Imagine getting home and found that your favorite 4 legged sofas have been damaged and chewed by your dog, how do you feel?
Not feeling good, right? Worry not; this is exactly why you are here, to learn to stop your dog from chewing the wrong things in your house.
It is a very normal behavior that dogs or puppies will chew or gnaw on objects. For puppies, usually, they chew because their new teeth are coming out and they feel painful on their gum.
As for adult dogs, they chew because they want to clean or strengthen their teeth. You have to understand that dogs are dogs, and chewing is a very normal behavior for them.
However, that does not mean that you cannot stop them from chewing objects. You can train them and teach them not to chew.
Or at the very minimum, get them to chew on their toys instead of your sofas or your shoes.
A Word About Separation Anxiety
Well, if your dog chews only when you are not around, then most likely your dog is suffering the separation anxiety. In other words, your dog feels worried when you are not around.
This is very common especially when a puppy was left alone in the house. The puppy may feel scared and afraid, and to solve her anxiety, she chews on things.
There are also other signs of anxiety such as barking, whining, pacing, urinating, and restlessness.
I would suggest you to learn directly from the professional dog trainer if your dog has a serious separation anxiety issue.
Puppy Growing New Teeth
This is pretty straight forward and similar to human babies. When your dog teeth growing, she will feel uncomfortable and pain. Thus, she would want to find something to chew on her mouth.
Luckily this will only happen to puppies that are less than 6 to 8 months old. After that, your pup will have full-grown adult teeth and never chew for this reason.
Did Your Dog Feeling Hungry?
Sometimes, your dog will chew because she is hungry. You have to understand the reasons and the causes of the chewing in order to stop it.
If your dog chews because she is hungry, try to get an automatic food dispenser. You can tell when your dog chews because of hunger.
She will choose to chew on things that look like food or related to food or objects that smell like food.
There will be times your dogs chew for no apparent reason. Not because she is hungry or feeling anxiety, but because dogs will just chew because they are dogs.
This is very normal because dogs just love to chew. They may chew for fun, chew to make their jaw strong, chew because they got nothing to do or they chew to relieve anxiety.
The important key here is to make sure that when your dog chews, she is not chewing on the wrong thing.
Top 10 Tips And Suggestions How To Stop Your Dog From Chewing
1. Take Away Valuable Items
One of the easiest ways to prevent your dog from chewing on the wrong things is to keep all your valuable things.
Keep the socks in the wardrobe, make sure your shoes are in the closed rack, and keep all the books on the shelves and all the dirty laundry in the right hamper.
This will prevent your dog from reaching the things that you do not want her to chew on. At the same time, let the chewable objects visible to your dog so she can chew on them anytime she wants.
2. Give Your Dog Toys and Chew Bones
Dog toys and chew bones are extremely useful when it comes to preventing your dog from chewing on the wrong objects.
However, make sure you provide your dog the right and suitable chews. Please do not use a cooked bone like a chicken wing or drumstick. The cooked bone may be dangerous to your dog.
Some dogs bite excessively and may chip small pieces of the real bones. And these splinters can pose a threat to your dog.
Try to rotate or introduce your dog new toys and chew bones from time to time. She will feel bored if keep playing the same old toys. So choose to rotate some of the toys and give her different chew bones.
By the way, you can take note of the toys or chew bones that your dog prefers. You may be able to tell why your dog chews from there. If she chooses to chew on bones that have strong food smell, probably she chews because she is hungry.
3. Identify the Chewing Time
Just like potty training your dog, you need to understand when she wants to chew. Once you have identified her usual chewing time, just give her a toy or a chew bone.
Of course, you can only do this if you are home all the time and able to keep an eye on her. If you are not around, this may be a little difficult to tell.
4. Use the Chewing Spray
The chew deterrent may be a good choice when it comes to preventing your dog from chewing or gnawing on things.
When you first use the deterrent, try to apply on a piece of cloth and get the cloth to your dog so that your dog will smell or taste it. If your dog shakes her head and moves her body back, you know that she dislikes the taste or the smell. And then you can proceed to use the chew spray.
Apply the chew deterrent on things that you do not want your dog to chew on. She will less likely to gnaw on those things because of the smell.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Dog
One of the simplest ways to stopping your dog from chewing is to supervise her as much as possible. When you notice that your dog has the chewing behavior, put more notice and keep an eye on her most of the time.
Whenever you find her chewing on the wrong things, try to take it away from her and replace it with a toy or a chew bone. After that, praise her for her good behavior.
You may want to keep an eye on your dog until her chewing behavior is under control. At the same time, you can try out other methods as well.
6. Play and Exercise with Your Dog
It is said that a tired dog is a good dog. This certainly has some truth in it. Accompany your dog most of the time. Try to play with her from time to time and bring her out for a walk.
When your dog feels good, she will less like to chew because chewing can be due to boredom or less interaction with the owner.
This is why exercising and play time is important. It helps to build a stronger bond between you and your dog. Plus, you can interact and understand your dog more.
7. Teach Your Dog What Not to Chew
Like I what I have said, chewing is very normal for dogs. The most important lesson about this behavior is to teach her what to chew and what not to chew.
You definitely do not want your dog to gnaw your shoes or the sofa legs. Instead, you want to teach her that whenever she wants to chew, chew on her toys or the chew bones.
Therefore, whenever she chews on the right thing, praise her. You want her to know chewing on her toys or the chew bones are the right thing to do. Make her understand it through practice.
8. Confined Your Dog
Another simple way to prevent chewing behavior is to simply confine your dog. Please make sure the confined area is big enough that she can move around and you also need to include water, food, toys and crate inside.
It is just like creating a playpen. Whenever you are not around or cannot supervise her, just keep her in her playpen so she will never have the chance to chew on things outside of her playpen.
9. Interact with Your Dog
You already know that dog may chew because of boredom and lack of exercise. When your dog is bored, she will look for ways to solve her boredom, and chewing is one of them.
This is why you need to interact with her, physically and mentally. Train her and play games with her. Teach her to fetch, clicker trains her, play puzzles with her or teach her to do tricks.
The more you interact with her and the more she learns, the smarter she will be and the less likely she will adopt destructive behavior.
10. Other Behavioral Issue
Sometimes your dog chews because she is feeling stress and uncomfortable, such as when there is another animal nearby that makes her feel uneasy.
Or maybe children bully or tease her. When she sees a squirrel running up the tree and wanted to chase for the squirrel but she is blocked by the fence, she may chew at the fence.
Hence, you have to find out why your dog chews in the first place. If she chews because she is feeling stress when there is another bigger dog next to her, probably you may want to separate her and the other dog.
Remember, never punish your dog for her wrongdoings. There is no point showing your dog the damage she did and punish her because she just cannot connect the punishment and her wrongdoings, especially after so many hours have gone.
And never leave your dog in the crate for long hours. She will feel scared, bored and stressed.
As long as you follow the 10 tips above, I’m pretty sure you can get your dog to learn a better chewing behavior. Do your best as the owner, give her toys and play with her.
If all else fail, you may want to seek help from a vet or professional dog trainer.