How to Prevent Your Dog From Chewing the Leash

Is your dog chewing the leash? It’s an annoying and potentially dangerous problem, as the leash could unexpectedly break due to damage. Fortunately, there are a few simple measures that can enable you to stop your dog’s habit of leash biting!

For a dog, leash biting is a very rewarding and fun activity! It’s a game of tug, and it’s a common boundary-testing behavior that’s most commonly exhibited by younger dogs and dominant dogs. But when you consider that a dog views the leash as an extension of the owner’s arm, you can see how this behavior is particularly problematic from a behavioral perspective.

When the dog starts chewing and tugging on the leash, it’s likely that he’s in a playful mood. So begin with a timeout. Position the dog’s body between your legs and hold the dog’s collar. This will prevent the dog from rolling around — commonplace behaviors for a playful dog.

At the first opportunity, run the leash down the dog’s back and between your legs to prevent the dog from accessing the lead. Speak soothingly to the dog and make it clear that you’re not playing. If the dog attempts to mouth your hands, arms or feet, discourage this behavior with a sharp “No!” Wait until the dog is calm and then proceed with the walk.

At first, you may spend more time in “time out” than you spend actually walking, but this is typically very temporary. Over time, the dog will learn that leash biting is not an acceptable activity. When you release the tension on the leash, it makes this activity much less rewarding, as you’re no longer engaging in a game of tug.

Another alternative: try using a chain lead. Most dogs really dislike the sensation of the chain, so they will not bite it. If your dog still attempts to bite the chain leash, immediately switch to a different lead, as chewing the chain can result in broken teeth.

Bitter apple spray and hot sauce can also be effective leash-biting deterrents. But if you opt to try one of these deterrents, be sure to bring along a dog water bottle with a fold-out cup. Your dog will need a drink of water after biting the bitter apple spray or hot sauce.

If all else fails, consult a professional dog trainer. If these measures fail to deter leash biting, it’s likely that your dog is exhibiting other potentially serious behaviors like dominance. Serious of deeply-engrained behavioral issues are best remedied with the help of a professional dog trainer.

For more pet training tips, visit the PetLvr archives.

Photo Source: Tim Rogers Photo,

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Mia Carter is a professional journalist and animal lover. Her furry family members include 6 dogs and 12 cats. She is also a feral cat colony caretaker. Carter specializes in pet training and special needs pet care. All of her animals have special needs such as paralysis, blindness, deafness and FIV, just to name a few. She also serves as a pet foster parent and she actively rehabilitates and rescues local strays and feral kittens.

2 Responses

  1. Cathy F
    | Reply

    Mia, This is a great article on How to prevent your dog from chewing on the leash. My niece has this very issue with her Yellow Lab. I will be giving her this information so she can work on it with her dog.
    Thanks for this information.

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