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Warning about flexi leashes


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Todd sued the maker of the leash as well as the distributor, as have others who have been injured by retractable leashes. Todd told us that the company settled her case for an undisclosed amount.

 

It's too bad the manufacturer has to pay for someone's own stupidity and lack of training on their own dog. Where is the dog owner's responsibility here?

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I nearly lost a finger to a Flexi-Lead. Someone else's Flexi-Lead. Another bonehead owner with a feckless retriever came charging around me at the dog park and caught my finger. Sawed all around it. Blood everywhere. I hate Flexis. IMO they're a menace.

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I hate Flexis. IMO they're a menace.

Same here. The risk of ugliness outweighs their utility IMO and they should never be used (extended) where there is more than one person or dog in the area. The line is WAY too thin. This is from a guy who has had major rope burns from leader falls while rock climbing. Flexis are worse.

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I have always used the flexi that is "belt style" which means that it is a flat nylon tape like a regular leash rather than the thin rope style. I have had few problems (the exception being when other peoples' wild dogs get wrapped up in my leash). It seems to me the real problem is that because the leash is retractable, it stays taut in a way a regular leash doesn't. Of course, that is what I like about it, as a regular leash always seems to drop under Shadow's legs when she slows down and I'm constantly having to unthread it from her underbelly. The other thing is that you can't just drop the leash when it gets tangled up with another creature without creating a flying plastic missile. You definitely have less control with a flexi but with a well-behaved dog this isn't usually an issue.

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Flexi-leads are NOT a menace -- It's the idiots attached to them that you have to worry about.

 

I use Flexi-leashes for all three of my dogs without a problem. Why? Because they are LOCKED. They are never in retractable mode around other humans or animals.

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It's too bad the manufacturer has to pay for someone's own stupidity and lack of training on their own dog. Where is the dog owner's responsibility here?

 

While it's true that a manufacturer should not be held responsible for the stupidity of a dog owner, it is also true that dogs are live animals, and they are all - regardless of how well-trained they are, can panic or just do stupid things sometimes. Anyone with any sense when leading a horse will not wrap reins or a lead-rope around their hands or tie them to themselves. You can get killed in a hurry that way. A 40 lb Border Collie may not drag or trample you to death, but ugly accidents can happen, and I think a Flexi-lead is generally an accident waiting to happen. Don't sue the maker - just don't buy one!

 

I once knew a man with a push-button trained Boxer that was sitting at heel on a street-corner when and earthquake hit. The dog freaked and hit the end of his lead, which put him in the path of an oncoming car. He died of massive internal hemorrhaging before the vet could get inside him to try and stop it. No, he wasn't on a Flexi - it was a 6-foot lead. But my point is, animals react suddenly and sometimes violently to scary things. The idea of a thin nylon cord flailing around getting hung on body parts is not a pretty one. It's not only people that get hurt by them - dogs lose toes, and get deep cuts and burns from them. I don't know anyone who uses nylon long-lines. Cotton in the rule. Kinder to hands and dog legs. When they can make a Flexi that has a flat cotton web lead for its entire length - that won't foul when retracting - then I'll rethink my stance. But until then, it's off lead entirely in safe areas, 6' lead in all other situations (except situations like recall work or stock training in which the dog drags a line.)

 

Edited to add: even locked, if they are extended, they can do damage. Best thing to do if something happens suddenly is to unlock and drop them.

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I think Flexis have their place, but many people use them in inappropriate situations (like crowded areas).

 

I've never used to cord type, just the ribbon type. I like to use mine at the lake or creek so the dogs can play in the water without getting tangled and without pulling me in. (Off leash is better, but not allowed in all areas).

 

The lady mentioned in the article was a bit irresponsible to begin with, not bringing a leash when taking her dog with her. I always have a leash in the trunk ( its nice to have a spare just in case and also nice for picking up dogs on the highway). Its sad she lost her finger, but really I don't think the company is to blame.

