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.
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!
Sunday, July 22, 2012
- ▼ July (3)