How To Fix A Retractable Dog Leash (5 Step Solution)

Many dog owners face problems fixing retractable dog leashes attached to the dog collar or harness. However, there’s nothing to worry about. You don’t need any expert knowledge to learn how to fix a retractable dog leash.

Repairing a retractable dog leash is simple. All you need to do is first locate the detachable T-opening on the rear end, where it attaches to the collar and remove the screws. Then find the hole opening to the leash center. Insert the screws into the new holes to secure the leash in place. You can then attach the handle and test your leash before taking your dog for a walk.

Though fixing a leash is different from repairing a broken leash. If your leash is broken, you need to disassemble it and determine the extent of the damage. Some common issues are easy to fix, such as a twisted knot, a leash that won’t retract or extend.

However, some issues don’t fix, and you’ll need to buy a new leash. For example, if the brake won’t work or the handle is broken, buying a new leash makes sense.

In this post, I’ll guide you on how to fix a retractable dog leash and all you need to know about buying new leashes, if necessary. So, let’s dive in right away!

What Is A Retractable Leash?

A retractable dog leash is a thin cord wrapped in a spring-loaded device and attached to the dog collar or harness. Basically, it is a dog leash but with a spring-loaded device to control cord’s lenght.

Retractable Leash

The plastic handle housing the spring-load and cord features an ergonomic design for easy handling. Also, a button on the handle controls extension and retraction of the cord.

Retractable dog leashes are quite popular since they don’t confine dogs to a specific area. They extend easily and provide dogs with more freedom to move around.

This type of leash comes with its pros and cons. One of the biggest pros is the fact that they are not confining dogs to roam around as they please while keeping you in command. However, they also pose the risk of letting dogs stray too far away from the owner.

Are Retractable Leashes Bad For Dogs?

The answer depends on how you look at it. It can be bad and good depending on how you use it. You will find many reasons to use retractable dog leashes and bad reasons not to use them.

For example, the leashes are excellent for well leash-mannered dogs that take voice commands. If the dog gets too far away, you’re able to command it to come back. In such situations, the leashes are good for dogs.

The leash also offers freedom to dogs that have undergone surgery to exercise without running away. However, they can also be bad depending on how you use them. If your dog strays too far away, anything can happen. It is hard to control a dog on a 26 foot leash that another aggressive dog is attacking.

It is important to note that you’re not holding a dog leash, but a device that controls the leash. So, it may not offer the expected force you wanted to pull and in turn injure your dog. The thin ropes on retractable leashes can also pose risks of severe burns, deep cuts and entanglements if dogs are not observed. Huge pulls from dogs can make the cord snap as well.

How To Fix Retractable Dog Leash?

Fixing a retractable dog leash takes about 10-15 minutes and all you need are just a screwdriver and DIY skills. This can be done in the following steps.

How To Fix Retractable Dog Leash

Step 1 – Locate the Detachable T-Opening:

The first thing you will need to do is locate the detachable T-opening on your retractable dog leash. The opening should be located at one end of the leash, near where it attaches to your pet’s collar.

If you cannot find this opening, you may have purchased an older model that does not include this feature. You may want to return the product for a refund or exchange.

Locate the detachable T-opening on the rear end where it attaches to the collar. Remove the screws and find the hole opening to the leash center. Insert the screws into the new holes to secure the leash in place. You can then attach the handle and test your leash before taking your dog for a walk.

Step 2 – Remove the Screws:

Once you locate the detachable T opening, remove all four screws from the back side of the leash. These are usually found by unscrewing the two screws closest to the handle portion of the leash.

Once these are removed, there should be a hole opening up into the leash’s center.

Step 3 – Replace the Screws:

After removing the screws, insert new ones into the hole openings in the leash. Make sure they go through both sides of the leash so that the leash stays secure.

Step 4 – Attach the Handle:

After inserting the screws, attach the handle onto the leash. You can do that by using the same method as attaching the leash to your pet. Just make sure that the leash goes around your pet’s neck and under their chin.

Step 5 – Test Your New Retractable Dog Leash:

Finally, when you finish attaching the leash, test out how much tension is needed to pull the leash away from your pet. If the leash pulls too easily, you may need to adjust the lengtha bit.

Also, if the leash is pulling too tight, you may need more material. For example, if the leash is made of nylon, you may need to add extra cordage layers to prevent the leash from being too tight.

How Do I Choose A Retractable Dog Leash?

Choosing the right retractable dog leash is important for both human and pet protection. The best retractable dog leash must be of good quality, functional, ergonomic and easy to handle.

How Do I Choose A Retractable Dog Leash

Below are crucial factors to consider before choosing a retractable dog leash.

The Handle

When you hold the retractable dog leash in your hand, it should feel comfortable. It shouldn’t hurt or cause any discomfort.

You can also check if any sharp parts could cut your fingers or hands using the retractable dog leash. If so, make sure that they have been covered well with soft material.


A retractable dog leash should fit comfortably around the neck of your dog as well as the length of your dog’s body. Make sure that it doesn’t restrict your dog’s movement; rather it should allow full freedom of movement.

Also, ensure that the size of the retractable dog leash matches the size of the collar used on your dog.


Another factor worth considering when buying a retractable dog leash is the weight of the retractable dog leashes. While some may be heavy enough, others might be too light and not provide adequate support or sturdiness.


Retractable dog leashes come in different materials such as nylon, leather, plastic etc. Choose one that has high durability. Imagine the places you walk your dog and the kind of weather you experience, or when you accidentaly drop it on the pavement. Can the leash stand up to all these conditions? 

If yes, then go ahead and buy it.


There are many designs available in the market today. Some are made from metal, rubber, plastic, wood, leather etc.

Choose one that suits your needs. Do you want something stylish? Or would you prefer something practical and durable?

Retention & Strength

Some retractable dog leashes offer great strength but don’t retain their position after being pulled out. Others have weak retention which makes them difficult to use. So always look for a strong durable retractable dog leash.

Ease of Use

Look at how easy it is to attach and detach the retractable dog leash from your dog. Try holding it yourself before purchasing. Check if it is easy to tie and untie the leash.


Always remember that cheap products aren’t necessarily better than expensive ones. Go for a product that offers excellent value for money.


A retractable dog leash is an essential tool for every dog owner. It helps keep your dog safe by preventing him/her from wandering off. It is also useful when taking your dog out for walks. Whether you are going to the park or just out for a stroll, having a retractable dog leash will help prevent accidents.

If you already own a retractable dog leash, make sure to clean it regularly. Dirt and debris build up over time and this can affect its performance. Regular cleaning will help maintain the quality of the retractable dog lead.

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