dog on retractable dog lead

The Best Retractable Dog Leads – Top 5 Picks

Picking The Right Lead Is Of Paramount Importance

It’s happened to all of us. You get a lead from the pet store and take your furry best friend out on the town and the worst happens – the lead breaks, your dog is running wild, and you’re left holding a useless handle and a heart full of panic. 

It is a nightmare.

If you’re in a hurry, check out our pick for the best retractable dog lead below:

Sale
TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Lead with...
  • Small Leash is Suitable for Dogs Under 16kg; Medium For Dogs Under 25kg; Large For Dogs Under 50kg
  • 5M Long Tape Leash With Easy-Adjust Retraction; Tangle Free 360 Degree Tape Movement
  • Quick Lock And Unlock Feature - Easy Roll-On and Roll-Off With Your Thumb

Once you’ve saved your beloved dog and gotten them safely home then you’ve just learned a lesson that you will never forget. The lead that you select for your dog is vital and no new lead will go untested again. Thankfully, we understand this need completely and we have a little good news for you.

With a bit of research, we have put together a list of the best of the best. In this guide, you will find leads that are strong, durable, and won’t let you down like some of those cheap pet-store offerings that so flood the market. 

We’ll tell you a little about how they are made and what kind of perks come with each lead so that you can make an informed decision with confidence. We’ve included a wide selection that has a little bit for everyone so that you can find the perfect fit for your pooch with the utility and the look that you desire.

Each lead that is on this list is highly rated and recommended and we’ve included testimonials from independent users of each product so that you get a little insight into what you can expect with regular use. This way you’ll know that your dog is safe and secure and you’ll have a top-quality lead that you can use for many years to come. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at our Top 5 picks for the Best Retractable Dog Leads of 2021!

TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Lead with...
pecute Retractable Dog Lead- Easy One Button Brake & Lock-...
Peteast Retractable Dog Leash, Patented Retractable Lead...
Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash (Cord), 26 ft,...
Flexi - L strap new classic belt 5 m
TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Lead with...
pecute Retractable Dog Lead- Easy One Button Brake & Lock-...
Peteast Retractable Dog Leash, Patented Retractable Lead...
Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash (Cord), 26 ft,...
Flexi - L strap new classic belt 5 m
£15.99
£18.99
Price not available
£25.99
£16.25
Strong and reliable and great for dogs up to 50kg!
16 foot long lead with luminous stitching making it easy to keep track of in bushes.
16 foot long lead made for large dogs up to 124kg!
Extra long 24 foot lead with upgradable LED lights for amazing nighttime visibility.
Great for dogs up to 44kg with a 26 foot lead and LEDs.
TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Lead with...
TUG 360° Tangle-Free, Heavy Duty Retractable Dog Lead with...
£15.99
Strong and reliable and great for dogs up to 50kg!
pecute Retractable Dog Lead- Easy One Button Brake & Lock-...
pecute Retractable Dog Lead- Easy One Button Brake & Lock-...
£18.99
16 foot long lead with luminous stitching making it easy to keep track of in bushes.
Peteast Retractable Dog Leash, Patented Retractable Lead...
Peteast Retractable Dog Leash, Patented Retractable Lead...
Price not available
16 foot long lead made for large dogs up to 124kg!
Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash (Cord), 26 ft,...
Flexi New Classic Retractable Dog Leash (Cord), 26 ft,...
£25.99
Extra long 24 foot lead with upgradable LED lights for amazing nighttime visibility.
Flexi - L strap new classic belt 5 m
Flexi - L strap new classic belt 5 m
£16.25
Great for dogs up to 44kg with a 26 foot lead and LEDs.


1. TUG 360°  Retractable Dog Lead

the best retractable dog lead

First up we have a strong entry from Tug. The Tug 360 retractable dog lead comes in 6 different colours and boasts a heavy-duty 16-foot/5 meter nylon tape cord along with a no-slip handle that fits well in your hand.

