Dog and puppy training can push you to your own limits.
The dog has just finally learned why mum and dad always say something like “sit!” say and the next problem comes around the corner:
The dog bites the leash.
This should end as soon as possible, otherwise the leash will become a consumable. At some point it costs money and the walks are no longer fun.
With our tips and advice, however, your problem will soon be a thing of the past.
In a nutshell: Dog bites the leash – what should I do?
If the dog or puppy bites the leash, there is a simple reason: it works and is good for the dog. Most of the time, dogs bite and chew on their leash because it’s fun and the dog likes to be busy.
Sometimes, however, it is also a so-called “skip action”. This means the dog is overwhelmed and would rather be doing something fun – like breaking the leash!
If your dog behaves like Rambo on the leash, then feel free to check out our article on leash aggression.
The Dog Training Bible deals extensively with this very problem. Have a look.
This problem can be solved in several ways. For example, you can ignore your dog, teach it a stop signal, use toys and tools, or simplify the training.
Your dog bites the leash and jumps at you? – that’s the reason
The leash is not only a great toy when your dog is bored but also a means of communication. Once you figure out why your dog is exhibiting this behavior, you’ll be able to break it quickly.
Let’s do something fun instead
Sure, walks are fun and exciting. But for some dogs that’s just not enough – they would rather play or have a task.
This often happens to puppies and young dogs who are willing to learn. Since the leash is a “found food”. Humans hold it, it’s easy to snap it in the mouth…
Some dogs just like having a job and making themselves useful. The important difference here: your dog carries the leash around in its mouth, but does not pull or tug at it.
I don’t get it – let’s stop
In these cases, the skip action occurs. Your dog really wants to please you, learn all the tricks and commands, and give you the greatest pleasure…
… but sometimes it just doesn’t want to work properly. This can frustrate your dog and lead him to vent his frustration on the leash.
Puppies often experience this condition. They “sit” so nicely, “down” went really well off the paw … and yet the human still wants to practice a trick. The small button may no longer have any desire or concentration.
Amplification of the signals
If your dog bites the leash and jumps up on you, the tugging probably didn’t produce the desired result.
As a result, your dog amplifies its signals and becomes pushy, impatient, and ruder.
Solutions – You can do that
Ignoring unwanted behavior is often a good first step. Of course, there are other ways to get your dog to stop chewing and pulling on the leash.
As soon as your dog bites and tugs at the leash, you stop. Don’t look at your dog, don’t scold, or give him any signals. Playing alone is not fun for the dog – so there is a high probability that it will stop.
If you are sure that your dog will stay with you, you can also throw the leash on the ground and just keep walking. This also works if you stand on it with your foot.
Another option is to attach the leash to something and continue walking alone until your dog stops.
If your dog occasionally shows fear of loss or has perhaps already been abandoned, don’t overdo it. In these cases, it is better to just let go of the leash, stand on it and wait until things calm down.
Use stop signal
Dogs that are sure to hear “Off” or “No” can be slowed down with your normal stop signal. It’s definitely worth a try. However, if the stop signal does not work, it is better to ignore your dog.
A “no” that is not properly understood is also a reaction. And that’s exactly what your dog wants from you – you should react to him and do something else.
Most dogs aren’t noticeably focused when they’re walking. Something smells good here, another dog has just been there and there is a bird sitting in front…
To avoid boredom (and thus the biting of the line) you can suddenly change direction every now and then. Standing still and asking to “sit” can also help encourage your dog to focus more.
Change of pace and heel work well too. Your dog will forget that he just wanted to destroy the leash.
If you notice that your dog is listening to you and not fooling around, you should reward him.
“Woo-hoo, I’m useful!” – Dogs willing to work carry the leash around in their mouths because they simply like to be useful. Some dogs just want to take their ball with them instead because they feel like it.
Give your dog his favorite toy to take along, or stock up on cheap balls and rope that can get lost. As long as carrying something around makes your dog happy, let him do it.
As soon as your dog becomes overwhelmed, have him perform a task that he finds easy, such as sitting. After that, you finish your exercise or walk.
Don’t be fooled! In order to avoid your dog skipping work every time, it is necessary to let him do one or two light exercises anyway.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the same exercises over and over again, you should try to approach them differently. If nothing helps at all, you have no choice but to understand that the task is (right now) too difficult for your dog.
Your dog bites the leash because he wants to convey something to you. In many cases, it is sufficient to ignore these things or otherwise prevent them.
When training and with young dogs, you should pay attention to whether your dog is bored or overwhelmed. So you have to look carefully here.