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.
Our top pick, the Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko, 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 design helps you fight fatigue and possible injuries so that you can continue walking your dog for a long time.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Retractable Dog Leashes for 2019
|Best Overall||Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko||4.2|
|Runner Up||TUG Patented 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash||4.2|
|Best Budget Buy||Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash||4.5|
|Best Dual Retractable Dog Leash||Wigzi Dual Doggie Gel Rope Handle Dog Leash||4.5|
|Best Extra-Long Retractable Dog Leash||Flexi Giant Tape Leash||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko
The Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko is our top pick for retractable dog leashes. It stands out from the rest because it combines many of the top features in an attractive and functional frame. It also looks different from many of the other options on the market with a unique black and purple color scheme.
This leash uses a tangle-free design where the leash exits at the top of the handle. That way, it can swing a full 360-degrees around the handle without getting caught or tangled. The handle is coated in non-slip rubber and has an ergonomic design that prevents hand fatigue. The control button is close to your hand so that you can quickly lock the leash and release it when you need to.
The best feature in the Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko is its leash ribbon. It uses a 16-foot nylon ribbon that is both lightly colored and reflective. With a flat shape, this leash won’t bunch or snag on anything making it much safer for you and your dog. The buckle is attached with a sturdy reinforced plastic attachment so you don’t have to worry about it coming off.
Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko Key Features:
- Unique color scheme
- 16-foot nylon tape leash
- ergonomic, non-slip handle
- Easy access control button
Our Runner Up Pick: 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: FlexiNew Classic Retractable Dog Leash
The Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash is our top budget pick. Although this German-made leash is the most affordable option on our list, it still provides many of the features that you are looking for in a retractable dog leash. The particular one pictured here is designed for medium-sized dogs, and extends a total of 16 feet. If that doesn’t suit what you’re after but you like the sound of this leash, check out the other size and length options in this line by Flexi.
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 $15, the Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash is definitely a steal 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
Best Dual Retractable Dog Leash Pick: Wigzi Dual Doggie Gel Rope Handle Dog Leash
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
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.
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.
Other Retractable Dog Leashes We Reviewed
We looked at 18 other retractable dog leashes. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best retractable dog leashes list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Dual Retractable Dog Leashes
- Extra-Long Retractable Dog Leashes
- Heavy Duty 16ft Retractable Dog Leashes
- Retractable Dog Leash for Small-Medium Dogs
Dual Retractable Dog Leashes
You’ll find that every part of this dual retractable leash by EXPAWLORER is made with dog owners’ needs in mind. Not only does it make keeping a firm grip easy with its non-slip handle, but it also boasts a total length of 16 ft. What’s more, each of the two leashes are designed to withstand a minimum of 80lb of weight.
- Non-slip handle
- Metal locks are 360° rotatable
- Each leash can withstand at least 80lb of weight
- Nighttime reflective tape
The MigooPet Double Retractable Dog Leash is another great two-in-one leash option. This leash has a 16ft range making it long enough for you to comfortably walk with your dogs. The handle is ergonomically designed, making it is easier to hold for long walks, while the 360° swivel clasp design ensures the leash won’t become tangled when your dogs move in every which way.
- No tangle design
- 360° swivel clasp design
- Ergonomically designed handle
- 2 colors: blue or gray
This option has a bright pink and green design that make it more entertaining to use and easier to find if you misplace it. It has a locking feature so that you can control how far your dogs go. The cord is made out of a durable rope that won’t break under normal use and it works indoors and outdoors for prolonged use in dry weather.
- Extends to 3-meters, 11-inches
- Colorful design
- Accommodates two dogs
- Leashes extend from opposite sides of the handle
Extra-Long Retractable Dog Leashes
If you need extra length for your dog, check out the 26 foot long version of the Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash For Dogs. The leash can support up to 110lbs. The handle is ergonomically designed to prevent your hand from being injured if your dog runs or pulls on the leash. It has a single brake button near the thumb so that you can control it with one hand.
- Single dog leash
- 12 sizes and length combinations available
- Up to 26 feet
- Four color options available
The Flexi New Comfort Tape Leash XS – L is another long leash that can reach up to 26 feet in length. Instead of a traditional rope, it uses a flat cord tape. The cord tape is easier to store in the reel so that the leash can be so long. It is also less likely to tangle or snag while being used. The cord can support up to 110lbs, making a good option for larger dogs. The buckle on the end is metal and oversized, which makes it easier to handle when attaching it to your dog’s collar.
- Uses flat cord tape instead of rope
- Oversized metal buckle
- 26 feet long
- 110-lb weight limit
This Retractable Dog Leash, Dog Walking Leash for Medium-Large Dogs up to 110lbs is made for medium or large dogs. It comes with a bright LED light, which is great for walking your dog at night. It also comes with a dog bag holder with a roll of dog bags so that you can always have everything that you need with you at all times. The leash has an ergonomic design that protects your hand from fatigue and possible injuries. The cashing is made out of a durable and lightweight ABS plastic that has a substantial feel to it but doesn’t weigh your hand down.
- ABS plastic casing
- Made for medium or large dogs
- LED light included
- Dog bag holder included
Heavy Duty 16ft Retractable Dog Leashes
This Beastron BP-02 Retractable Dog Leash is designed to give you the range and flexibility that your dog needs while letting you maintain control. It extends up to 16 feet using a nylon tape leash. Nylon is highly durable, weather resistant, and tear resistant making this leash highly durable. Plus, a tape leash is less likely to tangle and lets you have a longer leash than a traditional rope leash. The handle is made out of ABS plastic so that it is lightweight, yet durable.
