Solving Behavior Problems
Reasons for chewing:
Dogs chew because they are teething (most of their first year), cleaning their teeth, exercising their jaw muscles, and/or relieving tension and boredom.
· By far the best way to get your dog to not chew your stuff is to give him his own stuff to chew. It is essential that you provide your dog with proper chew toys for inside and outside. You must consider the breed, size, and age of the dog when selecting chew toys.
· Some breeds produce dogs that are very aggressive chewers. These types of dogs will appreciate a variety of different chew toys and ones that can withstand the stress of an aggressive chewer. I highly recommend Nylabone products, Kongs, and Choo Hooves. All of these are safe to leave with the unsupervised dog.
· Gumabones are just right for a pups first set of teeth, but once their permanent teeth begin to come in the Gumabone should be swapped out for a Nylabone. The dogs permanent teeth are just too strong for the Gumabone and your dog will be able to chew off large chunks of the Gumabone, which is not a good thing.
· Nylabones are too hard for puppy teeth.
· Cotton rope toys are fine for average chewers. Some dogs will use their front teeth to tear them apart though. And some dogs will use their back molars to grind away at the rope. Watch how your dog uses the rope chew to decide whether or not it is an appropriate chew toy or should be saved as a “play with you” toy.
· Kongs are virtually indestructible (as long as you have the correct size) and they provide great jaw exercise.
· Some dogs like to just carry things in their mouths and not necessarily chew on them. This is when one of the “woolly” toys can come in handy. Make sure the dog does not chew on this type of toy.
· In order to deter your dog from chewing on inappropriate items use Bitter Apple, Bitter Ends, Bitter Orange, or one of the other spray deterrents found at Petco. Some dogs actually like the taste of green apples therefore Bitter Apple would not be a good deterrent for them. You need to find one that your dog finds distasteful. You can give your dog a squirt in his mouth so he knows exactly what it tastes like. Then apply it to items that you’ve had problems with the dog chewing. It is best if you reapply every day until your dog gets the message that “if I put my mouth on that it’s going to taste like that awful stuff they sprayed in my mouth the other day”.
· While your dog is young it is also a good idea to put things away that will tempt the dog. As dogs age they tend to get less mouthy.
· If you catch your dog chewing on something, tell him NO and redirect him to positive behavior then reward him for the positive behavior.