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Discussion Starter #1
Samuel, my 13 weeks old GSD pup has a habit of carrying his leash in his mouth when we take him on walks. I'm not sure if it's a dominance issue, trying to show us he's in charge of the walk or a security issue. It almost seems as if his end of the leash is like a security blanket for him. We do have a house in the neighborhood with a not so nice person that Sam seems to sense as whenever we near this persons house he backs away and tries pulling us the other way. What's up with his leash behavior?
 

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There is nothing special about this behavior; it is very normal for puppies to want something in their mouth all the time and the leash is handy. Some dogs grow out of it and other don't, like my dog.
 

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Very few adult dogs, if any, have a dominance agenda. You certainly are not going to see this in a baby puppy. I have had several dogs who liked to play tug with their leashes. I had a foster pup who liked to walk my dog Chama, much to Chama's dismay. :rolleyes:

I'd try teaching your pup to carry a toy when you're walking. That will keep him busy and increase his confidence. Rafi loved to tug with his leash when I first adopted him. He was a very high energy guy who was also a bit nervous. What I did was to teach him to carry a toy. I started with something interactive like a tug but once he got the hang of it he graduated to a rubber ball. Now, 3 years later, he won't leave the house without a ball in his mouth. It's definitely a pacifier type thing for him but it's also a job that he takes seriously.
 

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Panzer wanted to walk me with his leash in his mouth when he was a young pup too. He'll still carry the leash in his mouth to the door when we're leaving, but he doesn't do it when we're walking. He does love to pick up any stick he can find when we're out - his job is master stick relocater. :)
 

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Jax has a thing for leashes too.
He actually made a friend with a viscious 9lb boston terrier at the park that's never played with other dogs by grabbing her leash and taking her for a walk around the park :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate your responses.Just wasn't sure what was up with this as I have 4 other dogs and have had others in the past and none of them ever did this.We also started Sam on a leash right away at 7 weeks old and he took to it immediately. No typical puppy fighting the leash and collar etc. He just loves to carry the leash in his mouth. I love the idea of giving him a toy to carry instead. It's like giving him a job to do. He did used to find sticks and carry them but then he found his leash.
 

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Here's Rafi on a hike, carrying his winter ball. He's famous in my neighborhood as "the dog who always has a ball in his mouth." :laugh:

 

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My last dog did that until she was almost 10. It was her way of making it fun. She would release it once the walk was underway. Other smells distracted her. Current dog does it rarely.
 

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Yeah it's pretty normal. Eva carried her leash a few times, but mostly she would grab a small stick or a rock and carry it for most of the walk then drop it near the house. She still carries sticks around, sometimes the same stick day after day, just picking it up and moving it a few hundred yards each walk.

The best one though, was when she about 8 months old and around Halloween she found a small pumpkin in the gutter that she carried on the entire walk, hanging out of her mouth by the stem, then brought home, up the stairs, and proceeded to eat it! She even spit out the seeds! I was laughing non-stop from the time she picked up the pumpkin. I have video and a few pics.

Anyway, it's normal and pretty neato to watch them carry stuff around - they have they're own world going on, for sure!
 

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it's a training issue not a grow out of it issue.
you teach them not to put the leash in their mouth.

There is nothing special about this behavior; it is very normal for puppies to want something in their mouth all the time and the leash is handy. Some dogs grow out of it and other don't, like my dog.
 

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Here's Rafi on a hike, carrying his winter ball. He's famous in my neighborhood as "the dog who always has a ball in his mouth." :laugh:
Rennie, our female, does this too. She always has a ball in her mouth. I need to start getting pictures of her because sometimes she looks pretty funny. We went to a friend's house and she found their dog's ball - it' was a tiny ball for a tiny dog but she carried it around just like any other ball.
 

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Brody used to carry his leash in his mouth also, he stopped doing it on his own a while ago. He does like to carry his ball in his mouth when we are walking to the field!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all for you suggestions and advice. It seems the key is to teach him not to take his leash in his mouth by distracting him or giving him another "job" to do like carrying a ball or stick etc. I love hearing the stories of other GSD walking routines.
 
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