The need to chew seems to vary from dog to dog. Some dogs will only chew when they are bored, while others will do it for the pleasure of the chewing activity.
Here are the main reasons for destructive and inappropriate dog chewing:
- The desire to chew is innate to most dogs, especially if the item being chewed tastes good.
- Chewing can be an emotionally satisfying activity for a bored or lonely dog. As with comfort food to humans, a nervous dog can find chewing to be relaxing.
- Dogs that are under exercised may chew to keep themselves busy and to burn up excess energy.
How To Stop Dogs Chewing
With a little effort and training on your part, you can stop dogs chewing and damaging your stuff.
- The first thing you need to do is dog-proof your home. If you don’t want your dog to chew something, you should ensure that it is kept well away from his jaws. You will need to consider whether your dog will be able to jump, climb, leap, or stand on his hind legs in order to reach the object of his desire.
- Popular chewing targets for dogs include clothing, garbage, shoes, books, eye glasses. They also love small electronic items such as cameras, cell phones, and remote controls.
- It goes without saying that all food must be securely stored in containers or in the pantry to prevent dogs from chewing. Dirty dishes should be rinsed clean before being left in the sink. Your delighted dog will gobble up any food that is located on a low surface and even the kitchen counter.
- Stop dogs from learning the pleasure of forbidden chewing. If you stop your dog from destructive chewing early on, he will better understand what is expected of him. The more he is able to chew forbidden items, such as chair legs, shoes, a pillow, the more likely your dog will be to target those items again. Until you are sure that your dog has a clear comprehension of the house rules, he should be restricted to a dog-proofed part of the house.
- It is important that your dog clearly understands what is his stuff (can be chewed) and your stuff (cannot be chewed). If you offer a dog cast-off shoes, he cannot be expected to know the difference between the one in his mouth that he is allowed to chew and the brand new shoes in the hallway. The same thing pertains to towels, clothing etc.
- You can stop your dog from chewing by giving him plenty of interesting alternatives to your valuables. Don’t forget that most dogs feel the need to chew, particularly puppies and dogs less than three years of age. Purchase chews or dog toys, providing your dog with a maximum of three all at once. The toys should be of various textures, shapes and flavors. Rotating the toys will keep things interesting for your pet.
- You should spend lots of time teaching your dog. If he is constantly restricted to the dog-proofed area, he will not be able to understand what is expected of him. So your dog is able to comprehend what is appropriate and what is not, he will need to be given the chance to explore the limits of your expectations.
- When you catch your dog in the act of inappropriate chewing, clap your hands or say “No” in a firm voice!”. He should be presented with alternatives such as a rawhide bone or chew toy. As soon as he bites down on it, you should lavish praise on him. This will help your dog to understand that he will be in trouble if he chews your belongings and will be praised when he restricts his chewing to his own stuff.
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