I’ve been ‘best friended’ for almost 4 years now although it was initially forced on me by my wife! The story goes, a good friend of ours had a litter of terriers, one was chosen by my better half and we’ve had him ever since. The early mornings and 3 walks a day have meant the right equipment has been essential. I’ll be talking about dog leads for a medium dog in this post. Over the next couple of blog posts I’m going to discuss what I’ve been through and what products have worked for us (me and the dog) and which ones haven’t.
Lets get on with the first topic of dog leads or leashes, depending on where you live.
Where did we start?
Our first lead was a pretty standard static nylon weave affair. It cost in the region of £3 and lasted about 3 months! It was however ideal for the initial short walks with our new pup, just round the block to get him used to the sights and smells of his new territory. Being a static lead meant that we could keep him close and teach him to not go too far ahead or get caught up too far behind sniffing or licking something he shouldn’t.
New puppies continue to grow until they are around 18 months old; this means that their bones are still quite supple. Over exercise can damage your new puppy! You may not see it initially but in later life they can suffer with joint issues such as arthritis. So try to refrain from doing a half marathon around the woods until they are fully grown!
That being said, they can still play and run around ‘their’ home on top of the short local walks.
Back to our leads. After the static had been used to the point that it was frayed and all chewed up (yes it only took 3 months) we decided to upgrade to a new lead. In comes the ‘Flexi 8 metre retractable cord lead‘. This was, and still is, the only other lead that we’ve bought! I’ll run you through its pros and cons over the next couple of paragraphs.
What are the Cons?
Firstly I’m going to let you know what the cons of this product are for this review of dog leads for a medium dog and to be honest there haven’t been many for us.
- Being a retractable cord it can sometimes get tangled if you’re new to the whole concept of this type of dog lead. The way to stop this happening though is to allow your dog the freedom to wander. After all he or she can only go 8 meters from you.
- The static part of the lead that connects the cord and dog collar/harness is very static in that it has no give. So if you stop your dog from going to far they’ll stop with a jolt. Not good if they are pulling to go and inspect a tree. Read on as this problem is curable and is actually one of the pros of this model of retractable lead.
What about the Pros?
- It’s 8 meters long! That’s over 26 feet! More than enough to go and sniff that fence or tree way over there.
- Being a cord and not a tape means that it retracts in any direction without any issues.
- It has an adjustable sized handle, which makes it feel that bit more comfortable.
- The stop trigger is thumb operated and has a lock mechanism to ensure your dog doesn’t go far, ideal if you’re walking in a busy area or sat in your favourite coffee shop.
- It has a modular design handle which can accommodate a night light or a dog bag caddy.
- With reference to number 2 in the cons, it has a modular design for the static part of the lead, meaning there are aftermarket parts available for direct replacement or upgrades. We replaced ours with the bungee type to give a little more when stopping the dog, thereby making it a soft stop not a jolt!
Where are we at now?
We’ve had our ‘Flexi 8 metre cord‘ for almost 4 years now. It looks grubby and well used but still works perfectly, a testament to the German design. What’s more impressive is that when you work out how much it has cost over that 4 year period it’s remarkable that it still works! The initial cost to me was around the £25 mark. That’s only £6.25 per year so far, which if you take an average walk rate of twice a day everyday of the year, works out to be just 0.85 pence per walk! Less than a penny!! Even with the upgraded bungee part it’s still only 1.1 pence per walk! Those numbers will just keep tumbling the longer it works and it shows no signs of giving up. When it does eventually give up I’ll revisit this post and let you know it’s real world service life.
That’s the round up of quite possibly the cheapest to run retractable dog lead. Only time will tell. There are alternatives to a ‘cord’ type lead and I should say that you’d only want to use this type with a small to medium sized dog. For bigger dogs there are ‘tape’ type retractables. They have much the same pros and cons as the cord type but with a thicker flat tape. If they last anywhere near the length of time as their cord counterparts then you’d have to put one on your shopping list!
The only reason I couldn’t give the ‘Flexi 8 metre retractable lead‘ a five star rating for this review of dog leads for a medium dog would be the upgrade that’s needed to the static part which is an aftermarket addition. Other than that very slight issue, it scores top marks for durability, comfort and well thought out features.