How do you choose the best retractable dog leash in a sea of options? There are so many out there, but the trusted brands are few.

They are extremely popular and for a reason. They offer more freedom for the owner and the dog alike. Although there are contradicting opinions out there on whether they are the best option for all dog breeds and sizes, one thing is for certain. They give you and your dog more freedom. We’ve researched and tested many so that you don’t have to. So, read on to find the best one for you.

Our Top Picks

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TUG Nylon 360° Tangle-Free

Editor's Pick

  • Easy-to-use lock system
  • Anti-slip handle
  • The tape doesn’t tangle easily

WAUDOG Retractable Leash

Most Fashionable

  • Anti-tangling mechanism
  • Handle size suitable to most hands
  • Colorful and fashionable prints

Flexi Giant Nylon Tape Leash

Best for Large Dogs

  • Perfect for large dogs
  • Stable and comfortable handle
  • Great for exploration

EC.TEAK Retractable Dog Leash

Sturdiest Handle

  • Strong and durable handle
  • Great for middle to large dogs
  • 100% return guarantee

Frisco Nylon Tape Reflective Retractable Leash

Best for Small Dogs

  • Excellent for smaller dogs
  • Solid handle
  • Various sizes offered

Fida Retractable Leash

Most Color Choices

  • Scratch-free case and handle
  • Great for smaller breeds and cats
  • Easy to use

Hertzko Heavy-Duty Nylon

Most Functional Mechanism

  • Flawless easy-use mechanism
  • Less likely to twist and tangle
  • Comfortable rubber handle

Wigzi Nylon Reflective Gel Handle Leash

Most Comfortable Handle

  • Extremely comfortable gel handle
  • Rust-proof
  • Sturdy casing

ThunderLeash Nylon No-Pull Leash

Best No-Pull Solution

  • Great for training
  • Less pressure on the dog’s neck
  • Two in one product

Ruff 'N Ruffus 360° Bundle

Best Bundle Pack

  • Valuable gifts for all customers
  • Durable reflective tape
  • Good value for money

The Best Retractable Dog Leash Options in Detail

To help you make the final decisions, check out our detailed reviews of the best products below. We’ve covered everything you need to know. So, without further ado, let’s start.

TUG Nylon 360° Tangle-Free

star 10

Editor's Pick

  • Size: Tiny, Small, Medium, & Large
  • Length: 10 feet & 16 feet
  • Colors: White, black, green, blue, gray, red, & orange/white

This is a leash that can be used on the majority of dogs, since it’s offered in several sizes. For example, the smallest version is suitable for dogs under 26 lbs, and it’s perfect for toy breeds and kids. The largest one is expected to handle dogs up to 110 lbs.

It comes with a comfortable handle, a tape that doesn’t tangle, and a four-options lock system. You can free the tape, pause it, lock it, and unlock it with easy movements of the button.  Moreover, the casing is hard, and the handle is anti-slip, so it’s easy to control the leash without any fear that it will slip. 

TUG retractable leash reviews reveal that customers would only wish that the opening on the handle was a bit larger or that it had another opening/clip for a waste-bag dispenser. This would make the product more comfortable and convenient to use. But the comments are mostly positive and praise both the design and the ease of use.


Pros

  • + Easy-to-use lock system
  • + Anti-slip handle
  • + The tape doesn’t tangle easily

Cons

  • No clip/opening for a waste-bag dispenser

WAUDOG Retractable Leash

star 9.8

Most Fashionable

  • Size: Small, medium, & large
  • Length: 10 feet & 16.67 feet
  • Colors: Black with various colorful designs

WAUDOG’s retractable leash is one of our favorite leashes, and we’re sure you’ll like it too. It’s a quality leash that will look great in your hands while you’re walking your dog. The casing comes in six different designs that can please even the biggest fashionistas. You can choose between NASA, red plaid, avocado, vortex, and wow designs. They are all colorful, and with a durable print.

The casing and handle are lightweight, so your hands don’t get tired during long walks. The handle is also of a perfect size and will fit most users’ hands. The leash itself is made of nylon with reflective stitching and is reinforced to stop breakage. Furthermore, it’s easy to use since the mechanism stops it from tangling, so you won’t have any problems in your walks.

The button click is a bit louder in the beginning, but it becomes quieter after some time. Another thing we noticed is that if the dog pulls too much, the handle is too slick and your hand slites to the bottom, making it uncomfortable. What’s great is that you get a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime warranty on the hardware, so you can’t go wrong with it.


