under your control at all times.
May be a little more expensive than you normal dog lead, but you are effectively getting many different leads in the one device. So highly recommended.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.