Chewing is a natural behavior for your dog, but coming home to find your couch strewn throughout your living room is not desirable for anyone, you or your dog. Dogs need to chew when they are young, as a way to relieve the pain of teething, and older dogs chew to loosen debris from their teeth and keep their jaws and teeth strong and healthy. Therefore, you do not want to teach your dog not to chew, just not to chew on your furniture!
Besides not wanting your furniture or other possessions damaged, chewing on furniture can be dangerous to your dog, as they can damage their teeth on hardwood or sharp corners, ingest furniture polish, loose bits of furniture, or upholstery, or they can damage their mouth with slivers. Besides being expensive to replace damaged items, you could incur veterinary bills if your dog is injured or made sick by ingesting something non-digestible.
Because dogs need to chew, any method used to prevent them chewing on furniture should provide an alternative safe chewing opportunity. Providing a viable alternative to their furniture chewing habit is vital to success, and your dog's health and happiness. It is easier to train your dog from an early age to chew on appropriate items before they get into the habit of damaging your furniture, by providing appropriate chew toys and items. If your dog has started chewing furniture you will need to break that habit, as well as redirect them to appropriate chew items.
Leon started to chew the bed once he was 10 months old. He is chawing it only once we are with him and only before bed time. It's seems to me that clearly he want to catch our attention on him. We are trying to always provide him an alternative, natural chew toy. We are providing him both mental and physical stimulation. We are trying to block an access. Nothing is working for him. Is there any additional ways we can try to?
Hello Katarzyna, Continue to redirect him to his own toys after you catch him chewing inappropriate things, and provide him with mental and physical stimulation, but also purchase a spray called "Bitter Apple". It is a pet safe spray that most large pet stores carry, or you can purchase it online. It makes whatever you spray it on taste bad. If he is doing the chewing to get your attention, then making whatever he tends to chew on taste really bad will discourage him from chewing without you having to give him attention to stop him, when he stops chewing it for several minutes because he does not like the taste, then while he is being good, give him a stuffed Kong to chew instead. A few rare dogs actually like the taste instead of finding it awful. If that happens to be him, then you can also buy other flavors and see if those work, or make your own using vinegar, lemon juice, or hot pepper sauce. If you make your own, just be careful not to bleach your furniture with lemon, stain if with the red hot pepper, or use anything unsafe for your dog. A stuffed Kong is a rubber, hollow chew toy, called a Kong, that has been stuffed with food for your dog to work on getting out. There are several ways to stuff a Kong, but I recommend buying several Kongs, placing your dog's dry dog food into a bowl, covering it with water slightly, and letting it sit there until the food soaks up all of the water and becomes mushy. When the food is mushy, then stuff the food into the Kongs until it reaches the top of each one, but do not pack it too tight or it will not come out. After you have stuffed the Kongs, place them into Zip-Lock bags, and then into the freezer to freeze. Whenever your dog needs something else to chew on besides your items, when he is being good for at least a couple of minutes, then give him a Kong on his bed or in his crate while it is open, for him to chew. You can make the Kong's taste even better by mixing a little peanut butter or squeeze cheese into the dog food before you stuff them. If you do that, just read the ingredients for the peanut butter, and make sure that it does NOT contain Xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is popular right now, and it is extremely toxic to dogs, even more so than chocolate. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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