The Best Retractable Dog Leashes
Pet Walking Essentials

Dog owners know that they must have a leash for their dogs practically anywhere they take them. While traditional rope leases are reliable and easy to come by, they are lacking in many areas. Retractable dog leashes offer far more in terms of benefits, ease of use, and functionality. That is why many dog owners are turning to retractable dog leashes for their dog walking needs.

We reviewed dozens of retractable dog leashes to identify the best of the best. To find the best leashes, we looked at their length, cost, construction, and extra features that made them safer and more durable. These leashes offer a combination of the most important features while adding several additional features to really stand out.

Best Retractable Dog Leash
Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash
Have the best experience walking your dog using the Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash.

Our top pick, the Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash, combines the features that you need in a retractable lease with features that make it more enjoyable to use. The result is a retractable dog leash that will hold up over time while making it easy to keep control over your dug when you need too. Plus, its ergonomic design helps you fight fatigue and possible injuries so that you can continue walking your dog for a long time.

Want to discover even more types of dog leashes? Check out our top recommendations for dog leashes.

The 5 Top-Rated Retractable Dog Leashes for 2019

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallFlexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash4.6
Runner UpTUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash4.2
Best BudgetRetractable Dog Leash by Hertzko4.1
Best Dual Retractable Dog LeashWigzi Dual Doggie Gel Rope Handle Dog Leash4.5
Best Extra-Long Retractable Dog LeashFlexi Giant Tape Leash4.4

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: FlexiNew Classic Retractable Dog Leash

The Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash is our top pick for a number of reasons. The German-made leash provides all of the features you could hope for in a retractable dog leash. The one pictured is designed for medium-sized dogs and extends a total of 16 feet. However, if the black color or length doesn’t suit your needs, Flexi offers a range of other lengths and colors to choose from.

The best feature of the Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash is its simple and sleek design. It features a one-handed braking system and an ergonomic grip handle. Considering how well made it is and the fact that it’s only just over $20, the Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash is definitely a must-buy in our books!

Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash Key Features: 

  • Extends up to 16-feet
  • Designed for medium-sized dogs
  • Ergonomic grip handle
  • One-handed braking system

Our Runner Up Pick: TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash

Runner Up
TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash
Control your dog easily with the TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash.

The TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash is our runner up pick. While it didn’t make it to the top spot, it is a great option for controlling your pet on a walk. It uses the same kind of nylon tape leash design as the other leading options. The buckle is chrome plated so that it is weather resistant, and it is attached using a thick reinforced attachment clip.

The TUG’s brighter color makes it easy to find, but that is not the only thing that makes it stand out. It uses a patented 360-degree tangle-free design, which keeps the leash from binding or snagging. The key is in the opening where the leash leaves the handle. It is designed in a way to give it almost complete rotation without problems.

The most important feature of the TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash  is its patented tangle-free design. It is centered around the opening where the leash exits the handle. Combined with an easy-to-use locking control button, this leash makes a great training tool. you can quickly adjust the length of the leash to fit your needs when you need it. It is helpful for keeping control of a dog, especially while training him or her to walk with you.

TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash Key Features: 

  • Patented no-tangle design
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Easy-access brake control
  • Durable nylon tape ribbon

Best Budget Pick: Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko

Top Pick
Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko
A budget pick that doesn’t skimp on useful features.

The Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko is our top pick for budget retractable dog leashes. Featuring a unique black and purple color scheme, this sub-$20 leash is durable and easy to use. The handle is designed to be anti-slip and comfortable, while the lock button allows you to control the length of the leash without a fuss.

The best feature in the Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko is its 16-foot leash ribbon. With a flat shape, this leash shouldn’t bunch or snag on anything, making it much safer for you and your dog.

Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko Key Features: 

  • Unique color scheme
  • 16-foot nylon tape leash
  • Non-slip handle
  • Easy access lock button

Best Dual Retractable Dog Leash Pick: Wigzi Dual Doggie Gel Rope Handle Dog Leash

Best Dual Retractable Dog Leash
Wigzi Dual Doggie Gel Rope Handle Dog Leash
Easily walk multiple dogs at once with this innovative 2-in-1 leash from Wigzi.

The Wigzi Dual Doggie Gel Rope Handle Dog Leash is our top dual retractable dog leash pick. When you have more than one dog, walking them can be a big challenge with multiple leashes. This leash lets you walk two dogs at the same time using just one leash. It has two separate 4.5-foot rope leashes built-in and a liquid gel handle grip. That way, your dogs can walk together, but be tethered independently for more freedom.

The best feature in the Wigzi Dual Doggie Gel Rope Handle Dog Leash is its rotating handle. With most leashes, having more than one means that they will get tangled quickly. This leash spins so that every time the dogs switch sides, it rotates to keep the leashes from tangling. That makes it much safer for you and your dogs. Another great feature is that both rope leash have a reflective stripe to enhance visibility even at night.

Wigzi Dual Doggie Gel Rope Handle Dog Leash Key Features: 

  • Rotating retractor assembly stops leashes from tangling
  • Two 4.5-foot rope leashes
  • Reflective stripes for nighttime visibility
  • Liquid gel handle grip

Best Extra-Long Retractable Dog Leash: Flexi Giant Tape Leash

Best Extra-Long Retractable Dog Leash
Flexi Giant Tape Leash
Give your dog some extra running room with the Flexi Giant Tape Leash.

