Dogs engage in all types of behaviors that we humans don’t understand, so if you’re confused about your dog’s new leash-biting habit, don’t worry. Learning what to do when a dog bites the leash is a familiar problem pet owners may face, but luckily there are several ways to help your pup break this leash-chewing habit. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about how to get a dog to stop biting the leash - and why they might be doing it in the first place.
10 Essential Tips for Preventing Your Dog from Biting its Leash
If your dog won’t stop biting its leash, it’s time to start some training. The professionals have weighed in with the best tips for making it happen. Below are some expert dog trainer-recommended ideas that will help you stop your dog from biting its leash.
Start Leash Training Early
The earlier you start your leash training journey, the faster your dog will learn and keep that skill. You can leash train a puppy or adult dog as long as you have the right tools and lots of patience.
Teach Your Dog in a Familiar Environment First
When you begin leash training, start in a familiar and neutral environment, indoors or outdoors. It should be a place where your dog is comfortable but not overly excited and where you can limit distractions for both you and your dog.
Define the Triggers that May Cause the Leash Biting
If you’ve noticed your dog biting the leash, pay attention to what may cause that. As you figure out what triggers your dog to begin biting the leash, you can start to limit the triggers and redirect your dog.
Not Tug Back on the Leash
If your dog pulls on the leash, resist pulling back. At best, your dog may think you are in a fun game of tug-of-war and begin playing more; at worst, it could seriously injure your dog’s neck or back.
Reward Your Pet for the Good Behavior
Dogs are very motivated by treats and praise, so be very liberal with both! A high-value treat will motivate your dog to keep working with you and learn how to walk on the leash without biting.
Reduce the Dog’s Anxiety and Frustration
An anxious or frustrated dog may take its feelings out on its leash, so reducing those emotions is one way to deter leash biting. Keep treats on hand to encourage a nervous dog to keep walking with you and make sure that he gets plenty of playtime at home to get out energy.
Give Enough Attention to Your Dog
A dog that needs attention is likely to act out, and that includes chewing on the leash. Make sure you spend enough time with your pup, so he doesn’t feel the need to misbehave.
Buy a Chew-Toy
Lots of dogs have the instinct to bite and pull. Redirect this from the leash to a tug or bite toy! This way, you can play with your dog while letting him know that the toy is the only thing he’s allowed to chew on.
Pause and Reset
If your dog bites the leash when walking, try the “Pause and Reset” method. When your dog begins to chew, stop walking. Then, “reset” the dog’s attention by asking him to do a simple trick, like sit, shake, or lie down. Once you have his attention
Choose the Durable, High-Quality Dog Leash
Professionals recommend using the best training tools, which means a durable, high-quality dog leash and harness. When looking for the right accessories, consider a retractable harness for easier training sessions.
What To Do If You Can’t Get Them Stop?
If you’re having a hard time with a dog chewing its leash, you have a few more options to try. Leash length and material are two factors you can look into for a better no-bite dog leash option.
Choose the Right Material for a Dog Leash
When looking for the right material for a dog leash, consider the following options:
- Nylon - Nylon is a standard option for dog leashes, so you won’t have to look too hard to find one. As a material, nylon is inexpensive, durable, and stylish. Choose from any number of colors and patterns to match your (and your dog’s) personal style. Plus, nylon is easy to wash and dry and won’t warp or shrink when wet, making it a perfect choice for even the most adventurous dogs and their people.
- Rope - Rope is a durable leash option, but it gets dirty very fast. Unfortunately, it’s not very easy to clean and can fray or fall apart. Nylon is just as durable and much easier to take care of.
- Chain - Chain is solid and heavy, and while it may prevent your dog from chewing on the leash, it may be very uncomfortable for both of you. You could hurt your hand if your dog pulls on a chain leash.
Only Use a Leash When They're Supervised
Leashes are an excellent tool for training, but they should never be left on a dog while unsupervised. A dog can easily get tangled up in a leash and cause injury to itself. Only use a leash when you or someone else is keeping an eye on the dog.
