Thursday, March 5, 2015

Product Review: Flexi Mini

The Flexi Mini is a retractable leash that is 10' in length. It is intended for dogs under 18-pounds, and is also marketed for cats. The Flexi Mini comes in several colors, the most common being pink and black.
Photo by Erin Koski

I'm not a fan of retractable leashes, in fact I'm rather vehemently against them in almost all circumstances. That said, this particular retractable leash is less offensive than most for a number of reasons.

It's made by Flexi. This company basically invented retractable leashes, and theirs are much higher quality than any of the competing products. I won't use a retractable leash made by anyone else, and I cringe every time I see someone using a dollar store one. You never know when the clip on one of those is going to snap and go flying into your eye.

It's for tiny dogs. Ru is less dangerous than a real dog on a retractable leash because he generates far less pulling power. Though it may not be true for all dogs under 18 pounds, grabbing the cord on this leash is a far less risky endeavor than it would be if I had a labrador on the other end. Likewise, Ru produces significantly less inertia than a real dog when he decides to bolt to the end of his leash.

It's short. Most Flexi leash are 16 feet long, with the Flexi Freedom offering a whole 25 feet of length. The Mini is only 10 feet long, that's a third less distance my dog can be from me if I'm not paying attention. It's less space to dart out into the street or wander around a corner in a store aisle. It's less speed built up when he does finally hit the end of the leash.

Pros: Tiny leash for tiny dogs. This thing is pocket-sized. It's maybe a third the size of most competing products, which always amaze me with their hugeness when placed next to Flexi leashes. Seriously, the off-brand ones for tiny dogs tend to be as big as the Flexi ones for large and giant dogs. Can be convenient for keeping the leash off the ground and out from under the dog's feet while allowing a little more freedom than a standard 6' leash.

Cons: Too tiny for large hands. Don't expect to get more than 2-3 fingers through the handle. When used as intended, places light but continuous tension on the dog's collar or harness, so absolutely ridiculous and confusing for the dog when attached to a no-pull harness. Cord is very nearly invisible and can cut when it moves quickly.

Bottom Line: I wouldn't use this leash for a muscular terrier or really any little dog with any kind of pulling power. However, when attached to a delicate toy breed, it's a lot less dangerous and annoying than a standard Flexi leash attached to a standard dog.

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