If your dog jumps and bites while going for a walk, the most likely explanation is excitement. Some dogs get overly excited when going for a walk. Jumping and biting the leash is a way for them to express excitement. With proper training, this behavior can be corrected within a matter of weeks.
You’re sitting there, knowing your dog needs exercise but also knowing he/she is going to give you a run for your money by spending the walk jumping and biting. What do you do? Is this normal? You may be left confused and wondering if something is wrong or if it would be best to skip the walk.
As a dog owner, it can be frustrating to work on this behavior, but there are a few tricks we are going to walk through to ease your frustration. These tricks will help create happier, less stressful walks.
First – let’s get to the root of the problem. What’s causing your dog to jump and bite on walks?
Is Your Dog Biting The Leash While Walking?
If your dog is biting the leash from the moment you put the leash on to start the walk – it’s most likely excitement! Your dog physically can’t control the excitement he/she feels at the start of a walk.
Ideally, this behavior settles down a few minutes into the walk. If it doesn’t settle down quickly enough, try walking your dog around your home for a few minutes until the excitement settles.
Once your dog has calmed down, you will feel more comfortable beginning the walk outside of your yard and into the neighborhood.
Does Your Dog Hold The Leash For Most of The Walk?
This can be a frustrating problem because it may interfere with your control over the leash and the walk in general.
There are a few reasons a dog may do this. First, your dog may be excited, as mentioned above! Or your dog could be frustrated. Maybe they aren’t getting enough exercise or they’re bored and don’t enjoy walks. Are you trying to go on mile-long walks with your English Bulldog? That could be a problem!
If you are walking a puppy, it’s likely that they are immature and do not know better yet. If your puppy is still young, you have the opportunity to fix this behavior before it becomes ingrained.
Another reason your dog may hold on to the leash during walks is because it’s uncomfortable! When your dog lets go, is the leash rubbing against their fur or skin? If you think this may be the case, try hooking your leash differently or introducing a harness.
Consider a New Leash
You are certainly not alone in having a dog that bites and jumps when walking. So much so that there are products specifically designed to help with this problem.
For the dog mentioned above, who holds onto the leash all walk, you can invest in a leash with a toy attachment they can hold instead of the leash. The toy falls right where your pup would usually grab the leash, and it’s no longer interfering with your control over the leash. This is an excellent option for a dog who feels more comfortable holding something in its mouth.
You may also want to invest in a chew-proof leash. These are typically more durable and less enticing for a dog to chew. To add to this, you can also purchase a Martingale collar, which will allow you to control and correct your dog’s behavior and walking manners.
As mentioned above, if the leash is rubbing your dog’s underbelly or side, it could also help introduce a harness.
Is Your Dog Trying to Communicate With You?
Your dog may try to get your attention or communicate with you. Maybe it’s your dog’s way of saying, “hurry – I’ve got to go to the bathroom!” if they’re trying to get to their favorite pee spot up ahead.
As their owner and best friend, you will best know what they are trying to say and when. If you think this may be the case – take careful note of when your dog is displaying this behavior to help you narrow down the potential causes and doggy reasoning.
Is Your Dog Jumping on YOU During Walks?
Many of the reasons a dog may bite its leash are the same reasons they may try to jump on you. This behavior, combined with biting, is not only a nuisance, but it could potentially be dangerous depending on the circumstance.
When your dog jumps on you, it can alter your balance and make it more difficult for you to safely and correctly stay in control of your dog.
Would Obedience Training Help?
Proper training can help reprogram your dog’s behavior on a leash. Since so many dogs have difficulty on their leashes, there are extensive resources online and in-person for you to consider.
Some of the training programs you look into, such as clicker training, can help distract and refocus your dog’s energy enough that they no longer have the urge to jump or bite.
Training, especially with young dogs, is recommended and can assist your dog with behaviors that go far beyond leash walking.
Since some programs can be a large investment, be sure to research all of your options to make the right decision.
Are There Any Other Ways to Stop Your Dog From Biting and Jumping?
It’s important to be vocal and stern when your dog is doing something wrong, such as jumping and biting. Be sure to correct the behavior right when it happens so there is no confusion about why they are being corrected. It is also critical that you remain confident in your corrections.
One of the easiest ways to prevent this type of behavior in the moment is to distract your dog. Are they jumping and biting the second you are about to leave your front porch? Ask them to sit and stay until they calm down.
When you walk them again, if the behavior returns, use the sit command again. After a few occurrences, your dog will understand that if he wants to go on this walk, he needs to cut it out with the jumping and biting.
If All Else Fails
As you will learn in obedience training, always be sure to reinforce positive behavior. When your dog goes for a walk without biting or jumping, be sure to make it clear that this is a rewardable behavior, and your reinforcement should improve future walks.
Some trainers would also recommend introducing a muzzle or chain leash, but it is not for everyone. Ensure you and your pup are comfortable with any new products you try. Be sure you understand how to use them properly to promote your pup’s best behavior!
Finally, try tiring him or her out before going on the walk. A lot of this behavior stems from extra energy, whether that is boredom, frustration, or excitement. By stimulating your dog mentally and physically before a walk, they are more likely to arrive with their best behavior.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.