So, how do I go about teaching a puppy not to chew?
The billion dollar question- how to stop a puppy chewing? The glib answer is- you can't. Chewing, for a puppy, is a perfectly natural canine behaviour. A puppy needs something to chew on as part of the process of teething that starts at around 3 months up until 11 months.
You should provide a suitable toys for this purpose, such as a soft nylon bone and a harder textured toy such as a puppy kong.
Your puppy has no knowledge of what it should or shouldn't chew- you have to provide that knowledge:
- Don't leave chewable item like slippers, shoes, socks, or a host of other munchy things lying around.
- Don't flood your puppy with toys. He won't be able to differentiate between his toys and your possessions.
- Give him up to five chewy toys and always keep them in a box, or a corner of the room that is accessible to him.
- Give him carrots and apples to chew from an early age. Healthy and chewy!
- Most canine behaviour problems are caused by boredom, and frustration. Lack of quality exercise and no one to play with can easily be rectified.
- Providing you make it plain to your puppy that his toys are okay to chew, but your possessions are not things will usually work out fine. There's going to be the odd chewed slipper, but you can live with that.
- If you need to correct your puppy for chewing-do it by using the no command. Read about how on the teaching a puppy no page.
- When bad behaviour strikes you need to determine why. The first question you need to ask is: Why's my puppy behaving like this? And the second question is does she know that this behaviour is unacceptable? When you've worked out that conundrum you can then correct, or re-direct the problem behaviour.
- Some puppies and adult dogs behave in a very destructive way. Usually this is when the owner is absent. This page on canine separation anxiety discusses the problem and its resolution.
If your puppy still persists in chewing items that you don't want him to, such as electrical cables, chair legs, etc, and your sure that he understands that it's unacceptable-do the following:
Many vets stock a non-toxic spray that is bitter tasting. If not try bitter apple available at grocers. You can either pre-spray the item[s] if he keeps returning to the same things. Or better still; spray them when you catch him in the act. As soon as he backs away from the item, offer him his toy-an acceptable item to chew.
Teaching a puppy not to chew is just one segment of our puppy-training guide.....
So why not find out All About teaching a dog to stop barking.