How to Train Your Dog to Not Chew the Carpet

Medium
1-2 Months
Behavior

Introduction

So, that cute little puppy you picked up for the family has become a one hound wrecking machine. His new trick: chewing on the carpet. If you don't stop this destructive behavior in a hurry, your local carpet retailer is going to love you. Puppies chew as their way of exploring their world, young dogs chew to relieve the pain of teething, and older dogs will chew to help keep their teeth clean and jaw muscles tuned up.

Teaching your dog to not chew on the carpet can take a little while, depending on the root cause of the chewing behavior. For example, if he is bored, you need to find more time to play with him and tire him out. Some dogs simply need something they can chew on like a bone or chew toy. For the rest, there are methods you can use to train them not to chew on the carpets. 

Defining Tasks

The task at hand is to train your dog not to engage in destructive chewing, in this particular case on the carpet. Chewing is a natural behavior in every breed of dog. Your dog needs a good steady supply of chew toys he can gnaw on. In many instances, these will suffice and keep him from chewing on furniture, carpets, shoes, and any other item he should not be.

Since you will be redirecting your dog's chewing attention to something he can chew on, make sure any toys you buy for him are tough enough to stand up to your pup's teeth and jaw muscles. If your pup is chewing because he is teething, you can use baby gates or a crate to keep him out of the rooms with carpeting until he is done. 

Getting Started

Since we are talking about curbing or redirecting a natural behavior in your pup, you can start at any age as soon as you notice the behavior. If you have an older dog who has suddenly started chewing on the carpet, you should take him to see the vet to ensure there isn't a dental problem like a broken tooth or gum disease causing him to chew.

To get started, you'll need just a few supplies:

  • Treats
  • Chew Bones
  • Chew Toys
  • Deterrent spray

The rest of your supply list includes time and patience as you are going to need plenty of both to get your dog to stop chewing on the carpets in your home.

The Redirection Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Gather your supplies
For this training method, you need a few chew toys that are just the right size for your pup.
Step
2
Observe your pup
Keep a close eye on your pup so that you can catch him in the act of chewing on the carpet.
Step
3
Tell your pup "no"
Pick up a chew toy and tell your pup "No!" in a firm voice.
Step
4
When he looks up
When your pup stops and looks up at you, redirect his need to chew to the toy in your hand.
Step
5
Keep it up
Keep doing this every time you see your pup start to chew on your carpets. Be sure to praise him every time he takes the toy and chews on it instead. Rotate through the toys so he knows he can chew on them all. In time, your dog will choose his favorite.
Recommend training method?

The Deterrent Spray Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Spray bottle first
For this, you need a spray bottle filled with clean water.
Step
2
Watch your dog
Anytime you are at home, you need to be keeping a close eye on your dog.
Step
3
When he chews
Each time you catch him trying to chew on your carpets, say "No!" in a firm voice.
Step
4
Pick him up
After you say no go over and pick your pup up and move him away from the spot.
Step
5
Spray shock
Another option is to use the spray bottle on 'stream' and give your pup a quick squirt as you say "No" to startle him and get his attention.
Step
6
Rinse and repeat
Keep practicing every time you see your pup go to chew on the carpet. In time, he will get tired of being squirted, reprimanded, and moved. Of course, you need to make sure he has plenty of toys to chew on.
Recommend training method?

The Nasty Taste Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Choose your spray
Head out to your local pet store and pick up a spray bottle of pet deterrent. These sprays not only taste bad, but they also smell bad to your dog. Even better, they will not stain or damage most surfaces. Be sure to do a test on an inconspicuous area of the carpet first to be safe.
Step
2
Dog meet spray
Time for your pup to meet the spray in person. Take a cotton ball and spray it with the deterrent. Give it to your dog, this will help him associate the smell with the nasty taste.
Step
3
Observation is key
If your dog has a specific area he likes to chew, lightly spray that area with the deterrent and watch what happens the next time your pup heads over to his favorite chew spot. The smell should drive him away. Mission accomplished, right? Not quite.
Step
4
Keep watching
Stay tuned in to your pup's behavior. If he decides to find another place to chew, use the spray. However, you can't cover every inch of carpet.
Step
5
Something else to chew
This is where having a chew bone or chew toy to redirect your pup's chewing attention to will come in handy. However, he will learn that trying to chew on the carpet results in a nasty smell or taste. He will also learn that chewing on a bone or toy results in praise rather than trouble.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Tayla
Greyhound Mix
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tayla
Greyhound Mix
8 Years

