Biting, gnawing, and chewing are all a part of a dog’s natural behavior. Trying to change that behavior will turn likely into a frustrating power struggle between you and your dog. Learn how to stop a dog from chewing to save you money and a whole lot of disappointment.
Tips on How to Stop a Dog from Chewing that Work!
- Redirect. Instead of trying to do away with the instinctual behavior, focus on redirecting it to appropriate objects. When dogs are able to chew appropriate objects, it keeps them mentally stimulated, and helps keep their teeth clean and strong.
- Stay calm. If you come home and find that your dog has chewed up your favorite pair of shoes or altered the look of your furniture, stay calm. Avoid yelling at your dog. The angry reaction will not be understood by your dog as a response to the undesired chewing.
- Don’t Confuse Your Dog. The only way your dog will understand an angry reaction is if you catch him as he chews a forbidden object. Reacting angrily in the aftermath will be confusing and upsetting to your dog, and will make them feel more nervous, possibly prompting more chewing.
- Caught in the act. If you do happen to catch your dog chewing, use the opportunity to correct the behavior. Be calm and touch your dog gently to redirect its focus.
- Stop Yourself! Do not tug at the object to get it out of your dog’s mouth. This action will be interpreted as play. Instead, give your dog an appropriate object, such as a chew toy, as a means to distract him.
- Stop dog chewing spray. If all you’ve tried fails, try spray to stop dogs chewing everything. All you need is a spray bottle and water. It can be effective, but use caution when spraying your dog so not to get the water in the dog’s eyes. You don’t want to be cruel, after all.
- When your dog stops the undesirable chewing. When your dog has dropped the forbidden object, claim it as your own. Show your dog it’s connected to you by using body language.
- Own it! Try to show a calm, but assertive energy toward the object by holding it close to your body or putting yourself close to it. Let your dog know it’s your object.
Your Dog’s Destructive Behavior Can Be Dangerous
The problem with chewing isn’t limited to damaging your items – undesirable chewing can also be a danger to your dog.
They may accidentally break an object into small pieces. If dogs swallow a foreign object or chew through electrical wires, it can be FATAL!
Why Does My Dog Chew Everything?
So, why does your dog chew so much? It’s a habit adult dogs use to soothe themselves, as it keeps them mentally engaged. The habit was likely formed as a puppy during teething, as chewing helps lessen gum pain while new teeth come in.
It’s important to help your dog be able to soothe themselves, but your furniture doesn’t have to be destroyed! Give your dog objects that are appropriate for chewing and redirect their attention.
Invest in safe chew toys and edible objects. Your vet will be able to suggest appropriate bones, rawhides, and other edible chews for your dog.
Be sure that any rubber and plastic toys you give your dog are not too small and able to be swallowed. Also, when you buy toys in which to hide dog treats, look for holes on both sides to facilitate air flow.
Humans have 32 teeth, but dogs teeth are 42 in all, and they’re much sharper and more powerful! Chewing is an important soothing mechanism for dogs, so do your best to provide appropriate objects.