Ask Steve: Chewing

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Chewing

Chewing is simply something dogs do, whether they are a puppy or an older dog. However, the reasons for chewing may be very different. Puppies chew because they are teething and need something to chew on during this process. During this phase, it is important to teach your dog what they can and can’t chew on. If you see your puppy chewing on the corner of the table, remove them from the table and give them a toy to chew on instead. This will help them understand what they should be chewing on as they grow older. 

However, if your dog is older, chewing can be a sign of boredom or anxiety. No matter the age of your furry friend, dogs will be dogs. And dogs chew on things. That is one thing you need to keep in mind. Some dogs simply want to chew and they will chew on anything they can get their mouth on, whether it is furniture, clothing, or other household items. We dog owners refer to this as destructive chewing.

If your dog has a destructive chewing problem, Steve Lankfer can help! As a dog-training expert, he can help you become your dog’s leader to better guide them with clear communication they understand. If you want 100% obedience 100% of the time, be sure to subscribe to Speak Dog!™ today!

There’s a better way to teach your dog to stop destructive chewing. Read more in this blog to understand how speaking to your dog in a language they understand can be more effective than the generally accepted tips and tricks. 

Remove Temptations

You’ll notice when dogs chew on furniture, they don’t start at top of the furniture but instead at the bottom. Same with the trip in your home. But for some reason the dog chews on the baseboard instead. The point is, to remove temptations, get everything off the floor. If it gets to the point where the dog is going higher to get something to chew on, then make sure you have provided something that is present on the floor.

Give Them a Better Option

If you don’t want your dog chewing on household items or clothing, then give them something else to chew on. Dogs love to chew – it is a healthy activity. So fill your home with toys which they can chew on and play with throughout the day which are on the ground. Rawhide bones, Kong toys, and even tennis balls are a great choice for your pup, no matter what age they are! Leaving them a variety of different toys to play with and chew on can help them redirect their attention from furniture, shoes, and other items. Combined with teaching them boundaries as described above, your dog will be happy and healthy (and free from confusion) as a result of your leadership and sensitivity to their natural canine behavior.

Give Them Exercise

Making sure your dog gets enough exercise can help to reduce the amount of destructive chewing they do. A tired dog is less likely to chew out of boredom and will cause less trouble. Exercise also causes the body to produce endorphins, which offer a calming effect. These endorphins are also stimulated from chewing, so if your dog is not getting enough exercise during the day, they may resort to chewing as a way to replace those needed endorphins. Just make sure you’ve taught them boundaries and have provided plenty of approved items for them to chew.  

Keep Them Confined

Confining your dog to a single space while you are gone is a great way to keep them from chewing on furniture and other household items. However, confining the dog to a limited space is going to increase their desire to chew. So just make sure your dog has safe items you approve for them to be chewing.

Use a Spray

There are sprays and repellents that distract from chewing like when a dog in the wild comes across a bad smelling thing to have in their mouth. Your dog will learn that the couch cushion comes with a bad taste and avoid chewing on that item again. With this method, the “environment” does the correcting and teaching your dog not to chew on certain items. Sprays and repellents should only be used as a supplement while you are learning to speak to your dog to create boundaries and provide other approved things to chew on.  

Be Aware of Separation Anxiety

While chewing is something every dog does, there may be a chance that your dog’s chewing and other bad behaviors are actually signs of separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a completely different issue, which Steve Lankfer discusses in another video and blog!

One of the best ways to teach your dog how to stop chewing on certain items is to teach them what they can and cannot chew on. Use a corrective tone followed by praise to communicate which items are “off limits”. Then give them approved toys to teach them where to focus their innate behavior. Follow the same procedure to train them away from furniture in exchange for a bone. Even if your dog doesn’t chew regularly, boredom, stress, or other factors can cause them to chew items up, so make sure everything they shouldn’t be tearing apart is taught through repetition and replaced with things they can tear apart.

Try these tips to get your dog to stop chewing on household items and clothing but remember that your dog is a dog and they have a need and desire to chew. If you want more dog training tips from Steve Lankfer, or you want to learn how to become your dog’s leader, be sure to subscribe to Speak Dog!™ today! You will be able to learn everything you want to know about training your dog in a loving and gentle way.

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