My dog suffers from separation anxiety and becomes very destructive when I am gone. The safest place I have found to keep her while at work is my room but she has started chewing up the bottom of the door and is destroying the carpet in front of the door. I really do not know what to do about it.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Holly, Check out the video and articles that I have linked below. I suggest finding a qualified trainer who can help you implement the training. Also, make sure that it is actually separation anxiety. If destructiveness is the only symptom, then she has probably developed boredom chewing and is actually doing it for fun while no one is around to catch her (this if far more common than true separation anxiety). Crating and providing her with a durable chew toy is the answer in that case. Separation anxiety symptoms can include: Destructive chewing Pee and poop accidents despite being fully potty trained and left for short periods of time Shaking Drooling Trying to escape to the point of injuring themselves continuous whining or barking for hours Panting Panick Separation Anxiety article: https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2013/02/21/separation-anxiety-im-not-seeing-it-at-my-place Separation Anxiety video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Tayla's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Princess
chihuahua mix
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Princess
chihuahua mix
7 Months

She’s been chewing holes into the carpet and chewing cords.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Check out the article linked below: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Princess's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Nash
Cavapoo
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nash
Cavapoo
5 Months

My puppy was house broken. The last week he has been pooping in the house in the same 3 spots only (one upstairs bedroom, the entrance foyer, a spot in the basement). Tonight my boyfriend was on Xbox and I was in bed and our dog chewed/dug a Chunk of carpet out! I fixed the spot With spare carpet we have and brought him to bed with me but he jumped down and was playing with toys. I thought he was fine so I went back to bed. He went back and chewed up the same spot of carpet! Are these bad behaviors something that I should be very alarmed by? Do I need to go to my vet? I’m very concerned. Is there something I should do to stop this behavior? Thank you!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Juli, If pup can't seem to hold his bladder for at least an hour or the poop is diarrhea it may be worth a trip to your vet (I am not a vet). But what you are describing is pretty normal at this age - probably pup was doing well so you gave pup more freedom pup he is still too little to be ready for that much freedom. Around 5 months puppies jaws begin to develop and this stage actually marks a second destructive chewing phase - which can be even worse than the initial teething one. The potty training issues probably happened because you left pup unsupervised or he was too distracted to finish going potty while outside. You need to go back a few steps in training. It's time to crate train pup. Check out the article linked below and follow the crate Training method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Because pup is older and was doing really well for a while, you can adjust the times a bit. Try taking pup potty every 2-3 hours when you are home. After pup pees outside (pup should still be closely supervised outside to ensure that he stays focused and goes potty), then tell pup to "Go Potty" again and slowly walk pup around again, encouraging him to sniff and find a spot to poop. 5 months is also a very distracted age for a puppy so pup will need your extra help staying focused. When pup does go potty, give four treats or pieces of dog food, one treat at a time - to teach pup to go potty faster when you say Go Potty in the future. After pup comes back inside, give pup 1-1.5 hours of freedom outside the crate. After that time pup either needs to be tethered to you with a leash, taken outside again (probably won't go that soon though if he went before), or crated again, until time to take pup outside again around 3 hours since the last time he went. If pup didn't go potty when you took him - back into the crate for an hour, then take pup out again to try again - repeat this pattern until pup goes when you take him, then give freedom. When you aren't home, at this age pup should be able to stay in the crate for up to 5-6 hours maximum and hold it until you get home. You can only expect pup to hold it this long while in the crate at this point though - not while free in the rest of the house yet. Plus, pup isn't ready for that type of freedom at the beginning of another chewing phase - that can be very dangerous to leave pup unattended for that long. Crate Training and Tethering methods for potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Article on destructive chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ As a general rule, I typically advise crate training until pup is over a year old AND hasn't chewed anything they should in the past four months. When you do try things without a crate, leave pup for short amounts of time and see how he does, gradually leaving pup for longer and longer periods of time if he does well, and going back to crate training for another 3 months before trying again if pup doesn't do well. Careful confinement and supervision now not only keeps pup safe, but it also ensures pup learns good habits that will equal him having 10+ years of more freedom later. When you are too relaxed with training early on it can actually end up leading to a dog who has to be crated when left alone for life vs. a dog who was just crated for about a year then could be left home out of the crate for the rest of their life because they were trustworthy in the house. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Nash's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tibbers
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tibbers
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
9 Months

