Although popular, flexi leashes can cause burns, cuts and entanglement and even strangulations for humans and dogs. A pet parents’ good intention is to give their dog room to roam on a long lead. When walking your dog it’s important to have control of the dog and any situation that may arise. A four- to six-foot leash will give you that control. You and your dog can feel each other’s presence, and, as a result, communicate with each other effectively. Dogs sense our emotions traveling through the leash and we can read our dog’s body language. If his body gets stiff and even freezes, he is on alert and you need to be on the alert as well. A relaxed body and wagging tail mean a fun walk.
Pet Parent Question:
I have used a flexi lead for years. Both my dog and I are used to this lead. Why should we change if we are careful?
You certainly don’t have to change if you don’t want to. My concern is always the increased opportunity for physical harm to the dog and the pet parent. I am also concerned about the quality of the walk experience for the dog and the pet parent. Being attentive and tuned in to your dog is always helpful, but especially on a walk. When you and your dog walk as a team in close proximity (on a four- to six-foot leash), enjoying each other’s company results in a positive walk experience. That also requires you to avoid distractions (like a phone) so you can focus on your dog. Happy walking!
Donna Chicone is an award-winning author, TEDx speaker and advocate for dogs. She lives in Woodbury. You might find her engaged in pet-assisted therapy work. superpetparent.com