How to Train Your Small Dog to Not Chew Carpet

Medium
1-2 Months
Behavior

Introduction

Remember how cute your pup was when you first brought him home? Keep that image firmly fixed in your mind the next time he starts chowing down on your carpets. Small dogs seem to be born to be destructive, especially with their teeth. Young pups chew as a way to explore the world around them, then they chew because they are teething, and finally they chew because they can, including as a way to strengthen their jaw muscles.

Bear in mind you may not be successful teaching a baby pup to stop chewing, but once he reaches the age of teething, there is no reason why you cannot teach him not to chew on the carpet. All it takes is plenty of time, patience, and willingness to stick to the training regimen until he learns to behave. 

Defining Tasks

The task here is pretty basic, your goal is to train your pup to chew on approved items such as bones, treats, and chew toys, while at the same time training him not to chew on things like your beautiful carpet. Bear in mind that chewing on things comes naturally to your pup, training him to modify this behavior is going to take some time and effort on both of your parts.

The one thing to keep in mind is that your small dog has some very sharp teeth and powerful jaw muscles. Since you will be diverting his need to chew away from your carpet to a series of toys, make sure the toys you buy are tough enough to stand up to your pup. 

Getting Started

Teaching your pup to chew on acceptable items rather than your carpet can be started at almost any age. It is far better if you can train your dog when he is still a puppy, but you can teach an older dog, it just might take a little longer. One thing to think about, if you have an older dog who suddenly starts to chew, you might want to take him to see his vet to make sure he does not have a serious dental problem.

Your supply list:

  • Treats
  • Chew Bones
  • Chew Toys
  • Deterrent spray

Along with these items, you need some quiet time to work on the training and plenty of patience while you are working with your pup.

The Cold Water Method

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Step
1
Fill a spray bottle
Fill a spray bottle with ice cold water and set it aside.
Step
2
Monitor your pup
Every time you are home, keep a very close eye on your pup.
Step
3
Caught in the act
When you see him start to chew on the carpet, firmly say "No!".
Step
4
Move your pup
Pick your dog up and move him away from the carpet.
Step
5
When he comes back
If your pup decides his need to chew outranks your need for nice carpets, break out the spray bottle. The next time he heads for the carpet, say "No!" and then give him a quick spray (avoid spraying his face). This should startle him and make him more willing to obey you.
Step
6
Rinse, repeat, over
Each time you catch your pup trying to chew on the carpet hit him with a jet of ice-cold water and say "No!" Keep this up and over the course of a few weeks, your pup will finally put 2 and 2 together and be ready to stop getting an ice-cold shower.
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The Bad Taste Method

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Step
1
Pick your poison
Okay, so it's not really a poison, avoidance sprays tend to be bitter apple or some other taste and smell your pup isn't going to like. These sprays are readily available at your local pet store, they don't stain and won't damage most carpets. Of course, you should always test the spray on an out-of-sight spot.
Step
2
Introduce your pup
Take a rag or small cloth and lightly spray it with the deterrent spray. Put it on the floor where your pup can smell and, if he is brave enough, taste it. He will soon associate the smell with something that tastes incredibly nasty.
Step
3
Watch and wait
The next step is determining where your pup likes to chew if it isn't already obvious. Then cover the area with a light coating of the spray. Next up, keep an eye on your pup the next time he saunters over to his favorite chew spot. If the smell doesn’t send him running, the first taste most assuredly will. All done, right? Wrong.
Step
4
Stay tuned
Continue keeping a close eye on your pup, you need to make sure he doesn't simply go off and find another spot on the carpet to resume his chewing habit. If he does, spray that area as well.
Step
5
You can't always chew what you want
Since the idea here is to redirect your pup's need to chew away from the carpet, you need to have something for him to chew on that he can enjoy. This means laying in a supply of chew toys and bones. As he learns that the carpet is nasty, he also learns that the toys you have provided for him taste so much better.
Recommend training method?

The Chew This Not That Method

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Step
1
Time to go shopping
Head out to your favorite pet store and pick up a nice selection of chew toys and bones.
Step
2
What your pup closely
Time to keep a close eye on your pup until you can catch him in the act.
Step
3
No means no
With one of the chew toys in your hand, tell your pup "No!" in a firm, no-nonsense voice.
Step
4
Now that you have his attention
Now that you have your pup's undivided attention, turn his attention to the toy you have in your hand.
Step
5
Over and again
Repeat this every time you see your pup start to chew on the carpet. Each time your pup takes the toy and chews on it, be sure to praise him and give him a treat. Keep swapping out the toys so he doesn't get bored and keep working at it until your pup decides chewing on his toys is a much better deal.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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