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Used one for 14 years with a Black Lab and now a Border Collie and, if you read the instruction inside, there is a warning to the fact of eye injury and the fact of losing a finger if it wraps around it like it did in the story. The worst thing that has happened to me is a rope burn and now i use the tape one 26 feet in length with out any issues. Like all leads you have to use then appropriately with the dog under control at all times.

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Edited to add: even locked, if they are extended, they can do damage.

IMO a flexi leash should never be locked when extended. By doing so, you create slack in the line. The more slack, the higher risk of injury. A flexi leash line should always be taut. It's harder to get toes, paws and fingers wrapped in a taut line. The only time I lock down a flexi is when there is no more than 5'-6' of line out. With that said, DH will lock a flexi while extended and it drives me nuts.

 

ETA: To clarify, DH doesn't lock the flexi every time, just sometimes.

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One thing to be very cautious about is an unlocked Flexi-style lead when the dog is close to you. A dog spooked and ran, went the length of the Flexi, at which time it was running flat out, and hit the end of the line with a great deal of force. In this particular case, the owner had dropped the handle and another person stepped on it to help - when that large dog hit the end of the 16', the force yanked the handle out from under the person's foot, the person felt hard backwards, and suffered brain injury. This sort of thing can happen with any length lead but, the longer the lead, the more likely the dog will be at maximum speed and the harder the impact when he/she runs out of lead.

 

I have a couple of Flexis (a string type and a ribbon type, which I use almost exclusively now) which I only use in certain circumstances - with a small puppy (and I could accomplish the same thing with a longer rope with a snap on the end, but it would be less convenient especially in a dirty pasture) and with our deaf dog when walking at home on the farm or road, to give her the chance to sniff and do her business but not get too far from me.

 

Like any and every other tool, Flexi-style leads have inherent risks but good management should minimize them.

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One thing to be very cautious about is an unlocked Flexi-style lead when the dog is close to you. A dog spooked and ran, went the length of the Flexi, at which time it was running flat out, and hit the end of the line with a great deal of force. In this particular case, the owner had dropped the handle and another person stepped on it to help - when that large dog hit the end of the 16', the force yanked the handle out from under the person's foot, the person felt hard backwards, and suffered brain injury. This sort of thing can happen with any length lead but, the longer the lead, the more likely the dog will be at maximum speed and the harder the impact when he/she runs out of lead.

 

I have a couple of Flexis (a string type and a ribbon type, which I use almost exclusively now) which I only use in certain circumstances - with a small puppy (and I could accomplish the same thing with a longer rope with a snap on the end, but it would be less convenient especially in a dirty pasture) and with our deaf dog when walking at home on the farm or road, to give her the chance to sniff and do her business but not get too far from me.

 

Like any and every other tool, Flexi-style leads have inherent risks but good management should minimize them.

 

Honestly, most of my issues with flexis come from the idiot holding the end of it. I encounter too many people who just let their dogs run wherever, being a nusiance and getting tangled up on it. If somebody had a small or old dog and can handle a flexi without being an idiot, I'm fine with it.

 

Personally, I would not trust either of my dogs to not break a flexi. For example, last week, Mick was on his lead. He was just sniffing around and he spooked a rabbit out. He hit the end of his leash so hard that he flipped himself over. I wouldn't trust a flexi not to break in a situation like that.

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EVERYTHING in life can hurt you :rolleyes: The judge who awarded cash to the woman after she lost her finger is stupid :D Why is it the manufacturers fault?! Stupid woman should have brought her own leash. I think people who sue cigarette companies are idiots, along with people who use hair dryers in the bathtub and can't figure out why they were electricuted, people that break into someone elses house and get shot, but sue the homeowner anyway, people that stick their hands inside a car window to pet a dog they don't know and whine that they were bit :D

 

This is a stupid sue happy country where no one can take self blaim for anything any more. By doG, it HAS to someone elses fault :D

 

There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. We could discuss every scenerio involving a flexi leash and would still end up with some kind of a what if ending. I was nearly killed this spring when my kayak flipped after hitting a strainer in the river. I was sucked UNDER the strainer, stayed calm, pulled myself out and got spit out of the water 100 yards down stream in an eddy. Maybe I should have sued the boat company for flipping? Maybe I should have sued the company that made my paddle leash because I lost my paddle when it snapped? Maybe I should have sued the governement since I was on their river and they should have removed the river hazard? Instead I called Verizon and thanked them for making a water proof phone that saved me from a cold, wet night on a river bank and Astrel for making an awesome PFD that truely saved my life and bought the three guys that salvaged my boat from the strainer, unscathed by the way, a case of microbrew.