Keep the Leash as Tight as Possible
Too much slack in the leash will tempt your dog to chew on it if he already has the habit, so make sure to keep the leash as tight as possible. A high-quality retractable dog leash will ensure that there is no slack in the leash while keeping you from having to pull on the leash.
Why Do Dogs Bite Their Leash When Walking?
If you’re like most pet parents, you know that proper dog ownership means devoting some time to training routines. Training helps your dog learn appropriate behavior when at home and out and about. If you want to know how to stop a dog from biting/chewing its leash, you also need to figure out your dog’s triggers that cause him to engage in poor behavior, like leash biting when walking.
Some common reasons for a dog biting its leash are found below:
- To get more attention
- To reduce anxiety or frustration
- To show joy and excitement
- If they lack good chew-toys
- To release the tension on a leash while walking
- If they’re new to leash walking (include the link)
- If they’re used to carrying something in their mouths, like a stick or toy
- If they have an aversion to where you are walking or are afraid of something nearby
Why Is It Important to Stop Leash Biting?
As a pet parent, your priority is keeping your furry friend healthy and safe. Keeping your dog from biting her leash is a part of keeping her in good health. Here are a few reasons why you should stop leash biting immediately:
- It can be dangerous for the dog’s health. Accidentally swallowing a part of the leash can lead to digestive problems and possible long-term health issues.
- Biting a leash can negatively impact your dog’s teeth, making them loose or cracked.
- It will cost you a lot in the long run after several leash replacements (and vet bills!).
- It can impact the mental health of your dog.
- If your dog is allowed to chew on her leash, she may assume she is allowed to chew on other things around the house, too.
- A dog chewing its leash during a walk could allow your relationship and teamwork to worsen. If she focuses on leash biting and not on the training at hand, both of you will become frustrated.
Get the Perfect Retractable Dog Leash from Pet&Cuddle
Leash chewing may seem harmless or even cute at first, but it can quickly become an issue, especially if your dog has taken to chewing on more things around the house, too. A great leash will make your job of breaking your dog’s leash-chewing habit just a little bit easier, so take time to investigate your options.
The dog experts at Pet&Cuddle know leashes, and each of our uniquely designed retractable leashes comes ready to make walking with your dog a joy for both of you. The plastic handles are smooth and lightweight for maximum pet parent comfort, and the nylon leash allows up to 16-feet of taut length that resists chewing. To make retractable leashes more versatile, our designs come with an intuitive lock/release button that makes walking, hiking, jogging, biking, and more a fun and stress-free experience.
Questions About the Dogs & Leash Chewing Behavior
Still have a few questions about choosing the best no-bite dog leash? We’ve got this covered. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about chew-proof leashes for dogs.
Why does my dog chew its leash?
Because dogs each have individual personalities and temperaments, there are many reasons why your dog may chew on its leash. The most common reasons are to attract attention, show excitement, or reduce anxiety or frustration. If your dog bites the leash when walking, it could be uncomfortable or have too much tension.
How do I get my dog to walk on a leash?
Training a dog to walk on a leash takes time, patience, a few tasty treats, and the right pet accessories, including a leash and harness. Check out our easy step-by-step guides for different leash training techniques.
What causes leash aggression?
Many things can cause leash aggression, but the most common causes are frustration or fear. Pay attention to your dog as you walk together and immediately address signs of fear, anxiety, or frustration, so they don’t become aggressive.
Why would a dog grab the leash while walking?
A dog may grab the leash while walking if she is playful or feels anxious or frustrated. She may also grab if there is too much tension in the leash for her liking. Keep an eye on her as you walk together to identify any triggers that cause her to grab the leash.
Why does my dog become aggressive on the lead?
A dog may become aggressive while on a leash if she is feeling too constrained or uncomfortable. Dogs that are nervous in social situations may act out when leashed around other people or animals. If your dog is lunging, overreacting, or acting otherwise aggressively, proper leash training will help.