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We got our springer spaniel (Jerry) his Flexi lead when he was going on his first holiday because we thought it would be invaluable to allow him to run on the beach.
It did serve this purpose, allowing him to go into the sea without swimming out too far. It also meant we could control him easily when we needed to.
The one we purchased was an attractive red colour, with black detail such as rubber to protect the lead where it joins. The lead is also available in a variety of colours.
There are three different modes available for easy use. 1) flexi- This is where the lead is pulled out to maximum length if the dog is moving away from owner. If the dogs is coming towards the owner however, the lead retracts. This means that the lead doesn't get tangled as there is no excess string. This is best when you don't mind your dog having a bit of freedom. I would not recommend this in crowded places or by roads.
2) The seconds 'mode' is temporary restraint This allows you to briefly stop your dog from having wandering capabilities. To do this you press and hold the button. This would be recommended if trying to get past a distraction quickly.
3) The other mode is restraint
This allows the owner to have the dog on a shorter lead without having to keep hold of the button. This is done by pressing the button then moving the lock on. I recommend this mode for crowded places and for the dogs to walk to heal.
Jerry would not have been able to enjoy the holiday as much as he did without the use of this lead. It allowed to explore a little further than we would have gone into bushes and other things. It also meant we could relax as he swam in the sea. We also used it as a restraint while we were at our accommodation so that he could sit and wander around outside. The ability to stop the lead at different lengths meant that we could restrain him so he could not go into anyone else's garden.
As much as we found the lead useful, we also found faults.
Firstly, when the lead was on lock and Jerry was moving around, it easily got trapped around his legs, so we had to untangle him. Sometimes this happened a lot, so we had to unclip him to untangle him.
Another problem with locking the lead we discovered when we were walking in the Norfolk Broads. Jerry was desperate to get to the water and was pushing through the reeds. We did not think this a problem until he came back a different way to that he had gone down. So now as he came back he was caught up in reeds and trying to take them with him. We had to persist for 10 minutes before we freed him as we didn't want to lose the lead. (It was expensive at £16.99)
Also, if the lead got wet, we had to extend it to its full lead and leave to dry. This was quite annoying as it took up quite a lot of room. Because we were using the lead on beaches, sand got caught in the mechanisms and meant that they sometimes got stuck. This was a problem as it was often the clip, so we couldn't put the dog back on his lead.
We also had problems with the lead wrapping around our legs and digging in. This could be a real hazard if the owner is walking alone, with no other person to assist.
As well as this, if the dog was running, he didn't understand the concept of the lead having a maximum extending length so would continue running. This meant that the lead would jerk and almost dislocate my arm.
The lead is made out of quite thin string, which we discovered was a problem when we were walking by sheep. Our dog was extremely excited and sprinted towards them. My mum grabbed the string as a secondary measure and got a horrible rope burn to her fingers.
Despite the problems with this type of lead, I would still recommend this. It can be dangerous, but if kept a close eye on and cleaned it regularly it would be fine. This lead requires caution but it is worth it as dogs do like their freedom.