Q&A: My Puppy Thinks Her Leash Is A Chew Toy

Please help!

My 8 week old puppy is more distracted by the leash than anything. She would rather chew on it than focus on going potty. How can I successfully use the leash when taking her out to go potty?

 

Hi!

Good question. So we put a leash on an 8 week old puppy and their first reaction is always, ‘yea…a new chew toy, and right by my face!’ Many, if not most puppies, do this.

The first thing you want to do is get your puppy used to the leash. Attach the leash frequently when you are in the room (never leave her unattended with it attached) and allow her to drag it around. From time to time pick it up and stick the end in your pocket encouraging her to follow you. Anytime she puts it in her mouth tell her ‘no’ and give her something else to chew on. This will help her get used to the leash in general.

Another useful tool is a bitter bite spray that you can find at pet shops. It has a nasty taste and really discourages chewing. Spray it liberally on the leash.

And lastly, try and keep the leash behind her head, instead of allowing it to go under her chin. You can also do this by not using a collar at all but by putting the clip through the handle of the leash, hence forming a loop, and put that over your dogs head. This then allows you to keep the leash at the back of her neck. Out of sight out of mind helps (using a harness also helps as the leash attaches in the middle of their back).

No matter which method you use though, just keep telling her no and taking it out of her mouth whenever she does it, and she will eventually get it.

Beth Jefferey

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Beth Jeffery

Beth Jeffery is a Dog Trainer and Behaviorist with over 15 years experience in the field. She spent years in the Service Dog field, training both Guide Dogs for the Blind and Assistance Dogs for the Disabled, as well as many years working with pet dogs. Beth current runs her Dog Training business in San Diego, working with dogs of all breeds, all ages, and with all issues, from puppy training through to aggressive dogs.

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