Every dog owner should expect their puppy to engage in a certain amount of chewing. It’s a natural habit that you shouldn’t try to eliminate completely. The goal is to direct the chewing so the dog sticks to its bone or chew toy and doesn’t chew the furniture or shoes.
Chew Control Starts Young
If you let your puppy chew whatever it wants thinking it is simply natural then you are training your pooch that this behavior is okay with you. On the other end of the spectrum, overreacting with anger or violence will create fear, insecurity and hostility in your canine friend. A calm, firm response is the best.
Tips to Stop Problem Chewing
Keep in mind that scaring your dog won’t stop its chewing but might produce other negative behaviors. Instead, try the following.
Redirect the Behavior: Supply your dog with a few chew toys. If it is getting started on a child’s toy remove the toy with a firm “no!” Then offer a chew toy. This association will be learned soon.
Give Your Puppy Needed Exercise and Activity: Bored dogs with too much energy will chew far more than content dogs. Make sure your dog has enough of the kinds of exercise its breed requires. Find ways to give your dog a change of pace, some variety that will ward off bored chewing.
Crate Training: For problem chewing you may need to keep the dog in its crate more often. Give it chew toys and prevent unwanted chewing. Perhaps the dog will learn the association and will grow out of the habit of inappropriate chewing.
Deliver Aversion Tactics: Two things are involved here. First, you may find that spraying safe but bad tasting substances on items will prevent your dog from chewing them. Cayenne pepper spray and bitter apple are often suggested. Secondly, when you find your pooch gnawing on your slipper give him a cold spritz from a spray bottle. The association will be negative. Give him his chew toy and pat his head. The opposite association will be gained.
Consistency Will Pay Off
Be consistent with your puppy. Young dogs are stubborn sometimes and need repeated lessons before they finally get it. Be firm but gentle. If chewing shoes is off limit put them in the closet so your pooch won’t be tempted. Keep stuffed animals and toys off the floor. Make the rules clear and stick to them. Your dog is smart and will soon learn to chew his toys and nothing else.