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Leash chewing/grabbing

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I have a person in my household manners class who has a dog (8 mth old lab x) that likes to grab/chew his leash. I have used the distraction method...here's something better which works intermittently. Does anyone have any other ideas for stopping this behaviour?

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Teach him the "leave it" command and then tell him to "leave it" whenever he goes to grab the leash. Since labs tend to be mouthy, I would also try to get him interested in a ball or similar toy. After telling him to "leave it," give him the toy. Hopefully, he'll learn to redirect his oral fixation to the toy rather than the leash.

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Chain leash or a choke chain with a double ended snap inserted between the collar and regular leash if you can't find a full chain leash.

 

I've also had success with 2 leashes; drop the one they start to play with and pick up the extra leash, repeat. The dogs often get bored with constantly "dead" leashes and give up.

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Here are some oprtions

 

Put the behaviour on cue then do not give the cue

 

Try rewarding the dog when he is not chewing the lead

 

Do NOT use the lead as a toy

 

Have her train without a lead out of class

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I know this sounds so simple but I simply wouldn't allow the behavior to happen. I would make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy. the dog is obviously getting some satisfaction or anxiety released or whatever from chewing on the leash....you need to make it NOT so much fun to do. The corrections or things you are trying to do to stop the action are not as bad/good as his satisfaction from mouthing the leash. My guess is you're maybe not being as persistent as you should...

 

I would just literally take the leash out of his mouth, break the pattern of behavior and GIVE him something else to do. If his oral fixation was that bad I would probably address that by using some kind of negative consequence(maybe lemon juice) to associate the chewing the leash with something...not so great...then you have to make working for you and focusing on you EASY by having high value rewards/toy to keep his attention on you. Make the wrong thing NOT so great..make working with you AWESOME!!! In classes with my dogs I'm always working on tricks/doing things inbetween waiting your turn to keep the dog focused on you and having fun. If I don't have %100 attention to give to my dog at the moment he goes on a "down-stay" by my feet, or the crate...

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thanks for the tips everyone

 

shysheperdess... thanks for your tips as well. I just want to point out, that this is a dog in a class that I'm teaching..and not my dog. Since there are 8 dogs in the class, I can't be continually supervising this owner with her dog.

 

At last night's class, I did not see him chew on his leash at all, so he is making progress :)

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