Why Does My Dog Chew on the Leash?

Dogs biting and tugging on the leash can be a common and frustrating behavior issue. It’s important to understand why dogs engage in this behavior and find effective solutions to prevent it. In this article, we will explore various reasons behind dogs biting the leash and provide practical tips to address this problem.

Understanding the Root Causes of Leash Biting

  1. Excitement: Puppies, in particular, may bite and tug on the leash due to their excitement and immaturity. They are still trying to grasp the concept of leash-walking.

  2. Frustration: Dogs may resort to leash biting when they are bored with the walk or training, or when they are unable to reach another dog. It is often a manifestation of pent-up energy or a lack of exercise.

  3. Anxiety: Some dogs may feel fear or nervousness when they encounter other dogs during walks. This leads them to bite the leash as a result of frustration or an attempt to distance themselves from the perceived threat.

Effective Strategies to Stop Leash Biting

1. Increase Exercise and Stimulation

If your dog bites the leash out of excess energy, consider increasing their exercise routine. Longer walks or visits to off-leash dog parks can help drain their energy and reduce the urge to bite the leash. You can also use a dog backpack to provide them with a “job” and expend more energy.

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2. Manage Excitement Levels

If your dog bites the leash due to excitement, try engaging them in alternative activities before walks. Playing fetch or tug with a toy can help release their pent-up energy. Additionally, practicing simple cues like sit or stay before the walk can help calm their excitement.

3. Modify Walking Routes

Some dogs may exhibit leash biting behavior because they are not ready to end their walk. To prevent this anticipation, change your walking route randomly or go in a different direction than usual. This helps keep your dog engaged and reduces their desire to bite the leash.

4. Provide Calming Time

For dogs that become excited when they reach home after a walk, consider redirecting their energy by teaching them calming commands such as down/stay. Encourage them to relax in their kennel with a favorite toy or treat.

5. Adjust Training Sessions

If your dog bites the leash during training, shorten the sessions or incorporate more breaks. This helps prevent frustration and boredom. If your dog throws a “tantrum” during obedience class, take a short break to allow them to regroup and refocus.

6. Utilize Appropriate Tools

Several tools can assist in curbing leash biting behavior. A chain leash or chew-proof leash can deter dogs from biting due to the unusual texture. A gentle leader or Halti, which fits over the dog’s muzzle, provides more control. Consider a dog backpack to give them a sense of purpose and divert their attention. High-valued treats can be used to reward good behavior and reinforce positive associations.

7. Incorporate Taste Deterrents

Bitter apple spray can be applied to the leash as a deterrent; however, be cautious not to get it on your hands. Electronic collars with a remote can also be effective, but professional guidance is recommended for proper usage.

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8. Redirect with Toys

Offer a tug toy or ball as an alternative to biting the leash. By redirecting their attention to the toy, they are less likely to engage in leash biting behavior.


Understanding the reasons behind leash biting is crucial in addressing this behavior. By incorporating exercise, using appropriate tools, and redirecting their focus, you can effectively tackle leash biting issues. Remember, consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key when training your dog. If necessary, consult with a professional trainer for personalized guidance. To find high-quality dog accessories and toys, check out Karen’s Kollars.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.