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The leash is not a toy!

smallbyrd
May 22nd, 2009, 03:36 PM
My puppy thinks that his leash is a toy. I know this is common and I've read/researched some things about leash training but most of them have to do with pulling on the leash or refusing to follow while on a leash, etc.

So. When I put the leash on the puppy he just chews and chews and chews. I've left him with it for a while and eventually he gets tired of chewing it and will walk around like normal with the leash attatched. This is good right? (Or so I've read...)

But then, THEN, as soon as I pick up the leash he thinks we're playing tug of war. I hear this is normal too. So. I just stand there and wait until he stops. This takes a while, but patience, patience..... and he stops. Good right? But THEN as soon as I move he thinks we're playing tug of war again!!!

He's only 9 weeks old, could it be because he is too young for leash training? Any tips?

Etown_Chick
May 22nd, 2009, 08:14 PM
I think 9 weeks is a little young to NOT play with a leash. When Scruff did that, he was older. I switched to a chain leash until he got a bit better.
Hopefully puppy owners can offer some good advice, as chain leashes are heavy and nasty when you have to do leash corrections.

TeriM
May 22nd, 2009, 10:52 PM
I remember that phase :D. Both my dogs did that and still occasionally do it if they are in hyper play mode. They outgrew it fairly quickly although Riley liked to grab Lucy's leash for the longest time until she effectively managed that situation herself :D. I believe that distraction worked best for me. You might try carrying a squeeky toy to distract him from the leash.

Romeo's #1 Fan
May 23rd, 2009, 12:26 AM
omg I just did this long post which I thought was very good and I went to post it and it said I wasn't logged in! grrrrr lol.. I was, I don't know what happened.

Basically the gist was that now is the best time to start correcting the behaviour, because the leash will still be yummy next time he isn't tired of it, and you will NOT want to wait him out for very long and other things that LOOK like leashes will become yummy like your favourite belt lol :) I have fond memories of that age (ok not all are that fond hehe :angel:). Like Teri, I agree that distraction, praise for choosing the object of distraction instead of the leash right at the precise moment is great, or a little treat and praise, I used a portion of Romeo's daily food intake for treats at that age so he wouldn't get too used to really nummy stuff :D. It won't happen overnight, but your patience will be rewarded! I wish you luck, because I think the most important thing I've learned in Romeo's first year is things that were funny or cute as a small pup would NOT translate well to a year-old dog. :D By the way Romeo is a leash-puller, and I blame myself, not him :) I'm a work in progress too.

SnowDancer
May 23rd, 2009, 08:51 AM
We are on leash #17 - although to be fair - the last couple we have bought have not been destroyed by my 22 lb. American Eskimo with giant teeth - but before that, you bet - and always about 9 inches up. I think they should make a dog leash with reinforced material at that section of the leash. The only one he didn't get was the leather leash I bought - gee, I wonder if it is because I NEVER let my husband use it. I blame both of them. If you go to PetSmart they carry a Double thick leash - weighs a little more of course, but that sure did the trick. Funny thing is is that it costs about 1/2 the price of his "better" leashes, except that his teeth can't bite through it in a nanosecond.

smallbyrd
May 23rd, 2009, 06:00 PM
I wish you luck, because I think the most important thing I've learned in Romeo's first year is things that were funny or cute as a small pup would NOT translate well to a year-old dog.

Haha, that's good advice because I DO think it's really cute when he plays with the leash. (Also it keeps him busy for at least half an hour so I can actually get stuff done without him being all "PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEE!!!!!!")

I'll try the distraction thing. Any opinions on that bitter apple stuff? So far I'm not for it. But I can't WAIT to be able to take Bandit on some real walks!

Lukka'sma
May 23rd, 2009, 06:25 PM
Haha, that's good advice because I DO think it's really cute when he plays with the leash. (Also it keeps him busy for at least half an hour so I can actually get stuff done without him being all "PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEE!!!!!!")

I'll try the distraction thing. Any opinions on that bitter apple stuff? So far I'm not for it. But I can't WAIT to be able to take Bandit on some real walks!

The bitter apple stuff never worked for us, we also tried bitter yuck and what I didn't like about that product was that if you got any on your hands at all it just wouldn't wash off, and sooner or later you'd end tasting it by accidentally touching your bitter yuck hand on an apple that you ate or something like that. Horrid stuff. That was the reason I stopped using it.
I remember the leash chewing stage with Lukka too. When we were first trying to walk her she would grab the leash and start to roll like a Nile crocodile. Eventually she lost interest in it and all was fine. Seems to me it took about a month.

Romeo's #1 Fan
May 23rd, 2009, 10:36 PM
Haha, that's good advice because I DO think it's really cute when he plays with the leash. (Also it keeps him busy for at least half an hour so I can actually get stuff done without him being all "PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEE!!!!!!")


lol oh do I hear that, and I felt the same way when I was raising my children :D I doubt that anyone knows the value of real time unless they have raised a small child or a puppy. :angel: Romeo honestly didn't take "real walks" until 12 weeks or so, I mean a walk where I could say, ok that was a real walk, and at that they were short to begin with. I tried the Bitter Yuck on certain things with no great success, so haven't continued it and I do find Romeo chews so much less now with his razor sharp baby teeth gone. Have you tried a kong with peanut butter inside? I know many people who have distracted their pups for long periods with that. Anyways, keep us posted! lol

Etown_Chick
May 24th, 2009, 12:48 PM
Those disposable medical-type gloves before you spray the bitter yuck keeps it off your hands. You are correct Lukka'sma, it stays on your hands for days and it's GROSS!

smallbyrd
May 24th, 2009, 11:17 PM
I tried the peanut butter kong once and Bandit wouldn't touch the thing. He was like, 'What did you DO to my toy!?' Wouldn't play with it again until we washed it. What a wierd dog.

We're going to try the leash tomorrow! (unless I get called in to work)

Thanks for all the advice! I'll try without the bitter apple/yuck first. We'll see how the first few tries go!