So I decided that we are breaking this habit, pronto. Still haven't had a chance to get to the store for bitter apple, but a handy dandy internet search suggested a bit of hot sauce on the leash. Feeling guilty and mean, I set out for a "it's in your own best interest" intervention with the pup. I shook some hot sauce into a napkin and dragged it over the leash, filled up a big bowl of water and headed outside with him for some behavior modification.
My dog likes hot sauce. He licked the leash, gave me a "hmmmm, this is interesting" face and continued to suck away. Me - 0, pup - 1. Time for round two.