My dog ​​bites the leash - Causes and what to do

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It is quite common to notice that some dogs bite when walking. Many times, it is usually a behavior that occurs in puppies, but if we do not provide the appropriate guide to our furry during this stage, it is most likely that it will continue to do so as an adult. This behavior can be the most unpleasant, since if your dog chews on the leash, it means that you have probably had to buy more than one because it ends up breaking them easily..

For this reason, if you are interested in knowing why your dog bites the leash and you want to solve it, we invite you to read this AnimalWised article, in which we can help you.

You may also be interested in: How to prevent my shiba inu from biting me Index
  1. Why does my dog ​​bite the leash when walking?
  2. Is it good for my dog ​​to bite the leash?
  3. What to do if my dog ​​bites the leash?

Why does my dog ​​bite the leash when walking?

This behavior usually begins at an earlier age, that is, it is possible that your puppy bites the leash or that he has done it during this stage and you have not been able to solve it effectively, so that now your adult dog is still performing this behavior . Let's see then, what are the most common causes in both puppies and adults:

Play and instinct

The puppy tends to bite due to its irrepressible desire to play with everything that moves and its curiosity and need to interact with the environment. This game is part of your instinct, that is, the strap is perceived as a dam to catch. It is also common for us to observe how it plays by shaking it from side to side and triading it, movements associated with this hunting instinct. In adults, this instinct is also present, but with proper education the behavior of trying to catch the leash can be corrected. If it is not done, it is possible to observe that the dog jumps and bites the leash to catch it, especially when it is in motion.

Similarly, it is possible to see this behavior in adult dogs that they find each other bored. The lack of stimulation generates a nervous state of mind and the need to be entertained with what is interesting, in this case, the leash. Normally, dogs with this problem have a tendency to be quite destructive in general, not only will they break the leash, but also other household objects.

You may also have felt threatened if you ever your dog bites the leash and growls at you. The explanation for rejecting you is usually due to various factors, but mainly because it is necessary for your furry protect strap. Therefore, he is afraid that you will take away and cut off his entertainment, in addition to that, instinctively, he wants to prevent you from stealing his prey. This situation tends to get worse if you have ever scolded him, since as a consequence you have become a threat to him. Protecting resources with objects such as a leash or collar is rare, but it can happen. For this reason, we recommend that you consult this article if it is the case of your dog: "The possessive dog - Protection of resources ".


Puppies during the teething period have the need to soothe the pain that growth of the teeth it produces, biting various objects around it. For this reason, your puppy can chew on the leash if it is within reach, just like the collar.

For more information on how to teach a puppy not to bite, we recommend reading: "¿How to teach a puppy not to bite? ".

Doesn't like the strap

In the event that it has not been taught or accustomed correctly to walk on a leash since puppy, it is natural to observe that your dog bites the leash in anger. In a way, we can understand it as a "rebellion ", since for your dog it is really frustrating not have freedom of movement that they would have without being tied up and, on top of that, they must be supporting constant pressure on their neck or entire body (depending on whether they are wearing a collar or harness). If your dog has not learned to walk calmly and without pulling on the leash, which can cause pain, it is totally normal for him to bite the leash when putting it on and during the walk. This state of confusion and discomfort creates a state of stress in the dog that redirects by biting the leash.

Is it good for my dog ​​to bite the leash?

This behavior can lead to physical health risk of your dog, since if your puppy bites the leash while you are not watching him, he could accidentally swallow a piece and could hurt himself and even choke.

If your dog chews on the leash while walking, it is also a risk because could suffer a accident in case you break it and escape. You could run off and cross the road or you could even pose a risk to others if, for example, you approach a fearful dog or accidentally knock someone to the ground..

What to do if my dog ​​bites the leash?

As we have seen, this behavior could be an inconvenience in the day to day with our dog, especially at the time of the walk. Fortunately, whatever the reason why your dog bites the leash, it has a solution.

Prevent your puppy from chewing on the leash

First of all, if your dog is still a puppy, you should redirect this behavior as soon as possible to avoid future problems. For this reason, when you observe that your furry dog ​​plays with the leash or bites it to relieve the pain of tooth growth, you will have to stop play amicably. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Grab the leash so that he cannot continue playing with it.
  2. Encourage him to play with a similar toy, for example, by shaking a rope that is suitable.
  3. Once you bite down on the right object, reward him playing with him with the rope, with treats or sweet words.

If you are consistent with this habit, your puppy will come to understand that the leash is not fun, but that it has other more interesting and rewarding alternatives. On the contrary, if you remove the leash from your puppy without giving him any alternative, scolding him, etc., you will only achieve the opposite effect, that he growls at you when you want to remove the leash from his mouth, that he tries to hide… These steps and tips are also applicable to newly adopted adult dogs that exhibit this behavior..

Covers all your needs

Another cause, related to the previous one, is the fact that the dog is bored. If your dog does not have toys at home or does physical and mental exercises that keep him busy, in the end, he will end up looking for his way to entertain himself, including biting what is within his reach. As tutors, we must understand that each dog has its specific needs in order to guarantee adequate well-being, there are more active dogs than others and, therefore, knowing the physical exercise that our dog needs up to date will be essential. In addition, the environmental enrichment at home will also be relevant, so you should provide cognitively demanding activities.

Desensitization and counterconditioning

Last but not least, when this behavior is due to poor learning to use the leash and, during the walk, the animal develops an aversion to it, you will have to progressively teach your dog that the leash is not a punishment through the procedures called "desensitization and counterconditioning ". This process will consist of placing the collar and leash on your dog for a short time and rewarding him at the moment, so that you will achieve that associate wearing a leash as a positive. Little by little, you will increase the time your dog is on the leash, as you see that he is not upset.

In turn, you must teach him to walk adequately in order to get him to understand what the walk is about and to avoid constantly pulling on the leash, which causes long-term stress and pain. To teach him this routine, first practice indoors, moving with your furry on the leash and successively rewarding him to stay by your side. When the leash is tightened, because it has strayed too far, stay still and call your dog to reward him again when he comes to you. As he learns this behavior, you can increase the difficulty by adding elements that are interesting to him outside of his range (like someone else). In this way, when he wants to go to that element, you should call him (with patience) and reward him when he goes to you..

As the situation begins to dominate, you should practice this activity outside the home in places where there are not many distractions to make sure your dog will keep an eye on you. To learn more about how to teach him to walk on a leash, you may be interested in reading: "Teach an adult dog to walk on a leash ".

Go to an ethologist

If you cannot correct the behavior and your dog continues to bite the leash and even growls and bites you, we recommend that you go to a veterinarian specialized in ethology to assess the situation and tell you what to do. A dog educator can also help you.

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