Walk time is one of the highlights of your dog’s day. All those new smells, sights and sounds can get him very excited. It’s often difficult for a pup to contain his excitement during walkies and some pups will transfer their excited energy into chewing. Stop him from ruining the leash by diverting and correcting the behavior.
1 - Loosen the leash so it hangs in a way that makes it difficult for the puppy to chew. An excited puppy will focus on the thing nearest thing to his mouth if his urge is to chew. If the leash isn’t near his mouth, he’ll be much less prone to leash biting.
2 - Give the puppy a chew toy or stick to carry when walking. With something else in his mouth, he can indulge his excitable urge for chewing without shredding the leash to bits.
3 - Observe his body language while on the leash. If you spot him cocking his head or otherwise attempting to wrap his mouth around the leash, call his name. By distracting him just for a second, you disrupt the process he experiences that drives him to chew on the leash. When he looks at you, give him verbal praise.
1 - Start walking with the loose leash. Give verbal praise for as long as he focuses his attention anywhere but on the leash. For example, if he’s sniffing the ground, taking in the sights or looking at his master.
2 - Gradually tighten the leash by coiling it around your hand or simply raising your arm. As you do this, the leash will begin to hang near to his mouth, increasing the temptation for him to chew. Do this in stages, so the proximity of the leash to his mouth increases gradually.
3 - Continue to praise the dog for as long as he doesn’t bite the leash.
4 - Say “stop,” stop walking and gently tighten your grip on the leash as soon as bites it. Then stand still, ignoring your dog for 20 seconds. With sufficient repetition, your dog will learn that the pleasure of walking and receiving praise is brought to an abrupt end the second his bites that leash. He’ll eventually learn that biting the leash therefore has a negative outcome and will decide by himself not to do it.
5 - Say “drop” and then gently pull the leash away from his mouth. As soon as he loosens his grip, verbally praise him.
6 - Repeat the process of gradually loosening and tightening the leash until you’re confident that he’ll leave it alone.
By Simon Foden
About the Author
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.