We always gush that our dog is the best dog--and he is, he potty trained himself at only 4 months!--his ONLY issue is carpet chewing. He does not chew any furniture or clothes--only carpet. My fiance is not a fan of keeping our dog in a crate while we are gone, so he stays in a playpen. A few months ago, we were gone for about 4 hours and came home to a hole in the carpet where his playpen is. So now there's a guard between the carpet and the bottom of the playpen. But since then, two holes have been created in the carpet of our bedroom (overnight, while we were sleeping), another small one in the living room (also while we were home and making dinner), and then just last night we were gone for only 2 hours and came home to see the dog had somehow gotten out of his playpen and chewed the deepest hole yet by the front door. I don't want to spray the bitter apple all over my carpet, but I also want to be able to trust him at some point to stay out of his playpen. These incidents and far apart from each other, both in the house and time-wise. Before yesterday, it's likely been over 2 months since the last hole. We're just at our wits end at this point.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katelyn, It mat not be what you want to hear but pups needs to be crate trained. The situation to are describing is one of the many reasons I thoroughly recommend crate training for most dogs - it does prevent destructive chewing issues, which is safer for pup, decreases the chances of a dog being re-homed later, and actually leads to a dog having more freedom later in life! Crate training isn't always a fun thing, but one year or crate training can mean 10+ years of freedom out of the crate because the dog learned good habits in the crate. There is certainly a correct way to crate train that makes it more pleasant for the dog. You can try giving pup a bed in the crate and just see how it goes (you may not be able to at first), but for this use something like www.primopads that isn't fabric and can be tethered down to the sides of the crate to prevent pup from pulling up a side to chew. ALSO, give pup a food stuffed durable hollow chew toy - like a Kong extreme - the black classic Kongs - the black rubber is more durable. If he has never been crated before he may protest. During the day, when pup gets quiet for even a couple seconds, go sprinkle a few treats into the crate, then leave again. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below for more details on this: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If he continues protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell him "Quiet" when he barks and cries. If he gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If he disobeys your command and keeps crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at his side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If he stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward his quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark A Pet Convincer is just a small canister of pressurized air. The sensation of the air and noise just serves as an interrupter to the barking. Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. I know crate training is probably not what you both want to hear but if you have tried everything else, it may be time to try the thing you are avoiding. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Tibbers's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Milo
French Bulldog
11 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
French Bulldog
11 Months

Hi my dog has chewed 3 carpets and I’m unsure for this reason, I have another french bulldog day go has never done anything like this before, milo doesn’t listen when we tell him no I put him in his crate every time he doesn’t listen or he chews but it doesn’t seem to be working.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. This is for certain an issue that needs fixing, as ingesting the carpet is bad for Milo's tummy. Is Milo chewing when you are at home or only when left alone? There could be several reasons: boredom, anxiety, teething, a need for more physical and mental exercise, and more. So, there are a few things you can try. If Milo chews when you are not at home, have him go in his crate. Make the crate a nice place to be (never use it as punishment). It could be that Milo feels anxious in the big house and needs his own small, quiet place to feel safe. Give him a Kong toy that you have frozen after you have filled it with softened kibble mixed with a little dog-safe peanut butter (no xylitol). This will keep him busy for a while! Also, purchase an interactive feeder where Milo can benefit from mental stimulation by working for snacks or a meal. Obedience training is another helpful tool. Taking Milo to classes will tire him out and also teach him to listen to you. This guide may also provide tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-chew-on-furniture Good luck!

