Dog Chewing Behavior Training Can Work
If you have ever owned a dog, you are familiar with the problem of dog chewing. Dogs inevitably are going to chew and get into some type of trouble over it. It is normal for a dog to want to do this, particularly when they are young and teething. When it becomes a serious problem, however, is when they begin chewing on your couch, love seat or leg. Dogs will chew on most things that they can fit in their mouths, and sometimes even that will not stop them.
Why does my dog want to chew everything in sight?
The most common reason a dog will chew things is boredom. If a dog is not regularly stimulated through play or exercise, they will eventually begin chewing or some other behavior to drive you mad. The same type of thing drives dogs to jump and claw things. Dog chewing is often simply a way to get out energy that is not being used elsewhere.
Another common reason is simply because the dog is teething. Teething dogs are a tough thing because they need to chew to help with their pain. For this reason, you have to redirect their chewing to an appropriate place early on in the teething process.
When a dog is nervous or anxious about anything they might start chewing things. I once had a dog that would eat my curtains every time I left the house. That became a problem needless to say. He simply was saying I miss you by eating my curtains. I wanted him to learn a different method of communication.
Sometime a dog will chew simply because they are scared of something. A buddy of mine had a dog once that would start chewing his deck every time I brought my dog over. Eventually we realized the dog was terrified of my dog, and the chewing stopped.
While the dog chewing is a problem for us all, it is also a problem for the dog. A dog that chews everything will eventually chew something that will seriously injure them.
Electrical wires, sharp objects, choking hazards and even poisons around the home can be seriously dangerous. The behavior needs to be stopped for many reasons. The key is to redirect this typically normal behavior.
If you can stop the habit before it is a habit, your odds of fixing this problem are increased ten-fold. The key is to get to the problem right away and remove the temptation where possible.
Dogs need to have chew toys and need to know that chewing them is a good thing. When they chew these toys, you should praise them to no end. The dog will respond to praise far better than any reprimands you might give them. Praise repeatedly when they use the proper chew toys.
Limit your dogs area when you are away, and ensure that they have few if any bad chew temptations. Make sure they have plenty of their toys however. This will again reinforce the idea that chewing is okay on the proper toys.
Stimulate your dog mentally and physically every single day. Get plenty of exercise and training sessions in and be consistent in what they expect each day. If a dog knows they have fun coming, that is sometimes enough to encourage them to do the right things.
Dogs also tend to take a shining to certain objects. If you find a no-no object they can’t seem to leave alone, you can try a method that will be nasty to them. Do not give them anything toxic or dangerous, but make sure they don’t like the taste. Put it all over the item they usually mess with. Personally, I hate this idea because they may simply move on to another bad choice. It is better to praise them and push the toy method.
Remember that reprimands are only effective if you do them right away. If you wait and do it as a response to bad chewing behaviors, you will only confuse the dog. Reprimand them on the spot or not at all. A firm or loud sound to distract him from the toy and a quick replacement with a proper toy will do the trick.