A retractable tie-out eliminates the annoyance of tripping over lengths of rope or cable and the hassle of frequently needing to untangle your dog. We’ve put together a review of the top five retractable tie-outs, including Howard Pet Products Retractable Tie-Out. We’ll also provide some helpful purchasing and safety tips.
Advantages of Using a Retractable Dog Tie-Out
Tie-outs that feature a cable that retracts back into the base offer several distinct advantages over standard, non-retractable versions.
- Do not leave a long tether on the ground for you to trip over.
- Greatly reduce the chance of your dog becoming tangled in his tether.
- Store the cable neatly inside the housing to protect it from the harmful, rust-inducing effects of weather when not in use.
- Have a set tension on the cable which is designed to be ideal for the listed weight capacity.
- Automatically pull the cable back into the housing when dog moves closer to the unit.
What Are Your Options?
Retractable tie-outs for dogs come in two basic designs: stake and mountable. Let’s take a quick look at both versions before you decide which would be best for your situation.
This type of tie-out has a unit comprised of a fully enclosed reel with a retractable cable which is permanently mounted onto a stake. The stake must be driven into firm ground before use. The more unyielding the soil is, the better.
Most stake tie-out have a large anchor plate on the stake itself to prevent the stake from wiggling loose easily. Stakes designed for use with large dogs will often have two anchor plates facing opposite directions to further limit the stake’s movement and keep it securely in place.
Advantages of retractable stake-type tie-outs include:
- You can place these anywhere in your yard, campsite, picnic area, etc. as long as there is solid soil and nothing for your dog to become tangled around.
- You can move the stake to a new spot as often as you wish with minimal effort. This is great if you’d like to avoid large, round bald patches in the lawn you’ve worked so hard to make lush and beautiful.
- They are useful to bring along when hiking with your dog. Activities like stopping for a snack, answering nature’s call, or taking a quick dip in the pond you just stumbled upon are much easier if you’re not holding onto a leash. Just set up the tie-out, and you’re good to go.
- They are handy to have when visiting a friend’s house and your dog is not welcome inside. Plant the stake in the ground (with permission, of course) and enjoy your visit.
Note: Stake-type tie-outs won’t perform well in loose, sandy, rocky, or muddy soil.
Mountable tie-outs combine a fully enclosed reel and retractable cable with a bracket so that the unit may be permanently mounted on an unmovable object.
Here are a few of the advantages a mountable retractable tie-out offers:
- One time installation. Mount it correctly and you’re done.
- There is no chance of accidentally running over the unit with your lawnmower.
- No unsightly protrusion or holes in your lawn.
- The unit may be positioned at a convenient height for you.
- The tie-out unit can be mounted on virtually any permanent fixture in your yard – the side of your house or garage, fence post, deck support, free-standing post, or even a tree.
The number one safety tip when using a retractable tie-out is to always supervise – no exceptions. Here are more valuable tips to make sure your dog remains safe and enjoys his time outside.
- Provide your dog with some form of protection from the elements.
- A correctly sized, snug-fitting harness is recommended for use with a retractable tie-out to avoid damaging the dog’s neck or posing a choking hazard.
- A choke or martingale collar should never be used with any tie-out.
- Make sure that the area you plan to place the device is free from objects that may become entangled by the cable and from dangerous items that your dog may be tempted to chew or eat.
- Check that the cable, when fully extended, isn’t able to reach the street, neighbor’s property, swimming pool, etc.
- Remember to provide clean water within reach or offer a drink frequently.
- Many cities, towns, and counties have laws concerning the amount of time a dog may be tethered outside. Check with your local officials before placing your dog on a tie-out.
- Only purchase a model that fits your dog’s weight range.
- Check the entire unit, including the cable (and stake if applicable), often for damage and/or weakened areas. Routine inspections should not be neglected – they might save your dog’s life!
Be sure to watch this video demonstration of our number one pick.
The 5 Best Retractable Tie-Outs For Dogs
Have you decided that a retractable tie-out is the way to go? There is no need to spend hours searching for the right one. Take a look at our list to become familiar with the five best options available on the market today.
The steel swivel quick-release clip and smoothly retracting cable of this tie-out ensure that your dog will enjoy some outside time without becoming all tangled up. The vinyl covering on the cable gives protection from rust and corrosion and also provides a smooth finish to keep your dog free from cuts and abrasions.
- Steel cable is stowed away neatly in unit when not in use.
- Small size holds dogs up to 30 pounds.
- Medium size for dogs weighing between 25 – 80 pounds.
- Large size suitable for dogs who weigh 80 – 120 pounds.
- Cable lead is protected against corrosion by vinyl cover.
- Head rotates 360 degrees and features a 15-foot long cable (medium size has 20-foot cable).
- Reel comes with a bold reflective stripe so the unit is visible at night.
- Large size features two opposing anchoring plates with bent edges to grip the unit firmly in the ground.