Pros

  • + Anti-tangling mechanism
  • + Handle size suitable to most hands
  • + Colorful and fashionable prints

Cons

  • May be uncomfortable with dogs that pull

Flexi Giant Nylon Tape Leash

star 10

Best for Large Dogs

  • Size: Medium, Large, & Extra large
  • Length: 26 feet
  • Colors: Black/yellow

Flexi is the most famous brand, and their leashes are known for their quality. Their Giant Leash is, in our opinion, the best retractable dog leash for large dogs. If you have a bigger or stronger dog, and other leashes cannot help, this leash is your friend. Even though retractable leashes are not generally used for massive and strong dogs, this one can do the job if your dog is well trained. 

It supports dogs up to 110 lbs and can handle quite a lot of pressure. The yellow tape makes it easy to notice. This is especially important since the tape is 26 feet long, meaning that your dog can get quite far. The tape is excellent for long walks, as it allows your dog to explore more, all the while still safely secure.  This product is durable and doesn’t break easily. In case your dog’s collar somehow breaks, you also get a Flexi safety collar for free, that’ll provide you with additional safety. 


Pros

  • + Perfect for large dogs
  • + Stable and comfortable handle
  • + Great for exploration

Cons

  • Heavier than other leashes

EC.TEAK Retractable Dog Leash

star 9.8

Sturdiest Handle

  • Size: Large
  • Length: 16 feet & 26 feet
  • Colors: Black & White

This is a great option at 26 ft or 16 ft long and is suitable for all dogs from mid to large breeds. It has an ergonomic handle and a solid leash. It’s one of the best heavyduty retractable leash options. 

The leash is made by a company producing seat belts for cars, so it’s as sturdy as it can be. The tape is available in two sizes, so you can choose one based on your needs, whether you prefer city walks or walks in nature. Additionally, the mechanism works flawlessly and is relatively straightforward to use. You can switch between free, pause, lock, and unlock easily.

TEAK not only has a lot of customer feedback, but the majority of the reviews are very positive. The customers mostly praise the sturdiness of the handle and how easy it is to hold. The only problem is that it’s not suitable for small dogs, as the pressure from the retracting mechanism might be a bit too much for some smaller breeds.

If you like this option but aren’t sure whether it would fit you, they’ve got you covered. The seller offers a 100% guarantee, and you can return it any time if you have a problem or if it simply doesn’t suit your needs.


Pros

  • + Strong and durable handle
  • + Great for middle to large dogs
  • + 100% return guarantee

Cons

  • Not suitable for small dogs

Frisco Nylon Tape Reflective Retractable Leash

star 9.9

Best for Small Dogs

  • Size: Extra small, small, medium, & large
  • Length: 12 feet & 16 feet
  • Colors: Pink, red, black, & blue

Frisco’s retractable dog leash is an excellent option with a brake system. It comes in many sizes and covers most dog breeds up to 110 lbs of weight. We found that it’s the best for small dogs. It offers enough support without too much tension for the dog.

Its handle is made of thermoplastic rubber to provide better grip and safety. The nylon tape was woven with reflective thread to provide better visibility in night conditions. They are both solid and can last for a long time. According to customer feedback, the product is great for everyday walks because it’s light and easy to use. However, some users complained about the tape getting tangled easily and then not retracting correctly.


Pros

  • + Excellent for smaller dogs
  • + Solid handle
  • + Various sizes offered

Cons

  • Tape tends to tangle easily

Fida Retractable Leash

star 9.7

Most Color Choices

  • Size: Extra small, small, medium, & large
  • Length: 10 feet & 16 feet
  • Colors: Black, blue, coffee, navy blue, green, orange, red, & white

Fida is one of the best dog retractable leash brands on Amazon. It’s great that the extra small version can also be used for cats and teacup breeds, like Chihuahuas or Yorkies.

The case is made of resin and is scratch-free. The handle is anti-slip and soft, though smaller versions can be too small for some people’s hands. The tape has reflective threads, which can come in handy at night. The hook is slightly larger than that of some other models, but this provides added safety. That being said, smaller models have smaller clips, so keep that in mind when ordering, as some customers found it too small.

When we did our research, we noticed that it’s really easy to use, which is a feature many customers praised as well. However, we also noticed that the smaller sizes are as advertised, which is definitely a plus. Still, they might be smaller than some people expect. So, unless you actually have a toy-breed dog or a cat, it might be a good idea to opt for a larger model.

