Every dog owner will be required to stop dog chewing problems at some stage.
When our puppies and dogs chew it is a perfectly acceptable and natural behavior for them. The real problem arises when they chew on inappropriate, dangerous or expensive items.
Dogs chew on just about anything they can wrap their mouths around.
What Causes Dogs To Chew?
- Through loneliness or boredom.
- Separation anxiety, this form of chewing often occurs if you work long hours away from home.
- When they are teething (this can be a very trying time for owners).
- Through fear or a phobia.
- Seeking attention.
- Through anticipation, some dogs chew just before their owner is due to arrive home.
It’s important that we stop our dogs chewing not only because it frustrates us, but also because it can be very dangerous for our dogs. If your dog chews into electric wires, poisons and any number of other objects they could be in serious danger. Having said this it should also be noted that chewing on appropriate items offers many benefits to the health and wellbeing of your dog.
How To Stop Dog Chewing Problems
Always keep in mind that your dog can’t tell the difference between a $200 pair of shoe’s and a worthless old rag. And your dog is not chewing to spite you, dogs don’t think like us humans.
If your dog has a particular liking for a certain object like a furniture leg you can try this method. Coat the object with a foul tasting substance (non toxic) such as bitter apple, cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce. This method can be effective but because it doesn’t actually teach your dog to stop chewing, it may mean that your dog simply chews on a different object. Of course, if you put some tasty treats in the area, the chewing behavior will hopefully shift straight over to these.
If you catch your dog in the act of chewing, give a firm “No!” and replace the inappropriate chewing object with a tasty chew toy. Give your dog praise when he starts chewing the toy.
- Never ever reprimand your dog if you don’t actually catch him in the act of chewing. If you don’t issue your correction within about two seconds of his inappropriate chewing behavior, he won’t have a clue what you are disciplining him for.
A good solution to stop dog chewing and any other dog behavior problems is to apply some obedience training.
Dog Chewing – Prevention Is Your Best Option!
As with most dog behavior problems it is far easier to prevent chewing problems from arising rather than trying to extinguish an established chewing habit. Try these simple steps to help manage your dog’s chewing:
- Puppy proof your home – take away the temptation!
- Provide your dog with a few tasty chew toys. Make it perfectly clear to your dog that if he/she needs to chew, it must be on the chew toys. It’s a good idea to toss a dog toy stuffed with some tasty treats to your dog as you leave for work each morning.
- Keep your dog in a safe and confined area while you are away from home. This could be a dog crate, kennel run or any secure room in your house. Of course you should provide a few chew toys in this area and ensure that there are no dangerous objects present.
Provide your dog with lots of exercise, both physical and mental when you are at home (games, obedience training, tricks…)
This establishes you as the firm but fair leader in your owner-dog relationship. It will also help to build a strong bond between you and your dog, based on trust, two way communication and mutual respect.
Teach your dog the “Leave It” obedience training command.
In order to control your dog’s annoying chewing habit all you need to do is consistently follow the above training methods. Add a touch of common sense and patience and you will be well on your way to stopping your dogs chewing problem.