Chewing is a natural and appropriate behaviour for dogs, and is a natural part of a puppies learning experience. Young dogs learn about new things and the world around them by smelling things and putting them in their mouths. When young dogs go through teething – chewing provides a great relief during the itching period. Although chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs there are a couple of things you can do to keep your dog from wreaking havoc on your closets, tearing apart clothes and gnawing on your shoes.
- Puppy-proof your home. Secure all doors and cabinets that a curious puppy might get into and find things to chew on. This is especially important in regard to cabinets holding dangerous materials, such as cleaning products.
- Give your dog plenty of chew toys and Replace objects he chews on with toys. If you are able to find a chew toy that your dog likes, he may be less likely to chew on inappropriate objects, such as shoes. When you find your dog chewing on something he shouldn’t, take the object away and immediately replace it with a toy. This will teach your dog what he is and isn’t allowed to chew.
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The Bottom Line
Give your dog plenty of exercise. Even small dogs require daily exercise to stretch their legs and to work off excess energy. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise during the day, he is more likely to chew on things.
- Confine your dog while you are away and use bitter apple spray. By keeping your dog confined to a crate or to a particular room in the house during your absence, you can prevent him from gaining access to things he shouldn’t chew.For large items, such as furniture that you can’t keep out of reach, use a bitter apple spray to discourage your dog from chewing on it.
- Hire a dog walker. If you do not have time to walk your dog at least once a day, or if your job keeps you away for long periods of time, you might want to hire a dog walker. This will prevent your dog from getting bored and restless, which may make him more likely to chew.
While chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, that doesn’t mean you have to put up with your dog destroying your shoes and wrecking your furniture. Rather than trying to stop your dog’s chewing behavior altogether, try redirecting it to more appropriate outlets, such as chew toys.
Remember, the key to success in any form of dog training is to be calm and consistent. Do not be lenient on your dog, but do not punish him either, Simply reward him for good behavior, and he will learn quickly.