When it comes to exercising your dog, one of the most vital tools in your canine kit is a leash. Whether they are retractable or the traditional kind, leashes can prevent your dog from running away, jumping on people, and keep it safe while you are near roads or in busy cities during your morning walk.

However, there are a number of disadvantages to leashing your dog as well, and as you consider how to exercise your dog, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of using a leash before you make your final choice.

Pro: You Can Keep Your Dog Under Constant Control

Keeping your dog on a leash provides you with constant control around people, other animals, and traffic. You can prevent your dog from darting after rabbits while on a long walk, where they might get lost in a large field or in the woods. While dogs do have an excellent sense of direction, they can also be single-minded in the pursuit of smaller animals and may get lost, stuck in burrows, or even drown trying to cross creeks or rivers. Leashes can also help you prevent your dog from jumping on people, especially on children or older people who may fall down more easily as a result. When used correctly, any type of leash will give you control over your dog, whether it’s a rambunctious puppy or an energetic older dog.

Pros and Cons of Leashing Your Dog

Pro: You Can Give Your Dog Freedom and Keep It Safe

By using long or retractable leashes, you can let your dog wander up to twenty feet away to stop, sniff, or eliminate while you stroll behind at a casual pace. This allows your dog a measure of freedom without increasing the risk of it running off suddenly or venturing into a yard where a strange dog might attack it. These longer leashes are especially helpful for dogs that are well-trained so that you can reward them for their good behavior by letting them pace ahead and explore. Longer leashes can also aid in training, especially when teaching your younger dog the “come” command, which is vital for its safety in any situation.

Con: They Increase the Risk of Owner Injury

Breanna Wright, owner of PeaceForPets, a dog sitter in Park City, UT says: “While leashes do offer you a measure of protection for your dog, they can also pose a threat of injury if they are not used properly or if your dog is excitable. A dog that is overly anxious to get out for a walk can easily tangle its owner in a leash, causing a potentially dangerous fall. Retractable leashes or leashes that are over six feet long are especially dangerous, as owners can be tangled before they know it. Because the lines on retractable leashes are thin but strong, they can cause serious cuts, friction burns, and other injuries to both the dog and to the owner. Retractable leashes are not recommended for untrained or excitable dogs because the risk of injury increases in these cases. Your dog should be short-leash trained before it is allowed to walk on a retractable leash. “

Con: Not All Leashes Are Effective for All Dogs           

Whether it’s a short, traditional leash, a retractable leash, or a leash-and-harness set, not all leashes are created equal, and you may have to buy a number of different types of leashes before you discover which ones work best for your pet. In order to save money, take your pet with you to a pet-friendly store and talk to an experienced sales associates who can give you advice about which type of leash best suits your dog’s size, breed, and training. A harness, for example, gives you more control over the dog while reducing the risk of injury that can come from pulling and straining on the leash. Many owners keep a number of different leashes handy and train their dog to walk on all of them; however, if you cannot invest this kind of time in walking your dog, then you may have to invest some money before you find the leash that works best with your pet.

There are a number of pros and cons to leashing your dog, and before you decide which type of leash to use and how you plan to exercise your pet properly, you must carefully weigh all the factors before you proceed in order to keep both yourself and your pet safe, whether you’re walking on a city sidewalk or strolling along a dusty country road.

Author Bio: Suka Sung is a full-time web content developer with over three years’ experience in writing for the Web and to date has written over 2,500 different articles over a wide range of topics, from travel to health care to women’s issues. He currently lives in New Mexico with his family and a variety of pets.

Filed under: Dog Care

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