How to Choose the Best Retractable Dog Leash for Your Pet (2019 Edition)

Retractable leashes are an ideal option for taking your dog for a walk. Any gentle stroll or vigorous run will go more smoothly with the help of one of these. With so many choices available on the market it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.

In this guide, we will break down 8 of the best retractable dog leashes to make sure you pick right the first time.


Why Should You Buy a Retractable Leash?

You might have asked yourself why all the fuss about retractable leashes? 

If you have ever taken an energetic pup for a walk, you would know how much they relish the freedom. Dogs love exploring the world outside. Just like us, dogs need exercise in the form of jogging or walking.

retractable dog leashes pros and cons

However, taking your dog for a stroll isn’t always a walk in the park. Keeping up with an excited dog can be hard work and using the wrong leash can make this even worse. That is why people love retractable leashes.

Retractable leashes can be automatically retracted or extended through the touch of a button which means that they have adjustable lengths. They come with a plastic handle in which the cable is rolled up. Like any other lead, you can clip it onto your dog’s harness or collar.

All of this means that these leashes have the following unique advantages:

  • The cord is usually longer than with non-retractable leads.
  • Retractable leashes allow your dog more scope to roam and explore their environment. At the same time, most of them come with a brake that enables you to control when your dog can run free and when not.
  • These leads work well as a training tool to prepare your pet to walk with other types of leashes.
  • In contrast to other leashes, movements can be regulated more smoothly. If you use the lead correctly, your dog won’t be jerked as hard by it and vice versa.
  • People favor these leads for instructing dogs to recall, in other words, teaching your pet to come when called.

Below is a video that shows how a retractable leash can be used for recall training.

How to Use the Leash Safely?

As with any other pet training tool, there are guidelines that you should follow to keep you and your dog safe and avoid unnecessary accidents.

You should remain constantly vigilant whenever you are walking your pet no matter what type of constraint you are using. Because the lead is so long, you need to be particularly careful that your pet doesn’t stray into the path of any hidden dangers. It’s advised to shorten the lead when you walk close to hazardous areas like roads.

retractable dog leashes for large dog

Another unique feature of retractable leashes to keep your eye on is that they retract very quickly. If this action is too fast, it can cause burn-like injuries to you and your dog. You should test how it retracts and extends before using it.

If you have a large dog, like a German Shepherd, you should also make sure that your pet doesn’t stray too far away. Once a sizeable dog starts bolting, there is no stopping them, and you can quickly be pulled off your feet. The rope can be damaged or even snap. So you should pay attention to your dog’s behavior and how they are reacting.

8 of the Best Retractable Dog Leashes

Editor's Picks

Product​​​​ Name


Best Choices

Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash: Best Overall Retractable Dog Leash

Best New Retractable Dog Leash

Cadtog Retractable Dog Leash

Best Value Retractable Dog Leash

Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko

Best Tape Length

Flexi Giant Tape Leash

Best Ribbon-Style Retractable Dog Leash

TUG Retractable Dog Leash with Anti-Slip Handle

Best Budget Retractable Dog Leash

Anipaw Retractable Dog Leash

Best Easy-To-Use Retractable Dog Leash

TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash

Best Value for Money

PETerials Retractable Dog Leash

Best for: Overall Retractable Dog Leash.

Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash: Best Overall Retractable Dog Leash - Editor’s Choice

Now this retractable dog leash is made by Flexi, a world-renowned brand that is based in Germany. The products are tested there to adhere to their rigorous standards of quality (including over 90 quality assurance checks) and are coming off the shelves in America via online retailers.

On Amazon, for instance, it boasts an industry-high 4.8 rating and is part of the Amazon’s Choice collection.

What makes Flexi’s retractable dog leash superior to most other manufacturers, is that it offers a wide range of customization. Not only are the dogs leashes available in multiple colors, but also you can choose the model based on your dog size.

So first you can choose whether you want the leash to be the traditional “cord” model, which is great for smaller dogs or the more flexible and resistant ribbon-style of dog leash for bigger dogs.

