Controling Dog Chewing
Channeling Dog Chewing Properly

Beagle chewing a tasty new boot
descriptive text

Dog chewing and puppy chewing have been problems since forever. Puppy chewing is natural due to teething and the fact that it's a DOG. Chewing occurs partly out of boredom and partly because chewing is one of the things dogs do by instinct.

Question is, how do you stop dog chewing?

The act of chewing is pretty much a matter of individual preference among dogs. Some have an innate desire to chew for pleasure, such as on a rawhide dog bone, and others appear to have no particular need to chew other than out of boredom.

Puppy chewing is always normal.

The chewing we are talking about is unwanted chewing, such as “destructive” chewing. Chair legs, pillows, leather shoes, that sort of thing. Your dog is certainly supposed to chew on his own things like chew toys.

The main reasons dogs chew are:

  • It’s fun, it passes time, it’s self-rewarding, it often tastes good like a rawhide bone.

  • Provides a nervous, lonely or bored dog with an outlet for his emotions.

  • For anxious dogs, the repetitive act of chewing is soothing. It’s the dog’s equivalent of comfort food.

  • Nervous energy is burned up by under exercised dogs through chewing. Chewing gives the energetic dog something to do.

Stop dog chewing:

Dogs are very capable of learning not chew on your things. A little dog chewing work is all that’s needed.

  • Dog-proof your home. Even if you have the best-behaved dog in the world, there is still no reason to tempt him or test her self-control.

  • The most frequent targets are books, eye wear, clothing, shoes, garbage, and small crunchy appliances like cameras, cell phones, remote controls and dentures. In other words, keep a tidy house with everything put away or up out of reach.

  • Food needs to be put away. Don’t leave snacks out on the table or countertops. Put food in containers and in the pantry. Rinse dirty plates before leaving them in the sink

  • Prevent the dog from learning the joy of illegal chewing in the first place... if you can. The more times he manages to get hold of a table leg, the more he’ll go for it again. If you can prevent him from chewing on the leg the first time, the better. This may mean confining him in a dog-proofed area until you are confident of his understanding of the house rules.

  • Be sure he has plenty of his own things to chew on. Food stuffed Kong's are ideal to occupy a bored dog.

  • Keep him well exercised and tired out.

  • Don’t set him up for failure by giving him cast-off clothes, old worn out shoes or worn out towels to play with. The dog can’t distinguish between a discarded shoe and a brand new shoe.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy enjoys a chew-toy as he should be doing.
descriptive text

Again, make sure she has plenty of inviting alternatives to your stuff. If his environment is somewhat barren, she will naturally turn to your things because she is going to chew on something. Most dogs need to chew, especially if she’s under three year old. go on a toy shopping trip and then give her two or three toys at a time. Rotate them to keep it interesting.

Spend plenty of time with him. She can’t learn what is expected of her if she is kept locked in a dog-proof area or crate. (Hey, I told you dogs were time consuming!) Teach her what is and is not appropriated for her to play with. She needs to learn the boundaries of your expectations.

If you can catch her chewing something inappropriate, interrupt by making a loud noise. Clap your hand, give an “ACK!” or “NO!” Immediately give her something of HERS to chew on like a tasty rawhide bone. As soon as she gets her jaws on it, praise her profusely. Really let her know she’s doing the right thing. That's the perfect moment to let her know chewing or playing with HIS stuff makes you happy and is the right thing to do, but anything else gets her in trouble. To stop dog chewing is the goal.

Above all, keep your expectations realistic. We humans are not perfect and neither is your dog. There will probably be at least one occasion when a cherished item gets damaged because of the puppy’s curiosity, especially in the early stages of the relationship while she’s still learning the ropes. Puppy chewing is always present until the teething ceases. Even then, if she’s left alone too long or feels neglected, she may choose your things over hers to occupy her time and jaws with. Always keep some food-stuffed Kongs around.

Remember to give him/her time to learn the rules and plenty of “you-time” to help her learn faster. Don’t forget to take precautions and keep things out of reach until she’s got the hang of the chewing rules, as this will help stop dog chewing. Puppy chewing will phase out as the teething decreases.

Return From Dog Chewing To Dog Behavior Training