This lead features a standard brake button for when you need to pause or halt the feed and it is available in 3 sizes, so that leads are available for dogs ranging from 16 – 50 kg. This lead features an anti-tangle type design that actually works quite well so that you won’t have to worry about it sticking when your dog veers to the left or to the right.

Overall, it’s quite durable and an excellent fit for strong dogs with a tendency to bolt – the Tug 60 works well at stopping them in their tracks (though they can still pull you, of course!). 

Advantages

  • The non-slip handle is comfortable in your hand and doesn’t feel cheaply made.
  • A 5-meter length is an excellent length to provide plenty of freedom for your dog as needed.
  • The spring is quite strong and reliable, locking into place instantly and holding fast your dog immediately.
  • Tangle-free functionality works as advertised, making this an excellent lead for leash training or simply for dogs that are a bit excitable and like to veer.

“A brilliant find — this retractable lead is absolutely perfect for my dog and I. The handle is really quite comfortable to hold. The lead extends, retracts, and locks quite easily. The extra pc. added to the lead for dogs that like to grab and chew on their leash was very useful. Excellent buy.”

Amazon Review

Disadvantages

  • The locking mechanism is sensitive after locking
  • Some reported lock mechanism as stiff to engage

Overall Value

The Tug 360 retractable dog leash is a good value and a strong dog lead. Customer service is quite friendly if you have any problems and the only issues that were reported with this lead were that it is quite sensitive when it comes to disengaging the lock and that engaging the lock takes a lot of pressure.

The anti-tangle system works quite well and so this lead would be an excellent fit for those whose dogs often bolt or for a new dog who is still getting used to the lead. The spring in this unit is quite strong and we expect that this is a lead that you can get a lot of miles out of. 

Summary

  •  Heavy-duty lead suitable for dogs ranging 16kg to 50 kg
  • 16 foot/5-meter retractable lead provides plenty of freedom
  • Strong – great even for larger dogs
  • Tangle-free operation is good for dogs that consistently test the lead-limits

Check Price on Amazon


2. Pecute Retractable Dog Lead

Next up we have this black and green Pecute retractable dog lead with an ergonomic grip and also sporting an anti-slip handle. Said handle is quite durable, being made of ABS plastic casing and has corrosion-resistant chrome-plated hooks. 

The colour scheme for this handle is designed for nighttime walks and the cord itself is double-stitched with reflective threading to both reinforce it and improve the visibility of the cord itself. The lock mechanism is a standard ‘push to lock/slide to open’ which functions quite comfortably and the retraction is quite quick and efficient for when you need to rein your dog in a little.

It is also quite strong, available with resistance rated for up to 50kg depending on your needs. Overall length is 16 feet/5 meters so your dog will have plenty of freedom when they are behaving. If you don’t like it, there is even a 100% money-back guarantee in the bargain and nice to know that they stand behind their product.

Advantages

  • Luminous case and stitching provide added visibility at night which is quite useful for dogs who try to tangle their lead in the brush.
  • 16-foot/5 meter length provides sufficient freedom and retracts quickly and reliability.
  • Comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty.

“You know when you finally get something that actually feels like actual quality, well this is it. It’s usually difficult to comment anything interesting about a dog lead however this one does actually merit a overview, it feels weighty enough to know that it’s a solid build but not too heavy that it stops you from taking it on the longer dog walks. Oh yeah and it also comes with a bone bag holder and a role of poo bags.”

Amazon Review

Disadvantages

  • Strong retraction makes this unsuitable for small puppies
  • The line can get twisted with stronger dogs 

Overall Value

The Pecute retractable dog lead is an excellent choice for small or mid-sized dogs and for larger dogs who are well-behaved. The retraction mechanism is quite durable, as is the locking mechanism, and the luminous line and casing are good for nighttime crossings or the occasional doggy-dive into the bushes.

