Reasons your dog chews
The truth of the matter is that chewing is a natural process that all puppies will go through….
You must realize that your puppy is like a child. And like a child, they love to put everything in their mouths while exploring the environment around them.
Here are some causes for chewing:
- Teething and will cause them to chew during this process
- They are dogs, so they explore the world through their mouths
- They can often chew to relive energy or stress
- It might help them cope with their anxiety through their chewing
- They are simply bored
There is no real way to eliminate a dog or puppy from chewing…. Dogs are designed to chew and need to chew for healthy teeth and mind.
Instead, you need to offer them a toy or bone that they are allowed to chew while discouraging them from chewing on…. well…. everything they see!
When they grab something that isn’t an approved chew toy, you should calmly say “No” and replace what is in their mouth with an approved toy or bone so over time they will start to realize…oh, this what I am allowed to chew.
They need positive re-enforcement NOT negative punishment such as hitting or striking them!
This will do nothing but make matters worse and leave your puppy even more destructive and confused. Plus it’s just NOT COOL!
Instead, make it a positive experience and calmly reinforce what is an appropriate chew item….
This has to be a consistent pattern by you and by other family members in the home. If it is not a consistent process, then your dog will get confused and not understand what they are doing wrong.
Something to keep in mind is that your dog may need 30-50 repetitions in order to learn what is being taught to them….
So, you need to understand that it takes patience from both you and your dog to really connect and make sure they understand what is being communicated.
Teach with patience and consistency
This can vary a bit depending on the breed, but our french bulldog, in particular, can be a bit stubborn (well maybe more than a little)…. 50 repetitions is a good number in order to put it in perspective, that it takes consistent repetition for a dog to learn.
So before you say “My dog should know this by now” you need to understand this learning process because it’s usually the owner’s fault by not being patient enough….
It might not be the dog’s fault if you haven’t been consistent or allowed enough repetitions in order for your dog to truly understand.
Exercise can also reduce the need for chewing. When chewing, it produces endorphins that invoke a calming effect for your dog.
These endorphins are also released during exercise, so giving your dog walks or even playing with them outside can help release these calming endorphins….
We have children so we stress that our kids to not leave toys and items laying around that the dog can get into.
It can be hard but when a puppy sees something that intrigues them, they will naturally put it in their mouth which usually leads to them chewing it up…
So keeping items out of reach may seem like a no-brainer….. but it’s certainly easier said than done.
Which is why I covered the solution by replacing an off-limit item with one that is approved as well as not leaving things around they can get into and possibly swallow.
Which, by the way, has to happen immediately to inform the dog that this toy is acceptable and the kids Lego’s are not.
Some approved chewing items would include Pig Ears, Bully Sticks and Antlers. Other options would be some good chewing treats. And don’t forget some other popular items like Nylabone and a good KONG with a treat in the middle.
All these are a good option for your dog over dirty socks and wood trim….
When your not around
I always encourage crate training for your puppy when you are not home. It becomes their safe place…their den if you will. You may also place them in a room or gated off area that will keep them contained while you are away.
Your puppy will destroy your house because they are not mature enough to be left alone. They need to earn your trust to be left alone for any period of time unsupervised.
And they also cannot be taught boundaries when you are not home.
It is recommended that during the time you are away, your puppy is in their crate or in a blocked off area from the rest of the house where they have access to have a bone or chew toy.
It’s best to keep them unable to wander the house chewing on whatever they find attractive.
Through teaching and patience, you can have a happy healthy dog that will learn his chewing boundaries!