Are you making this mistake with your dog? Trainer reveals the one thing you never want to do

Beagle puppy chewing on shoe outside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Given that dogs love to explore the world with their mouths, it's little wonder that they often end up chewing on things they shouldn't! 

While a lot of pet parents see picking up everything in sight as a sign they need to figure out how to deal with a badly behaved dog, for the most part, investigating everything is simply your dog being a dog.

If you're anything like us, you might gently grab your dog by the collar when they have an item you don't want them to have to try to get it off them, but according to expert trainer Adam Spivey, that's a huge mistake.

"If your dog's got something you don't want it to have, don't grab them by the collar and try to restrain them," he explains in a video shared to Instagram which you can view below.

According to Spivey, doing this could lead to you being bitten - yes, even by your own dog who you love and who loves you.

"What you actually want to do is make sure your dog is on a lead so that way you can pick up the lead, issue the command 'leave it', and you can lead your dog away from that situation.

Grabbing a dog by their collar is often interpreted by our canine companions as a threatening act and this can lead them to become aggressive as a way of trying to protect themselves. 

"If your dog is forcing itself onto something and you grab it, your dog may also go for other dogs because when you pull them back, that panic sends them forward," Spivey explains. 

"I see dogs reacting to people coming in the house because somebody knocks on the door and then you're grabbing them by the collar and pulling them back as you open the door. You're basically saying to your dog to get on guard."

A leash allows you to move your dog where you want them to go, including away from any situation that may be dangerous or involve conflict. 

So, consider putting your dog on a leash when they're in environments where they could end up picking up things you don't want them to have. 

Not only will doing this still provide them with a certain degree of freedom to explore, it will also give you the peace of mind that you can quickly and easily lead them away from anything that has the potential to be hazardous. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.