Puppy Chewing & How to Stop It
Puppy chewing is a struggle for new dog owners and an inevitable part of puppyhood. It cannot be eliminated but can be controlled and redirected.
Puppies chew on things for different reasons and there is no one secret solution to stop it. In order to stop or minimise it, you as the dog owner must take a broad approach to the problem. By broad approach we mean taking into consideration the whole scenario in general and not just individual events. In this way you will be able to understand your dog and control / redirect the chewing behaviour.
Three Main Causes of Puppy Chewing
Teething is one of the main reasons why puppies chew on things. Puppies will be in pain and chewing will be a way to vent out the pain. In such a case the solution is to redirect the behaviour. A simple Kong toy stuffed with some treats will help redirect the chewing. Alternatively soak a wash cloth, freeze it and give it to the dog to chew on once frozen. The cold will help reduce the teething pain.
Excessive energy is always a problem whether the dog is a puppy or an adult. The energy has to be vented in one way or another and chewing is a form of venting this energy. The solution is very simple, take the dog out for a good walk!
Remember, a tired dog is a good dog!
A bored dog will try to find something to do. In the case of puppies (and adults alike) this will be chewing on things. Stimulate the mind of your puppy and give different toys of different materials and textures. That will keep him busy exploring these “new things”.
Puppy Biting Precautions
Puppy Proof Your House:
Remove anything that you do not want chewed. Electrical wires, shoes, bags and other such things must be out of reach.
Supervise your puppy and consider crate training for safety reasons. Never crate as a punishment, that is against the whole concept. The worst puppy chewing disasters happen when puppies are left unsupervised and given time to do their own thing.
A very interesting approach to puppy chewing is toy rotation. Find a few toys that the puppy really likes and keep them somewhere visible but out of reach. This will make these toys highly attractive to the dog. When the puppy starts chewing, correct and give toy #1. When the dog gets bored of it and goes back to chewing, correct and give toy #2 etc.
Puppy chewing is an inevitable part of owning a puppy. There is no one secret way to stop it but you can redirect it. Every dog is unique and what works with one dog may not work with another. If after you try the above suggestions you are still in need of help, then we suggest contacting a professional dog trainer for a more tailored solution to your situation.