Dog bites/ holds on to leash and growls

Posted by details-etc
Jun 22, 2009
Hi. We have a 5 month old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. He has some aggression issues that we are working on however one thing I cant find advice about is what to do about him biting/holding the leash. It is especially noticeable when I take him outside to go to the bathroom or if we are about to go for a walk.

He will hold on with his teeth and, i'm not sure its a growl, more like a noise in his throat he makes. Honestly it doesn't feel as if its being aggressive, more like he either wants to play or is protesting. I know Wheatens are known for making vocalizations.

How to get him to stop?

Posted by Idan-Kashi
Jun 22, 2009
My dog does the same. What you should do is to grab her by her collar and to calmly command "sit". When she is calm, tell her that's bad, and keep to walk calmly but confidently. This, unfortunately doesn't work with my dog, he gets even more aggressive when I try to approach and grab him by his collar...
Posted by KOPsarah
Jun 22, 2009
Hi Jessica, and thanks for your post.
Dogs can hold onto the lead for a number of reasons but it is very common in young dogs who have not really come to accept the lead and who still find the whole thing a bit of a game. I would recommend a variation of what I dan suggested. Inside the house or a fenced yard fill your pocket with treats and put the lead on your dog but don't hold the other end. Every time he goes to chew or mouth the lead call him excitedly over and give him a treat when he comes. Make coming to you and listening to you (you can try using a variety of commands such as sit and down to distract him) much more exciting than worrying about the lead. When he is beginning to ignore the lead you can try holding the end of the lead but repeating the same sequence of distracting with a command and treat. At this point you can also use commanding and giving treats even when he is not about to chew the lead so he is too busy to even worry about it. Your dog should soon lose interest in the lead and gain a lot more interest in watching you when out on its lead.

Hope this helps, let me know how you and your puppy get on.