The sturdy lead has a 90 day 100% money-back guarantee, which is a good sign as this is a sufficient amount of time to evaluate it properly if you are unsure and the 1-year warranty on the lead itself also inspires confidence. This is a solid product. 

Summary

  • Durable, luminous dog lead is built to last and has high visibility for nighttime walks.
  • Strong locking and retracting mechanisms keep you in control, just don’t use it with puppies or you might ‘reel them in by accident.
  • Effective – Holds your dog and stops and starts as-needed
  • Comes with extras like a poop bag and a bone holder

Check Price on Amazon


2. Pecute Retractable Dog Lead

Next up we have this black and green Pecute retractable dog lead with an ergonomic grip and also sporting an anti-slip handle. Said handle is quite durable, being made of ABS plastic casing and has corrosion-resistant chrome-plated hooks. 

The colour scheme for this handle is designed for nighttime walks and the cord itself is double-stitched with reflective threading to both reinforce it and improve the visibility of the cord itself. The lock mechanism is a standard ‘push to lock/slide to open’ which functions quite comfortably and the retraction is quite quick and efficient for when you need to rein your dog in a little.

It is also quite strong, available with resistance rated for up to 50kg depending on your needs. Overall length is 16 feet/5 meters so your dog will have plenty of freedom when they are behaving. If you don’t like it, there is even a 100% money-back guarantee in the bargain and nice to know that they stand behind their product.

Advantages

  • Luminous case and stitching provide added visibility at night which is quite useful for dogs who try to tangle their lead in the brush.
  • 16-foot/5 meter length provides sufficient freedom and retracts quickly and reliability.
  • Comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty.

“You know when you finally get something that actually feels like actual quality, well this is it. It’s usually difficult to comment anything interesting about a dog lead however this one does actually merit a overview, it feels weighty enough to know that it’s a solid build but not too heavy that it stops you from taking it on the longer dog walks. Oh yeah and it also comes with a bone bag holder and a role of poo bags.”

Amazon Review

Disadvantages

  • Strong retraction makes this unsuitable for small puppies
  • The line can get twisted with stronger dogs 

Overall Value

The Pecute retractable dog lead is an excellent choice for small or mid-sized dogs and for larger dogs who are well-behaved. The retraction mechanism is quite durable, as is the locking mechanism, and the luminous line and casing are good for nighttime crossings or the occasional doggy-dive into the bushes.

The sturdy lead has a 90 day 100% money-back guarantee, which is a good sign as this is a sufficient amount of time to evaluate it properly if you are unsure and the 1-year warranty on the lead itself also inspires confidence. This is a solid product. 

Summary

  • Durable, luminous dog lead is built to last and has high visibility for nighttime walks.
  • Strong locking and retracting mechanisms keep you in control, just don’t use it with puppies or you might ‘reel them in by accident.
  • Effective – Holds your dog and stops and starts as-needed
  • Comes with extras like a poop bag and a bone holder

Check Price on Amazon


3. Peteast Retractable Dog Leash

The Peteast retractable dog lead is a heavy-duty lead in durable black abs casing. We are kidding about the heavy-duty aspect either. The largest model can hold up to 275 pounds/124 kilos effectively, so this is a great leader if you have a willful and quite powerful dog. 

The leash itself is a Nylon Pa6 material and locking is accomplished with a push-button, rather than a slide, allowing for an easy lock or unlock as needed. The length is 16 feet/5 meters so that your dog has enough room to roam when you give it and the spring is made of durable stainless steel for long and effective operation. 

This durable lead is designed as an all-weather lead, so it’s the strongest thus far on our list and as an added-value touch it also comes with a poo-bag holder along with a starting set of bags.  

Advantages

  • Strong lead is capable of holding 275 pounds/124 kilos which makes this highly desirable for larger dog owners.
  • Stainless steel spring in this lead’s core provides jam-free operation and added durability.
  • 16 foot/5-meter length ensures enough room to roam without getting out of hand.
  • The all-weather design makes this lead extra-durable.

