Stop a Dog from Chewing Things

This article is posted as part of PGAA’s curation efforts. This was originally posted at Me And My Puppy

Chewing on things is completely normal for dogs and puppies. However, this becomes problematic when they chew on OUR things.

It’s important to teach your puppy early on that there are right and wrong objects to chew on. Your home will thank you.

Understand that when a puppy is young, they’re going through the teething process – just like babies. It’s healthy for them to have something to chew on, so you should make it a priority to keep your puppy occupied with an appropriate toy. Kong® and Nylabone® are two quality brands to consider for chew toys.

Note: Make sure you don’t give him an old pair of shoes or socks to chew on. What’s to suggest that your dog won’t chew on a different pair of shoes or socks in the future? Only let him chew on his own toys.

If you ever notice your dog chewing more than he normally does, take a look at their teeth to try and find anything that might be bothering them. In some instances, if a dog has a pain in his teeth, he’ll chew to try to alleviate the pain. Another reason could be that they aren’t eating enough.

3 REASONS WHY DOGS CHEW

Pleasure: Dogs have a natural desire to chew. It’s fun for them (especially if they’re chewing on something that tastes particularly good).

Comfort: A dog who is nervous, bored, or lonely may chew as an outlet for their emotions. The repetitive nature of chewing is soothing to them.

Boredom: A dog who hasn’t had enough exercise will chew as a means of burning nervous energy. It gives them something to do.

HOW TO STOP A DOG FROM CHEWING (TIPS)

Here are some tips to implement that should help to stop destructive chewing:

Dog Proof Your Home:
This should be the first step. Make all of the things that you don’t want your dog chewing on inaccessible to him while he’s learning (behind a closed door, shelving units, etc.). Be completely sure that they won’t be able to get them – don’t underestimate the resourcefulness of a motivated dog or puppy.

Confinement:
Try to prevent your puppy from finding things to chew on in the first place by confining them to a small playpen or room. This is especially helpful when you have a very young puppy who is still learning the rules of the house.

Make the Boundaries Clear:
Make sure to encourage them with positive reinforcement when they chew on their own toys and punish unwanted chewing. Anytime you catch them chewing anything other than their own toys (even if it’s a disposable item), make sure they understand that it is wrong.

Toys, Toys, Toys:
Make sure to provide your pup with plenty of fun chew toys to keep them occupied. Remember, boredom is one of the root causes of destructive chewing. It’s recommended that you give puppies 3 or so different toys at a time so they can switch it up as they please.

Actively Supervise:
Keeping a close eye on your puppy will enable you to correct unwanted behavior right away. Let your puppy hang out with you and give them opportunities to make mistakes when you’re there to correct them. Don’t expect them to be perfect immediately – that’s how they learn.

Catch Them in the Act:
If you catch your dog chewing on something inappropriate, clap loudly and firmly tell him “No!”. Immediately after, give him an appropriate alternative chew toy and praise the good behavior. They’ll start to catch on to the positive reinforcement.

REMEMBER TO STAY POSITIVE

Training a puppy can be tedious and frustrating, but it’s important to keep realistic expectations.

It’s relatively safe to assume that your puppy will damage some of your possessions at some point or another. Remember that your dog doesn’t know any better and that he doesn’t mean to frustrate you. In the early stages, he’ll be learning the house rules and that takes quite a bit of time.

Be sure to stay calm during the process and remember to devote some of your time to work with your dog to stop chewing.

References

ASPCA, Destructive Chewing:
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/common-dog-behavior-issues/destructive-chewing

Blue Cross for Pets, How to Control Dogs Chewing
https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/how-control-dogs-chewing

Share: Facebook Twitter Google LinkedIn StumbleUpon

Me and My Puppy is an online, user-friendly source for puppy training info for new dog owners. We aim to cover a variety of puppy training topics in a simple, yet detailed manner. The site will update as new information becomes available and the scope of content will increase as we continue to grow. © 2017, Me and My Puppy – All rights reserved.