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What to Do About Dogs Chewing Destructively?

Dogs seem to either have a predisposition to destructive chewing or they do not. Some chew just because they enjoy chewing and others are not interested in it unless they have nothing else to do.

Yes, all chewing causes damage so that phrase may be unnecessary. The jaws of your dog are laden with teeth that can shred just about anything he chews on with a couple of minutes. Since they are so sharp by design, the phrase, chewing that causes damage was designed to be for chewing on things that are not allowed. This is more than likely your clothing or household furniture. This is instead of the bones and toys he is allowed to chew.

Three top reasons dogs chew:

For many dogs destructive chewing is something they naturally want to do. It is a favorite pastime, it is rewarding to the dog (for instance, if he is chewing a bone that is tasty).

For dogs that have too much energy and time on their paws (hands) this is a pastime that helps them to feel more comfortable. Just as people have comfort foods, dogs have destructive chewing.

What to do to stop destructive chewing

Dogs can be taught not to chew on your belongings. They understand the concept perfectly well – you have to take the time to teach them.

1. Make sure you are taking care of your things. The one thing you should do first is pick everything up that can cause a destructive chewing habit. Your dog may be a very well behaved dog but there is no sense in testing him – dogs are known for checking everything out with their mouths.

What to Do About Dogs Chewing Destructively?

Making sure there is nothing in your home to chew means anything and everything that could be construed as a chew toy should be picked up. Putting things up higher will work for smaller dogs but larger ones may be able to jump and reach the item.

Some of the items you have in your home that may be considered destructive chewing targets by your dog are clothes, shoes, glasses, reading material of all kinds, remotes, cellular phones and digital or other types of cameras.

Food is one thing you shouldn’t even have to think about putting away. Cookies or crackers should never be left where your dog can reach them – counter tops or coffee tables – this is inviting him to get them. Dogs are quite an acrobat when it comes to obtaining food. Food should be put into covered bowls or put in the food pantry. Never leave dishes that have not been rinsed by the sink.

2. Stop destructive chewing before it starts. The more often he gets something in his mouth that is not allowed, the more often he will go after the things he has managed to grab – shoes, pillows or even your furniture. If the rules are enforced from the beginning by confining your dog until he is certain of what he can and cannot do, this will make it much simpler for him to know what you allow.

3. Do not confuse your dog when it comes to his things (chewable) and your things (not chewable). Do not give your dog any old shoes or bath towels to play with. This is confusing to the dog. How does he know the difference between an old shoe and your new ones?

4. If you give him toys and rawhide bones to chew you will be providing something besides your belongings. If he has nothing of his own to chew, he cannot be blamed for finding something of yours. This is what dogs do and if he is less than 3 years old or even under 1 year old, he will need this even more. Hike on out to the store and buy some chew toys and give him several to play with at one time. By providing different toys every week or few days he will stay interested in them.

5. You need to spend time supervising your pet. While it may be easier to put him in his crate, the back yard or his run – this is not interesting for him or you. Had you wanted a pet that required no attention, you could have bought fish. This also prevents him from learning what he can and cannot do if all his time is spent in an area where he cannot harm things. The exploration of the home is needed so he can learn what you allow and what you do not.

6. When you do happen along and he is doing some destructive chewing, make a noise such as clapping or an Aaaaaat! noise. Then give him one of his toys and when he takes it let him know what a good boy he is. This is how you let him know that when he chews his toys you will praise him but when he chews your belongings, it is not good.

Keep a constructive view

Do not expect too much from your dog. Just as people are not perfect; neither are dogs. Expect at least one object that you like to be ruined by his inquisitiveness.

When you first bring him home, he will be new to the whole deal. It may take some time before you can totally trust him (and this may not mean you can trust him if he is left to his own devices too long). Give him enough time to learn what you expect and interactive time with you will help him to learn and remember to keep your things out of reach while he is learning what is allowed for chewing.