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Biting and tugging on lead

(19 Posts)
Chocachocaholic Sat 01-Aug-20 18:35:11

Hello. Our 9 month old staff our pup has started trying play by chewing and tugging on his lead when we are out walking. He does it more with me than my husband and as he's quite strong I struggle to stop him. I also think he thinks I'm playing with him when I'm actually trying to get him to stop hmm
We have no idea why he's suddenly started doing it but it's making my walks with him often stressful.
Anyone have any tips on how to nip this in the bud? The only way I get him to stop is by holding him down until he calms down and letting him up and if he carries on doing it I repeat until he stops but I feel really mean doing this and I'm sure there must be another way to get him to stop.
First time having a puppy/dog although my husband has grew up with dogs.

OP’s posts: |
ViperBugloss Sat 01-Aug-20 19:45:11

Try holding his collar and let the lead go loose so no pressure for him to pull against he may stop mouthing the lead. (But he is a staffi so this may not work at all - they love to tug and hold on!)

Two ways to look at this - I might be tempted to have a tuggy toy he can pull and hold onto when walking on the lead. He may not then grab the lead and you can actually use the tuggy toy to help teach heel work.

Alternatively you can feed him treats to catch as you walk then he is sidetracked from the biting the lead - again great for heel work.

If you really dont want him playing tuggy then a chain lead may stop him - if it doesn't go back to a softer lead as chain could hurt his teeth.

Feralkidsatthecampsite Sat 01-Aug-20 19:50:53

My 9 month dpuppy does this. I just stop and look away. Telling her to 'wait'.
Walk on when she stops being a loon...

Chocachocaholic Sat 01-Aug-20 20:32:47

Thank you for your replies. I think it doesn't help that my husband takes him out in the mornings to the fields so he gets to run off lead where no one is around whereas I take him round local parks and lakes etc so I cannot take him off the lead as there are always other people about and is very jumpy with people and very unpredictable with other dogs.
I will try letting the leash loose next time and turning my back so not to give attention and keep some treats in my Pocket to reward when he stops. It's just so stressful and he is very strong. Not strong enough that he could pull me off my feet but strong enough to make the situation more difficult and make me feel like I have no control which gets a bit scary.
He's an angel at home and with the kids so makes me feel bad that I get stressed when we are out. My husband is not very helpful and just says if I can't control him then I should stop walking him which just annoys me angryso I need to work it out myself.
I have tried using a stick but he just bites for a minute drops it and goes back to the lead.
A chain lead sounds harsh and actually the way he pulls on his lead now he ends up with the clip in his mouth sometimes which is metal and that doesn't not deter him. Tho maybe different if it's actually a large part of the lead so I'll have a look on amazon.
I was really enjoying our walks together and now it's got so stressful but I know I need to persevere like with children lol

OP’s posts: |
Feralkidsatthecampsite Sat 01-Aug-20 20:53:51

May he hard with a short staffy nose but a Halti really works with dpuppy ! It will get easier. We have a Husky and me and dh walk her totally differently-he lets her pull slightly ahead in the middle of the pathway. With me she walks short lead on my left. She is 7 now but has done this for well over 5 years now.

Chocachocaholic Sat 01-Aug-20 21:48:18

@Feralkidsatthecampsite that sounds like us but the opposite he pulls with me and crosses all over in front of me but with my husband he walks to his left on a short leash (I do keep the lead what I call short and try to keep him to my left but he still somehow manages to cross in front of me and get under my feet lol)

OP’s posts: |
Chocachocaholic Sat 01-Aug-20 21:50:20

I will look at the halti lead thank you 😊

OP’s posts: |
RunningFromInsanity Sat 01-Aug-20 21:58:40

I used a lightweight chain lead for a while and mine quickly got out of the habit of chewing it.

villainousbroodmare Sat 01-Aug-20 22:04:32

You need to find a qualified and experienced behaviourist quickly, because if you have a 9mo male Staffie who is jumpy with people and unpredictable with other dogs, you have got a much bigger problem than biting or pulling on the lead.

