Why is it that destructive chewing is a problem for so many dogs? How to stop dogs from chewing is the question of the year for many dog owners. Read on to find seven solutions for dog chewing problems.
Why Do Dogs Chew?
Dogs chew on things for several reasons. The first is that chewing is instinctive for your dog. Dogs play rough, and part of their play is to chew things up into little pieces. If whatever they’re chewing on tastes good, that’s a bonus.
A bored dog, or one that’s anxious about something will chew on something to soothe himself, or to give himself something to do. This is akin to people who eat when they’re bored or upset over something.
Your dog needs lots of exercise to burn up his excess energy. If he’s not getting the exercise he needs, he’ll find a way to use that energy, and he may turn to chewing on your shoes to do it.
Another reason that dog chewing problems surface is that you’re not giving your dog enough time and attention. Your dog craves your attention, whether it’s good or bad. If your dog only gets attention from you when he’s engaged in destructive chewing, you can bet that he’ll keep doing it.
Six Solutions To Dog Chewing Problems
Your dog needs lots of one-on-one time with you. Play fetch with him, take him for long walks, spend time with him. Lots of exercise will use up the extra energy he has.
Dog-proof your home. Put away things like shoes, cell phones, tv remotes, books, eyeglasses, and whatever other goodies your dog loves to chew on. Dogs don’t resist temptation well, so don’t tempt him.
When putting things away, think about your dog’s size and agility. Can he jump up on the counter to get at something? Or is he a climber? Or is he big enough to just stand on his hind legs and reach it?
Don’t leave your canine friend tied up in the yard all the time. Your dog can’t learn what you what you want from him if you leave him in a dog-proofed area all the time. He does need to push the boundaries when you’re there, so he can learn which toys are his, and which are off limits.
Speaking of toys, you’ll want to keep lots of toys on hand. Give your dog two or three at a time, and swap them out every couple of days. Dogs lose interest in the same old thing, just like we do, so give him lots of variety.
Don’t blur the boundaries. Avoid giving your dog old shoes or clothing or towels to chew on. It’s unrealistic to expect him to know the difference between your old shoe and your new designer shoes. To a dog, a shoe is a shoe.
The Seventh Solution – Catch Him In The Act Of Destructive Chewing
Now you have a teachable moment. If he knows the “drop-it” command, use it. If he doesn’t, clap your hands or say, “Ah-ah-aaah!” loudly. In either case, give him an appropriate chew toy right away. Praise him as soon as his mouth closes around it. You’re training him that chewing on his own toys is fine, but yours are off-limits.
Punishment is seldom effective to stop dogs from chewing. If you don’t catch him in the act, he’ll have no idea why he’s in trouble. And even if you do, he’s liable to just wait until you’re gone to chew on your things.