Rad Dog

Retractable Leash

Double-Duty Dog Collar

What’s better than leash-free play for your favorite pooch? Not having to carry the leash once your dog is running free.

Brian Dagnon was sick of carrying an empty leash when he went trail running in the Pacific Northwest with his dog Fletcher (above). He and his fiancee Paula Johnson came up with the idea for a retractable leash built into a collar, so they could let Fletcher run and swim freely but still have access to a leash when they needed it. The leash had to be strong enough to control large dogs like Fletcher,
a 110-pound black lab who likes to chase deer and crows. But it also had to be compact.

After years of prototyping and many miles of running, Brian and Paula debuted the Release N Run collar. It’s made with Spectra, a lightweight fiber that’s 15 times stronger than steel. Inside there’s a retracting mechanism that was originally designed for scuba gear (so you know it can handle a swim in salt water) and for securing military weapons (so you know it’s reliable).

Your best friend deserves to run around without a leash every once in a while. So do you. Get ready to romp unencumbered.

— Ann
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Brian

    Thanks to the Daily Grommet, I'm here to

    answer your questions about getting your dog from town to trail safely and

    then enjoying the freedom of never carrying a leash again.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/17/2010 12:07 PM

    Here is the sizing chart pulled over from the Grommet details:

  • Jennifer
    Jennifer – Grommet Team
    5/17/2010 1:00 PM

    I love Jake the dog in the video. Brian said it took all Jake's will not to chase the squirrel that was to the side. Watch and see!

  • Brian
    Brian – Special Guest
    5/17/2010 2:17 PM

    After we finally figured out to move the camera it was perfect having the squirrel there to maintain Jake's focus for the video. He has given the leash some good tests with all the squirrels around here!

  • Kerri
    5/17/2010 2:54 PM

    We have the release N run leash for our 85 lb golden retriever. It is awesome. I have two kids and a dog to hike with so the gear gets a little cumbersome. This leash has been such a great invention so that my dog can run free, but the times she needs to be leashed up.. i just have to grab the little loop and we are all good. Many people have commented on the trail about how they would like a leash like that as they have multiple leashes wrapped around their waist. Thanks guys!

  • Nichole Breding
    Nichole Breding
    5/17/2010 3:15 PM

    I've got a run and release collar for my dog, Bailey. I love it! It's great for going to the lake or running in the park. Great product.. would highly recommend it.

  • M J Metzger
    M J Metzger
    5/17/2010 3:15 PM

    I'm a convert and evangelical for this leash. It solves all sorts of problems and frees me up to just be with my dog yet be a responsible dog owner (i.e. always have the dog "leashed" when necessary). Brilliant invention. Thanks, Rad Dog!

  • Rory Zikmund
    Rory Zikmund
    5/17/2010 3:17 PM

    My dog, Ridge, is a very active dog..I have the run and release collar and it works great to take him on walks around our neighborhood. Very good product which I recommend to dog owners who want to have their dogs off leash but still have a leash where necessary.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/17/2010 3:31 PM

    Thanks everyone for stopping by with your experiences! Brian, it sounds like all of your prototyping resulted in a very useful product. Congratulations!

  • Judy Grande
    Judy Grande
    5/17/2010 3:43 PM

    I have used the release and run for three years on my 110 pound black lab. It is great to walk/run in the Flathead Lake area, take him swimming, and also to have him on the lease when we are in the residential area. It is durable,washable,and sharp looking. Thanks Raddog for this product.

  • chris
    5/17/2010 3:48 PM

    This collar has been very helpful -- when my dog escapes, it is very easy way to bring him back. My dog wears it all of the time and it lets me pull him back from the door and keep him safe. I plan to give this collar to friends who get new dogs or puppies.

  • James
    5/17/2010 3:49 PM

    These really work as well as they say - even better. We've got one of these for our dog Carlo. He's an 80 pound Lab mutt. We use it all the time for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, and even when he's swimming. We've even bought them as gifts for our friend's dogs.

  • Grady Reese
    Grady Reese
    5/17/2010 3:55 PM

    I found found the collar works great! It has been very useful at the dog park when some - overly aggressive dogs get a a little too excited. The leash is a quick and effective way to keep things under control.

  • Lisa
    5/17/2010 4:02 PM

    Does this have a 'stop' mechanism so you can extend the leash to a given length and it will hold? Or is it always retracting?


  • Trailhead
    5/17/2010 4:06 PM

    We are active cross country runners and mountain bikers so the Release and Run is a must for us on every outing with our dogs. We purchased our first collar at an outdoor store a year ago in Washington state and have been using it ever since. The collars (we now have 2) have withstood the elements and allowed us to shed our leash carrying duties! We like the fact that if we come to a road crossing it's really easy to get hold of the dogs and keep them safe.

  • Brian
    Brian – Special Guest
    5/17/2010 4:12 PM

    Hi Lisa, It does not have a Stop mechanism. We tried to include this in the original design but it made the collar to bulky. However, the tension on the leash is not that great and hardly noticeable to the owner or dog.

