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stop a dog from chewing

Stop a Dog From Chewing Inappropriately

stop a dog from chewingI wonder why puppies and dogs think the remote control for the TV is something they should chew on. Are they trying to chew their way to their favorite channel? How do you stop a dog from chewing inappropriately?

Chewing on inappropriate objects is common in puppies and young dogs. They have to be taught which things they can chew on and which things not to chew on. It is your responsibility to teach them.


Normal Chewing

Chewing is a normal action for puppies and dogs, and it helps clean their teeth and keeps their jaws strong. Therefore they will chew throughout their lives, while puppies and young dogs tend to chew more.

Puppies cut their permanent teeth around the age of four to six months old. This will cause painful irritated gums and chewing will make them feel better.


Boredom Chewing

Chewing can occur out of boredom. Dogs that are not tired can get bored and they look for stimulation which can include chewing. Always provide your puppy or dog with a variety of toys to chew on.

When you have a variety of toys, you can rotate the toys that you give them to prevent boredom. Interactive toys that contain a place for treats can keep your dog busy because they have to work to get the treats from the toy.


Puppy Proof

Puppy or dog proof areas of your home where they will be allowed. Look around for dangers that could harm your puppy or dog and move valuables to an area away from your puppy or dog.

Keep things out of your dog’s reach. I lost a new pair of glasses by placing them on the coffee table and taking a nap. It’s difficult to see through scratched lenses! My fault, I should have put them out of her reach. I was tired and she was bored.


Correct Inappropriate Chewing

Medical Problems

First, take your puppy or dog to a veterinarian and have them checked out because you need to rule out any medical conditions that could cause inappropriate chewing. Some parasites and nutritional deficiencies can cause your dog to chew things.


Chew Toys and Bones

how to stop a dog from chewingProvide your puppy or dog with chew toys that are safe and appropriate for chewing. Choose some chew toys that include treats and they will keep your dog busy for some time.


Discourage Chewing

If you find your puppy or dog chewing on an inappropriate things, like a shoe or furniture, you will need to correct the behavior immediately. Tell them “No” using a stern voice and take the object away from them. Replace the object with a chew toy or bone and praise them if they chew on it. For more information on chew toys for aggressive chewers, check out Tough Toy Pros.

Do not chase your dog if they run away with the object when you say “No” because they will think it is fun even though you do not. Instead, create a distraction for your dog.  You can throw a ball or squeak a toy, whatever your dog likes. Take the object that your dog was chewing on and put it in a place that your dog can not reach.


Exercise

As the old saying goes, “A tired dog is a good dog”. Dogs and puppies need exercise to release energy, therefore you need to take your dog for a walk or have playtime with a game of fetch. If you have a high energy dog, take a run. Your dog will need exercise several times a day.


Training

Dogs and puppies need to have training sessions to release their mental energy. Practice commands and tricks with your dog each day. You can also provide interactive puzzles for your dog that can help release mental energy while you are away.


Separation Anxiety

If your dog only chews destructively when they are alone, they could be suffering from anxiety and are chewing to relieve the stress. Other signs of separation anxiety are whining, barking, pacing, urinating, or defecation.

Some dogs only chew when they are alone and don’t display any other signs of separation anxiety. If your dog does this, they may be bored. Interactive toys with hidden treats can keep your dog busy. Make sure they have a variety of toys to chew on.

You may need to see a dog behavioral specialist to help you with your dog. A specialist will be able to show you how to handle your dog and ways to relieve the stress for your dog.


Do not punish your puppy or dog after the fact. You have to catch them in the act of destructive behavior for them to understand what they did wrong. If you catch them in the act, say a stern “No”. They will understand. Never hit your dog as you will cause more behavioral problems!

Feel free to leave a comment or share a story. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.

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6 Comments

  1. Interesting post. I have a cocker spaniel and I often am not able to keep activity up his pace. Never came to my mind that what he did to my shoes is boredom chewing. Need to be more cautious and provide certain rules to him. Of course, I need to be more active for him then.
    🙂

    Thanks for the post.

    • Alice

      August 26, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you for your comment! Your dog is bored and needs more stimulation. He needs to be active to release his energy so he can be in a relaxed state. Go for a walk, it will be good for both of you.

  2. Great info! My husband and I have been contemplating getting our first family dog lately, and as I was reading this I kept thinking how similar it is to “train” children. We have 2 young kids, so maybe having a puppy won’t be too different after all! 🙂

    Rebecca

    • Alice

      August 26, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, training your dog is similar to teaching your children 🙂 Dogs are smart and they learn fast. Take a look at some of my posts on adopting a dog or puppy from a shelter.

  3. What a great article. I have an 18 month old yellow lab and it took me quite a while to get her to stop chewing. She pretty much destroyed 2 cable remotes, 1 pillow and almost every toy she gets. Wish I had this article to help me out when my frustration levels were sky high. Thanks

    • Alice

      August 27, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Chewing can be very frustrating, especially when the items they are chewing are expensive! I’m glad that you liked the article and found it to be informative.

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