Even better, you can specify the length of the dog leash. The options go from 10 feet, 16 feet or 26 feet, which is one of the longest dog leashes you can buy. Once you’ve decided the length, you can then narrow down the dog leash to fit your preferences.

Flexi retractable dog leashes are available in separate models that support dogs weighing up to 18, 26, 44, 55 and 110 pounds respectively. So you can pretty much custom fit your retractable dog leash with Flexi!

The Flexi retractable dog leash also has a comfortable grip that makes the one-hand braking system very intuitive and easy to operate. Another great feature is the reflective material on the belt, which makes it a convenient safety feature for night time walks in dimly lit areas.

It’s priced a bit higher than its competitors for each model, but overall the quality of the product more than justifies the price. 

You can also purchase some pretty cool accessories such as multi-box for doggy bags an LED lighting system that is compatible with the dog leash and perfect for night time walks.


  • Industry-leading brand
  • Exceptional quality
  • Choices of color, size, and various dog sizes
  • Choice of cord or ribbon


  • More expensive than competitors

Best for: Large to extra large, up to 110 pounds.

Cadtog Retractable Dog Leash: Best New Retractable Dog Leash

Cadtog’s retractable dog leash is a relatively new product, but so far it’s highly rated across several online retailers including Amazon. It’s decently priced, given the quality of the build and materials used by Cadtog.

The leash is well designed, with anti-slip features and an ergonomic handle for maximum comfort. It has an easy-grip, and won’t cause you discomfort when you’re training your energetic pup. The comfortable handle is one of the features that makes this stylish dog leash stand out.

Cadtog dog leashes are made of thick nylon, and the cord can handle dogs of up to 110 pounds. It’s great for puppies and high energy dogs too since it allows up to 16 feet of movement. The snapping lock and brake mechanism allows you to adjust the desired length of the leash. You can let your dog enjoy the sights and smells of the road with this retractable dog collar.

A cool bonus is that it comes with doggy bag dispenser (bags are included) which looks like a small bone that you can attach to the handle.

The only issue with it is that if you have a smaller breed of dogs such as a chihuahua or a terrier, the collar might be too big.

Overall it’s well priced, high-quality, durable, and Cadtog even offers a 100% lifetime warranty on the product.


  • Doggy bag dispenser
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Durable
  • Great value


  • Not suitable for smaller dog breeds

Best for: Small, medium to extra large, up to 110 lbs.

Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Leash by Hertzko - Best Value Retractable Dog Leash

Hertzoko’s retractable dog leash is modernly designed and features a “ribbon” style dog leash that extends up to 16 feet. The product is getting raving reviews amongst dog owners all over North America.

The dog leash is stylish and available in various colors. Don’t let the flashy design fool you, this dog leash is heavy duty and built with premium materials. It can sustain pressure from dogs of up to 110 pounds, and the ribbon-styled cord is tangle-free.

The grip is very comfortable and has received great reviews from dog owners and online retailers alike. On Amazon, Hertzoko is one of the highest-rated retractable dog leashes available and has attained “Amazon’s Choice” status.

Locking and unlocking the leash is simple, and you can retract the leash with just a click of a button when you need to retract it.

Overall the Hertzoko retractable dog leash a great choice for both new and veteran dog owners, and It’s one of the cheaper retractable dog leashes that you can buy for 20 bucks. 

Another feature that distinguishes it is that the leash only weighs 12 ounces, which is significantly lighter than its competitors. The only drawback would be not including doggy bag disposer, which most of its competitors include.

You may also like


  • Cheap
  • Many colors available
  • Ribbon-style dog leash cord


  • No doggie bag disposer

Best for: Small to extra large, up to 110 lbs.

Flexi Giant Tape Leash - Best Tape Length

Flexi Giant Tape Leash is a retractable dog leash that has a pure nylon cord. The tape comes in neon yellow which increases the visibility of the leash during the day and in low light conditions. This means that motorists will more easily spot your pet.

