Puppies and dogs are born chewers. It’s just part of their nature. As a trainer, many times I get asked the question, “How do you stop dogs and puppies from chewing up stuff?” There is no easy answer, because some pups chew because they are teething, other dogs chew because they are anxious, others chew when they’re bored, and many others just chew because they simply love chewing.
Here are 5 tips to Stop Chewing that have worked for me as a trainer:
1. All pups and dogs need exercise, at least 20 minutes per day, this is a play time with you (fetch, tug o war, running in the yard). When they are exercised they are more relaxed, not so anxious and will not be crazy or chewing out of boredom.
2. All puppies and dogs need structure, a balance of discipline and rewards (for bad and good behaviors). If you see they have chewed something up, take them to the thing they chewed tell them firmly “NO CHEW!” and give them a toy that they can chew. Give them good, healthy bones to chew on as a reward for good behavior.
3. Never allow your puppy or dogs to chew on clothing. Many people give their dogs old socks or mittens to chew on. This will only encourage them to chew on other items of clothing. Buy them bones and doggie toys from the store–you can find many durable, affordable fun toys your dog/pup will enjoy.
4. All Dogs and Puppies Must be Crate Trained. Especially f they struggle with separation anxiety, they will become crazy when you leave, and tear clothing, furniture, and other things up. If you crate train them, this will help break this bad behavior. Dogs and puppies actually like crates (not to be cooped up all the time) but it is like a den to them. I leave our crates open most of the time and dogs often go in them to lie down.
5. Teach dogs and puppies the “drop it” and “leave it” command. By training our dogs to drop or leave certain things, they will learn what they can and cannot have to chew on. For instance, “drop it” (my sock) pick up their teething bone and offer that to them. Offer them a play time with their toy and get rid of the sock.
Lisa Freeman is an author, speaker, and top dog trainer from Michigan, who specializes in rescue and recovery as well as aggression and behavior modification. She offers everything from AKC Star Puppy and Canine Good Citizen Classes to Pet Therapy, Service Dog Training and Agility. Follow her weekly blog and videos on her website @ http://www.DogsPawsForHealing.com