If the dog bites the leash while walking, it is not only annoying but also dangerous. Here you will find the best tips on how to break the habit of unwanted behavior in your dog.
If the dog keeps biting the leash, the walk will quickly become exhausting and annoying. In addition, dangerous situations can easily arise. Dog and owner are distracted by biting the leash. They pay less attention to traffic, cyclists and other obstacles.
As the owner, you get increasingly annoyed when you have to constantly pull the leash out of the dog’s mouth. Once the dog understands that he can bite through the leash and enjoy his freedom, it becomes even more dangerous.
In order to stop your dog from biting the leash, you first have to find out what caused it. Incidentally, biting the leash is not necessarily related to problems with leash handling in general or to leash aggression. But it can develop into both.
Dog bites the leash: find out the cause
In order to solve the problem, one must first get to the bottom of the cause. Does the dog always like to bite the leash or did it suddenly start?
One possibility as to why the dog bites the leash is that he didn’t learn what to do and what not to do when he was a puppy. The leash for playing and tugging should be taboo even for a puppy.
It is also important that young dogs already learn a termination signal such as “Off” or “No”. If they let go of the object of desire, they must be immediately and lavishly rewarded. This is how you reinforce positive behavior.
Biting the leash should be stopped from the start. Because what is still cute in puppies is annoying and dangerous in adult dogs at the latest.
Many dogs that bite the leash just want to get their owner’s attention – and they succeed with the unwanted behavior. Many dog owners react incorrectly in this situation and encourage their dog to bite the leash by making their behavior their own give full attention.
6 tips on how to stop the dog from biting the leash
These tips can help the dog stop biting the leash as quickly as possible. As everywhere in dog training, the consistency and reward of positive behavior is particularly important here.
1. Drop leash
Ignore biting the leash and don’t try to pull the leash out of the dog’s mouth. Better just drop the leash when the dog bites it. Step on the leash with your foot to keep the dog from running away.
Do not continue your walk until the dog has let go of the leash.
2. Apply learned abort signal
Every dog should learn a stop signal as a puppy. This can be “Off” or “No”, for example. The dog should have learned to stop what it is doing in response to this signal – ideally also from biting the leash.
Repeat and train the exit signal at home with other objects so that it works reliably when you go for a walk.
Instead of focusing on the annoying biting of the leash, you should try to distract the dog.
This is achieved, for example, by frequent changes of direction and speed. As a result, the dog has to concentrate more and loses interest in the leash. Concentrated “heel” and light exercises such as “sit” also help the dog to forget the leash. Be sure to reward the dog for its positive behavior.
4. Chewing material
Dogs who like to chew on the leash often think of it as a chew toy. Here it can help to provide the dog with other chewing material that he can really chew on. Many dogs also like to carry this around with them on walks.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but you should only give your dog the chew or carry toy when he’s not biting the leash. Otherwise, he will mistakenly associate biting the leash with giving up the toy.
Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. If he is bored and underchallenged, he quickly looks for a substitute activity such as biting the leash.
New and varied walks offer the dog new incentives.
However, make sure that the dog is not overwhelmed. Many dogs also bite the leash to relieve stress.
6. Detect skip action
If the dog bites the leash in training situations, this can be a skipping action. He feels overwhelmed by the tasks set for him and bites the leash – simply because he doesn’t know what else to do. Other classic dog skip actions include:
- scratching or licking
- Uncontrolled rampage
In this case, you should end the training with an easy exercise that the dog can easily master and praise him for it.
Dog won’t stop biting the leash – what to do?
If the dog still won’t stop biting the leash, the behavior worsens, or it starts to growl and become aggressive with the leash, you should seek professional advice. Trainers in the dog school can professionally assess the dog’s behavior and help with tips and exercises.
Dog bites the leash: You shouldn’t do that
If your dog bites the leash, you should absolutely refrain from the following wrong correction methods. This does not solve the problem and permanently damages the bond with your dog.
The undesirable behavior must never be punished with rudeness. The dog will not bite the leash to annoy you. Investigate the cause and seek professional help.
2. Use chain link leash
A bite-resistant leash made of chain links is not a permanent solution to biting the leash. It doesn’t solve the problem or the cause.
3. Smear the leash with hot sauces
Dog owners are repeatedly advised to simply smear the leash with hot or acidic sauces to prevent the dog from biting the leash. You shouldn’t do that either.
If your dog constantly bites the leash while walking or even manages to bite through it, this is not only annoying but also dangerous. However, if you take this misconduct seriously from the start and are consistent in distracting your dog from biting the leash, it will soon stop the behavior and you can enjoy walking together on the leash again.