Before we deal with the problem of chewing, we must first understand why dogs want to chew. Reasons include:
It is therefore unrealistic or improper to completely stop a dog from chewing. The challenge is to redirect his attention to chew on proper things like his toys, etc, instead of improper items like the furniture in the house, clothing, etc.
To redirect your dog to chew on proper things, remember the following tips:
- Use hard plastic bones or hard rubber toys.
- If your dog does not like the taste of his plastic bones, try soak it for 15 minutes every day in chicken or beef broth.
- Try putting little cheese or peanut butter in the center of the rubber toys for him lick and chew on
- Make the toy a primary source of interaction between you and your dog during play times
- When your dog is chewing on his toys, praise him abundantly but never distracting or stopping him from his chewing
Avoid using real bones as the bones can leave a scent on the floor or carpet which can become a delicious meat-scented items for your dog after the bones are gone.
Once your dog starts to focus his attention on his chew toys, he will chew less on items that you want him to avoid.
During the period of training your dog on chewing appropriate items, remember:
- Prevent him from having any unsupervised access to inappropriate items like your clothings, etc
- Keep him on leash
- Before allowing your dog into the house, remove all the inappropriate items such as shoes, clothings, books left on the floor, tissue paper, etc
- In the event that he grabs something you don’t want him to have, quickly say ‘No’ and gently pull him away from the object he’s chewing on
- Immediately give him his chew toys, and praise him when he starts to chew on his toys for two seconds
In the event that your dog continues to return to a specific item that you do not want him to chew on, consider:
- Use a chew repellent like Bitter Apple
- Spray lightly on the item
- The horrible taste from the Bitter Apple coupled with your reprimand of ‘No’ and replacing with his chewing toy will eventually communicate the right message to your dog
- Most chew repellent evaporates fairly quickly, remember to spray the item several times a day. You may have to test the spray in a small area of the item to ensure that the spray does not stain or damage your item
Before your dog is properly trained to refrain from chewing inappropriate items, consider keeping him in a crate whenever you are not around.
In addressing your dog’s chewing problem, consider giving him a high quality premium kibble to make sure that he is not chewing due to nutritional deficiencies. Also he will get a lot of satisfaction from eating and chewing his kibble.
It is important to give your dog adequate exercise. A dog that has adequate exercise will tend to chew less
And remember to praise your dog abundantly when he does the right thing!
You Can Do It!
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner