How to Repair a Retractable Dog Leash

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Things You'll Need

  • Allen wrenches

  • Standard screwdriver

  • Replacement leash or mechanisms (as needed)


Check the retractable leash often for the safety of your dog. Do not open the unit near your eyes or face.


Extensive damage due to dropping or over-use signals that it's time for the replacement of entire retractable leash unit. Save older retractable leashes for future parts harvesting. It can often save a lot of time and money.

Standard retractable dog leash

If you find your retractable dog leash binding up or not retracting like it used to, it might be time for a repair. A couple of simple tools and a little time can save you money. In a few steps, you can do the needed repair done quickly and get your dog back out on his walk.

Step 1

Save that favorite retractable dog leash

Loosen the lock break mechanism on the side of retractable dog leash.

Step 2

Test the tension and retraction by pulling out the entire length of leash and allowing it to retract.

Step 3

Allen wrenches

Undo the Allen screws on side of retractable leash. Carefully use standard screwdriver to gently pry the top from the bottom. Try to pry evenly on each side to avoid breaking the plastic casing. Visually inspect parts for signs of damage such as burns, cuts, rubs, tangles, frayed or worn sections. Check all sewn areas for loose, missing or damaged stitches. Replace leash material if necessary.

Step 4

Check that the spring is functioning correctly. When 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

A successful fix creates a happy dog and confident owner

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