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Discussion Starter #1
when I want to take off his leash. I rescued Bobby the dachshund from the streets here in Mexico about 10 years ago. He must be about 13 or 14 now. I have always given him a loving home with other dogs, but suddenly a couple of months ago he started snapping at my hand when I wanted to take off his leash. My vet says strange behavior is normal in old dogs.
I would love to take him out again, but am afraid of getting bitten when trying to take off his leash.
Does anyone know of a quick release leash that I could operate from a distance?
Thanks in advance, Kim (a guy).
 

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If your dog is getting older, his hearing and eye sight might be going...and... if you are suddenly reaching down to take off his leash, he might not see or hear what you are doing and reacting due to fear of something suddenly going for his neck.

If you haven't already, try going slow...making sure your dog sees what you are up to and that he expects that movement and that leash coming off. If it is a hearing/seeing issue... he might not be biting when the leash goes on...because he's had time to understand that you plan on taking him someplace...whereas, once home, if you just suddenly bend over to take the leash off...he might not be 'focused yet' on the fact that is your plan at that moment.

Also, I had a dog that developed neck pain (an old injury of her vertebrae) if she turned her head suddenly to the left...she would snap in pain..whether or not there was anything there... it was just a gut reaction from her due to that sharp pain she suddenly felt. I tried very hard not to approach her on that side to lessen the chance of her snapping and biting me by accident....and to keep her from hurting. I hope your vet checked for things like that and also even dental issues on that side that could be causing her pain.

I've had plenty of dogs hit old age and except for the one with the pinched nerve in her neck....none of them resorted to snapping or biting. So just getting old shouldn't be a reason for the change in behavior. I think/hope something is causing it that can be worked with...either by fixing the problem with meds or surgery... or in working around it by moving slower, or making sure nothing aggravates it.

Stormy
 

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If you cannot find anything medically wrong with your dog Bobby, you may consider using a harness rather than a leash attached to his collar.

I use a harness for my Puma pup that has the clip on the back of the harness, not near her neck. She has no problems with collars, but this harness is great because it goes under her belly, not under her sensitive lil aprmits. And I really like the clip on the back since it never feels like I am pulling at her neck.

I would, as the others here have suggested, double check all areas of his body gently to make sure there is no pain or sensitivity going on to make Sir Bobby bite you. Also test his hearing and vision. Certainly any of things could trigger a dog to become sensitive and decide to bite out of defensiveness or fear or anxiety.

As you are touching him gently to test the areas for pain, I advise you to really, really carefully watch his body language so you can see how he is reacting before he tries to nip or bite you. He may give you warnings, but perhaps you are missing them if you are unfamiliar with dog body language and calming signals.

Good luck. Keep us posted, ok?
 

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You could also try conditioning him, if it is a sensory issue (sight/hearing).
If you practice giving him a special treat used just for this purpose before getting the leash off, then it could become a cue for him, that you are now going to take the leash off.
 

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...getting bitten when trying to take off his leash.
Does anyone know of a quick release leash that I could operate from a distance.
People have given you some good advice here regarding old age, possibility of injuries, etc. I'd rule out those things first. There's a lot nobody on this forum knows about your 13-14 year old dog so it's tough to say what will absolutely work in this situation. His history could play a part in this. Operating a leash from a distance is not the solution. I'd probably try putting on a pair of leather work gloves before unlatching his leash. After all, he's not a pit bull who's gonna take off your hand when he bites. Unlatch the leash with one hand and gently pet him with the other while telling him he's good. That may train him to know this is reward time and you're not intending on hurting him. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, you're right about his history. He has a benign tumor on his belly. It doesn't seem to be causing pain, but it's uncomfortable. I had a winter jacket on him last winter and he gave me the same problem trying to take it off. I had to use force to cut the wool jacket off. He must be remembering that rather traumatic experience when I tried to remove his collar. I also tried using leather gloves but can't unclip the collar with them on.
 

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If you have no problem putting the leash on, I would not clip it to his collar, just thread it through and attach the two ends together. That way when you get home, you can just unfasten where you have the two ends and just let it slip out of his collar.
 

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