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7 Tips to Stop Puppy Chewing Problems
Puppies are so much fun. They’re so curious and love to explore. The problem is that they tend to enjoy exploring with their mouths. While dogs have great senses of smell and hearing, puppies also take in a lot of information orally.
Chewing is perfectly natural for puppies. When your new four-legged family member is destroying furniture, clothing, and pretty much everything else in your house, however, then it becomes a problem. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to keep your pup from ruining everything you own.
Learn Why Your Puppy Is Chewing
Puppies chew for numerous reasons, including:
- A desire for attention.
- Separation anxiety.
Learning what is driving your puppy to munch on everything you own can help you to determine the best course of action to take.
Supervise Your Puppy
Your puppy will naturally want to explore his new environment when you first bring him home. Until he learns the rules of the house, you should keep a close eye on him. When you can’t watch him, keep him confined to a safe space with a comfortable blanket, toys, and water bowl. You can use a crate or gate him into the kitchen. Make sure that wherever he’s kept, there isn’t anything he can chew on that you don’t want him to.
Provide Plenty of Appropriate Chew Toys
Chewing is perfectly natural for puppies. Even adult dogs love chewing on things from time to time. It helps to alleviate stress, boredom, and frustration.
Give your pup plenty of appropriate chew toys that are easily distinguishable from personal belongings. Encourage him to use them. You can do this by adding a treat or some kibble to the toy.
Take Care with Personal Belongings
You don’t want your puppy to destroy your favorite pair of leather sneakers or your child’s favorite stuffed bunny. The best way to keep him from getting the things he’s not supposed to have is to put them out of reach. Pick items up off the floor. Teach children to put their toys away or shut their bedroom doors so that your puppy can’t get in. The more proactive you are, the more likely you are to avoid having your belongings ruined by sharp teeth.
Tire Your Puppy Out
Boredom is one of the most common reasons why puppies (and dogs) chew. To help beat boredom, tire your pup out. Take him for a nice long walk. Throw a ball or stick out in the yard. Work with him to teach him basic commands. The more you tire him out physically and mentally, the less destructive he’s likely to be.
Use a Deterrent
For items that can’t be picked up or moved out of the way, a deterrent may be necessary. If your puppy is chewing on table legs, the sofa, or your dresser, consider using a spray to discourage him from doing so. A natural deterrent that doesn’t smell good will help to keep your puppy from wanting to test it out.
If you do use a deterrent, make sure to monitor your puppy. Some are so determined that the taste won’t keep him away for long. Once it starts to wear off, he may decide to start investigating the item with his teeth. You may need to apply additional coats to keep him discouraged.
Reward Good Behavior
Rather than punish your puppy for an unwanted behavior, reward him for good behavior. He doesn’t understand that what he’s doing is wrong. Instead, praise him when you see him chewing on his toys.
You can also discourage him from chewing on unwanted items by teaching him to “drop.” Offer him a treat in exchange for giving up what you don’t want him to have. Teaching him to drop what he has in his mouth can help you to put a quick end to potential destruction.
Puppies have a lot to learn. With your guidance, your canine companion will learn what he can gnaw on and what he needs to leave alone. He may need some time and patience from you, but the work you put in with him will be well worth the effort.
Sasha McGregor is a part-time freelance writer and full-time educator.