Are you trying to teach your puppy to stop biting their leash to no avail? You have found the right article!
Leash training a puppy that bites the leash when walking can be very frustrating, especially if you have a playful little pup. Your dog might be biting the leash for many reasons, including excitement, anxiety, or frustration.
Training your new puppy to do anything takes time. Walking nicely can be a huge challenge for your puppy. Yet, you can get them to stop this bad behavior in several ways.
All you need are some treats and patience.
Keep reading to learn our best puppy tips to stop leash biting.
Leash Training A Puppy That Bites The Leash- 7 Tips
1. Start Early
Of all puppy tips, this is the most important and couldn’t be more important when Leash training a puppy that bites the leash. While puppies are adorable and difficult to say no to, remember that consistency is key and the earlier you can start the better.
Reinforcing bad behavior by basically not correcting it just makes it harder to correct the habit in the future.
As soon as you start walking your puppy on the leash, you need to start leash training your puppy. It is recommended that you start this training in your living room by just letting them feel comfortable having the leash on.
Training your puppy not to bite the leash before it starts happening on walks is like teaching your toddler to say please and thank you.
Start by holding the leash in your hand when it is not attached to your dog. Then, calmly dangle it in front of them. If they do not attack it, give them a treat.
If they do, drop the leash, hold their collar, and wait for them to drop it. Once they let go you can reward them with a treat. When your dog bites the leash many times during this experiment, try backing up further.
After each session, use a tug toy to play. We recommend these in particular here. They are very good for tug of war purposes and are even pretty good for them to chew on.
Owner Note this particular brand we recommended above or any rope for that matter needs to be monitored. If the ropes start to come apart and the puppy starts eating it, it can be bad news.. It can get caught in their intestines. They last awhile but just monitor your pup while they chew the rope or really any toy.
Every day that you begin training again try to make the session more difficult for your dog. Wave the leash around or drag it on the ground to enable their need to play.
Soon, your dog will know that the leash is not something they are supposed to play with. The puppy will leave it alone.
2. Don’t Wrestle
When our puppies bite the leash on a walk, it’s tempting to yank it away from them. Yet, doing so makes them think that you are playing a game. It only makes them hold on tighter.
If your dog does this on a walk, ignore the behavior for as long as you can. When you can stop in a safe area, do so and hold their collar calmly until they drop the leash.
Always reward your puppy when they drop the leash. Ignoring them while they have it in their mouth ensures that they will not confuse biting the leash with playing a game.
3. Get a Quality Leash
A quality leash can be a good tool to help your dog stop chewing and encourage you to keep training. A cheap leash can both be unsafe and unmotivating.
Cheap, thin, and breakable leashes will not hold up during training. You may spend more replacing your cheap leashes than on the quality leash itself.
When you opt for a higher quality puppy leash( like this one we recommend that discourages biting and pulling), you as the owner will be more motivated to help your dog out of this behavior due to the expense of the leash.
This particular high quality puppy leash seems to have a lot of positive reviews on Amazon. They also have ranges of this type of collar (under 5 lbs, and XL dogs 130 Lbs or more) and all ranges in between.
Retractable leashes are also a no-go. Often, they are made out of a thin cord that is known to break and put you both in harm’s way. Plus if you give dogs too much leeway, especially puppies its hard to possibly lose control over them. It’s not difficult to find horror stories about them online. You may have one of your own.
4. Use Positive Reinforcement
As you probably know, positive reinforcement goes a long way with puppies, especially when you are leash training a puppy that bites the leash. It is the key to teaching them a new trick or to stop tearing at the leash.
Rewarding behavior you want is much more effective than punishing bad behavior. Punishing your dog for bad behavior can keep your dog from learning to behave and hinder the learning process.
Once you start leash training, make sure you leave the house every time with a pocket full of treats. Be sure that every time they walk without biting, they are getting rewarded.
