How to Repair a Retractable Dog Leash

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If you notice that your retractable dog leash is binding up or not retracting like it used to, it might be time for a repair. With a couple of simple tools and a little time, you can save money and get the job done so you and your dog can hit the sidewalk again.

You can repair rather than replace your dog leash.
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Why repair a flexi dog leash?

If you notice anything that seems off with your dog's retractable leash, it's important to repair the leash to keep your dog safe. While retractable leashes have a lot of benefits, they can also be dangerous to you and your dog, with the potential to cause injuries, such as burns or strangulation. This is why some dog trainers hate retractable leashes.


If you do have a retractable leash, keeping a close eye on the leash will allow you to keep the leash in good working order and head off any potential injuries. Completing the job yourself helps you save money and get as much use out of the product as possible.

How to tell if your leash needs repairs

Make it a point to look over your leash once a week, checking to see if it's time to make any repairs. The older the product, the more likely it will be to need a helping hand.


If the leash has extensive damage from overuse or from being repeatedly dropped on the ground, this is a signal that it's time to replace the entire thing with a new leash. Before you throw the old leash away, however, consider saving it so you can harvest flexi leash replacement parts in the future. This can save you a lot of time and money with dog leash repair.


Dog leash repair for a retractable leash

Step 1: Open the flexi leash

The first thing you need to know is how to open a flexi leash. To get started, loosen the lock brake mechanism on the side of the retractable dog leash. Remember that you shouldn't open the unit near your eyes or face.


Does the tension still work?
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Step 2: Test the tension

Test the tension and retraction by pulling out the entire length of leash and allowing it to retract. This will allow you to see which parts of the leash might need replacement.


Step 3: Inspect the leash

Undo the Allen screws on the side of the retractable leash. Carefully use a standard screwdriver to gently pry the top part away from the bottom. Try to pry evenly on each side to avoid breaking the plastic casing.

Visually inspect the various leash parts for signs of damage, such as burns, cuts, rubs, tangles, and frayed or worn sections. Check all sewn areas for loose, missing, or damaged stitches. Then, replace the leash material if necessary. Most leashes are made of nylon or leather.


Step 4: Check the spring

Check that the spring is functioning correctly. When it's working properly, the tension in the spring will increase as you pull the leash out from the coil. If there is not enough tension to allow the leash to retract, replace the spring.

Step 5: Clean the leash

Use compressed air to clean the inside of the leash, blowing out any particles of dust or dirt.


Step 6: Replace the cover

You might be able to replace the tension screws.

Replace the plastic cover and secure it with the Allen screws. Pull out the entire length of leash and retract it a few times after replacing the parts to ensure smooth operation.

Once you've completed all of the steps, you're finished with your dog leash repair, and your leash should be good to go.

Things You'll Need

  • Allen wrenches

  • Allen screws

  • Standard screwdriver

  • Replacement leash or mechanisms (as needed)

  • Compressed air