  • Kirk G
    Kirk G
    5/17/2010 4:21 PM

    I've used the release n run a ton over the last year on our 100 lb Golden Ret. I'm impressed how durable it is. It is impossible to go out in public without someone commenting how cool it is. You should make a version for toddlers who want to pretend to be Clifford the Big Red Dog in public. :)

  • Shirin A
    Shirin A
    5/17/2010 4:50 PM

    Very cool concept! For those of us who are constantly loosing leashes this is the perfect product!

  • Erik D.
    Erik D.
    5/17/2010 5:01 PM

    I have been using the Release and Run collar/leash for my dogs for 1.5yrs now. I now NEVER have to utilize another style leash. Fortunately we live in an area where trails abound and off-leash areas are also in abundance so having this leash/collar combination is invaluable to us when we walk or run with our dog(s). Light weight, extremely durable and utilitarian as it comes. Brian and Paula have come up with an excellent product that I wish everyone who owns a dog could experience. Get one!!!

  • Wade Roush
    Wade Roush
    5/17/2010 5:54 PM

    What a cool idea. But I'm curious about a few things that weren't quite clear from DG's video.

    1. What's the actual leash made from, and is it a material that wouldn't cause cuts or rope burns if you grabbed it in the wrong place? That's one problem I've had with retractable leashes (usually nylon cord) in the past.

    2. How do you grab the handle for the leash when your dog is wearing it? Do you have to get your dog to stop, then reach inside the little pouch?

    3. Doesn't Jake cringe every time you say "Rad Dog"? My dog would! ;-)

  • Pippin & Kalli
    Pippin & Kalli
    5/17/2010 6:50 PM

    It's great for little dogs too! I have a schipperke and an American eskimo dog. Why carry the leash yourself, when the dogs don't even know it's there? Great idea for hunters, hikers, and casual park visitors.

  • Brian
    Brian – Special Guest
    5/17/2010 7:01 PM

    Hi Wade, the leash is made from a combination of Nylon and spectra material (similar to Kevlar) and is similar to the material that hand-held retractable leashes use. The pouch on the collar was designed so that the handle is towards the top of the dogs neck and about a 1/2" of the leash sticks outside of the pouch, making it super easy to grab on the go. I have no problem grabbing the leash while walking or running.

  • Megan Snell
    Megan Snell
    5/17/2010 7:08 PM

    Our 105 lb Golden Retriever, Cooper, LOVES his Rad Dog and so do we! It is so easy and multifunctioning. Every where we take Cooper, people stop us and ask us about the leash/ collar.

  • Seth B.
    Seth B.
    5/17/2010 7:48 PM

    This product is AWESOME... We are very outdoor oriented and the older style leashes were just way to cumbersome on treks and runs. We have put it to the test with a 120+ lb. black lab/ german shepard as well as a Very Vivacious Viszla :). No worries with either. We constantly get comments on how cool this thing is. I highly recommend this product! SB

  • Ruth Sofield
    Ruth Sofield
    5/17/2010 8:30 PM

    I absolutely love this lease. We don't use anything but this now. Our dog Fiona always has her lease with her. It is quick to grab when we need to, but out of the way when we don't. If this company had a public stock offering, I would be the first to buy!!!!

  • Jen B.
    Jen B.
    5/17/2010 11:01 PM

    we have a Release N Run for our border collie lab mix, it's perfect on the trail, in camp, in town! I'm definitely getting one for our second dog so we can leave the old leash behind...

  • J Johnson
    J Johnson
    5/17/2010 11:51 PM

    Raddog's release and run is great for the outdoor person. When I take care my "granddog" he always wears his release and run; therefore I never have to search for his collar and leash. He loves to ride in the car and when we stop for a little walk I just open the door, reach down and pull out the leash. He loves to swim and catch the tennis ball while wearing the release and run. This is a great invention. Thanks Raddog for saving me time is searching for misplaced leashes.

  • Susan
    5/18/2010 9:39 AM

    No sure if I need a S or a M...I have a 26lb. Cockapoo.....thanks....gr8 idea, I am always off leash w my dog and this is gr8 for the time when I need a leash!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/18/2010 9:55 AM

    @Susan - Measure your Cockapoo's neck size. If it's between 14-16" go with a Small and if it's between 16-18" go with a Medium. We're glad this will work for you!

  • Brian D
    Brian D
    5/18/2010 10:47 AM

    The release and run makes life easier for my girlfriend and I. We go hiking and running a lot and it is so nice to not carry anything. I tell people at the dog park about the collar/leash and they are all jealous. Keep it up Rad Dog!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/19/2010 10:31 AM

    This is excerpted from a great article that the Seattle Times did about Rad Dog:

    "Rad Dog, based in Bellingham, offers unique collars for active canines. Rad Dog's Release N Run collar incorporates a leash that retracts into the collar. That means dogs can roam free, but when you need to have them leashed, simply reach down, grab the leash tab and pull. A 3.5-foot length of spectra cord (a carbon fiber-type cord that is lightweight yet very strong) unspools from the collar.

