Sunday, July 22, 2012

How to deal with some bad doggy behavior: playing tug with the leash while on a walk!

Leopold has always been a sweet guy, but when he was younger he would occasionally have outbursts of energy during a walk—he would go bananas. As part of his outburst, he would often grab his leash and start to play tug with it. These instances were incredibly frustrating. And embarrassing. I tried lots of ways to get Leopold to stop playing tug with the leash, but nothing I did worked. The behavior was always rewarded with what Leopold considered play because I couldn’t just let the leash go.

I looked for solutions online and came across a suggestion that worked wonders. The suggestion was to walk your dog with multiple leashes. Brilliant! I started walking Leopold with two, sometimes three, leashes. This way when he started to play tug with one of the leashes, I could drop the one he was tugging, thereby not taking part in the game and not encouraging the behavior. Leo would become bored as soon as he realized I wasn’t playing tug with him and he would drop the leash that was in his mouth and go for another leash that I was holding. I would then pick up the one he dropped and drop the one he just grabbed. It was a bit of a juggle at times, but it worked. Over then next month or so of walks, Leopold would give up trying to play tug with me faster and faster until he didn’t even initiate tug anymore. Woo-hoo!

We still play tug in the house sometimes and he loves to play tug with other dogs, but I’m very happy to say that it’s been a very long time since Leopold has tried to play tug with his leash while on a walk!

No comments:

Post a Comment