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Puppy Grabbing Leash Woes

May 29th, 2004, 07:49 AM
We have a 4 month old Border Collie - what a smart little guy. My biggest woe is that he grabs at his leash when I take him out - the leash is a light weight leather leash. I have tried to correct this and then he thinks its a game - I don't want him to think its a tug of war game. The more I try to correct this the worse it gets. I have used my "growling" no voice and even used the stern shake of his head by the scruff of his neck. I have read that when a correction doesn't work it's time to try something else. I don't want our walks to be a time of such struggle. He has plenty of exercise and off leash time also. He is doing well in his Puppy Beginning Manners class also. Does anyone have any suggestions?????

Lucky Rescue
May 29th, 2004, 08:48 AM
If you pull back on the leash while he's holding it, he will definitely think it's a game. He probably has no idea why you are scruff shaking him either.

As soon as he grabs the leash, just stop walking. Don't say anything, don't pull the leash and don't look at him. The instant he drops it, praise and take another step. Repeat. He'll catch on.

May 29th, 2004, 10:08 AM
I was reading this book that said if your dog grabbs the leash, lift up. I wouldn't lift a whole lot up, but maybe lift him about one or two inches off his feet.

May 29th, 2004, 10:33 AM
I don't think lifting the puppy off his feet is a very good idea. I would do what L.R. said. My puppy tries to bite his leash too and that's what i do. It teaches him that if he's not a good boy, the walk stops. And when we walk, to keep the temptation away, I try to keep his hanging leash out of his way. It works. He tries to bite the leash for the first few minutes, then realises that it's no fun and stops! The first walk he did it all along, then he gradually started doing it for half the way and now just for a few minutes, so I guess it works. I think maybe the heavy clip is bothering him. It will pass.

May 29th, 2004, 10:43 AM
I don't think lifting the puppy off his feet is a very good idea..

I have to agree with this.Lifting the pup even just a bit will have him thinking it's play time.

I agree with what LR suggested.

May 29th, 2004, 11:16 AM
Not only will he think it's playtime, but it can also hurt the pup (depending on the kind of collar he is wearing). My puppy is 14 weeks old and he wears a flat buckle collar. If I were to lift him off his feet, it would hurt him for sure (he weighs over 20 pounds). I know sometimes books might say to lift the leash so he can't grab it (that's what I do). But if a book tells you to lift your pup off his feet, I would't rely on that book for any other information.

Lucky Rescue
May 29th, 2004, 12:39 PM
This is a 4 month old puppy. Never use any harsh methods on puppies - no choke collars, hard corrections, and certainly not lifting him by the collar.

Bill & Bob
May 29th, 2004, 01:17 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't do any lifting by the neck with a young poochie. All their bits in there haven't fully developed yet.

I had to lift Bob off his front feet yesterday. We were walking along and he saw a Siamese cat in a garden. Of course he did his "I'm a strong GSD" pose looking very big and tough, but under control. Then the damn cat got grumpy and charged us! Couldn't believe it. Never saw that happen with a cat yet, and I don't think Bob did either! The cat came at us until he got about three feet away, where it just menaced at us. Bob wasn't sure what to do. He tried to pull towards, but was also jumping back at the same time. It all happened so quickly that I just grabbed him by the collar and lifted him until we got about five feet away. Cat backed off. Anyhoo, very funny moment, but I think if the cat had actually chose to attack, Bob would have ended up with some nasty slashes on his handsome mug.

May 29th, 2004, 04:18 PM
Thanks for the advice. Puppies will be puppies...........I'll continue to be patient with his puppiness about the leash. I'll stop walking when he grabs the leash. He is a persistent little guy tho. Ya gotta love 'em.

Lucky Rescue
May 29th, 2004, 07:16 PM
Dogs do what works for them. If grabbing the leash results in just standing there with an owner who has turned into boring statue, and letting the leash go results in fun walks, praise and treats, he'll soon learn!:)

sally p
January 11th, 2009, 11:02 AM
I just had the worst walk ever with my 4 month old puppy. She also bites her leash - rather violently. We were making some progress but today she just went crazy. I would stop when she attacked the leash and stay calm and wait but she would just continue to attack it. It was very frustrating. Normally she's a great dog and pretty easy to work with but today she was just like a wild out of control dog. I tried to be calm and stop and wait but it nothing seemed to improve. I tried distraction etc. Not sure what else I can do - anyone have any ideas?

January 11th, 2009, 12:57 PM
Dogs don't like aluminum foil so you could try wrapping the end of the leash with it.

January 11th, 2009, 07:12 PM
We use a product called Grannick's Bitter Apple, found in pet supply stores. Spray it on the length of the leash (I'd suggest in a sink or bathtub and don't forget to wash your tastes :yuck:) and let it dry. We've never known it to fail.

In order to get your pup used to the leash, you can also try 'umbilical cord training.' Get a 6-10' foot leash (don't forget the bitter spray) and attach it to yourself and the pup. We do 5 sessions of 10 minutes each with pups under 3 months and 3 sessions of 30 minutes each with pups over 3 months. It's also a great way to house train :thumbs up.

January 11th, 2009, 09:54 PM
yes I agree that you should try umbilical. You would be surprised HOW many behaviors it will fix!! The dog needs to understand that the leash is an extention of your arm, so biting it is unacceptable. Of coarse NO force. But I think obidience training would help so that they learn who is the boss and stop disrespecting you and the leash.

January 14th, 2009, 10:36 PM
When Scruffy started doing that, I switched to a chain collar. Funny, they don't like to bite chain!
The downsides of chain are that it's harder to make corrections becuase it's hard on your hands, and it's heavy.
However it cured the little monster.