How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing Everything!
7 October, 2014
Dogs love to chew on bones, toys and other chewy items. And, of course, every puppy or even older dog will at some point chew on items that they aren’t supposed to…your favorite shoes, or even the corner of your couch! Once your dog starts to chew on an undesirable item, you need to direct the chewing to the appropriate items so your dog isn’t destroying things you value or harming himself.
Reasons dog like to chew
Puppies, like babies, explore their world by putting objects in their mouths. And, like babies, they teethe for about six months, which usually creates some discomfort. Adult dogs, on the other hand, may engage in destructive chewing for any number of reasons. In order to deal with the behavior, you must first determine why your dog is chewing and to always remember that he’s not doing it to spite you.
Below are some reasons why your dog might be engaging in destructive chewing:
- As a puppy, he wasn’t taught what to chew and what not to chew.
- Your dog is bored.
- Your dog suffers from separation anxiety.
- Your dog’s behavior is fear-related.
- Your dog is trying to get your attention.
- Below are some ways to get your dog to stop chewing your belongings:
Put your shoes or temping items away!
If you don’t want your shoes in your dog’s mouth, don’t make them available. Keep clothing, shoes, books, trash, eyeglasses, and remote control devices out of your dog’s reach. Instead, give your dog toys that are clearly distinguishable from household goods. Don’t confuse your dog by offering shoes and socks as toys and then expecting him to distinguish between his shoe and yours.
I’m not supposed to chew this ?
Supervise your dog inside and outside until he learns what to chew
Keep an eye on your dog in the house so he can’t make a mistake out of your sight. Confine your dog when you’re unable to keep an eye on him. Choose a safe place that’s dog-proof and provide fresh water and safe toys (if the chewing is very destructive such as your furniture). If your dog is crate trained, you may also place him in his crate for short periods of time.
Your dog won’t know how to behave if you don’t teach him alternatives to inappropriate behavior, and he can’t learn these when he’s in the yard by himself. Watch your dog and if he is chewing, stop him from chewing the bad item and give him a chew toy instead. And, as always, praise your dog for good behavior.
Make sure to give your dog plenty of exercise
Give your dog plenty of physical and mental exercise. If your dog is bored, he’ll find something to do to amuse himself and you probably won’t like the choices he makes. On the other hand, a tired dog is a good dog, so make sure he gets lots of physical and mental activity. The amount of exercise should be based on his age, health, and breed characteristics.
Don’t yell at your dog for chewing anything but use a strong “no”
If you catch your dog chewing on something he shouldn’t, interrupt the behavior with a serious “no”. Don’t yell at your dog as this will scare him or her and not correct the behavior. Instead, you should give your dog an acceptable chew toy and praise him when he puts the toy in his mouth. Or, you can offer your dog a treat in exchange for the item in his mouth. Don’t chase your dog if he grabs an object and runs. If you chase your dog, you are only giving your dog what he wants. Being chased by his owner is fun and a game! Instead call your dog to you and offer him a treat.
Be patient as this can take some time
At some point your dog will inevitably chew up something you value; this is often part of the transition to a new home or even a new piece of furniture. Your dog needs time to learn the rules and you need to remember to take precautions and keep things out of his reach. Don’t ever discipline or punish your dog after the fact. If you discover a chewed item even minutes after he’s chewed it, you’re too late.
With time, practice, and patience, you can get your dog to stop chewing your valuable items.