Product: Flexi Classic All Belt 3
What It Is: retractable dog leash
Manufacturer: Flexi. Made in Germany.
DogTipper Review: When Flexi asked if we’d like to review their leash on DogTipper, I was a little unsure of what to say. I’m not a fan of the retractable leash because our dogs are trained to walk beside us on a loose leash. We live in the country, and the trails we usually walk are pretty rugged. I worry (a lot) about rattlesnakes so we walk the dogs on four-foot leashes, with them beside us as much as possible.
But that’s just our situation and not everyone’s so it seemed that we really should give the Flexi leash a try. We received a Large (for up to 150 pounds) Classic All Belt 3 model. (Flexi produces both belt and cord models in many sizes. In general, the cord has the best feed but the belt is “especially robust” according to the material we received. Since I wanted to test this on our 72-pound Irie, robust sounded good.)
Before testing the leash, I first read the directions and watched a short video (see below) on the use of the Flexi leash. The warnings about “finger amputations” were somewhat alarming, accompanying warnings to “avoid touching the tape/belt when the leash is attached to your dog and never let the tape/belt wrap around hands or fingers.” Since my usual style of walking is to hold two leashes in my right hand and use the left hand to make any corrections by adjusting the leash halfway down its length, I made a mental note to remind myself not to reach for the leash with my left hand.
The leash comes with a safety collar; the Flexi hook attaches to the dog collar’s D-ring and to the two rings on the safety collar, a backup in case the dog’s collar should disconnect.
With the safety collar in place, we were ready. First I used the Flexi to work on Irie’s recall training.
At 16 feet long (for this model…some are longer), the Flexi leash is extremely useful for recall training. It could be used while retracting to “reel in” a dog new to recall or, as in the case with Irie, I used the lock feature on the leash to let her go to the end of the leash, lock the leash so she was working on a loose leash, then I called her back to work on her recall skills. I loved the leash for this purpose! We have a 20-foot slack leash we use for recall training but it can quickly become a tangled mess so I see that we’ll be replacing it with this Flexi leash.
Next, we headed off on our usual walking trails. At first, I used the Flexi leash much like I’d use my ordinary leash with Irie walking directly beside me.
While we were on the widest part of the trails, I gave Irie some more leash and she enjoyed sniffing around (she is a combination lab/coonhound/GSP, after all). I wasn’t in a real walking mode at that time so it was fun to watch her explore; this part of the trail close to the house isn’t very rocky so I could keep a good eye out for snakes and anything she shouldn’t be near.
Next, we headed uphill and to a more rugged part of our trails. Irie was doing great so I decided to take Tiki from John so he could take more photos. It was more challenging with two leashes since I couldn’t hold both leashes in one hand like I usually do. Suddenly the two dogs decided they’d explore in two directions:
Soon they were back in sync and we were off the trail again. Here, though, the trail narrowed and I could see there might be trouble ahead due to the brush. I was right. Irie was soon wrapped around a tree.
For the rest of the uphill hike on the narrow trail, I put the lock on the Flexi leash so Irie was walking with about five feet of leash and we completed our walk.
On the plus side, the Flexi worked well in open areas. I look forward to using the Flexi leash when we’re walking the dogs on our dirt road (on a road with any kind of traffic, I would feel more comfortable with a traditional leash) and in open areas. I’m really looking forward to using it for working on recall training with both dogs and for letting them explore open areas.
On the negative side, I had some concerns about the Flexi leash being pulled out of my hand (I wish there was a safety strap for your wrist). My hand is small so I couldn’t get a great grip on the leash; I’m used to “strap and wrap” with our leather leashes so this grip left me feeling a little insecure. For everyday use, I won’t be using the Flexi when I’m walking both dogs myself or walking one dog on our brush-filled trails. I want the dogs to maintain their loose leash walking skills and stay beside me as we walk.
I give the Flexi a paws up — for certain situations. I’ll be using the Flexi for relaxed walks when I’m ready to let the dogs sniff around and explore, on slow strolls on our road, and for recall training. Like many dog products (actually like any kind of product), there’s a time and place for the Flexi so you want to pick the right tool for the right job. I’m excited to have another tool to use for training and for enjoyment with our dogs!
For More Information:
- visit www.flexiusa.com