Additionally, as you reward them with treats, reward them physically and verbally too. Give them a scratch on the head or a nice pat. During this, tell them that they are doing a good job in a cheerful voice.
Positive reinforcement makes your puppy want to behave and learn. If biting on the leash has become a difficult thing for them, give them your best treats when they go an entire walk without biting.
Keep in mind, you do not want to reward your puppy for no reason. Giving them treats when they’ve done nothing to deserve it can set back your progress. An unwarranted treat can become confusing for your puppy.
5. Be Aware of Triggers
If you notice that your training puppy only bites right when you leave the house, when other dogs are around, or something else, take note. Something related to your walk may be triggering them.
Based on their trigger, try to accommodate their needs. This could look like taking them on walks with other dogs, choosing a quiet route, or trying a new leash.
6. Give Your New Puppy an Outlet
Giving your puppy an outlet during walks could be very beneficial. Instead of rewarding them with treats, reward them with a tugging toy. Starting with treats and moving onto the tug toy can eliminate confusion in your pup.
After your puppy has the basics of leash pulling and responds to rewards, try bringing along a long toy that you can hold while they tug on it.
You can start this by showing your puppy the tug toy and the leash at the same time. If they choose the tug toy, give them a treat. If they choose the leash, wait to reward them until they drop it.
7. Try Alternative Methods
If regular old puppy training doesn’t work, you may need to consider an alternative method. There are many alternate training methods out there, and one may work much better than typical training.
Bitter apple is a substance you can put on your leash to deter your dog from biting. The liquid is safe for consumption, but your dog will not like the taste. Therefore, they are less likely to chew on it.
No-pull leashes or no-pull harnesses are designed to stop your dog from pulling. Since the end of the leash is located on their back, it’s also more difficult for them to bite it. We recommend this one here. Some of the benefits of this no pull leash are as follows:
- Comes in sizes of small all the way to XL
- Reflective coloring that makes it easy to see you and your pup on night walks
- NO Pull and NO Choke It wraps around their chest Not the neck
Some of these leashes can create pain when rubbing. Pay close attention to your puppy during and after walks to make sure that the leash is not causing them any pain.
Head Halters and Muzzles
Head halters and muzzles are typically the last things people use to break their puppy of leash biting. The only reason you would really elect to go this route would be if you tried and tried the methods above and you still can’t get a handle on it.
If you decide that a muzzle or head halter is necessary, then this “gentle leader” is what we recommend. Can be seen here
What I really liked about this one was a few things:
.Teaches better leash manners because it prevents pulling, jumping and lunging
Has over 45,000 reviews and counting and most seem to be positive
Very easy to fit any size type of dog (petite on up to xl size)
When head halters and muzzles are used properly, they can be an effective tool. Be sure that you know how to put it on and use it so you do not accidentally hurt your dog.
Pain and punishment can lead to an escalation of bad behavior in your dog. Even as a last resort, hurting your puppy should never be an option. While using this alternate method, confirm that your dog is comfortable and happy.
Clicker training is another way to use positive reinforcement. When your dog stops biting or lets go of its leash, you use the clicker and give them a treat. Or you could simply use the clicker to stop them once they start biting the leash.
This clicker here is what we would recommend. Its just under $7 and it can be used for a variety of dog training not just leash training. You can teach them to do tricks, stop other unwanted behavior its really up to you.
This way, your dog associates good behavior with the click sound and knows they will be rewarded.
For this to work, you must be sure that your dog understands what the clicker means. You can start by making the click sound every time they go potty outside, and then slowly move onto leash training.
Find More Puppy Tips
Raising a puppy is a thrilling experience that many of us are lucky enough to enjoy. Yet, when bad behavior like leash biting begins to rear its head, you have to nip it in the bud.
Using many of these puppy tips is sure to help you and your pup get along just fine. Our website, My Furry Friend, wants to help you learn about all the ins and outs of raising a puppy. Subscribe to our blog to read all about it.
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