How to Train Your Small Dog to Not Chew on Wires

Medium
2-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Every dog loves to chew, it helps keep their teeth and gums healthy. But, when it comes to chewing on power cords, you have no choice but to put a stop to it. It's not that your pup is overly attracted to the cord because it is electrical in nature, more than that, most power cords are the perfect size for the average pup to gnaw on. While this might feel good to your pup at first, it certainly won't if he chews through to the bare wires.

Even if your pup doesn’t get electrocuted, it is still possible for you or one of your family to suffer this fate. In most cases, all you get is a nasty shock, but this type of shock can create a fire hazard and lead to more significant injuries up to and including death. You simply CANNOT let your pup chew on wires; doing so could kill him. 

Defining Tasks

The task at hand is to stop your pup from chewing on electrical cords; a task that might not be as easy as it seems. Chewing is a very natural behavior for dogs of all sizes and ages. When they are pups, it's because they are teething and then throughout adulthood, it's to help keep their teeth and gums healthy. So, what you are in essence trying to do, is to train your dog to go against one of his most natural behaviors.

Keep in mind that if you are going to take away something your pup has learned to chew on, you'd better have something on hand to redirect his chewing efforts to. Without a substitute, your pup is going to keep chewing on things he shouldn't. 

Getting Started

You can start training your pup not to chew on cords as soon as you notice he starts chewing on them. There aren't any age limits, lower or upper. Of course, it is easier to train your dog at a very early age. Not only will this save your cords, it could save your pup's life. You can train older dogs, but if your old guy has suddenly started chewing again, you might want to take him to see the vet. This could an indication of dental problems.

Today's supply list:

  • Treats
  • Chew Bones
  • Chew Toys 
  • Deterrent spray

Beyond this, any extra items are covered in the methods below. Please bring plenty of patience to the training sessions, your pup will appreciate it and be more apt to learn faster. 

The Shock Method

Effective
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Step
1
Create your weapon
Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of crushed ice and ice-cold water.
Step
2
I spy
Keep a very close eye on where your pup is and what he's up to. The idea is to catch him in the act.
Step
3
No way, baby!
The moment you see him start to chew, use a firm voice and tell him "No!"
Step
4
Redirect
Go over pick him up and move him far away from the cord. Give him a toy to chew on.
Step
5
Shot to the heart
Well, maybe not exactly, but if he continues to keep going back the cord, whip out the ice water spray and hit him with your best shot while at the same time saying "No!".
Step
6
On the firing line
Ready on the left? Ready on the right? You may have to keep hitting your pup with ice water for a few days, but once he gets tired of the ice water baths, he will finally figure it out and stick to his chew toys.
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The Ewww, Nasty Method

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Step
1
Pick your flavor
Take a trip to the nearest pet store and browse their selection of deterrent sprays. They come in a variety of flavors such sour apple, cinnamon, bitter lemon, and more. Be sure you test spray an inconspicuous part of your carpet to check for staining.
Step
2
Say hello
Spray a cloth with some of the deterrent spray and call over your dog. Toss the rag on the floor and let him get a good whiff of it. You never know, he might even be brave enough to give it a lick or two. Either way, the smell or taste should send him packing.
Step
3
Find the chew spots
Go over all exposed cords looking for chew marks. Coat the cords with the spray.
Step
4
Sit back and watch
Sit back and wait to see what your pup does the next time he walks up to his new favorite chew spot. If the smell doesn't make him back off in a hurry, wait 'till he tries to chew. You may find him hiding under the nearest bed.
Step
5
Not done yet
So, you think it's in the bag, right? Wrong! Your pup may simply find another piece of cord to chew on. You can reduce the risk of this by giving him a chew toy or bone to distract his attention. With repeated effort and due vigilance on your part, your pup will soon stop trying to get a free perm.
Recommend training method?

The Replacement Method

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Step
1
We're going shopping
Take your pup and head out to his favorite pet store. You need to pick up a few new chew toys and maybe a bone or two.
Step
2
Time to go into surveillance mode
Time to put on the camo and go into stealth mode. You need to watch your pup every moment you can. The idea is that you need to catch him in the act of trying to have a shocking experience.
Step
3
Aha! Caught you!
Grab a chew toy and the moment you see him starting to chew, give him a firm "No!"
Step
4
Redirect time
Now that you have his undivided attention, keep him distracted from the cord by giving him one of the new chew toys or bones.
Step
5
The rest is on you
The rest is all about rinse and repeat. Remember to praise your pup each time he chooses the toy or bone over the cord. Tip: swap out toys frequently to keep him from getting bored.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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