Are you frustrated with dog chewing problems? Why do canines engage in destructive dog behavior like this? How can you stop destructive chewing? Here are tips you can use to stop dogs from chewing.
Why Does My Dog Chew On Everything?
Puppies who are cutting teeth will chew on just about anything. If you’ve ever been around a human baby who’s teething, you know how chewing on a teething ring helps soothe those sore gums. It’s like this for puppies too. They’re in the process of losing baby teeth while adult teeth are coming in. Chewing on his toys helps his sore gums to feel better.
An older dog may chew for many reasons. One of the most common is that it helps to relieve stress and anxiety. When a dog chews, endorphins are released. These are chemicals that soothe and calm your dog. You dog doesn’t know about endorphins, but he does know that chewing on things makes him feel better.
Chewing also helps to keep your dog’s teeth clean and strong. Remember, if your dog is chewing, he’s not digging holes or barking, so there is an upside to this.
So chewing isn’t all bad. But chewing becomes destructive chewing when your dog chews on things other than his toys. How do you stop dogs from chewing on your toys?
How Do I Train My Dog Not To Chew?
You may be surprised to learn that your dog doesn’t know the difference between your stuff and his. Even if he has lots of toys to chew on, he’ll still chew on a chair leg because he thinks everything in the house is a toy. It’s up to you to teach him two things; that everything is not a toy, and that he’s not allowed to chew on things that belong to you.
Start by teaching him which toys are his. Play with your dog, using one of his toys. He’ll associate the toy with having fun, both with you, and by playing with the toy. Another way to teach your dog that his toys are wonderful is to get a toy you can stuff with peanut butter or another treat. He gets an instant food reward when he licks it out while playing with it.
If your dog picks up something that belongs to you, use the “drop-it” command, or clap your hands and make a noise to startle him into dropping it. Give him one of his toys right away as soon as he obeys you. When he starts playing with it, reward him. This is how you teach him that it’s good for him to chew on his own toys, but not good when he chews on yours.
Take the time to dog-proof your home; put anything you really don’t want destroyed in a safe place until you know you can trust him. Or else keep him confined to one room in your home where he can’t destroy anything in your absence.
Shouldn’t I Punish Him For Destructive Dog Behavior?
No. If you don’t catch your dog in the act, he won’t have a clue why you’re mad at him. If you do, you’ll teach him to wait until you’re gone to start destructive chewing.
Dogs operate on rewards. If you reward your dog with attention (good or bad) for doing something, he’ll continue to do it, even if it’s something you don’t want him to do. Ignore his bad dog behavior as much you’re able to, while praising and rewarding him for being a good dog. A dog won’t continue doing something if he doesn’t get a reward for doing it.
Training your dog is an ongoing process that never really ends. You’ll find that investing in a good dog training course will repay itself many times over in building a great relationship with your dog, while avoiding dog chewing problems. Click on any link in this article to learn more about dog training courses.