In the end, it’s a relatively inexpensive option that has a 30–day money-back guarantee, so you can always try it and see if it’s good for you.


Pros

  • + Scratch-free case and handle
  • + Great for smaller breeds and cats
  • + Easy to use

Cons

  • Smaller sizes might be too small for adult hands

Hertzko Heavy-Duty Nylon

star 9.8

Most Functional Mechanism

  • Size: Small & large
  • Length: 16 feet
  • Colors: Purple

Hertzko’s leash has for some time been one of the owner’s favorite leashes and is one of the best brands. Their retractable leash comes in two sizes, small and large. It’s a heavy-duty leash with a strong handle and a tight mechanism that helps you have slightly more control during unpredictable situations. 

Moreover, many customers have praised the fact that the recoil mechanism is not too strong, reducing the chance of the tape getting tangled up when retracting. They also praised the package, as it didn’t require too much effort to open.

We checked the stopping mechanism and were pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. It’s very reliable and unlikely to get broken easily. It was a bit noisy at times, but not too much. 

In short, most customers liked the mechanism as much as we did, even though it’s a bit different than others and might take a few walks to get used to. Also, though the tape is shiny, it doesn’t seem to be reflective, which is something to keep in mind if you prefer night walks.

If you don’t like the product, you also have a 30-day refund period, so there’s no risk in trying it out.


Pros

  • + Flawless easy-use mechanism
  • + Less likely to twist and tangle
  • + Comfortable rubber handle

Cons

  • No reflective accents on the tape

Wigzi Nylon Reflective Gel Handle Leash

star 9.9

Most Comfortable Handle

  • Size: Small, medium, & large
  • Length: 13 & 16 feet
  • Colors: Black, yellow, blue, red, pink, & grey

Wigzi’s retractable dog leash looks a bit different from the rest. Moreover, even though the product above was praised for its comfort, this lead is by far the most comfortable you can find. 

What makes it stand out is the gel handle, perfect for those long walks when you feel like you cannot hold the leash anymore. It’s also perfect for summer walks, as it’s less likely to slip even if your hands get sweaty. The only problem is that the gel may leak if your dog bites into the handle or if you don’t use it correctly.

The leash case is welded and is very difficult to break. It’s also rust-proof, meaning you can enjoy walks in the rain, as well. Additionally, the tape is strong and is reflective on both sides for added safety. As for the downsides, some users had trouble with the recoil mechanism, saying it would stop retracting after a while. 


Pros

  • + Extremely comfortable gel handle
  • + Rust-proof
  • + Sturdy casing

Cons

  • Some users complained about the recoil mechanism breaking too fast

ThunderLeash Nylon No-Pull Leash

star 10

Best No-Pull Solution

  • Size: Extra-small, small, medium, & large
  • Length: 10, 16, & 19 feet
  • Colors: Black

ThunderLeash comes from one of the most famous pet brands — ThunderWorks. They are the creators of the ThunderShirt, a great calming shirt for pets. If you’re looking for a long retractable dog lead, this may not be the best choice for you, but with 19 feet, it’s more than enough for most users. Its buttons function easily, and the case is well made.

Moreover, this leash has two uses — a regular or a no-pull solution with an extension. The no-pull version has proven to be effective in 80% of dogs. What it does is put gentle pressure on your dog’s chest every time it pulls, so it basically functions like an enhanced harness.

This can come in handy when you’re training your dog not to pull, but it’s especially useful for larger dogs that require a bit more control. That being said, customers noticed that it only works when the dog is in front of you. So it might not be effective for more cheerful puppies or those who’ve had a long history of pulling.

That it’s an excellent option is confirmed by lots of positive customer feedback. The harness-like additional part is especially praised as outstanding. However, the tape seems to be a bit thinner, making it tangle easily.


Pros

  • + Great for training
  • + Less pressure on the dog’s neck
  • + Two in one product

Cons

  • The tape tends to get twisted easily

Ruff 'N Ruffus 360° Bundle

star 10

Best Bundle Pack

  • Size: Large
  • Length: 16 feet
  • Colors: Purple, green, & aqua blue

Ruff ‘N Ruffus dog leash is one of the best leashes in general and our choice for the best bundle pack. It’s a leash with a rubberized, anti-slip, and highly comfortable handle. The tape is reflective and durable, and you also get free accessories.

You get a light charm you can attach to your dog’s collar to make your pup more visible for others, but also to help you find them more easily if you like to let your dog roam freely. You also get a collapsible dog bowl, perfect for camping trips or long walks during the summer. Moreover, there is a waste bag dispenser and one roll of waste bags — all for free with each leash.