Hungrypuffin Sat 01-Aug-20 22:11:47

There is a way to deal with this but it is tedious, be warned. Firstly, practise in the garden so there are minimal distractions. Put his lead on and start walking. As soon as he pulls or grabs the lead, stop still. Don’t react to him (and it is never a good idea to hold a dog down, so stop that as a response), don’t say anything. Just stop still. As soon as he stops pulling/lets go, start walking again. It’s tedious as at first you spend a lot of time standing still. The first time you try it out of the house you’ll take half an hour to walk about five metres. But he will get the idea that no tugging/biting equals walking, and pulling/biting means standing still. He will only get it if you are totally consistent, though. Hence why it’s boring!

Chocachocaholic Sat 01-Aug-20 22:58:59

@Hungrypuffin I will give that a try thank you :-)

@villainousbroodmare for context we only got him a month ago so bad habits came from the previous owners. He does not jump at our children as he was trained well with that but does get very excitable with adults and if someone broke into our house the only thing they would be worried about would be being licked to death 😂

OP’s posts: |
Chocachocaholic Sat 01-Aug-20 22:59:56

Also those that have used a chain lead how do you manage when you have to wind them closer to you for instance at a busy road or passing other dogs etc?

OP’s posts: |
Hungrypuffin Sat 01-Aug-20 23:03:37

I would never use a chain lead personally. You should be aiming to have the dog walking on your left, loop of lead in your right hand and some of the length in your left, with a relaxed lead. You can’t do that with a chain lead.

villainousbroodmare Sat 01-Aug-20 23:06:36

Well that's something, but you still have a potential problem with a dog who is already strong and is going to be very powerful.

RunningFromInsanity Sun 02-Aug-20 10:59:15

We used a long thin lightweight chain lead with a material handle. It was the same length as most normal material lead.
It wasn’t heavy and wouldn’t have hurt if he chewed it but obviously wouldn’t have been as fun as chewing a material lead.
It didn’t take long for the habit to break and he’s had material leads ever since.

When you talk about winding the lead in, are you using an extendable lead? They don’t help with lead walking as they give the dog a false sense of how far they can go. With a fixed length lead the dog knows how far ahead it can walk and that when there is tension on the lead, that’s as far as he can do.

tabulahrasa Sun 02-Aug-20 11:17:53

I’m assuming by halti she actually means the head collar, which will not stop him grabbing the lead...

But they do do a nice double ended lead - with a double ended lead, you can have it at it’s full length but doubled up in your hand so you can “drop” the excess make it slack as someone’s already mentioned.

Basically you want to make it not a fun tug game.

Chocachocaholic Sun 02-Aug-20 12:37:54

@RunningFromInsanity no I don't mean a lead you wind in and out I mean when I have him on a short lead but when we pass for example another dog I have to hold it even shorter as he goes berserk crying etc to play and jump so I wind the leash around my wrist even shorter if you know what I mean.

I will look at all the different lead suggestions qnd thanks everyone for all your tips I guess you just have to find the right ones that works for your dog.

Incidentally today we went to the lake this morning for our walk and he never did it once, he does only seem to do it when we are in the places we go the most so probably makes sense it's a play thing as he's familiar with that. Today I also was very verbal about how well he was walking with me throughout the walk.

Fingers crossed we get there :-)

OP’s posts: |
vanillandhoney Sun 02-Aug-20 13:23:24

I walk a dog that used to do this with me (and who still does it with his owners). I just ignored him. Carried on walking, didn't make any eye contact with him, no verbal correction, just nothing at all.

He stopped within four days.

I imagine in his previous home it was turned into a game by the owners. You just need to stop giving him attention for it. No good attention, no bad attention - just nothing. Ignore it. He'll soon get bored smile

Shambolical1 Sun 02-Aug-20 20:45:59

Please don't wrap the lead around your wrist or hand.

For one thing, it's dangerous if the dog jerks suddenly and for another thing every bit of tension in your body will pass through your wrapped and clenched fist, making the dog more likely to react.

Think calm thoughts! Use a decent length lead (at least 5ft) and two hands on it as described by a previous poster.

Please don't 'roll' or hold down the dog; he will resent it and sooner or later will put up a challenge and that's never good.

Also you and your partner need to work as a team. A dog isn't a piece of equipment to score points with. You need to have consistency of thought and action or the job is made many times harder for everybody, including the dog!

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