A couple of weeks ago, the team at Supercollar was nice enough to send me one of their collars to test out with Lola. As you may recall, the Supercollar is a dog collar with a built-in, 3-foot retractable leash made from coated steel cables.
I was so excited to test the Supercollar as I take Lola almost everyday to a hiking trail by our house where I only use a leash to get her from the car to the trailhead and back. I thought it would be nice not to have to carry the leash around with me on our entire hike.
Even though the trail is off leash, I occasionally like to grab Lola when I see a coyote or I don't want her to jump up on another person and get them all muddy. A major problem for me with using the Supercollar was that the retractable leash has no brake. Lola had to run out the entire 3 feet of leash before I could get any control over her.
The lack of brake may not be a big deal for most situations but I like to give Lola feedback using small tugs on the leash and keep her right at my side if there is a dog, wild animal or person I don't want her to greet. You simply can't do this with the Supercollar.
I was also a little weary of using steel cables for the leash. When Lola runs forward while on leash, my instant reaction is to grab the leash. If you grab the Supercollar leash with your bare hands while it is running out, you could easily slice through a finger.
If the leash were to accidentally slip out of my hand, I would be worried about hurting Lola as it sprung back at her, especially as the collar tended to drop to the side or front of her neck.
As Lola is a labrador, I knew that any collar would have to stand up to the mud and water test. The Supercollar easily survived the many laps through muddy ponds and even the sandy, salty, wet beach.
Bottom Line: I so wanted to love the Supercollar as the concept of a built-in retractable leash is genius, but it just wasn't practical in reality. Perhaps with a few design modifications, such as installing a brake on the retractable leash, the Supercollar would come closer to living up to its name.