I have never liked retractable leashes mainly because it is very difficult to control dogs on long skinny leashes. From the plastic handle to the skinny rope - the design is not good from a safety standpoint in my opinion. When walking in the city they can stretch almost all the way across a busy street or when there are other dogs on the path it is very difficult to gain control of strong dogs when holding a plastic handle (it is much better to wrap a traditional leash around your wrist and then hold it - much more control & grip).
I have gotten "rope burn" on my legs from getting tangled in the skinny leash - as soon as a dog sees another dog or a squirrel they are off and running and sometimes I am just in the way, unfortunately for me.
Ever been to a park or to a patio where dogs are trying to check each other out and they get hopelessly tangled up in those skinny retractable leashes? Awkward. Or worse, if your dog accidentally gets free from you and the retractable leash is still attached and basically becomes a moving weapon ready to take out anything.
I used to use a retractable leash just for walks in the wilderness, but after coming across a few snakes, armadillo and possums during my short time here in Texas I have decided once again that a long retractable leash is not the best idea when stumbling upon wild animals in their habitat.
For all of these reasons I have grown to really dislike retractable leashes, so much so that I will bring my own traditional leashes with me when I have client dog walks to do.
What type of leashes/collars do you like? There are so many options these days I am surprised that retractable leashes aren't obsolete by now.