 

Get over it! If you don't like something or think it's too dangerous to use, DON'T USE IT! Or learn how to use it properly! It's that simple. Don't blaim the people that made it the fault of your injury. Obviously enough people in the world think flexi's are just fine to use or they would stop aking them.

 

Sorry, grumpy today and now off my soap box :D

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This is a stupid sue happy country where no one can take self blame for anything any more. By doG, it HAS to someone else's fault :rolleyes:

I think you summed it up quite nicely here, although I'd rather call it "society" than "country"...

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Greetings all ~

 

Flexi-leads, like roller skates or curling irons, are only as safe as the caution with which we use them. IMHO.

 

I just spent 2 days at an urban sheepdog trial (the Pleasanton Scots Highland Games in Calif) where I had to keep 2 dogs on leash at all times. I used flexi leads a lot simply because it's easier for my dogs to potty when they can trot around a bit and move more than 6 feet away from me. I did get tangled up several times because I've never walked TWO dogs on flexi leads at the same time. However, by Sunday afternoon I'd learned my own sort of Korean ribbon-dance and we got along okay. But once the potty walking was done, we went back to our flat leads.

 

In conclusion, I'd say flexi-leads work for certain purposes, such as pottying and exercise during travel. But I think they require care and caution, and I don't think they take the place of a good flat or braided lead when one must walk their dogs in crowded situations. I'd have hated to rope-burn a bare Scottish shin whilst walking around the trial site! :rolleyes:

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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I've used flexi leashes for years and I don't remember ever having a problem with them. Like shadowmarie, I prefer the ribbon type over the corded type.

 

Ditto. The very first one I had (for a very small dog) was the cord type; I had it about a month and bought a tape type.

 

I don't have any problems with them. The problems I have are, as in another thread, the stupid dog owners who have their dogs off-leash in public---and have no control over them.

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Unfortunately in my experience the people that are most frequently drawn to flexileads are people who have little experience in training their dogs. Many people use flexileads instead of training their dog to walk politely onleash. I have seen several people get wrapped up and badly burned by them.

 

The case of the woman with the head injury that SueR referenced was a friend walking with someone else. She wasn't an idiot, she just did what came naturally in an emergency. Unfortunately she paid a very high price for that. I think flexileads are fine when nothing is going on but pose a significantly higher risk than traditional leashes when anything out of the ordinary occurs. I don't allow them in my classes and take the long way around when I see someone walking a dog on one.

 

Lisa

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Unfortunately in my experience the people that are most frequently drawn to flexileads are people who have little experience in training their dogs. Many people use flexileads instead of training their dog to walk politely onleash. I have seen several people get wrapped up and badly burned by them.

 

The case of the woman with the head injury that SueR referenced was a friend walking with someone else. She wasn't an idiot, she just did what came naturally in an emergency. Unfortunately she paid a very high price for that. I think flexileads are fine when nothing is going on but pose a significantly higher risk than traditional leashes when anything out of the ordinary occurs. I don't allow them in my classes and take the long way around when I see someone walking a dog on one.

 

Lisa

 

Yep, a few days ago, I had two boxers on unlocked flexis rush me (fortunately, I was sans dogs, or else it could have not been so good). The owner was just like, "Don't be scared! They're just saying hi! They love people!" I told the owner I wasn't scared, I just don't like dogs running up and jumping at me. They were obviously very friendly, just very untrained and attached to the end of an idiot.

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