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Destructive Chewing

How To Stop Your Dog Or Puppy From Destructive Chewing


Puppies and adult dogs may have different reasons for destructive chewing, but some of the remedies are the same.


Puppies may chew because they're teething, just as babies do. It helps alleviate the discomfort and aids in the teething process.  They put anything they can into their mouths. They also explore their world by putting objects into their mouths. 


Adult dogs as well as puppies may do destructive chewing for various reasons. Some of these are: to alleviate boredom, to dissipate pent up energy, to alleviate fear, as a symptom of separation anxiety, and simply because they were never taught that destructive chewing is not acceptable.


The first thing you have to understand is that your puppy or dog doesn't think like a child. When a child does something bad, you can reprimand the child hours or even days after the deed is done, and the child knows why they are being reprimanded. Not so for your dog. Your dog can associate a reprimand for something they did for no longer than twenty seconds after they've done it. And with puppies, it's more like five to ten seconds.


You come home to find an article in your home is chewed up. Your initial emotion is anger or frustration and you stare at your dog. Your dog slinks away and you think your dog feels guilty for chewing up that article. In fact, your dog reads your body language (they are very good at that) and knows that you are angry, but has no idea why. He just does not associate his past actions with the present. Punishing your dog in this scenario is counter-productive because your dog does not know why he is being punished and becomes confused and insecure. The only time you can effectively reprimand or punish you dog for doing something bad is if you catch the dog in the act or within ten seconds after the act is done.


The easiest way to keep your dog from destructive chewing when you're not home with the dog, is to confine your dog to an area, such as a crate, with only water, food, and his own chew toys. Tying him outside in appropriate weather with food, water and toys is also an option.


If you have a high energy dog, try giving it more mental and physical exercise. One way to do this is to train your dog in obedience. It can take as little as twenty minutes a day and it may stop the chewing. It will also give you a happier dog and you will be a happier owner. For information on dog training, click on: Train Your Dog.


Another way to keep your dog from destructive chewing, especially furniture, is to spray it or coat it with bitter apple, cayenne pepper, aloe vera gel, or a hot sauce like Tabasco. The problem with this method is that some dogs will chew on it anyway.


To train your dog to not chew on articles, you have to catch him in the act. To do this, you can put an article that he has chewed in the past in a place where he can get to it, and without letting him know, follow him. As soon as he starts to chew on the article, make a loud noise like shaking a soda can with pebbles in it, and make a low pitched loud growling noise. The idea is to startle him. You can repeat this using several articles that he has chewed on. You also want to put his own chew toys around and praise him when he picks up and chews his toys. Eventually, he will distinguish between his toys and forbidden articles.


If you sense that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, none of the above solutions will be very effective. You will have to cure his separation anxiety problem first. For information on separation anxiety click on: Separation Anxiety.


A trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner.


To find out  how easy it is to train your dog, CLICK HERE

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