    Sophie found the collar comfortable, she showed no sign that it felt any different from her normal webbing collar. While hiking the Easton Ridge Trail east of Snoqualmie Pass, we let her roam free on the trail (she's well-trained to stay close and responds to voice commands). When we encountered other hikers, we'd simply reach down and pull out the leash cord.

    The Release N Run proved the perfect solution for this type of use; hiking with well-behaved dogs that occasionally need the extra security of being leashed. The collar is compact and lightweight, making it perfect for trail use, and also works well as a leash to get your dog from the car to the off-leash areas around town."

    You can read the full article here.

  • cktango
    6/4/2010 6:36 PM

    Hi there...I'd like to get this as a gift for a friend who has a black lab...but of course, I don't know the doggy's actual neck size. I do know that she is a good size lab. Do black labs tend toward one particular size or do I really need to call them and spoil the surprise? Thanks so much!!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    6/4/2010 7:18 PM

    @cktango - I have been in touch with Brian and he says that you will need either a L or XL. If you could discreetly get the dogs weight - he could advise with more certainty.

  • Jen
    9/4/2010 5:14 PM

    Question: Are the collars adjustable? I have two female goldens, each about 60 lbs. One has a 16 inch neck and wears a 17 inch collar. The other has a 17 inch neck and wears an 18 inch collar. I am hoping Mediums will fit them both because I'd prefer less bulk. Please let me know which size you suggest since they could go either Medium or Large. Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/4/2010 6:34 PM

    @Jen - I have been in contact with Brian and he says: The medium will fit both of their necks, but due to the weight they should order a large as the maximum recommended weight for the small and medium is 50 #'s.

  • Amber
    9/29/2010 5:38 PM

    Based on neck size the XL will fit our Rotti, BUT he's 130lbs. Is it possible for him to wear one of these? I really love the idea by the way. Also, I was wondering about the return policy. Even if it won't work for our big dog, I would like to try on our small dog, just want to make sure it works well for him. Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/29/2010 6:19 PM

    @Amber - these are not recommended for 130 lb dogs but if it doesn't work for your smaller dog, we do have a 30-day return policy. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Madeleine
    12/15/2010 2:30 PM

    How is this collar/leash on smaller dogs? I have two dogs that would fit the small size collar, but it seems big in the video.

  • Brian
    Brian – Special Guest
    12/15/2010 4:20 PM

    @Madeleine: The small and medium are smaller in size and bulk, but if the dog is under about 20# the leash tends not to retract as smoothly as with bigger dogs.

    The pouch part on the small and medium is about 1.5 wide (so only a 1/2” wider than a normal 1” webbing collar) and is about 5/8” thick. Hope this helps.

  • Tim H
    Tim H
    11/23/2011 1:46 PM

    I have a 16 month old male Vizsla (15" neck, 42 lbs) who I run single track trails with. I use a simple leash that wraps around my waist and has a 3' lead from my waist to collar clasp, but a longer retractable leash would allow him to run behind me without tripping on the leash. Have you ever attached your leash to a belt and used it to run with a dog behind you in single file? Is it long enough to allow the dog to be clear of your stride while behind you (how long is it, from clasp to end of loop)? Finally, based on weight and neck size I assume a small would be best, instead of buying a medium and anticipating he will grow into it? Thanks, Tim

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/23/2011 2:28 PM

    @Tim H: I ran this past Brian and he would not suggest attaching it to yourself as it wasn't designed for that purpose. It also isn't much longer than the one you are currently using, so it probably wouldn't give you the clearance you are hoping for. As far as size, yes, the medium would be the size that you should go with. Thank you for stopping by!

  • Trish Whitehouse
    Trish Whitehouse
    11/24/2011 10:55 PM

    I'm wondering if the leash can lock in the extended position and not always be ready to retract. My dog usually runs on a very loose leash, so I want to lock it in the extended position to replicate what it's like when he runs with me now on a regular leash. But as soon as we're able, I let him run with me off lead, and that's where I'd want to be able to retract it.

    So does it lock and act like a regular leash or is it always pulling and trying to retract?

    Thanks~ great product.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/5/2011 1:31 PM

    @Trish Whitehouse: The leash does not lock, it constantly retracts. It is great for when you have your dog off leash and need to just grab the dog in certain situations such as a small child or mean dog is in the vicinity, or to get to the car after your walk. The dogs can even swim with them on. Rad Dog is not meant for long leash walks, more of security blanket when walking the dog off leash.

  • Erica Cooper
    Erica Cooper
    2/14/2012 10:17 AM

    I have an almost 6 month old standard poodle. He weighs about 35 lbs and is getting bigger every time I look at him. His neck size is close to 14 inches but know it is going to get bigger quickly. Would the L be too big for him or should I order the M and hope it fits.

    I am very excited about ordering the leash.



  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/14/2012 12:16 PM

    @Erica Cooper: Puppies do grow too fast, don't they? I have a miniature poodle that's grown up on us... too fast. A full grown standard poodle is going to be probably 45 - 70 pounds. So when it's full grown, it could need a size Large. If you want a collar that will work as it's growing, a Medium may be the way to go, but once it's full grown, you may have to go up to a Large.

    Here is the sizing chart from the Grommet DETAILS tab that you might find helpful.

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