Lead biting

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Post by Cbalchin Thu May 14 2020, 13:52

Hey all, looking for some help! I have a 3 year old male staffy who we’ve had since he was a puppy. He always been excited with his lead when it’s time for a walk. He used to grab it and bite it when he was little but he stopped. He is now doing it again but much worse. He will sit while I put his harness on, I make him wait and attach his lead and as soon as that happens he jumps up and bites the lead and keeps hold of it. It can take 5-10 minutes of walking before he”ll let go. Also if we are out and see people to stop and talk he’ll grab the lead again and start tugging it. When he is off the lead and it’s time for the lead to go back on he’s biting it again. We’ve tried various leads, at present he has a chain lead as we thought that would discourage him to bite it but it has made no difference! Once the lead is in his mouth he won’t take it out until he wants to, not even for a treat. I’m wondering if anyone else has had this problem and has found a good solution to this problem?

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Lead biting Empty Re: Lead biting

Post by gillybrent Thu May 14 2020, 19:12

Hi & welcome.

You could try rubbing something on the lead - Bitter Apple or Bitter Cherry might work. I've known people who have smeared Vicks Vaporub on a lead to stop biting it, but to me, that would be a last resort!

When did he start biting it again? Was there a particular 'trigger'?

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Lead biting Empty Re: Lead biting

Post by Nifty staffy Thu May 14 2020, 19:33

Hi & welcome to the forum  wave

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Post by Nifty staffy Thu May 14 2020, 19:41

Hello and welcome.

I can understand where you’re coming from as my Nifty likes to grab the lead when it’s clipped to her harness.

My thoughts for the lead would be going back to your previous leather/nylon lead as the chain doesn’t make a difference to his grabbing it but it can damage his teeth long term.

At home, you can try dropping the lead and ignoring your boy until he drops the lead. The idea is that “if you grab the lead, we’re no longer going out”.
Another variant could be to teach the “let go” command, but staffies are intelligent so he could well let go at home but not when out.

You could clip a second lead to his harness whilst he carries the first in his mouth - he might get bored of this extra lead in his mouth so stop.
I presume that giving him a stick-shaped toy to replace or prevent him grabbing lead doesn’t help ?


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Post by Jenc Thu May 14 2020, 20:54

Hi from me & Katy Smile Great advice given already, let us know how you get on Smile


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Post by Nifty staffy Fri May 15 2020, 05:18

I was just thinking about the dropping of the lead when he grabs it.
You need to resist the temptation of Pulling the lead when he grabs it. He could well be seeing the lead as a great way to initiate a tug game. If that’s the case, you could outsmart him by clipping the second lead so he has no more tension or resistance on the one in his mouth.


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Post by KITA90 Fri May 15 2020, 10:12

Great advice above thumbs up let us know how you get on
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Lead biting Empty Re: Lead biting

Post by Cbalchin Fri May 15 2020, 12:42

Hi all, thank you for the advice. I’ve changed his lead to a soft one and he still goes at it like it’s a toy. I have tried dropping the lead at home as if to say well we’re not going out until you drop it and he runs off to his bed and either chews it or hides it under himself, as soon as you go to get it he picks it up and puts it in his mouth. I also tried the second lead approach but he then grabbed that one and when I picked the other one up he grabbed that as well. He won’t leave or drop it. We played a game with his favourite toy yesterday where by I was trying to teach him to learn drop it with treats, as soon as the treats ran out the drop it stopped. He s a very loveable dog, soft as anything but strong willed!

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Post by Nifty staffy Fri May 15 2020, 19:07

He’s a very intelligent staffy giving you a run for your money ! Laughing

From what I read, I get the impression that despite your best efforts, he’s creating a great fun game around the lead.
He takes it or hides it, you are trying to retrieve the lead so game has begun. He knows you want the lead so he’s playing with the lead to get a maximum of your attention.

Drop it training sounds good but I think with such a smart dog like yours, you should limit to quality repeated several times a day than getting him to do so whilst eating half the tub of treats.

How do you play with him ?
Tug toys or ropes ? Chasing a ball ? Fetching a toy ?

If he likes squeaky toys, maybe buy a new one but keep it in your pocket. Offer him the new toy (that he doesn’t know) in exchange for the lead but then you need to play with him so he finds new toy = play with you. Doing things with lead = human ignores him ...

You have to minimize his behaviour with the lead but exaggerate any other interaction with a toy ... you have to find a way of giving the lead less importance.


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