Retractable Dog Tie-out




Introduction: Retractable Dog Tie-out

About: I'm a husband and father that loves working in the garage. From sewing to welding to wrenching on engines and everything in between.

I needed a way to tie my dog outside for short periods of time, but didn't want the eyesore of a cable or rope strung across the sidewalk or lawn, especially since I'd have to pick it up every time I mowed. I did find some retractable cable tie-outs available commercially, but they didn't get great reviews and were a bit pricey, it did however provide some inspiration for this solution.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

All supplies were purchased from my local Harbor Freight, but you could use your existing leash or yard stake.

  • 24' retractable leash - $5.99
  • spiral yard stake - $3.99
  • 5" carabiner - $1.50

I already had a retractable leash, but it was only 16' long so I decided to buy the longer one to give her a little more range.

Step 2:

  • Find a suitable position for your stake. I decided to put mine in the rock bed so I wouldn't have to mow around it or remove it.
  • Clip the carabiner in the ring of the stake
  • Clip the leash handle in the carabiner

You also want to extend the leash fully and walk the path to make sure that your dog will be confined to a suitable area and not able to reach the street, driveways, etc.

Step 3: Tie the Dog Out

Now I can tie my dog out to do her business while I get ready for work in the mornings.

There are several benefits of this setup:

  • The leash comes in the house with the dog so it won't have to withstand the elements
  • No unsightly cables or ropes spread across the lawn
  • Auto retracting so no tangles in the leash
  • No need to pickup before mowing
  • Gives more time to get ready in the morning without waiting for nature's call for my dog

Step 4:

If you'd like to watch the video, it's here.

Pets Challenge

Runner Up in the
Pets Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Cold Challenge

      Cold Challenge
    • Block Code Contest

      Block Code Contest
    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge



    Question 1 year ago on Step 4

    Dustin, Have any ideas on how to make something to get a dog up PetSteps to my grooming table, that is electric?? He is afraid of heights, and doesn't want to climb the 3 steps up to the table.

    Dustin Rogers
    Dustin Rogers

    Answer 1 year ago

    Maybe if you make some type of “railing” or walls where the dog can’t see off the sides of the steps? I know my dog will NOT go up steps that you can see through, the steps up to our deck for example have no risers and an open railing. Our steps in the house have walls on both sides and you can’t see between the steps and it’s no issue for her to run up and down them.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Dustin, Thank-you for your reply. I am unable to put a railing or sides to the Pet Steps, since it is a folding ladder. I have thought about a system such as you have for letting your dog out, but since I have had surgery, I really need an electric hoist. I am unable to lift more than 20 lbs. and he is 50 lbs. I have done clicker training with steak and he still has a problem, he is unwilling to go up the steps.


    1 year ago on Step 4

    Great idea!! I'd still would watch your dog so another dog does not attack it, or someone steal him.


    1 year ago

    Be mindful about tying out your dog at the front of your home; animals are sometimes stolen when there is opportunity.


    1 year ago

    Genius & simply! I love this, I had the same thoughts when looking at retractable tie outs. This is such simple solution!