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Retractable leashes are dangerous and should never be used at a busy event.  If the dog starts running and somebody grabs the leash, a dangerous cut or worse a finger amputation could happen and it has, many times. In 2007, there were 16,564 hospital-treated injuries associated with leashes according to Consumer Union’s analysis of statistics collected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The person holding the leash does not realize that they really do not have control over their dog; even if the leash is “locked”—the cord is in no way going to control the dog.
In conclusion, if you are at a crowded event, please be responsible and use a regular 6’ leash made of nylon, leather, cloth or any other material where you can have complete control of your dog and leave the retractable at home.

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Unfortunately, many of the circumstances do occur frequently and impact on individuals or dogs who were not at fault.
He was about 9 years old and our neighbor was walking her big dog on a retractable leash and the dog saw him and got excited and ran around in circles around him and he ended up with what looks like lacerations all up and down the back of his thighs and calves.
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However, they are not safe in an environment with kids, other dogs, other people or distractions where the leash can cause tripping, cutting or other serious injuries.

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