Put a Stop to Leash Chewing and Tugging

While treats often work best as rewards, some dogs will respond favorably to the reward of play, specifically structured tug. For playful dogs, vary treat rewards by occasionally rewarding a heel with a designated tug toy.

Another training option is to put an end to the possibility of the leash as a tug toy. Leash tug requires your participation; when your dog tugs, you tug back, often automatically. Take the fun out of the pull by giving your dog a drag line to wear on walks in addition to his regular leash. When he mouths and pulls at the leash, grab the drag line and let go of the leash (be sure to tie knots in the drag line so you have a firm grip, in order to prevent an escape). If your dog pulls on the drag line, grab the leash and let go of the drag line. Each time you let go, the game of tug is stopped.

For particularly mouthy dogs, offer a toy to carry on walks; this is a simple solution for a dog who chews the leash primarily because he enjoys carrying something in his mouth.

Rewarding wanted behavior, ignoring unwanted behavior and using the right walking equipment make all the difference in teaching your pooch calm leash manners. And, of course, if you have concerns about your safety, or your dog's, when walking him on leash, talk to your veterinarian about a referral to a qualified professional.

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