If your dog loves to chew on it’s leash and starts to become more aggressive you might be worried about where this is heading. What often starts as playful tugging, can lead to you dreading walk time with a doggo that thinks it wears the trousers in your relationship. It doesn’t have to be this way, lets take a look at why dogs bite their leash and what you can do to fix this frustrating problem.
Why Do Dogs Bite Their Leash
Dog’s bite their leashes for a variety of different reasons, some dogs bite their leash just because they’re in a playful mood and want something to chew on. Other dog’s chew the leash because they’re aggravated or feel trapped by it, while some simply enjoy the feeling of carrying something in their mouth.
If your dog is franticly chewing or biting it’s leash it could be feeling trapped, which is exactly what a leash is intended to do. Your leash keeps your dog at arms-length to keep it safe during walks, which your dog probably doesn’t understand. Your dogs about to be released into the big wide world with hundreds of distractions, smells and sensations to take in. If it’s feeling overwhelmed it could and anxious this could explain why it’s frantically biting it’s leash. Alternatively if you’re training your dog it could be getting frustrated with your regime and be rebelling against it.
It Wants Something to Chew
Dogs love having something they can sink their teeth into. If your dog doesn’t have a few different chew toys or something it can go to town on then it could be using your leash as a substitute. If your dog’s been sitting in the house all day with nothing to chew, this could explain it. You’ll find your dog releasing all of it’s energy and getting rid of that urge to chew it’s been building up throughout the day.
It’s Feeling Playful
Your dog may want to initiate a tug-of-war, and if you find yourself yanking the leash back you’re giving it exactly what it wants. If you think this could be your dog, don’t take it personally! Dogs love to play with their owners and can find the most creative ways to do so, even if that means chewing it’s lovely leash to bits in the process.
It Loves to Carry Things
If you have a dog that’s always found with a stick or toy in it’s mouth then there’s a chance that your dog could be biting it’s leash because it wants to feel like it’s carrying something. If this sounds like your dog, you might notice it only holds the leash in it’s mouth rather than aggressively trying to destroy it. Often they’ll also forget about chewing the leash as soon as something better comes along on their walkies, like a nice big juicy stick.
How to Stop Your Dog Biting The Leash
Now that we’ve looked at some of the route causes of leash biting, let’s take a look at a few solutions that might just help you out. If you feel your dog is an aggressive chewer, make sure your pre walk setting is as calm and relaxing as possible for your dog. Be patient and don’t raise your voice, introducing your dog to the leash in a relaxed manner. When your dog lets you clip the leash on be sure to give it plenty of praise so that it can have a positive association with it. This can help your dog learn to understand it’s a much-needed tool for walks rather than a tug toy.
For those of you who think your dog might be taking out it’s urge to chew on the leash, schedule some time for your dog to use its chew bone before it goes for a walk. We’re using this time to release your dogs urge to chew so that it doesn’t get taken out on the leash instead!
If your dog loves to carry things, the next time your dog finds a favorite stick to carry, let him bring it all the way home and keep it. Next time you go on your walk let your dog carry it’s stick and you could find it forgets all about biting the leash.
If your dog is a chewer in general, as a warm up before your walk spend some time playing with your dog and imitate the tug of war you have with the leash using a tug toy. It’s probably worth letting your dog win the play tug of war so it doesn’t have any unfinished business when it’s time to be strapped in to the leash.
Other Considerations and Solutions
Some people will go for more aggressive solutions to the problem such as using a bitter tasting spray on the leash before walking their dog. Your dog will no doubt hate the taste of this and it will definitely be a deterrent. With that said it’s important that you try to find the route cause of your dogs leash biting as you can often find a less distressing and more cost effective solution to the problem. Also if you’re using more expensive leashes such as those made from leather, you won’t want to risk spraying the leash and potentially damaging it.
A solution that many people overlook is to teach your dog to drop things. Of course, this won’t work immediately and will require a little patience. Once you’ve trained your dog to drop something such as a ball, there’s no reason it can’t learn to drop when it bites the leash. We recommend reading this article which details easy steps for teaching your dog how to drop something.
A dog’s leash biting can be hugely frustrating as an owner but is a problem that can definitely be solved with a bit of patience. We’d recommend trying to identify the root cause of your dogs leash chewing and deploying one of the solutions we’ve identified above to kick your dogs bad habit for good.