Tell me, does this describe you? Puppy chewing is making your dream of having a happy, obedient dog into a nightmare of dog chewing problems as your belongings are shredded into a million little pieces. Don’t despair. You can stop puppy chewing by learning some dog training basics.
You Need To Understand Why Puppies Chew On Things
If you’ve ever been around a human baby, you know that they learn about their surroundings by putting everything in their mouths. A puppy is no different. Puppies chew on chair legs, shoes, and whatever they can get hold of. This is normal behavior, but that doesn’t mean it’s not destructive chewing.
Also like human babies, puppies chew on things because they’re teething. When a dog chews, endorphins are released. These chemicals soothe your puppy and make his sore gums feel better.
The Do’s Of Dog Training Basics For Puppies
Puppies don’t automatically outgrow chewing on everything. It’s up to you as a dog owner to train him to stop puppy chewing on things that don’t belong to him.
You can prevent dog chewing problems by putting things away. Don’t leave out eyeglasses, shoes, or the tv remote where he can get them. Put the trash in a closet, and move plants to a safe place. Pick up throw rugs, socks, and anything else he’s tempted to chew on.
Make furniture and things you can’t move taste bad to your puppy by spraying them with a bitter-tasting substance. These sprays, available at pet stores, are very effective at stopping destructive chewing.
Provide lots of chew toys. Only give him two or three at a time so he can learn that they belong to him. If he starts chewing on something off-limits, say “drop-it” and make a noise to startle him into dropping the object. Immediately give him one of his chew toys and praise him when he puts it in his mouth. This teaches him two things; he’s learning the “drop-it” command, and he’s also learning what things he should and should chew on.
Your puppy needs a couple of hours of vigorous exercise every day. Take him out and play with him. Don’t miss training opportunities during this play time. A young puppy can’t concentrate for long, but taking advantage of thirty seconds here and there to work on basic commands lays a good foundation for training.
Keep an eye on your new friend. If you’re busy and can’t watch him, put him on his leash and tie it to your belt. Make sure he has something to play with. Now he can’t wander off and get into mischief if you turn your back for a minute.
When you leave the house, confine your puppy to one area, either in his crate, or by using a wire-reinforced puppy gate.
What Not To Do When Dealing With Dog Chewing Problems
Don’t confuse your puppy by giving him old shoes or socks or towels to chew on. He can’t tell the difference between an old worn out running shoe and the ones you just paid $150 for yesterday. The boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable things to chew on must be very clear.
Avoid leaving him tied up outside all the time. Your puppy needs to spend lots of time with you, so he can learn what you expect from him. He can’t do this if he’s always in a puppy-proof environment.
Unless you catch him the act of destructive chewing, don’t punish him. He can’t understand that you’re angry about what he did three hours ago. You might think he’s acting guilty, but what’s really happening is that he’s scared and threatened by you being angry and upset. The guilty-looking behavior is actually a submissive posture that has nothing to do with being caught misbehaving.