How to Stop Puppy Chewing
When a dog owner needs to stop puppy chewing, it is important to note that chewing is a natural and instinctive behavior for a young dog. They chew things to play, relieve boredom, and to help with the teething process.
It is not so much a matter of stopping the chewing, but redirecting it to items a dog should chew rather than your furniture, shoes, or other personal items.
Why Stop Puppy Chewing
Most dog owners handle dog chewing in one of two ways. They let the puppy chew things and do nothing, or they yell at the dog for the behavior which leads to other problems. Neither one of these methods is correct.
The right way to handle puppy chewing is to train your dog that chewing on your things is not okay, and then to show him the alternatives.
Key to Stop Puppy Chewing
In order to stop puppy chewing, you need to know the steps to take. Do not yell at the dog or hit him. Directing your anger at the dog confuses him, and he doesn't really understand what he did wrong, especially with a natural behavior such as chewing. Consider the following actions instead:
Adjusting Behavior - Teach your puppy to chew on the right things. When you find your puppy chewing on a shoe or the furniture, immediately replace it with the puppy's toy. When the puppy starts to chew on the toy, praise and reward him. This teaches the dog which items are okay to chew and which ones are not.
Relieve Boredom - Keep your puppy from getting too bored. A puppy will chew for the activity alone even when it is not teething. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, and be sure to play with him regularly. Also make certain to keep sufficient toys around that are stimulating and will keep your dog active.
Crate Training - You can limit the amount of access your dog has to your home and personal belongings by crate training him. This confines your dog to a single area when you are away. Be sure to provide toys in the crate, though, so he does not get too bored.
Aversion Sprays - Another way to stop puppy chewing is to spray items with an aversion spray such as cayenne pepper or bitter apple. These are humane sprays that are not very tasty to dogs. They associate a bad taste for chewing certain items and learn to leave them alone.
While chewing behaviors are natural in a young puppy, it is important not to let the dog chew on your fingers, toes, or your belongings. When this happens, it is your responsibility to divert the dog's attention to his own chew toys.
Consistency to Stop Puppy Chewing
You should be consistent in your actions when trying to stop puppy chewing. Don't allow your dog to chew on your personal items, even if it is just a sock or an old slipper. You cannot allow the dog to chew on one stuffed animal and then expect them to differentiate between which stuffed animals he can and cannot chew on.
Rules must be set and they must be consistently enforced. If you maintain consistency in the training, your dog will learn quickly and the chewing issue will not be a problem.