“This is the best lead I have every purchased from Amazon. The tape extracts and retracts very smoothly, with no binding at all. The brake is excellent with a efficient lock and release function which can’t be faulted. The hand grip is the most comfortable I have ever known and has been designed so you can even comfortably operate the brake when wearing gloves. Even the doggy bags included in the package are of good quality and I am considering buying more. Much better than those normally available in the local pet stores.”

Amazon Review

Disadvantages

  • The clip is strong but a little small. 
  • The lock mechanism is sometimes slightly delayed on deployment, but this is brief and intermittent.

Overall Value

The Peteast Retractable dog leash is a durable dog lead and we have to say that we liked it for this. The stainless-steel spring inside does its job nicely, with no tangles and when it’s locked, it’s locked. The slight delay when engaging the lock is typical of push-button systems, so this wasn’t really a problem for us. It is easy to compensate for once you are used to it. 

The poo bag which comes with it was also a nice touch and the included bags are good enough quality that you might want to order more!

Summary

  • Heavy-duty lead with A6 nylon and stainless-steel spring inside make this an ultra-strong lead.
  • 16 foot/5-meter length provides a suitable range without overdoing it.
  • Solid – All-weather design makes this a lead that is built to last.
  • Extra poo bag was a nice touch and included bags were quality than most pet stores.

Check Price on Amazon


4. Flexi New Classic Retractable Lead Cord

The Flexi New Classic retractable lead cord offers function along with style. If you and your dog are fans of nighttime walking then you’ll be pleased to know that this lead may be accessorized with Multi Box storage along with LED lighting! Did we mention that this is German engineered? Flexi has been creating quality leads for about 45 years now and this is a solid lead indeed.

Available in 6 colours, this lead offers a range of up to 26 feet/8 meters, making this the longest range of our reviewed models thus today. The tape itself is quite durable and controlled with a comfortable push-button system that is stiff enough that you shouldn’t worry about accidentally locking or unlocking it. 

You feel in control and with the high visibility at night it’s a hard lead not to like.

Advantages

  • 26 feet/8-meter length offers a superior range to models previously reviewed.
  • Upgradable to include convenient storage and LED lighting for maximum nighttime visibility.
  • The locking mechanism is simple to use and doesn’t trip on or off by accident.

“We like the bigger hand hold ; the tape instead of the string, just in case you have to grab it. Locks easily with the push button (we have an older version, and especially like that feature) and the stay-locked position is easy to activate. The leash is very strong, and it retracts neatly when you are done. I Like the color too. Like all retractables, you must be aware of how far out your dog is from you, and where they can end up.”

Amazon Review

Disadvantages

  • Some users of this product felt that the upgradable grip was not as comfortable at multiple angles of handling.

Overall Value

Flexi really does it again with the New Classic model retractable dog leash. It is strong and stylish and the Multi-Box and LED upgrades come highly recommended. The storage containers for the Multi Box are really handy and the added visibility means a lot less stress on nighttime walks.

We liked the locking mechanism, it’s always nice when you don’t have to worry about accidental locks or unlocks as this is a common problem with many leads. Flexi German engineering really shines with this model and you can tell they’ve been in the business a long time.

Summary

  • The stylish and fully functional retractable lead that you can upgrade makes this model stand out from the rest.
  • Extended range means that you can give your dog more freedom than you can with most leads, which is uncommon in a lead with this level of strength.
  • Innovative – the upgrades available for this model are stylish and practical at the same time.
  • Flexi is a well-established quality manufacturer which means this is a purchase that you can trust.

Check Price on Amazon


5. Flexi New Classic L Tape

Our final entry is another strong contender from the German manufacturer Flexi. The New Classic L Tape retractable lead comes in 4 colours and is suitable for dogs which are 18 pounds/8 kilos to 44 pounds/20 kilo. Like the standard New Classic model, this one is upgradable with convenient Multi-Box storage and LED lights.

