“ Brand: Options / Type: Dog Collars, Leads & ID „
I was scanning the shelves at Pets at Home for a lead for the dog we've recently acquired. Leads come in a surprising number of forms: chains, leather leashes, extending, fabric, all sorts. I'd just picked something that seemed quite expensive for what it was, when I saw the Options Flashing dog lead, which was on sale for £3. I thought this was a great price and liked the idea of a lead that would have higher visibility than normal ones (as we live in the back of beyond where there is no street lighting).
It's a black fabric lead of about a metre long, reflective strips on both sides, and red LED lights embedded at intervals along it. The handle is a sewn loop of the lead, with a padded underside for the handhold. This makes it comfortable to hang on to, while your irrepressible Mutt tries to pull you off your feet. Just below the handle is the small silver-coloured box containing the electrical workings & battery for the lights. It takes those small round batteries you use in watches. You can switch the lights on and off with a button on the box and they flash away merrily.
Initially I was really pleased with the lead, as it's strong enough to contend with a rather boisterous monster of a dog, and it looked quite funky. It had novelty factor for the children and I, (although the Other Half was less enamoured). At £3, however, he couldn't grumble.
It was great on its first outing, but the next day it poured down while we were on our walk. Almost immediately the reflective striping came away from the lead - it just peeled away in sections. The next day was also damp, and the rest of striping came off, so we were left with a simple black lead, with LED lights in it (which still worked). It looked fine, smart even, without the reflective material, but it was pretty annoying all the same.
A couple of weeks later and the LED lights were starting to falter, not turning on reliably and half of them not bothering to light up at all. A change of battery might possibly have worked (although it would have been mighty soon to be changing battery), but Mr Chompy got in the way of that experiment, taking it upon himself to have a wee crunch on the electrical unit when the lead was foolishly left unattended. He didn't hurt his mouth fortunately. The remainder of the unit we took off, as it was going to end up hurting someone's hand.
And so, we now have a plain black lead.
I have no complaints about the basics we are left with - it has a good strong clasp, the handle is comfy and the lead itself is sturdy. The novelty factors have gone by the wayside, but as just a lead it is perfectly serviceable and I've no fears of it breaking in any other manner.
If I'd paid a lot for it I might be fuming, but at £3, I'm perfectly sanguine.
The features of this lead (as advertised on Amazon) are:
~ Reflective strips and flashing lights visible up to 400m - true (while they last)
~ Easy on/off switch - true (as long as your dog doesn't bite it off!)
~ Water Resistant - not really true, maybe in light showers (_very_ light showers). It depends on your definition of resistant, I guess!
~ Quick release buckle - true
~ Batteries included - true
Really it's only a lead for occasional (dry weather) use, if you want to keep its reflective stripes intact. If you're looking for a cheap dog lead, you could do worse.