- Includes sturdy, quick-release steel clip attached to end of cable.
- Weighs 1.8 pounds and hammers easily into firm ground.
- The tension of the cable can not be reduced or increased.
- There is no way to lock cable at a certain length.
- Not for use at the beach or other loose soil.
This mountable tie-out can be installed on just about any permanent fixture in your yard, such as the side of a building or a tree. Able to rotate 360 degrees, this tie-out can also be mounted to the top of a stand-alone post to give your dog an area of 707 square feet.
- Available in a small for dogs between 10 – 30 pounds, a medium for dogs 25 – 80 pounds, and a large for dogs 80 – 120 pounds.
- Patented design smoothly retracts steel cable onto internal reel.
- Cable is just shy of ¼ inch thick.
- All three sizes include reflective strip.
- May be mounted to porches, trees, decking, posts, fences, railing, or trailers.
- Small and large sizes feature a 15-foot cable; the medium size has a 20-foot cable.
- Includes steel swivel clip attached to cable lead so you can easily hook to your dog’s harness (recommended) or collar.
- Only weighs 1 pound.
- May be installed at a height convenient for you to decrease the chance that you’ll accidentally trip on the cable.
- Installation hardware is not included.
- Some users complain that the 15-foot cable is too short for their dog to have adequate play space.
This durable tie-out system is designed for dogs over 15 pounds and includes a cap piece to place on top during installation to avoid damaging the unit while hammering into solid ground. Choose from small, medium, or large, depending on the weight of your dog.
- Available in small (for dogs up to 30 pounds), medium (for dogs 25 – 80 pounds), and large (for dogs 80 – 120 pounds).
- Small and large sizes have 15-foot long cable to give your dog 707 square feet of freedom.
- On medium size model, retractable cable measures 20 feet in length, providing your dog with 1,256 square feet of room to romp.
- Comes with a piece to place on top before hammering to protect the unit while installing.
- Unit revolves 360 degrees to prevent the dog from wrapping the cable around the base.
- Each size features a bright reflective strip wrapped around the top.
- Attaches to dog’s harness (recommended) or collar with a durable steel spring clip.
- Steel cable is sheathed in a protective vinyl covering to protect it from rust.
- Large size features two large stake anchoring plates.
- Not recommended for use on dogs less than 15 pounds.
- The tension of the cable is not adjustable.
Featuring a 15-foot steel, vinyl-coated cable this retractable tie-out for dogs provides a spacious area (706.5 square feet) for your dog to play outside. This tie-out is available in a small, medium, and large size and just needs to be pounded into firm ground and attached to collar or harness.
- Medium and large sizes feature two sturdy, large anchor plates with opposing 90° bent edges to keep stake rooted firmly in the ground.
- Metal quick-release swivel clip on the end of the cable can be attached to dog’s collar or harness.
- Head of unit has brightly colored reflective strip so it remains visible even at night.
- Steel, vinyl-coated cable lead pulls out and retracts smoothly.
- Dog will not become tangled when running in circles around the unit due to its ability to rotate 360 degrees.
- Cable lead extends to out to 15 feet in all directions for a total play area of 706.5 square feet.
- Small size holds dogs up to 33 pounds, medium holds dogs between 22 – 77 pounds, and large accommodates dogs between 77 – 121 pounds.
- Included plastic cap to cover sharp end when not in use.
- Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
- Ships from outside the United States.
Available in both medium and large, this stake-type retractable tie-out comes with a handy gadget to place on top of the unit to allow for installation while preventing any damage.
This tie-out is designed to be used in solid, firm ground and will not remain in place when used in sandy, loose, or muddy soils.
- Available in a medium-size suitable for dogs weighing less than 50 pounds.
- A large size is also available for dogs who weigh less than 100 pounds.
- The medium size tie-out features a bright orange reflective strip for high visibility after dark.
- The large size has a bright red reflective strip.
- The stake for both medium and models is made of steel and is 18 inches long.
- Both models include a “key” which is placed on the acorn cap nut on top of the unit so that you will not damage the unit itself when hammering it into the ground.
- The medium tie-out is outfitted with 20 feet of steel cable and the large version comes with 15 feet of the same high-quality cable.
- The head of the unit rotates 360 degrees to further eliminate the risk of tangles.
- This tie-out is not eligible for Amazon Prime.
It is true that a lot of retractable dog tie-outs are of similar design with the intended purpose of safely securing your dog to one location while still allowing for some degree of mobility. They are not, however, all the same.
After careful consideration, we feel that the Howard Pet Products Retractable Tie-Out is the best retractable tie-out for several reasons.
- Customer feedback ranked this tie-out higher than its competitors.
- This product seems to be more durable and effective compared to the others and is modestly priced.
We’re confident that this tie-out will meet your expectations and more.
Last update on 2020-08-12 at 10:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API