“Dogs love them,” Wuebker (President of Flexi USA) said. “They enjoy a little bit of freedom, but the pet parent still has them leashed. Pet parents love them because they allow their dog a little extra space to be a dog. They can sniff around and do their business.”

Uh, OK. I’m not a ‘Pet Parent’.

But I am a dog trainer, who sees the ramifications of the imprudent use of these retractable leashes and has experienced first hand the damages they can cause from the negligent application or inappropriate supervision of a dog on such a devise. As a management tool, they suck, as a training device they suck.

As a pathetic excuse of a device to ease owner responsibility to the correct management and appropriate training of their dogs, it excels.

As a tool that causes serious bodily harm to either it’s user or the victi…, er people and/or animals in close proximity to it’s user, it’s stellar.

There are people who have lost fingers, required extensive reconstructive surgeries on ankles, wrists and knees from these things and I am all for their being pulled off of the shelves and destroyed in giant kilns with flames hotter than Hades for evermore.

We won’t even venture into the injuries sustained by the dogs.

But for doG’s sake people, Don’t put a behaviorally challenged dog on one of these contraptions and expect to be able to manipulate the little lock mechanism in times of stress or this may happen:

“Heather Todd lost a portion of her left index finger in a Flexi retractable leash accident in 2005. Her yellow Labrador retriever, Penny, was hooked to a friend’s retractable leash when the dog became excited. The 90-pound dog bolted after something and Todd said she lost control of the handle, which caused to cord to burn her arm. When she instinctively tried to brush the cord off her arm, Todd said her finger got caught and she was pulled to the ground and dragged for four or five feet.

“I look up and there’s a finger tip right in front of me,” she said, adding that she was in such shock she at first thought the finger was a child’s Halloween-type toy. “I didn’t comprehend, ‘Oh, Heather, there’s your fingertip laying there in the sand.'”

Wuebker intimated that this woman ‘borrowed’ the leash from a friend and didn’t have the benefit of being able to read the ‘warnings’ on the directions that come with it. He also said that Todd’s dog had ‘behavior problems’.

But they settled for an undisclosed amount.

Tell me please, why would you purchase something as simple as a leash that comes with a waiver and directions for use?

There is a running joke about “Fluffy on a Flexi” in dog training circles and how friendly she really isn’t.

But this story takes the cake.

It begins with common sense, for both the manufacturers of these things, the distributors of these things or the foolish users of these things.

Use a real leash, or better yet, train the dog.