Depending on the size selected, you can get a range of 10 feet/3m up to a superior 26 feet/8m and the strong cord is efficiently controlled with a press-button mechanism that locks and unlocks easily, but not so easy as to accidentally press when you are out walking your dog.

 The ergonomic grip is comfortable to and this lead feels very well-made. If you’ve used a Flexi before, you’ll be happy to know that the New Classic L is up to the standards you’ve come to expect from this German manufacturer.

Advantages

  • 26 foot/8-meter lead provides maximum range but with reliable restraint from the resilient tape cord.
  • The lighting system provides maximum visibility for nighttime walks.
  • Multi-Box storage is useful without making the grip feel overly encumbered.

“Absolutely first class lead and typically German in both it’s build quality, its feel in your hand and the great quality mechanism inside. I have a Jack Russell pup who hated her old standard lead so I thought I would give this one a go as it affords her more freedom whilst still giving me full control. She loves it and now quite happily plods along with us now rather than having her constantly fight the lead every step of the way. The recoil on the lead is fantastic even when the line is fully extended.”

Amazon Review

Disadvantages

  • The lock function requires a constant press with this particular model, which may be a turn-off for some users.
  • The retraction mechanism is fast and powerful, so this may be unsuitable for pups or very small dogs.

Overall Value

Flexi’s New Classic L is a strong, stylish lead that is built for durability, style, and function. With the available LED and Multi-Box upgrades, you have a lead that is a step above most others and the upgraded functionality does not make the lead feel clunky. 

While the lock requires a constant press to stay active, it functions securely and retracts efficiently without any snagging or jamming. The extended range of the New Classic L also makes it highly desirable for those who want to give their dog a lot of leeways while supervising comfortably nearby.

All in all, it’s what you’d expect from Flexi so we are quite fond of this model. 

Summary

  • Upgradeable retractable lead that is durable, stylish, and offers a superior range to most available leads.
  • The LED upgrade provides excellent visibility and really looks great when you are walking your dog at night.
  • Efficient lock and retraction, again and again, lead us to believe this is a lead you can use for many years.

Check Price on Amazon


FAQs

How Does A Retractable Lead Work?

A retractable leash functions by means of a coiled wheel inside a hard plastic casing. This wheel is designed to lock in place or to release and give the leash cord slack based on a push-button mechanism that you control.

Depending on the style of the lead mechanism, you can lock it in place at the press of a button until pressed again or with some models, the lead is only locked when the button is actually depressed. These leashes are a great way to teach your dog to stay in the proximity which you desire but also offer extended freedom as needed for ‘potty breaks’.

Are Retractable Leads Compatible With A Dog Harness?

Yes, you can use a harness with a retractable lead and it is actually RECOMMENDED that you do so. The reason for this is that excitable dogs have a tendency to bolt and the sudden locking of a retractable leash focused at the collar can potentially injure your dog’s neck.

By using a harness, the force is redirected to the clip on the back rather than the dog collar, providing the necessary control in a completely safe manner.

Are Retractable Leads Dangerous For My Dog?

Retractable leads are completely safe, provided that they are used in the proper manner. You must train your dog in the use of the leash before you take them into any densely populated areas where they might become excitable and they must always be supervised. Once you and your dog are accustomed to walking with the retractable leash then it is perfectly safe to use.

Can I use a retractable lead with my puppy?

A puppy can certainly be trained to use a retractable leash but it’s going to take a little practice and there are a few considerations. First and foremost, you’ll want to select a retractable leash that is rated for the lowest weight available. This is quite important due to the strength of the mechanisms.

If you select a retractable leash which is rated for a larger dog then when you choose to retract the leash you might find yourself reeling in your poor puppy like a fish! This is easily avoided by selecting the smallest leash and by testing the retraction pull to make sure that the tug is light enough that you feel comfortable using it with your pup.   

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