Chewing has a higher purpose for dogs, rather than the mere act of destruction. Just like baby humans, you will find puppies chomping on textured objects to help them relieve the pain of growing teeth. As they get older, the habit persists, except its purpose is to clean their teeth and strengthen their jaws. This is all fine and dandy – the problem arises when they chew the wrong things. So, you actually shouldn’t stop a dog from chewing completely, you just need to teach them some boundaries. Here are some tips for you!
Understand your dog
Even though chewing is a normal behavior, indiscriminate chomping might have a higher cause.
Hunger is a possibility, particularly when the dog is under a diet. To try to get more calories and nutrients, your bud might start chewing around, usually targeting objects related to food or that smell tasty. 🍗
The most common cause for destructive chewing attacks, however, is separation anxiety. The dog starts chomping everything in reach as a way to relieve stress and the pain of separation. In this case, chewing becomes more intense when they are left alone.
Take care of your belongings
The easiest way to stop a dog from chewing is by removing any temptations: keep any valuables or attractive belongings out of their reach! 👞 This might not be the most comfortable option for the owner, but it’s a first step – at least while the dog is not educated yet.
Give them plenty of other options
As the saying goes: “If you can’t beat them, join them”! Chewing is a normal and necessary reaction for canines to keep their jaws healthy. Instead of trying to stop a dog from chewing completely, we should instead try to provide other options, which they can chomp as much as they want. 🎁
Give your bud plenty of toys with different textures and materials/fabrics. Try to choose the ones that are in no way similar to household objects. Chew bones are also an excellent choice to add to your dog’s toys, as they will be able to release their power of destruction slowly, and causing no losses.
Reprehend the dog softly
If you happen to be in the room when your bud starts chomping, remove the object from their mouth and gently reprehend them with a cue word. A simple “No!” will suffice. 🚫 Then replace the object with one your dog’s toys!
Discourage their behavior
Unfortunately, we cannot always be around to stop a dog from chewing… As an alternative, you can try to spray your beloved objects with a chewing deterrent. 🍋 These might smell like anything you like – as long as they taste nasty to your bud!
Get them tired
Make sure you take your furry friend out for some physical activity and long runs or walks. Don’t forget to engage in a lot of play time with them, too (obviously!).
Dogs chomp on things to relieve stress and accumulated energy. If you manage to tire them up with fun and playful activities, they won’t need to chew around! 🐕😴
Don’t run after them
To stop a dog from chewing you need to make sure they don’t see this bad habit as a playtime opportunity.
If your bud takes off while munching on a no-no object, don’t run after them. 🏃 Otherwise, they may pick this as a trick to engage you in a fun activity. Wait until they stop and then remove the object from their mouth, reprehending them gently.
Be careful when rewarding
When you’re teaching a dog how to fetch, you should reward them every time they release the object, especially if they do it in your hand.
You can also use a similar reward method to make your dog drop the object they’re chewing. Just make sure you don’t use the same cue word as for fetching, and to treat them only after you reprehend them. Else the dog might think of chewing as a clever trick to get a snack… 😈
Consider fun grounding
If none of the previous tricks worked, consider a more drastic way: fun grounding. Think of it as a negative reward system!
Set a separate space in your house and put up some fences to prevent your buddy from escaping. Turn it into a special playground with plenty of toys, water, food and a cozy place to sleep. Basically, just create a space with all your dog’s favorite things, but without any valuable and tempting objects that you do not want them to chew.
Whenever the dog munches on something they shouldn’t, ground them by taking them to their personal playground. Eventually your bud will realize that it is much more fun to run around the house and play with you than to risk chewing the forbidden fruit!
You should be careful to use fences instead of locking the dog in an isolated room. While fences still allow some interactions with the outside world and petting time, a closed room will increase their anxiety and sadness!
Grounding should still be fun, just not as fun as playing around. 😉
Dogs just love to chew – we can’t deny that. Be it because they need it or because they just want to get our attention, munching is part of their daily lives. Hopefully these tips will help you reeducate your bud and create some boundaries over what they can – and can’t – get their teeth on! 😊 Have any other tips or tricks that helped you with your bud? Share them with us!