Behavioral Issues in Dogs
The last behavioral issue that I’m going to discuss at this point in time is chewing. Chewing is a normal thing for dogs and puppies. Destructive chewing is not. Dogs explore their world by putting things in their mouths, in much the same way that humans explore the world with our hands.
Reasons for Chewing
Just as with human babies, puppies chew things when teething. Yes, puppies lose their puppy teeth and grow adult (dog) teeth. They normally will have gotten all of their adult teeth by the age of 6 to 9 months or so. For older dogs, chewing is a way to keep their jaws strong as well as keeping their teeth clean. Also, dogs suffering from separation anxiety have been known to chew, as well as from boredom.
How to Stop Your Puppy/Dog From Chewing
If your dog is frustrated by other dogs/animals that can be seen from your fenced in yard, it is recommended that you tie a toy to the fence post. This may keep him from barking as well. When you catch him chewing on something in the house, you should make a loud noise to stop the chewing (an empty coffee can with a few pennies in it works well), or spray him with a water bottle, and then offer a toy to let him that this is something he is allowed to chew on, and praise him when he takes it from you.
But What About When He Destroys Things When Left Alone?
For starters, always make sure you leave some of his toys lying around in places he’s sure to find them. I like to discourage people from leaving treats out while not there to supervise your dog. You should not give your dog rawhide or bones of any kind. Especially when you are not there. Rawhide can be chewed to the point where little pieces break off and cause a choking hazard. Big beef leg bones and ham bones are usually ok, but only while you are there to supervise. And if you ever do give rawhide (or any other treat for that matter), make certain that it was made in the USA. China is notorious for putting formaldehyde in rawhide!
If All Else Fails
There is something you can buy to spray on furniture called Bitter Apple. Dogs don’t like the smell, but if they can get the smell past their nose, they really don’t like the taste! This must be sprayed over and over again, until you’re certain that your dog won’t even try chewing on that piece of furniture again! I’ve also found that spraying with vinegar and water works almost as well, and is a lot less expensive.
Have you been successful in getting your dog to stop chewing with a different method? Would you like me to cover another behavior problem you may be having with your dog? Please comment below and let us know! Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions below as well. Sign up for our newsletter (above), and hop on over and ‘Like’ my Facebook page. While there, feel free to send me an email. There is a link right on my page.