- 16-foot nylon tape leash
- ABS plastic handle
- Dog bag included
- One button brake system
The PETDOM Retractable Dog Leash, 16ft Nylon Tape offers many of the features that other leashes do. It has a 16-foot tape leash that is durable and lightweight. It also has a plastic, ergonomic body for easier use. However, its biggest defining feature is its weight. When weighed, it was about as much as a tall glass of milk. Being so light makes it easier to use and prevents hand fatigue over long walks. When working with heavy dogs, it can be an advantage to have a lighter leash.
- Integrated recoil system
- Easy brake controls
- Bright colors make it easy to find
- As heavy as a glass of milk
This Peteast Retractable Dog Leash, 360° Tangle-Free Leash is designed to help keep your dog safe during night walks. It uses a tape leash like many other leading leashes, but this one has reflective stitching designed to reflect light along the length of the leash. That way, your dog is more likely to be seen in low light levels. The handle is also covered in an anti-slip rubber, which can keep you from dropping it while you walk.
- Dog bag holder included
- Large metal buckle
- Reflective stitching in the leash
- Anti-slip handle
You can get the PETerials Retractable Dog Leash (16.4’) Adjustable Cord Leash to use with any size dog. It has a heavy-duty frame and leash that make it durable enough for any dog to pull on. The recoil control also helps reduce the shock in your hand from your dog pulling. That way, you won’t drop the handle or injure your hand. This leash comes with a collapsible travel water bowl, which is nice for your dog to have on long trips where he or she could easily get dehydrated. There is a dog bag holder too for your convenience.
- Collapsable bowl included
- Dog bag holder included
- 16.4-feet long
- Made for all size dogs
If you want a leash that can handle anything, get the SHINE HAI Heavy Duty Dog Leash Retractable, Reflective Ribbon Cord. It is designed to handle all size dogs on a 16-foot ribbon leash. The leash has reflective stitching all the way across so that your dog is easier to see at all times. The handle controls a locking function so that you can control the exact length of the leash. That way, you can use it for training your dog to walk with you, not in front of you.
- Locking leash
- Reflective stitching in the leash
- Made for all sized dogs
- 16-foot ribbon leash
The TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash has a slightly different design that makes it more comfortable for you and your dog. On most leashes, the leash exits the front of the handle making you point it in the direction of your dog to control it. This leash exits from the top of the handle so that you can let your arm hang naturally and still have control. It comes with a dog bag holder for your convenience.
- Dog bag holder included
- Different handle design
- Chrome-plated hook
- Nylon tape leash
Try the URPOWER Upgraded Retractable Dog Leash 16ft Nylon Ribbon Dog Leashes if you have a dog that likes to run around. Its design allows for a full 360-degree rotation at the leash joint. That way, your dog can go in any direction without pulling the leash with it. The leash is made out of a nylon tape. Its recently upgraded winding and recoil system are more durable and handle pulling and other stresses more effectively.
- Oversized control button
- Ergonomic handle
- 360-degree rotation at leash joint
- Nylon ribbon leash
Retractable Dog Leash for Small-Medium Dogs
This URPOWER Upgraded Retractable Dog Leash 16ft Nylon Ribbon Dog Leashes has a unique design that makes it effective for small dogs. DOGNESS developed a spring spool that was faster and more durable, making it a great choice for a new leash. The slot where the leash exits the body was also modified so that the leash is less likely to tangle and pinch. The URPOWER Upgraded Retractable Dog Leash 16ft Nylon Ribbon Dog Leashes has a bright and colorful design, which makes it stand out from other leashes on the market.
- Bright, colorful design
- D-ring for attaching accessories
- Ribbon spring tape
- Patented spring spool and leash exit slot
The Happy & Polly Retractable Dog Leash offers dogs a bit more safety while walking. It gives you a quick release trigger button so that you can respond quickly when you need to. The handle design lets the leash swing 360-degrees around so that your dog has nearly complete free range of motion. This leash is made out of the same material used to make parachute cords. That way, it is durable and won’t tear under normal use.
- Matching dog bag holder included
- 13.1-feet long
- Made from parachute cord material
- Quick release button
The Pet Magasin Retractable Dog Leash is designed with a smooth action so that you can easily extend or retract the leash without a struggle. It comes with a specially designed dog bag holder that matches the handle’s design. It also has a reflective leash that is brightly colored and has reflective stitching throughout making it easy to see during the day or the night.
- Specially designed dog bag carrier included
- Bright handle color makes it highly visible and easy to find
- Chrome-plated hook
- Reflective stitching and light-colored leash
The Peteast Retractable Dog Leash is designed for small dogs. it extends up to 10-feet and can handle dogs up to 26lbs. It has a tangle-free design that lets the leash move 360-degrees around the top of the handle. That way, your dog can move freely without tangling the leash into knots.
- Quick lock feature
- 10-foot range
- Tangle-free design
- Holds up to 26lbs
The X-Paws Heavy Duty 16ft Retractable Dog Leash is a good option if you like to run with your dog. It has a heavy-duty design so that it can hold up under intense pressure. The handle is made with ABS plastic, which is durable and lightweight. Plus, this leash has a tangle-free design that keeps your dog and your hands safe.
- Designed for running or intense activity
- Tangle-free leash tape
- Heavy-duty design
- Made with ABS plastic