Dog Chewing Problem

Whether you call it gnawing, chomping or teething, it al boils down to the same thing –dogs love to chew. When busy dog teeth meet soft objects you can be sure there’ll be mess. Objects with interesting smells and textures are always alluring, and the more valuable they are to you, the more attractive they seem to your dog, especially if you’re not around. After a few sniffs and test bites, your dog will aim to shred your favorite possession into as many pieces as possible, and then scatter the evidence.

Reasons for Chewing:
Some puppies chew only while their permanent teeth are coming in. others don’t stop chewing until a few years later. Chewing is natural and dogs get a lot of fun and satisfaction from it. Watch your dog rip a pillow apart and you’ll see what a good time he’s having. Toys, shoes, furniture, a corner of the carpet and even plastered walls can provide hours of entertainment for him.

At times it seems that chewing is premeditated, but it’s really a spur – of – the – moment activity. Dogs sink their teeth into things because they feel anxious, are bored to have too much energy. Don’t try to stop it. Chewing relieves tension and keeps them busy. Just direct this behavior to objects you find acceptable.

Control what he chews:
Start by giving your dog as many chew toys as possible. Balls rope toys and Nylabones are just a few suitable objects you can offer him. See which one he likes best and name it. This way when you ask him, “Where’s your ball?” he’ll be able to respond. When he finds it and starts chewing it, praise him.

Whatever you do, don’t give your dog old shoes o shocks to chew. He doesn’t understand the difference between old and new and he’ll just get the message that all your belongings are okay to chew. If your dog starts gnawing away at something you don’t want him to, say “No!” and offer him one of his favorite chew toys instead. Rubbing your hand all over the toy before you give it to him will put your smell on the item and make it even more attractive to him.

If your dog is chewing your possessions out of boredom, be creative and offer him as many different munchables as often as you can. Young puppies love cardboard boxes, milk cartons, the cores from paper towel rolls and just about anything else you can think of that you don’t mind cleaning up later. These alternative chew toys are cheap and provide a healthy outlet for your dog’s excess energy and tension. Offer your dog a different one each time so he thinks he’s getting something new.

The other way to save your possessions from destruction is to make sure you don’t leave them lying around. With your dog, it’s definitely a question of out of sight, out of mouth. If your dog has taken a fancy to the leg of the kitchen table, make sure you supervise him when he is indoors. If you can’t supervise your little chomper, crate him or put him in a safe outside enclosure. And if you have to leave him at home alone, be sure to give him something acceptable to gnaw on in your absence.

You can also sprinkle a hot pepper sauce, bitter apple or pet repellent onto objects your dog begins mouthing. Since dogs don’t like the smell of after-shave lotion or perfume, apply some of these to your dog’s targets. Or take a soda can and put some pebbles into it. Tie a long string around the can and attach it to the object you don’t want your dog to chew. When he starts gnawing away, the can will rattle and scare him.

Teaching your Dog to “Drop It”
When your dog starts chewing on your credit card or a detailed project you’ve left on the desk, you don’t want to star a chase game to get them back. Even if you manage to catch up with your dog, you’ll be hard pressed to rescue the precious items by prying his mouth open. Once he lovers his head and decides to clamp his jaws down, you’re in for a battle. Instead, teach him to “Release” or “Drop it.” This command is also useful for when your dog gets hold of dangerous objects or spoiled food.

1.    Command your dog to sit in front of you. Give him something he can hold in his mouth. It should be large enough for you to be able to grasp part of it while he has it in his mouth.
2.    While you dog is holding the object in his mouth say “Hold” and praise him for a few brief moments.
3.    Hold the leash two feet from his collar and jerk it downward, telling him either to “Release” or “Drop it.” At the same time, use your other hand to grasp the object firmly, but don’t pull it out of his mouth. The idea is to guide it out of his mouth, not yank it.
4.    Praise him lavishly when he drops it. It may take a few tries before he follows this command easily. Keep repeating the exercise until your dog drops it quickly, and then test him with other objects. Be sure to praise him so he knows he’s done well.