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Submitted by: Will Cline
Chewing with puppies is a very, very, very, large problem and every pet owner has to experience it. Luckily there are some very effective tips you can implement into your puppy’s life that will make this problem easy to handle. I have used different strategies in the past to try and stop my own puppy’s chewing but none have worked as quickly or easily as redirecting. It’s simply genius!
When you adopt a puppy, it is your responsibility to teach him what is right and wrong in respects to biting and chewing. It is common sense to you not to chew thing, but it is completely natural puppy behavior to chew on anything in sight, including your body in some cases. This does not mean your puppy is aggressive or mean, in fact chewing is no more unusual to a puppy than eating or sleeping. puppies chew or “teethe” for many reason like being bored, lonely, anxious, or they could be just doing it just for fun.
As much as you might yell or scream at your dog to make him stop, he will inevitably chew things. your job, as the pet owner, is to redirect his chewing to something meant for chewing like a toy or a stick.
The way to redirect is to just replace whatever your puppy may be chewing on (a shoe for example) with a toy. Just pull the undesired object from his mouth and replace a toy. If what he is chewing on doesn’t move, (a couch for example) just pull his head back from the couch and place a toy into his mouth. I assure you your puppy will be just as happy to chew a toy as anything else. To the puppy it’s not about what he chews, he just needs something to teethe on.
You can back up this method by giving your puppy a treat when you switch to the toy. This way he will relate chewing a toy with good things. Also if you ever happen upon your puppy chewing the right thing you can reward him
Note: One thing that could help your puppy chew the toy rather than the shoe, is to only have one toy and always redirect with that same one. If you have too many toys around your puppy could potentially get confused and think that because it is okay to chew all of these different things, than it must be okay to chew anything (shoe for example.) It is just a way of simplifying things.
In Summary: Redirect your puppy’s chewing because he is going to teethe regardless what you do. You just have to be there to make sure he teethes on the right things.
Until you teach him, your puppy doesn’t know that chewing is bad behavior. The way to teach him is with positive reinforcement and rewarding him with treats for his good behavior.
Never punish or scold your puppy for chewing the wrong thing. this doesn’t help in any way and is the quickest way to lose your puppies trust.
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