Leashes Make Good Tug Toys

A leash is a great tool for bitework. It’s almost ever present, on our person or attached to our dog.

Reinforcing a Recall

One of the best places for using a tug on the leash for reinforcement is on Recalls. Often a handler calls a dog and she comes flying back on recall but there is no reinforcement handy. If a dog is conditioned to tug on the leash, the handler will almost always have a cookie to reinforce a great Recall.

Tugging on Lead as Distraction

Teaching a dog that biting the leash is a cookie comes in handy for managing him in a distraction filled environment. It’s no different than working with cookies.


  1. Lindsay Best

    This makes me very nervous. Do you have any leashes left? Duncan was a major leash tugger and it took me a year to get that behavior under control when I got him and we went through several leashes in the process. Although I miss Duncan, I have been enjoying my nice, not bitten up, leashes. I guess everything in moderation is okay. Maybe this would help Ember release some frustration and focus when we are out and about?

    1. Ron Watson Post author

      We have plenty of leashes here.

      What you describe doesn’t happen when you put the behavior under stimulus control.

      If you are worried about it, don’t do it.

      I think it might be good some good reinforcement for Ember.


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