The Taming of the Chew: Helping to stop a pup from chewing everything!
Have you ever come home after a long day at work to find your favorite book, TV remote, records or furniture shred to pieces by no other than your beloved canine? No matter how much they pull puppy eyes at you, it’s hard to not be a bit angry at the fact they’ve chewed some of your prized possessions.
Naughty gnawing is common and almost encouraged in puppies, but it can also be a symptom of other things in adult dogs, too. If your pup is tearing your house apart, and you don’t know what to do, then read on to find out more on the taming of the chew!
Why do dogs chew?
It's perfectly natural for puppies to chew things. Just like babies, puppies chew things when they are teething, and as a way to explore the world. Because it’s a natural, normal, and important step of their life journey, you can’t - and shouldn’t - stop puppies from chewing completely. However, refocusing their teething traits can be done!
Understanding why adult dogs chew things is a little different. You might find your pup has held onto a bad habit or picked up a new one. If you have recently adopted a dog, they may be a chew-er and you want to figure out why.
Some reasons why your dog might be chewing include:
- Emotional issues such as stress or distress
- For attention
- Extra energy that they need to exert
- Simply because they love to chew!
These are some of the causes that you might want to be aware of if your dog won’t stop chewing. By knowing the cause, you can better find the solution.
How to get your dog to stop chewing everything
If your dog just can’t seem to keep their teeth off your stuff, we have some solutions for you to try.
Keep them exercised
Exercise is the elixir for so many things, (you’ve probably been told the same for yourself!) stopping excessive chewing is one of them.
Each breed, size and age have their own exercise needs. It’s good to know just how much exercise your dog requires and try to fulfil that daily. Exercise keeps them healthy and helps to tire them out, so they’re less likely to use that bored or excessive energy on that nice pair of shoes you just bought.
Make their life fun!
Just as we wouldn’t be happy being left with nothing but an uninteresting, worn-out book to read, your dog won’t be satisfied with the canine equivalent!
Make sure they have a good selection of toys to bounce between. This includes ones that they have free rein to have a good chew on (for puppies, at least, this should be encouraged) and something that will keep them occupied and stimulated!
PupPod is a great toy within itself but can be effective in a toolbelt of toys. This ensures your dog is having as much fun as possible, remaining agitation and boredom-free, and exerting their energy in different ways.
Teach them tricks
American Kennel Club recommends teaching tricks to your dog as a way to give it a better outlet than chewing. Tricks are fantastic for keeping your pup focused and can tire them out mentally. This way, they won’t be trying to find stimulation elsewhere (i.e. your couch cushions).
Interrupt and distract
A good tactic if you’re wondering how to get a dog to stop chewing things is to interrupt them whilst they’re committing the crime. Once you’ve got their attention, divert it to something else. Maybe you can run around with them in the backyard or play ball with them. Just make sure when you interrupt it’s more strategic than aggressive – and then give them lots of praise during distraction to know that this is the better option.
Clear the space
Pup proof your house! You’ll want to do this if you’re leaving and, if you have a particularly chew-happy puppy, it’s probably best to do even when you’re in. This involves taking anything chewable from the floor or reachable surfaces that doesn’t need to be there. Even if it might seem like your dog won’t be able to reach it, take some time to think again about just how eager a determined dog can be!
Puppies do, however, benefit from having something to gnaw on... so make sure you leave an appropriate toy for them to do so.
Know when to praise
We spoke in the last point about leaving your pup something to chew on that’s okay to do so. We, as humans, are aware of these differentiations and your dog needs to be, too.
Incorporate praise the right way so your dog knows what it should and shouldn’t be doing. If your dog is chewing on something it shouldn’t be, don’t get angry but give it some love when it stops. Make sure the dog knows it’s because it has stopped and that you’re not praising it for chewing!
Give them a preferred chew toy and exaggerate the praise. You could do this so it becomes noticeable that there's no praise they’re chewing the wrong thing.
What not to do...
Above are some handy solutions to try out for a dog that won’t stop chewing. Now we’re looking at the things you shouldn’t do as part of your efforts to prevent a dog from chewing.
🐶 Don’t give your dog old shoes to chew on – this teaches them that chewing your stuff is not off-limits.
🐶 Don’t give your dog chew toys that aren’t suitable or safe – this is almost a given, but do make sure any chew toys you do give your dog are suitable for that purpose, designed with safety in mind.
🐶 Don’t get angry at your pet – Puppies will chew and can’t be blamed for having this urge. Even if your dog is chewing way past infancy, try to be patient and always loving!
🐶 Don’t neglect their needs – If your dog is chewing on things a lot, it’s likely there’s another issue at hand, make sure they feel noticed, fulfilled and are getting the exercise they need.
This chew will pass!
Whether your pup is an adolescent or an adult, try not to get frustrated with its incessant chewing. Through some of the above measures, you can help your dog exert its built-up energy and divert the chewing to something more appropriate than your stuff. Through some effort and time, your dog should give up the chewing.
PupPod is an effective electronic toy to keep dogs stimulated – fulfilling them and keeping them out of trouble! The Rocker’s design makes it almost impossible for pups to get their teeth around and the puzzle game can help establish good habits. If you’re tired of telling your dog off, leave it with a PupPod and say goodbye to endless nagging!
Want a PupPod to help combat canine chewing? Buy now, here.