Stop Your Dog from Chewing

Beagle Chewing On Bone

Both dogs and puppies enjoy chewing. They will chew on anything in their reach from table legs to shoes to clothing. Dogs use chewing as a means to reduce stress, eliminate boredom, relieve frustration, release energy, or ease loneliness. If you have a dog or puppy that is destroying your house and items, you need to learn how to put an end to the "chewing on anything" habit.

With any new puppy, it is essential to give that puppy safe items that are meant for chewing. Rawhide bones, marrowbones, Kong Balls, and other chew toys are necessities.  Even dog beds can be chew proof. Train the puppy from as early as possible that only these items are allowed to be chewed. When you notice the puppy chewing on an "off-limits" item, remove the item, firmly state NO, and then replace the item with one of the puppy's "safe" toys.

Obviously, you will need to leave the house from time to time and leave your pet unattended. This is a common period for puppies to engage in chewing activities. During this time, you should keep your puppy safely locked away in a kennel. The kennel must be large enough for the puppy to safely and easily turn around. By keeping the puppy away from items that can be damaged, you prevent costly damage down the road. Make sure you leave the puppy a toy or two in the kennel so that he or she becomes acquainted with that item during times of boredom.

All animals seem to have an innate sense as to when their owner will be coming home. From a young age, train your puppy to greet you at the door or entryway with a toy in its mouth. When the puppy brings you the toy, the puppy receives a special treat. This helps your puppy to realize that a reward is offered if he or she has found the toy and brings it to you. Not only does this offer an intriguing game of fetch, but it also provides your puppy with an activity to participate in before your arrival home. If the puppy's mind is occupied, there is less of a chance for the puppy to be chewing on forbidden objects.

Whenever you catch your puppy playing with or chewing on a "safe" toy, make sure you lavish the puppy with praise and offer a reward. The reward can be small, but make sure the puppy knows it has done the right thing. Kong Balls are excellent tools for training because you can hide treats inside the toy. It can take dogs hours to extract every treat if you stuff them in tight enough.

If you acquire your dog after puppy hood, training can be more difficult. Rely heavily on the reward system and make sure the dog has a variety of toys to chew on. In a worst-case scenario, you may need to keep your dog kenneled while you are out of the house.

If a puppy or dog stubbornly continues chewing on forbidden items, try spraying it or covering it in Tabasco sauce. Most dogs hate the flavor of Tabasco sauce and will avoid any item coated with it. The green sauce is hotter and doesn't dye some objects in the same manner that the red sauce does. You have to be careful with this trick, however. Some dogs grow to love the flavor!