This is not a "I hate flexis" thread or pro vs. con of flexis thread. As someone new to small dogs, I have some observations on retractable leads I thought worth sharing. I use a flexi with Penny, little 10 pound rat dog thing. I feel like I use it responsibly and don't endanger her or anyone else. And it's so darned convenient! They are a tool that has their place. That said, it only took me about a year, but I finally noticed something pretty significant about flexis with very small dogs. Even the lightest flexi requires some pulling to get it to extend. On a lab isn't not anything significant, with a 10 pound dog, it literally changes her stance when moving forward. This means that when she approaches another dog, her body language is altered. Like I said, it took me a year to figure this out, but Penny on a long line vs. Penny on a flexi is a different dog when meeting other dogs. She can still be reactive, but she is far less so on a long line or fixed leash that I let be loose. A flexi is harder to let completely 'loose' because it will always have that slight tension from the retraction. Unless you extend it all the way and lock it fully extended, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having a retractable leash. The other place I prefer a long line to a flexi is when teaching a dog off leash skills. A line you can drop and let the dog drag is so much more effective than a leash that keeps some tension on it all the time letting the dog know at all times that you are there. Example: On a long line, my dog stops, gets engrossed in a smell, perfect opportunity for me to walk on and encourage her to come when she realizes I've 'left' her. I can drop the line, keep walking and when she comes pick it up again. I can't drop a flexi. Same thing if she gets ahead of me and I want to drop the line and about face and get her to run back to me. These are all important exercises in progressing to full off-leash reliability with added safety of a line to grab if you need to. So... if you're dealing with reactivity, try a line instead of a flexi. If you're working towards off-leash reliability, try a line instead of a flexi. Last note: Apparently small dog long lines are not a 'thing' and they're hard to find. No problem. Buy some paracord and a clip. Penny is on a nylon paracord line. Doesn't hold water, stays clean easily, works great.