Here you can find a video of it in action.

The brake is controlled with a yellow button on top of the handle. You should note that the handle is quite heavy and can tire you out on a long walk or run. It might take some getting used to.

The tape is the longest of all the retractable leashes on the list and can extend up to 26 feet. This gives your dog more freedom to roam and makes the lead more versatile. It’s made to handle dogs that weight up to 110 lbs so it can be used with dogs of almost any size.

Flexi is one of the more well-known brands on this list and makes a variety of leashes and other pet products. Although the leash is more expensive than some others, it is a high quality product and it comes with a safety collar included. This collar can be used to attach the leash to when you walk your dog.


  • The cord is very long
  • Suitable for all dog breeds.
  • The neon cord improves visibility.


  • It is rather expensive
  • The leash is heavy

Best for: Small to extra large, under 110 lbs.

TUG Retractable Dog Leash with Anti-Slip Handle - Best Ribbon-Style Retractable Dog Leash

This is an awesome retractable dog leash that uses TUG’s patented 360-degree and tangle-free build. The durable nylon tape leash can expand up to 16 ft, which is plenty for all-sized dogs.

TUG’s patented retractable dog leash also features an anti-slip handle and one handbrake with a pause and lock function. The tangle-free design is excellent, allowing your pet to socialize and move around freely without getting tangled.

TUG’s retractable dog collar is suitable for all dog sizes, and you have many options. There are three different colors that you can choose from, and it’s available for small, medium, and large dogs. It can handle dogs of 35 pounds, 55 pounds, and 110 pounds and is suitable for both novice and experienced dog owners.

Another useful feature is the quick lock and unlock that makes the retractable collar easy to control, and you can roll it on and off your thumb at ease when walking your dog. The handle is also soft and very comfortable, so you will be able to fully enjoy your long walks without your hands getting sore.

In the end, this is an excellent choice for a retractable dog leash as it is very well rated by customers and also Amazon’s Choice. It’s compact, sturdy and offers several choices that will meet the needs of most dog owners, with three different sizes and colors available. 

TUG also offers a great value, and complementary accessories are also available.


  • Great value
  • 3 choices of dog size and color
  • Durable


  • Non-reflective cover

Best for: Small to extra large, up to 110 lbs.

Anipaw Retractable Dog Leash - Best Budget Retractable Dog Leash

The Anipaw retractable dog leash is another well-designed dog leash that is one of the cheapest on the market. The leash is made of nylon and extends up to 16 feet giving your pup plenty of legroom to allow 360-degree tangle-free movement.

Additionally, it’s not a regular rope leash, but rather it uses the “ribbon” style of cord that is slimmer and cased with sturdy ABS plastic. This makes it easier to smoothly retract the leash and adjust the length when you need it.

It’s made to hold dogs that weigh up to 110 pounds and can fit most dog breeds. The handle is ergonomic and enhanced with anti-slip features. This makes it ideal for long walks or biking with your pet without compromising on comfort.

The unique brake & lock mechanism designed by Anipaw makes it a breeze to click and unclick the leash while you walk. Anipaw claims the springs built into the lock can cycle back and forth at least 70,000 times before experiencing any distortion.

Overall a great product that is sturdy, cheap, and does its job as a retractable dog leash very well. You can also use it in any season of the year since it’s rust and frost resistant.

The Anipaw retractable dog leash is recommended if you are on a budget and want to try a new product that is getting pretty decent reviews amongst dog owners.


  • Ribbon-style leash cord
  • Cheaper than competitors


  • Brand still unproven

Best for: Small to large, up to 110 lbs.

TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash - Best Easy-To-Use Retractable Dog Leash

TaoTronic’s retractable dog leash is a great overall choice and an affordable option, though the company is relatively new in the pet industry.

Either way, it still has several thousand of happy customer reviews on Amazon and has become Amazon’s Choice for a good reason. If you are looking for an innovative product to parade your pooch with, Taotronic’s retractable dog leash is a good option.

