Retractable leashes have recently received a little bit of a bum rap when it comes to reliability. It seems like they are pretty simple devices so why do they break, and what can be done? They break in a variety of ways, there are more than 1/2 dozen moving parts inside. Usually it's one of two things: the recoil spring, the part that causes the leash to rewind, breaks from metal fatique or the manual brake, the thumb brake, gets dirty inside and seizes up.
We know that retractable leashes, of any brand, are used with all sorts of dogs and under all sorts of conditions. Our warranty though, is unconditional: If you are in the USA and your SmartLeash fails for any reason in any way for the first year we will replace it. We pay the postage (Priority Mail). If you are in the USA and it fails after the first year please contact us anyway, we will most likely replace it for free. We've rarely declined a warranty claim after the first year so long as the leash wasn't abused (for example, we had one that had been clearly run over by some large object. Like a tank.) We also had someone return a German-made leash to us, we sent them a new SmartLeash, because friends don't let friends use retractable leashes without automatic brakes :)