6 Ways to Stop Puppy Chewing
Puppy chewing is a normal behavior, but may become destructive. Puppies chew out of curiosity, anxiety or stress, boredom, a medical condition or when they are teething.
1. Training to Stop Dog Chewing
In order to stop dog chewing you need to supervise him and when you see he is chewing say a firm “No”. Remove the object and send him to his crate or an isolated room for the following 10 minutes. This is a form of detention. After the 10 minutes, bring your puppy back to his former place and offer him an acceptable toy to chew. Praise him whenever he is chewing on a toy.
Don’t use this technique if you don’t catch the dog in the act. Puppies have a low attention span and will not be able to associate the inappropriate chewing with your punishment.
2. Puppy Chew Toys
Chewing is a natural behavior for puppies. Whether they are curious, bored or stressed, they want to chew on things. Offer them a variety of chew toys to divert them from chewing inappropriate things. The toys can be squeaky and some should be softer, some harder, so as to offer diverse challenges to the puppy.
Make sure the toys are big enough, so that he will not swallow them.
Keep dangerous items out of the reach of the puppy: cover cables, and hide chemicals or poisonous plants.
3. Encourage Good Chewing Habits
To encourage good chewing habits, you may initiate a few games. Place 1 or 2 chew toys in every room and ask you puppy to find the chew toy. Use words such as “Find the toy”, “Find the chewy” or simply “Chew!” and use the same, enthusiastic tone of voice. Praise your dog if he finds the toy and starts chewing on it.
4. Bitter Taste Repellents
Use some repellents such as bitter apple sprays or solutions and spread these around the things your puppy likes to chew. If your puppy is chewing furniture with a bitter taste or he tastes a bitter shoe, he will associate the taste with that shoe or furniture, and he will be no longer be tempted to gnaw on it. Meanwhile, place a chew toy near the shoes or furniture, to ensure your dog finds it and gets the chance to chew on it.
Make sure the repellent is non-toxic. You may find odorless, non-toxic repellents at pet stores.
5. Enough Exercise
Make sure the puppy gets the right amount of exercise. In this way, he spends his energy and will be too tired to start chewing. The necessary amount of exercise varies from breed to breed. On average, a dog needs at least two 15 to 20 minute play and exercise sessions every day.
6. Choose the Right Puppy
Last but not least, it is essential to choose the right dog for you. If your personality doesn’t match the dog’s, he is more likely to become a chewer and develop other behavioral problems.
Don’t chase your dog when he is chewing on something inappropriate. The dog will interpret this as a game or he will get stressed.
If your puppy is stressed or suffers from separation anxiety, make sure to treat this condition with affection and even therapy. Medical conditions such as gastrointestinal distress may cause the puppy to chew.
Some puppies may outgrow the chewing phase. To be on the safe side, correct this behavior as early as possible.