Monday, July 19, 2010


For some of our walks we use those extending leashes.  Yeah, yeah, I know a lot of good dog trainers despise them.  They train the dog to pull, be in charge, etc.  Yeah, I know all that, and I'll admit that Luna in particular has lousy leash skills , but if we go for a walk down the road, we are going for a change of scenery for the dogs and some exercise for us.  We want to keep walking at a decent clip, so this way the dogs get a chance to pee and smell and pee and smell, and, okay,..... that's enough of the peeing.... and they have enough free rein that they get to be a dog, and we get a bit of aerobic exercise.  Just to clarify, we are walking in a rural area; no sidewalks, acreages, not a lot of traffic, and basically no other people or dogs walking down the road.

Due to my lack of paying attention, Luna had a 'fence fight' with a neighbourhood dog that usually comes barking down to his property line, and one that Luna is always looking out for before we get there.  Anyway, there actually was no fence between them, but they are lunging and snapping and snarling at each other, no contact being made, just a lot of 'displaying'.  She is much worse when she is on leash.   That whole thing of 'well I am trapped here on leash, so the best defense is a good offense, so I had better look big and tough and scare this dog off.'  We have done a lot of work with the 'look at that game', and she is much improved from when we first got her.  Like I said, it was my inattention that allowed this incident to escalate.  So Luna is flopping around like a 40 lb killer whale at the end of the leash. I realized after it was all over that all I had to do was back up onto the road pulling the leash, and I would have pulled her away.  I guess I was not thinking, and I was trying to get her back closer to me.  Since the leash was taut and under a lot of tension, there was no way I could get any slack, so I grab the thin part of the leash and start pulling, still while she is flailing away at the end.  SOOOO NOT THINKING:(  So in the end after the other dog's owner has dragged him away, I look at my hands and I have major rope burn, down to the flesh in spots, and they felt just like they had been burnt with heat.  Thank goodness we are only five minutes from home.

Once at home I ran them under cold water, and then held ice cubes for a while.  Some polysporin applied and bandaged as best I can.  On my left hand the last three fingers have bandaids around them, as well as the thumb.  The right hand has the most severe gouge on the edge of the palm below the little finger.  There was a blister on one finger tip.    So far they feel pretty good, so hopefully there won't be any infection.  The hardest thing is though that just about every thing I do involves getting my hands wet or dirty.  Sure rubber gloves, or those blue nitrile ones work for a while, but inevitably they either start to leak, or are just too clumsy for the job at hand.  I've just been trying to pit cherries in the nitrile gloves.  I thought I was doing well, but I must have put a hole in the thumb, as my thumb was wet, and that bandaid came off.  Think I'll leave it off for a while, as other than the whole layer of skin missing, it looks a fairly decent, albeit a little cherry juice stained.

Hopefully that lesson will remain imprinted on my brain, and my first bad experience with an extending leash will be my last.  I hope I'm not a slow learner:(


  1. I can't blame you for venturing out with a retractable leash, although I'm sorry your hands got all messed up- I hope they're better. My trainer told me in no uncertain terms not to use one of those leashes with my boxer if I ever wanted her to be leash trained. I was only using one in the first place to give her a bit more exercise than the 4 ft. leash will allow. They can't really run on those short leashes... Truth be told, I rather miss the retractable leash..

    Lucy's Human

  2. Mom wants to know if you want to compare scars?
    Benny & Lily

  3. OUCH! Owwwwie! I am sorry you got hurt. :(

  4. Yeeowch!!
    I too use the retractable for certain purposes, ALWAYS with a harness instead of regular collar. I am a firm believer that dogs can learn the difference with proper training. (I actually had to teach my Lilly to drive in front of me on a flexi and pull harness because she didn't really get it at first)

    I once stomped on parachute chord barefoot to attempt to stop Bailey from chasing a rabbit - NEVER again. I know how badly that hurts.

  5. I use a retractable lead now and again - it's what Ben's first trip outside was on.

    I got rope burn once, while training a dog we don't have any more. He was on the long line and ran past me, the rope running across my ankle. I didn't think anything of it and it wasn't sore at the time. When I got inside I realised the extent of the damage - I had rope burn on my ankle - and it hurt. I had to keep a plaster on it, but socks would rub it off and my school doesn't hand out band aids.

    I feel sorry for you, you got it in a horrible place. Might I suggest single use lambing gloves? They are watertight, *usually* tough enough not to tare and can be used for other things when your hands get better. You can see them here at

    Will that help or is that over the top?

  6. Seems like I'm in good company:)
    I looked up those lambing gloves, yes, a bit over the top I think:) What I am using mostly is these, and they work well most of the time, and you can get a few uses out of them, depending on what you are doing. I did find one of the regular kitchen rubber gloves for my left hand, which is the worst hand, and finished pitting the cherries using that.

  7. Yikes! That's an icky accident to happen.

    The worst I heard happened to the dh of a trainer I sometimes work with. Someone else's dog approached them on a flexi, got wrapped around them, started arguing with their dog - big meleee. End result was that the dh got a cut on his thigh right through his denim jeans.

    The damage they can cause to us & to our dogs is kind of scary. Have you considered the kind which are a tape? I always wondered if they would retract properly or bunch up in the mechanism....

  8. We actually have one of the tape ones. It is bigger and heavier because it needs a bigger spring to pull in that tape. Also, because the spring has to be stronger, the dog has to put more tension on it to pull the tape out. So for a dog that doesn't really pull much, I got that I didn't like it after a while. Probably would be okay with Luna though:(
    If my dogs were on a flexi, and we were running into other dogs, I would have them pulled in and locked up short. Too much chance of something ugly happening with a bunch of dogs meeting on extended leashes, Yuk.
    I did have a horse once that ran into an electric fence, which was made of a thin braided rope very similar to an extending leash, with a very thin wire running through it to carry the charge. She then proceeded to run up the fence, which sawed badly into her upper leg. What a mess:(


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