I came across this picture yesterday and it was so ironic because I was going to do a blog post on this very subject!
I loathe retractable leashes. Here's why:
*They always stick when you are trying to pull the dog back
*You cannot grip them the way you would need to if something emergent happened (dog attack, hit by car, crazy child running towards dog) You need a leash to be able to wrap around your wrist so that dog cannot go anywhere
*If your hands sweat, gripping plastic doesn't work. You WILL drop the holder and the dog COULD run
*The dog can grab the plastic handle out of your hand with it's teeth and take off (happened to me) This could not happen with a leash
*They can figure out if they run fast enough and the lead isn't in a locked position, it will get to the end and snap - there goes your dog
*If the lock doesn't work properly on it (and it never does) and you need to pull them back quicker by pulling the rope, you will get rope burn and it will slice up your hands (again, happened to me)
They may be great in a field, but not on city streets - trust me. I always hope for another option and cringe when all I see is the retractable.
These should be banned, but since they are not - make good choices!! :)