Firstly, make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. Biting at the lead can be a way for dog to release excess energy or stress. Your dog then has a tug toy going with them out in the world! Then avoid tugging your dog’s lead out of their mouth as this will only create a fun resistance game.
High energy, playful dogs who have a hard time when they are overwhelmed are most likely to undertake this behaviour. The more intense the situation and the more worked up your dog is, the more likely lead biting will occur.
Some dogs have learnt to bite the lead to gain attention. Some dogs like the security of something in their mouths while out on the walk - like a pacifier. You could provide a tennis ball or another object your dog loves.
You can undertake the ‘Watch’ command to focus your dog’s attention on you and reward for this behaviour. Or extend on this, stopping and asking for multiple commands to be performed.
Or you could try immediately halting your walk as soon as your dog connects with the lead. Turn away, giving your dog no attention, loosening the lead whilst at the same time taking away the walk until mouthing stops. Take a step forward again, repeat the process if your dog connects with the lead, Selina McIntyre, Dog Behavioural Consultant & Dog Trainer, Dogs Best Friend.