Whether we like it or not, most dogs chew. No matter how much we do not want them to be they will end up chewing on something. So how do you get your dog less destructive? Let’s look at some tips.
Why do dogs cry?
Indeed, dogs chew for quite a few reasons, and in dog training it is always good to look at the basic reasons why to stop it. The biggest reasons we see chewing dogs are boredom, stress and fun!
Like us, your dog wants something to do and since they can not really work a remote control to watch Netflix, then they go with the easier thing and that is chewing.
So I would like to say first, if your dog is chewing on something when you are unable to correct them while they are doing it, it is too late. You just have to get your dog out, clean up the mess and move on (no matter how crazy you can do, puppies make mistakes).
How to stop chewing?
To stop or prevent your dog from chewing, there are 3 things you need to do. Manage their time, provide a fun environment, and get your puppy more exercise . Managing your dogs time is all about preventing them from being able to chew. Providing a fun environment is about setting them up for success. And of course exercise is the cure for most dog problems!
Manage your dogs time to prevent chewing.
Managing your dogs time is about integrating multiple training concepts into one place.
First of all if your puppy is a chewer you must be religious after 3 Rule of Housetraining , I will list them here, but please be sure to read some of our blog posts and podcasts about the 3 Rules of Housetraining that go on many details.
Rule 1: Inside with you on the chain.
Wow, Rule 1 sounds so weird to young people, but then they try and realize that it literally fixes 90 percent of the problems you have.
It’s as easy as picking up an old leash you no longer use, cutting the handle (so things don’t close), grab it on your dogs collar, and let them pull it around.
Why should you do this? This is basically done as a remote control for your dog. You do not have to grab your dog, you do not have to chase them to get something away, they can not sneak away and chew something. You can now see why this is Rule 1?
Rule 2: Out with you in chains.
Now, this rule is more related to good home training practices than it is to chew. But, it can also help here by giving you an opportunity to work with your dog on “Leave It and Come” when called so it can be translated to be useful at home.
Rule 3: When you can not be with your dog, they go to a crate.
Turning to the rules that help to chew, this is a big one. Think of your crate as your dog’s home . It is the safe place for them to go so that they do not harm themselves or any of your belongings. Some people see the ark as a punishment, but really dogs are animals and prefer to have a quiet place to go (especially if the ark is not used for punishment). I will also point out that even if your dog does not enjoy the crate it is dramatically better for you to return home for a dog that has been in the crate for a few hours and is happy to see you and ready for come out as composite to come home to a chewy dining room table and everyone is upset!
Just remember, dogs are not birds! A checkout is a temporary place for those to stay, not for long stays.
So you can see that by starting with the 3 Housing Rules, you can prevent most things from happening. But there is a key to doing this, you still need to pay attention to your dog! If you have a dog that is prone to chewing things, you should always have an eye on them, so as to prevent them from taking advantage of the opportunity to chew something. It always amazes me how quickly a puppy can get something in his mouth!
Providing a fun environment.
Even after working with people most of my life I am still amazed when I talk to someone about their dog chewing and I ask what kind of toys they have and their answer is “I do not know” or “well, they “They have one of those rubber bones. But he does not like it.”
Well, are you really surprised that he chews on your kids toys and shoes you just bought?
First and foremost, your dog needs to have a good selection of toys and chew items. My rule is that they should have as many things to chew on in direct relation to what they are greedy to play and chew on.
My two bears have always enjoyed chewing but have not been on top, so we only had 4 or 6 bones at home (of course they had to be equal numbers so they could work together on their split ). On the other hand, my newborn golden sides exist with a chewed bone in their mouth, so it literally has a bucket full of them! Not because everyone cries, but because it keeps them interested in the fact that there is “a bone” they want, and I have seen them dig through the whole bucket pulling the bones just to abandon it, because it is not a .
Personally, my chosen bone is the sterilized hollow bone. They come in the stuffed or unfilled variety so if your dog has specific allergies you can stuff it yourself. Speaking of, a toy with a stuffing is a perfect way to keep your dog entertained either on your feet, at the crate, or heading out for the weekend.
Filling a toy with good stuff is all up to your preference and knowing what your dog likes. Among the empty bones, kong toys, and various other busy toys you have many choices about what to leave for your pets. If you go to google kong recipes you will find a treasure trove of ideas. Personally the simple ones work for me, a tiny pinch of natural peanut butter (make sure everything you use does not contain xylitol as a sweetener) deep inside the toy with some treats caught down in there will always keep my puppies busy for hours trying to get all the good stuff out!
For the hottest time of year, use this great recipe from Canine Mind to create a frozen kong stuffed toy. But just remember it melts! So its best if used outdoors.
Kongs can also be filled with water or stock cooking and frozen in hot weather.
In addition to treating colds and sedatives for puppies teeth, this is a great way to provide fluids for dogs that need to be created when left.
To prepare and freeze a liquid Kong filling:
- Plug small Kong bottom with a good large pile of peanut butter. You can also use a piece of cheese or sausage to do this, as long as it provides a good seal.
- Next, place the Kong, the small end, on a mug.
- Fill the turned Kong with juice.
- Place the mug in the refrigerator.
- When the liquid is frozen, the Congo is ready to serve.
Of course a Kong does not have to be filled with juice to freeze. Any stuffed Kong can be frozen, and a frozen stuffing will provide a more consistent treatment.
Another good option for keeping your dog busy while supervising them are any of the puzzle style toys. Depending on how greedy a chewer and destroyer your dog should dictate what material the toy is made of. For dogs that do not get frustrated and tear things up, soft toys like Hound Out hides a bee are a lot of fun. But for our beautiful mix of boxers we have at home, Zoey, she would very well imagine the designer and tear it in half to get the sweet toys inside. So when we made it a puzzle game it was made of wood and plastic so it could not easily be shredded. (Of course that doesn’t mean she didn’t try to rip one of the little doors when she went crazy on it!
Just remember how fun as these toys are, they are not for unattended game time. If you have a diligent chewer they will take all these toys as a challenge and eventually decide that chewing item is more fun than trying to get what is inside!
Exercise your puppy!
Like the 3 Rules of Housetraining this is simple and will fix most of your problems. It’s no secret that puppies need a lot of training, and depending on the breed may need LOTS AND LOTS of training. But as with the lack of toys it amazes me how many people come and do not see this correlation. So if you have problems with chewing, and you are managing your puppy and you are given a great environment, then really get out there and exercise your puppy!
We have written numerous articles about good games to play, please be sure to check them out. But if you can not or are not able to increase the amount of exercise your being has, please consider getting them in day care at least one or two days a week. You will be amazed at how much you can improve their overall behavior, because as Margaret always says “A tired dog can not chew!”