During Athena's second week of being in her new home, she seemed to be over her honeymoon. We now had a dog who had accidents in the house, bit her harness and leash every time that we went to put them on her, did crazy biting zoomies every night, and a handful of other unpleasant behaviors. Despite her
annoying challenging behaviors, we decided that it was our job as her new owners to teach her our desired behaviors so that we would have an amazing dog for the next 10-12 years.
During our second week of beginning obedience training we asked the trainer how to eliminate Athena's harness and leash biting. Our trainer recommended buying a bottle of Bitter Apple spray to spray on Athena's harness and leash. When researching leash biting behaviors online, I had read a lot about the many people who said that Bitter Apple worked wonders to eliminate their dog's leash biting tendencies. B and I decided to give it a try as we were desperate to be able to take Athena on walks again without getting into a game of tug at every corner.
That night I
sprayed doused Athena's leash, harness, and car seatbelt (which she also liked to bite) with Bitter Apple. The next day Athena went about her normal routine of attempting to bite her harness the second that we put it over her head-- she quickly released the harness with one taste of the Bitter Apple. Once her harness was on and the leash was attached, Athena tested her luck with biting the leash-- once again she released the leash and made her sour pucker face.
We can happily say that from that point on Athena no longer bites her harness or leash! There have been only a couple of times that she forgot that it's not ok to bite her leash and attempted her luck. Each time we gently reminded her that it's not ok by simply holding up the Bitter Apple bottle. No spraying, just holding the bottle is enough to remind her that she doesn't want to bite her leash.
Our lives are much better now that this behavior has been eliminated and we hope that it stays this way for good!
Do you have a dog that likes to bite their leash? What do you do to eliminate this behavior?