The retractable dog leash allows you to walk your dog freely with a convenient hand braking, release, and recoil system that allows the leash to be adjusted as needed.

Taotronic’s retractable leash is made of nylon and can extend up to 16 feet, allowing ample space for your dog to roam. This is especially convenient for young dogs who are curious and like to explore. They will love the extra freedom from a retractable dog leash.

The build is durable, lightweight, and has a sturdy spring that easily retracts the leash when you need it. The handle is also built with durable ABS plastic and is designed with comfort in mind as it is both ergonomic and anti-slip.

Taotronic’s retractable dog leash is suitable for small, medium, and large dogs too. The dog leash can sustain dogs of up to 110 lbs and is built for daily use. One really cool feature is that it comes with a bone-shaped litter bag container, which comes in handy, and is included in the product.


  • Cheap
  • All dog sizes
  • Good recoil mechanis


  • No reflective cover

Best for: Small to extra large, up to 110 lbs.

PETerials Retractable Dog Leash - Best Value for Money

The Peterials Retractable Dog Leash tape is made from weather resistant nylon. In addition to this, the nylon is very durable and tear resistant which makes it less likely to break or be damaged by your dog pulling or jerking. It’s black and has reflective thread woven into it which makes it extra visible and therefore safer. So if you want to walk at night, you should consider this leash.

Overall, the productive is very attractive. It comes with a handle in shades of light and dark grey. It is padded which makes it much more comfortable to hold especially on longer walks and runs. In addition to this, the handle has a button that controls the locking safety system and brake.

The cord can extend to 16.4 feet. It’s durable and sturdy enough to use with almost all dog breeds as it is made for dogs that weigh up to 110 lbs.

The tape of this leash retracts more slowly than that of some other leashes.

Of all the products in this review, this one has the most extras. It conveniently comes with a waste bag dispenser as well a collapsible water bowl so that your dog can stay hydrated and happy.


  • The cord has reflective threads
  • Has a bag dispenser and a collapsible water bowl
  • Suitable for most dog breeds


  • The cord retracts more slowly than other leashes
  • On some units the retract mechanism stops working after several months

Criteria for Choosing a Leash

No matter how you use your leash if you don’t buy the right one you could still run into problems. The following are things you need to consider before making a purchase:

1. Length

Retractable leashes come in a variety of lengths. What length you want will depend on how well you have trained your dog, where you are going to walk and how experienced you are.

2. Safety

Your number one concern should be the safety of you and your pet. Does it have a reflective coating? Does the lead have an adequate brake?

These are the questions you should ask yourself before making a purchase.

3. Extra Features

best retractable dog leash brands

Many of the products that are currently on the market come with extra features like bag holders. Others are LED lights and even flashlights.

When buying a leash, check whether it has some of these nifty add-ons and consider this when you see how much value you are getting for the price.

4. Durable and Sturdy

As a result of the design of these leashes, their cords are often thinner. To avoid it breaking, you want to make sure that the material is strong enough to withstand some strain. Many of the leashes are woven thickly or doubled to make them sturdier. It will help to make the leash chew proof too!

Before you buy a leash, you need to weigh your dog first. Most leads aren’t suitable for dogs of all sizes. The larger your dog is, the stronger they will probably be.

Here are 8 of the best retractable dog leases I found based on this criteria.

Picking Favorites

Each of retractable dog leash, has it own strengths and weaknesses. They work better in certain situations and for dogs of different sizes.

When we consider all the products, I think the Flexi retractable dog leash is the best choice for the wide range of options and premium quality build that it offers. The response from dog owners online has been very positive, and many are happy to spend a few extra dollars on owning a Flexi retractable dog leash.

It’s an excellent choice for both amateur and veteran dog walkers, and you will be sure to find a size that fits your pup.

Tell us what you think about these retractable dog leashes in the comments. Feel free to share to help your friends to walk their dogs more smoothly.

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