Zen and the Art of Dog

The Best Retractable Dog Leashes – The Best Retractable Leash for Any Dog and Any Purpose

There is seriously nothing more fun than training a dog with a retractable dog leash. The retractable leashes are divisive in the dog training community- and for good reason- but they are perfect for training recall, retrieval, long distance commands and a host of other kinds of training.

Here is our list of the best retractable dog leashes!

What is proper use of a retractable dog leash?

Retractable dog leashes are perfect for training certain kinds of commands and behaviors. For one, they are great at training a dog’s recall (check out our post on how to train recall here). They are also useful for training a dog to retrieve- balls, toys etc. And, retractable leashes work great for training distance commands, such as staying in place when you are 30-50 feet away.

However, they get a bad rap because many owners misuse them. They’ll use them as a regular dog walking leash, which isn’t horrible in and of itself, but then they let their dogs wander all over the sidewalk or bike path. Please don’t be one of those dog owners.

Also, keep in mind that if your dog sees a squirrel or car or whatever and takes off, you will most likely not be able to hang on to the leash. They are notoriously difficult to hang on to.

Best retractable dog leash for large dogs

If you have a medium to large breed, we’re going to recommend the LAIKA Reinforced retractable dog leash. It is designed for dogs up to 110 lbs. It also includes some other really cool features


  • 360° tangle-free pet leash can ensure the dog to run freely while avoiding the trouble caused by rope entanglement. Ergonomic grip and anti-slip handle are super comfortable
  • This Retractable Pet rope’s case is made of premium ABS+TPR material, prevents case cracking by accidental falling. Take with reflective stitching nylon tape that can be extended to 16ft, it will be safe when you walk your doggy with reflective ribbon at night. Also this dog walking rope comes with a strong spring and a chrome-plated strong carabiner that can be used with a dog harness. It is ideal for powerful large hound, as well as medium sized and smaller doggies.
  • Retractable traction rope is a wide flat ribbon rope. This design allows you to pull the rope back smoothly, which can effectively prevent the dog leash from winding and knotting. Moreover, this design can increase the bearing area of the rope, making the traction rope more reliable and safer.
  • Includes a pup waste bag dispenser.


  • Will NOT stand up to puppy biting. We do not recommend this leash if you have a puppy or adult dog who bites their leash.

What are reviewers saying?

When I received this and got the box out of the Amazon box I was like, “Holy cow, this thing is solid!” and that’s the feeling you get when you’re holding it, that it’s solidly built; it just feels like a quality product.

Get the LAIKA retractable dog leash here if you have a medium or large breed dog!

Best retractable dog leash for small dogs

We’re going to recommend the fida retractable dog leash if you have a small dog. This leash comes in multiple sizes and colors among many other cool features:


  • 360° Tangle-free, 16 ft high strength nylon tape with durable rustproof swivel hook and steady impact-resistant ABS material, suitable for Small dogs or cats up to 26 lbs.
  • The black dog leash tape is embedded with white reflective liner. Highly reflective cord leash increase security & visibility for dogs and their owners at night.
  • Ergonomic Anti-slip soft handle- made of durable soft material & super comfortable grip for longer walks.
  • Quick Lock, Pause and Unlock Button- easy Roll-On and Roll-Off with your thumb only. 360 Degree Tangle-free, great for walking, jogging, running, camping and hiking, or out for a leisurely stroll backyard activities


  • Like the Laika above, this leash will not work with puppies or any dog that bites the leash.
  • Because of the small size you’ll also need to be careful that you don’t accidentally cut the leash as well.

What are reviewers saying?

Awesome retractable leash! This is by far my favorite leash I have purchased for my dog, and at such a great price! The other leashes I have purchased from PetCo or Target have cost twice as much and were not as durable! Great product!

Get the fida retractable dog leash here!

Longest Retractable Dog Leash

Looking to do long distance training? We’re going to recommend the Flexi giant tape leash that offers 26 feet of distance.


  • Extremely robust tape leash for large, active dogs
  • Good great freedom of movement for dogs thanks to the 26 feet tape
  • Convenient handling thanks to single-handed use of the brake button, permanent stop feature and ergonomic soft grip
  • Neon-colored belt improves safety due to better visibility
  • Stable belt smoothly retracts and extends


  • Similar to the other leashes we’ve reviewed, you can’t use the flexi with a leash biter.

What are reviewers saying?

My 90lb dog is a mild puller and this leash is holding up fine. Build quality for price seems a good value. The florescent green material is bright and is easily seen in the dark. I also like how the roll of material hangs more down then out front, it’s easier on my wrist

Get the flexi retractable dog leash here!

Best two dog retractable leash

The wigzi dual dog leash is the perfect choice if you, like us, are crazy enough to have more than one dog. Here’s why:


  • The WIGZI dual Doggie dog leash with gel handle allows you to comfortably walk two dogs at the same time, while maintaining individual control of each one!
  • Two dogs and zero tangle. WIGZI patented built-in spinning non-tangling mechanism does all the work for you so you can enjoy your walk without stopping to untangle leads.
  • The dual Doggie Retractable non-tangling dog leash features orange and green leads and brake buttons that are color-coded, so you’ll always know exactly which dog you’re controlling.
  • Comfortable and safe! The slim and lightweight design features a comfort grip gel handle and the leads have reflective stitching for maximum visibility.
  • Size: Up to 50 pounds per dog. Length: 10 feet per dog.


  • Be careful using this in very hot climates. Reviewers report the comfortable gel handle melted off. Definitely don’t leave it outside in the sun, either.

What are reviewers saying?

Works very well for two dogs. (ours are Beagles). We weren’t crazy about it not being all tape but I guess just having the line gives it the tangle free abilities… not to mention the swivel spool. Over all, very satisfactory.

Get the wigzi dual doggie leash on amazon!

Best overall retractable dog leash

The flexi retractable dog leash is legendary for its features and durability. This is our choice if you’re looking for a great retractable leash!


  • 16 feet flexi tape leash
  • Can be accessorized with the Multi Box and/or the LED Lighting System.
  • Ultra-bright LED front light with a separate red rear light.
  • Easy attachment using the included velcro fastener, designed for all retractable leads in the flexi Classic leashes (sizes S to L).
  • Can be attached on either side of the casing for right or left-handed users.
  • For dogs up to 55 lbs.
  • Intuitive handling, thanks to convenient brake button and ergonomic grip handle.
  • Best in class, fast, reliable response by the Short-stop one-handed braking system.


  • Once again, the flexi has the same issue as the other retractable leashes. It’s not for a leash biter.

What are reviewers saying?

This is the second one in 17 years–the first one’s tape was becoming seriously frayed at a number of points.

I tried the bestselling TUG, but it was huge for my hands and my westie.

So I went back to my old classic. It is slightly redesigned, very light but very sturdy, very easy mechanism to control the tape, so overall great quality.

Get the legendary flexi retractable leash on Amazon here!


So there we go! The best retractable dog leashes for any purpose and any dog. The flexi is legendary, but the other leashes provide features that the flexi doesn’t have.

Let us know in the comments which leash you prefer!

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