The Flexi Giant Tape Leash is our top extra-long retractable dog leash pick. It has an extra long, 26-foot leash that gives your dog ample space to run around while still being tethered. This leash features a different handle design than many other leashes. The leash comes out of the top of the handle rather than the front opposite your hand. This gives it a wider range of motion letting it spin nearly all the way around the top of the lease and reducing its ability to tangle around itself.

One of the best features in the Flexi Giant Tape Leash is that it uses a tape leash. Traditional retractable leashes use a rounded rope, which is prone to tangling and twisting. A tape leash uses a flat tape instead of a rope. Most of the time they are made out of nylon, which is non-binding and highly durable. Combined with the different handle design, it is very unlikely that you will find this leash getting tangled on itself.

To top it all off, the Flexi Giant Tape Leash uses a different color for its leash that is highly visible. The leash is neon yellow and reflective. That makes it highly visible during the day or at night so that you and your dog are safe at all times.

Flexi Giant Tape Leash Key Features: 

  • Highly visible tape leash
  • 360-degree leash rotation design
  • Extra-long 26-foot leash

Who Should Buy a Retractable Dog Leash

Retractable dog leashes are a good idea for anyone that walks a dog that likes to spread out. In many cases, a retractable leash gives your dog more flexibility and control of where he or she is walking. Since leashes can make dogs feel constricted, it is nice to be able to give them the opportunity to spread out while still being under control.

Retractable leashes are also a good idea for anyone that needs to train a dog or has limited mobility. They are often longer than regular leashes and are easier to maintain since they retract completely into themselves. You can use it to train your dog to walk with you by shortening it, and it is also a good idea for protecting your hands since many retractable dog leashes have recoil controls in them. We also review the best dog collars in a separate post.

Best Retractable Dog Leash
Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash
Have the best experience walking your dog using the Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash.

Important Features to Consider

There are a lot of different features that go into a retractable dog leash. While some of them are optional, many of these features are necessary for them to be effective. That is why we look through so many of the feature options when trying to choose the best leashes.

A retractable dog leash should have several important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a retractable dog leash:

  • Leash type. There are different shapes that leashes follow and each has a distinct advantage over the other. Rope leashes are thicker and more durable while tape leashes are flat and can be longer and easier to see than rope leashes.
  • Length. How long a leash is determined how useful it can be. If it is too short for your dog, then you may not like it. However, you may not need an extra-long leash if you walk in spaces that don’t have a lot of open spaces without obstructions.
  • Weight limit. Each leash has a weight limit that must not be exceeded. Otherwise, the leash could break under the pressure applied by a larger or stronger dog.
  • Accessories. Some retractable leashes come with accessories like lights and dog bag holders.
  • Tangle-free design. Retractable leashes can have a tangle-free design that incorporates several features that make it more difficult to tangle the leash. Having these leashes greatly improves your safety and the safety of your dog.
  • Brake controls. Retractable leashes often have a stop or braking system that lets you stop your dog from pulling out more of the leash. That way, you can quickly react to stop a problem without hurting your hand.
  • Lock controls. Retractable leashes let you control the length of a leash by locking it at the exact size that you want.
  • Recoil control. Many retractable leashes have recoil controls to reduce the strain on your hand from stopping the extension of the leash. It absorbs some of the impact so that you don’t hurt your hand if your dog is pulling too hard.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a retractable dog leash and how does it work?

A retractable dog leash is a long dog leash that is wound onto a spool inside a plastic handle casing. When your dog pulls on it, the leash unspools and extends. That way, the length of the leash is adjustable to your needs. You can also limit the length of the leash using the built-in controls. When your dog comes close to you, the leash retracts back into the casing to make itself shorter. In essence, it is a self-adjusting leash that lets you control and change its length if you need to.

Are retractable dog leashes dangerous?

Yes, but not inherently. Like traditional leashes, retractable leashes can be dangerous if they wrap around you or your dog. This presents a choking hazard which can be easily avoided with proper safety actions. However, retractable leashes present an additional hazard as they are self-adjusting when not licked into a specific length. That means that they can tighten around limbs on their own and can present a danger if your dog tries to pull while it is wrapped around you. It is possible to avoid these dangers with the same care that you would give to using a traditional leash. Plus, the self-adjusting system makes these leashes far less likely to wrap around you or your dog when used properly.

How long is a retractable dog leash? 

The length of each leash depends on its design and is always adjustable up to a maximum length. The length often depends on the dog that it is meant for. For example, six to eight-feet leashes are often reserved for small dogs, while eight to 16-foot leashes are often reserved for small and medium dogs. Anything longer than 16 feet (generally up to 26 feet) is meant for large dogs. However, you can use any leash with any size dog as long as that dog does not exceed the maximum weight limit.

Are retractable leashes good for puppies?

Retractable leashes are good for puppies since you can use them as a training tool. You can give puppies more freedom in grassy areas, and then retract it so that they walk next to you when it is time to walk. When used effectively, they make a great training tool, especially for dogs that like to run around a lot and need constant control and supervision.

Melanie Green