One of the biggest complaints a lot of dog owners have is that their pet chews up items in their house. So, let’s talk a bit about training a dog to stop chewing. Since chewing is a natural thing for dogs to do it can be hard to stop. Each dog is different in what they like to chew on. For example, some dogs chew one specific thing like shoes and others will chew anything they can get their mouth on. This sounds like our girl Brandi! She’s still just a pup, but she’s managed to chew about everything – including baseboards and door facings EEK! No matter what your dog is chewing up, it is important to put an end to it as quickly as possible.
The first thing to understand about training a dog to stop chewing is that chewing just comes naturally to them. So, you have to provide something for them to chew on. Each breed has a different need for chewing and you have to make sure to have dog chews or chew toys your dog likes available for him as much as possible. You also need to make sure to get only chew toys which are designed for the size of dog you have. If you don’t, it can become a choking hazard!
Training Your Dog
Once you’ve got your dog some toys which he is supposed to chew on, it’s time to start the process of training him to only chew these toys. One thing that many dog owners don’t realize is that dogs will chew when they are bored and full of energy. With this in mind, the single most effective thing any dog owner can do to eliminate unwanted chewing is to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. You have to let them burn that energy off somewhere. At our house, we go for playtimes and exercise runs twice a day. The pups run, chase, and wrestle until their tongues are hanging out 🙂
Don’t get me wrong! Exercise will NOT stop all the chewing! However, expending that energy goes a long way in helping the problem! It is still important to teach your dog that chewing on things other than chew toys is not acceptable. The main thing in stopping this behavior is you have to catch them in the act! Dogs are unable to associate discipline with what they did unless it happens immediately. So, if you are met with a chewed up shoe when you get home from work, don’t discipline the dog!!! By then, it’s too late. They don’t understand why you are upset at them.
Show Your Dog What is Allowed to be Chewed on!
When you see your dog chewing on something he is not supposed to, it is important to act immediately and consistently. When you see your dog chewing a shoe, immediately discipline your dog. There are a lot of effective discipline options you can use including stern words, physical touch (NOT hitting, just a firm touch). Then, take the shoe away and give him a chew toy he is allowed to chew on. For puppies that are teething, always provide chew toys they are allowed to chew on.
If you’re gonna be there to watch over your dog, it is important to put the shoe or item back in a place where he can get it. You have to give your dog the opportunity to chew the item again, so you can repeat the discipline process. Repetition is VERY important for any type of dog training.
If you can’t be there to watch them, you have to remove the item and only leave the allowed chew toys for them. This means that if you’re gonna be out of the house for a while, or sleeping, or just in another room, you need to make sure your dog doesn’t have access to anything they’re not supposed to chew. The easiest way to do this is to have your dog crate trained so you can lock him up while your away. Dogs love their crates once they are trained and it is an essential tool for properly training your dog.