User comments praise the durability of the case. However, the mechanism is a bit more challenging to get used to, as the functions are slightly different from most retractable leads — and there are no instructions on the packaging.


Pros

  • + Valuable gifts for all customers
  • + Durable reflective tape
  • + Good value for money

Cons

  • The mechanism can be tricky to get used to

 

Buyer’s Guide

If you are a dog owner, having a quality leash is essential. Retractable dog leashes give the owner and the dog more freedom during walks, so it’s not really a surprise that they are so popular today. However, with many benefits come some downfalls, and not every retractable lead can suit every dog. So, if you’d like to learn more, keep reading.

How Do They Work?

They have a relatively simple mechanism. When you press or pull the button, depending on the model, you will stop the leash and your dog from going further. 

You can choose different lengths for different needs. Shorter ones might be better for city walks, while the longer ones allow your dog to have more freedom and roam within your control. You can completely retract the tape or rope into the case when you’re done with your walk. 

Safety

Retractable dog leashes do come with certain downfalls you should be aware of. Of course, this doesn’t mean they are bad. It just means that you need to know how to use them correctly.

Since they imply more freedom, they are best used on dogs that are already well behaved and respond to voice commands. You also need to pay more attention to your dog when on the leash, as even the most well-behaved dog might dart after a cat right onto traffic.

This is why children, for example, are not good users of retractable leashes. You need to know when to press the stop button, and you need to be strong enough to stop a running dog. You also need to be careful when retracting the tape, as it can get tangled around a body part and hurt you, your child, or your dog.

Moreover, as retractable leashes give dogs more room to run, using a good dog harness might also be a good idea, as it would put less pressure on your pup’s neck.

Finally, even the strongest retractable dog leash cannot hold a St. Bernard. You won’t find a retractable leash for a 150pound dog since most tapes are simply not thick or strong enough.

Types

There are many types of retractable leashes depending on their size, sturdiness, shape, and tape material. 

You can still buy rope leashes, but we wouldn’t recommend them. They are thin, which makes them less reliable and also more dangerous. If they wrap around you or your dog when you retract the rope or when your dog pulls too hard, they can cause serious injury.

Of course, injuries can happen with tape leashes too, but they are still safer and more durable.

Quality

The quality of the product is the most important. Whether you’re looking for a quality leash you don’t want to buy something that will fall apart after a single walk.  You should look for a sturdy case with an ergonomic handle. The mechanism needs to work easily too. Finally, it’s best to focus on brands known for their quality products.

Price

If you’re searching for a reliable retractable dog lead, you’re probably wondering if you’re going to have to pay a lot. The answer is no, you don’t have to pay a lot to get a quality product. The products we presented here are $12–$50, and all have both benefits and limitations. 

FAQ

Is it better to use a retractable dog leash?

Using a retractable leash might be better for you if you have a trained dog and want to give them more freedom. They allow your dog to roam more, making them harder to control. Stopping your dog quickly enough is crucial, and with retractable leashes, that is not always possible. 

Can you use a retractable leash with a harness?

Yes, you can use a retractable leash with a harness. You can use it with either a great collar or a harness. Using it with a harness is even recommended, as it reduces the pressure on their neck. 

Should you use a retractable leash with a puppy?

Yes and no. It’s not recommended to use a retractable leash with an untrained puppy. But if your puppy is already trained, it is completely fine to use one. Just be careful to choose the right size. 

What is the strongest retractable dog lead?

Flexi’s Giant retractable dog leash is by far the most robust option. It’s the biggest and most durable ones on the market. But it’s not for all dogs and owners because it might be too strong and too big for some. 

Are retractable leashes bad for big dogs?

No, they are not bad for big dogs. There are suitable leashes for all dog sizes. You just have to look for a leash made for large dogs that can withstand the weight and the pressure.

Why do dog trainers hate retractable leashes?

Dog trainers don’t like retractable leashes because they cannot use them for training dogs. Some maybe don’t like some other aspects it offers. But, essentially, only trained dogs can use retractable ones. 

Final Thoughts 

We are sure that you love your dog, and you buy them the best toys, food, walking equipment, and other necessities. 

That’s why we checked for the best retractable dog leash options, tested the products for you, looked into their quality, how they work, and checked the reviews of other customers. We hope it’s helped give you some guidance in making the right choice for your pet.

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