Actually the “peeve” isn’t with the pet, it’s with the owner.
Ever been walking your dog, trying to teach it to walk nicely by your side and then, from around the corner, head on comes the nightmare on a stretchy leash. (retractable but not locked, we call it the stretchy leash ) The dog is now pulling, lunging, and maybe even swinging left and right, out of control towards you and your dog. Worst yet, the dog is being “walked” by a child !
Even worse, since the child has absolutely NO control over it’s charge, the dog slips out of their too loose collar and runs towards you and your dog. Maybe its friendly, maybe not, but either way your dog now feels like a target.
Attend any dog training class or ask any trainer – retractable leashes (for a neighborhood walk) are the WORST things you can use. Why ? Besides the obvious nuisance factor, the very first thing a dog understands is “who’s following who” – because they are pack animals. In a pack, there’s only one out front. Who is it ? The owner or the dog ?
The fact is, what Fido wants is leadership, best conveyed by the controlled walk !
This is a hard concept for some owners to put their hands around as the owners perception is “joy walking” (which is what we call it) is fun for the dog. Truth is, they’d
rather be the follower than the leader and, believe it or not – they will tire faster if they
are “working” as opposed to being wild lunatics at the end of stretchy.
Add in a potential danger factor, i.e. the dog veers suddenly into the street or “books”
because something started them. Uncontrolled walking with retractables puts your
precious friend at risk !
Retractables can be useful in a green area where you might want to give you dog some
freedom while still leashed, as required by Maricopa County law. But be a considerate
doggie neighbor, for neighborhood walks, leave the stretchy at home.