This behaviour of chewing on the leash is known as leash biting. In puppies, this behaviour could be cause by
teething. In older dogs, there are several reasons that cause leash biting. These reasons will include:
By understanding why your dog chews on the leash, you are able to choose an appropriate approach to stop this
behaviour. Leash biting is dangerous since it predisposes the dog to injury in the mouth especially the gums.
Playful dogs will bite the leash and tug on it; most people will react to this by trying to pull the leash from
the dog. This then becomes a tugging game, with the dog having fun on his part while you suffer trying to control
the dog. If the dog tugs on the leash, do not tug back. Just stop and wait
for the dog to calm down. If possible, always walk with the dog on a loose
leash, this will discourage tugging.
Teething dogs also bite the leash as a way to try and relieve the
discomfort. To alleviate this, you can offer the dog a toy to chew on or massage their gums to lessen the
discomfort. A cloth that has been soaked in water then wrung and placed in a freezer for sometime is also very
comforting for the dog. Leash biting should be discouraged when the dog is still young to avoid problems as the dog
Using a leash made of chain is also a way to stop leash biting. While leather and nylon are fun to chew on,
chain is just painful and only a very chronic biter will still chew on a chain leash. Chewing on chain will cause
the dog pain and causes discomfort in the teeth, thus discourages leash biting. Chain leashes are also good since
it will not break and thus there is no danger of your dog swallowing a chunk of the chain when it breaks.
Applying a bitter substance such as bitter apple spray on the leash will also discourage leash biting. If the
dog bites on the leash, they get the bitter after taste. This will serve as a lesson and keep the dog from
repeating the behaviour in future. The substance you apply be on the leash should not be toxic to the dog.
Dogs that bite on the leash as a way to get your attention are likely to do so when your attention is diverted
from them. Such dogs get destructive tendencies and may go to great extremes to get back your attention. In such
dogs, you can give them the attention they want by letting them sit at your side and petting them while you do
Looking at them every once in a while and making eye contact to make sure the dog knows that you haven’t
forgotten them can also work. In extreme cases, you can take the dog on a route where there are likely to be less
distractions for you in order for your dog to have your complete and undivided attention.