Trying out the Freedom Leash

Trying out the Freedom Leash (Carol Richman)

As dog owners know, walking one dog can be tricky, what with all the zig-zagging, the stopping short to sniff, the sudden lunging. But two dogs? That's a true test of coordination -- to say nothing of patience. 

And that's why I was excited to have someone test The Freedom Leash, a retractable leash built for two dogs. Playing the part of guinea pig this time was Baltimore couple Carol Richman and Mastin Mount, who own the adorable, spotted duo Daisy and Juno.

Here's their review of The Freedom Leash, which is made by The Paws Republic and costs $59.99:

We live in Baltimore City, so we are bound by leash laws. We're also constantly walking our dogs. Juno, a sweet Boston Terrier mix, and Daisy, a Jack Russell Terrier (think high energy) keep us on the go –- they need a lot of exercise to tire them out.

We have been in search of a dual leash for several years.  We tried out one – a regular leash – but not being expandable, there wasn't enough roaming lead for our pooches. Thumbs down. Because we had seen a dual retractable leash advertised in a magazine and thought it was a cool idea, we were excited about testing out the Freedom Leash.

The Freedom Leash by the Paws Republic is a great concept product with a few flaws.

1. One dog can walk in front while the other walks behind so the walker gets tangled.

2. The device is large, a bit on the heavy side, and cumbersome.

3. The locking mechanism to lock the leads is hard to use and it jammed and then stopped working altogether.

4. The 10-foot leads (cords) aren’t 10 feet – they’re 8 feet. It's hard to let your pooches wander. Our dogs weren’t happy. (Big frownie puppy faces.)

While there is the freedom of having one hand free, we found that we were using the free hand for more control -- even though our dogs each weigh less than 20 pounds. We couldn’t envision carrying a cup of coffee while using this leash or talking on a cell phone. 

All in all, we still think this is a great concept and would suggest going back to the drawing board for improvements.  It would be nice to have two controls, for instance, that would allow for control of each dog.  We wouldn’t recommend this for larger dogs.

The verdict: One star out of four.