Add a comment to Milo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Aura
Pit bull
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Aura
Pit bull
2 Years

Aura is a good girl but recently she has been tearing holes in the carpet of my bedroom. I have told her no when I catch her doing it but she has recently started doing it when I am gone. I don't have a crate for as I can't find one big enough for her. I'm worried I'll come home one day and there won't be any carpet left.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maria, I suggest purchasing a crate online to get the correct size. Check out the link below. The crate below is large enough for most giant breeds. You likely need something for large breeds - which would be smaller than this crate, but the website below is a good location to find crates of varying sizes. https://www.chewy.com/frisco-xx-large-heavy-duty-double/dp/125054?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=hg&utm_content=Frisco&utm_term=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwx7zzBRCcARIsABPRscN8X9RhAAu4v2hJ28a3cLVmnrZW493tC3-pwRHSfv0zharkbQu8i0kaApr5EALw_wcB She needs to be crated when you are gone to start with. I would also recommend setting up something to surprise her and catch her in the act if she is only doing the behavior while you are gone. A video camera with the ability to speak to her through it when you catch her; a video camera to spy on her and a remote controlled vibration or stimulation based collar to interrupt her when she begins doing it are a couple of options (have her wear the collar around for a couple of days while turned off so that she doesn't associate the collar with the training scenario but thinks that it's her digging that causes the sensation). You may already have what you need for a camera - you can use two smart devices, such as phones or tablets with something like skype, or video baby monitors or security cameras with pup's end on mute (until you want to unmute it to catch her). Set up the camera and devices and act like you are leaving, then after you drive a block away, walk back to your house and spy on pup from somewhere close enough to get good reception on all the devices but where she can't see or hear you outside - then wait to catch her. I suggest taking a snack, a book , and doing this on a day when you have plenty of time. She may be destroying things as soon as you leave or after a few hours when boredom sets in. You will need to practice this setup several times and catch her in the act several different times. Crate her the rest of the time when you aren't training so that you don't undo the training by letting her continue the behavior uninterrupted. Finally, give her a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy in the crate to help with boredom. When she is ready for freedom in your house again (test this out in short increments of time gradually after a few months of no - incidents with the carpet) - at that point, be sure to give her something to do while you are gone, such as an Automatic Treat dispensing device like AutoTrainer or Pet Tutor, or dog food stuffed chew toy, durable puzzle toys, or wobble toy that dispenses food. https://kongcompany.com/learn/stuff-a-kong If you freeze a stuffed Kong, be sure to place a straw through the Kong then stuff around the straw and remove the straw once the food is frozen and before giving to pup - this will leave a small hole through the kong that will prevent suction while pup is eating. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Aura's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Katara
Mutt
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Katara
Mutt
2 Years

Usually my dog doesn’t not have issues with chewing things she should not. But today while at work she destroyed the carpet. She has plenty of toys, chews and puzzle toys with food inside to keep her occupied. If she has a dog bed she will destroy it if I’m out but when I am she is fine and like I said has never tried to chew/destroy something that was not hers, other than the dog bed. I would like some tips or tricks for combating this since I live in a apartment and can’t afford to constantly be redoing the carpets. I have a crate for her but she has been out of the crate for several months with no issues. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Very cute! Everything that I would recommend you have already done (toys, chew toys, puzzles). The only other thing I would suggest is a diffuser with dog appeasing pheromones to calm Katara down and perhaps make her relax. But other than that, the remedy is the crate. Some dogs feel secure in a crate as it gives them a den-like atmosphere that is soothing - rather than the big rooms of an apartment. Get her used to the crate again and have her stay in there again for a while when you are at work until she matures a bit more. It doesn't have to be forever. Make sure she gets a long walk before you head off for work and another one when you get home. Take her on outings where she gets to socialize and have mental stimulation. Both of these things may calm her somewhat. The extra exercise needs to be consistent and often. She's bored and lonely while you are at work - you need to tire her out. Obedience training classes are another way to both mentally and physically tire her out. Good luck!

Add a comment to Katara's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Chance
terrier
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chance
terrier
7 Months

We have been struggling with my puppy for several weeks trying to get him to stop chewing up the carpet. We've used the pet deterrent, putting smaller rugs over it, and using the spray bottle. Chance is one of 4 dogs. All the dogs have plenty of chew toys and snacks to keep them entertained until someone can play with them. Unfortunately, we are only able to take the dogs out to the park twice a week. I am out of ideas on how to keep the little guy from literally eating my house!
Thanks for your time,

Nina Bailon

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, sorry for the delay in reply. Hopefully Chance will get the idea from the bigger dogs to not chew! You have tried basically what I would have suggested already. Can you rotate the toys that you give Chance to keep them interesting? Try separating him from the other dogs and give him a special long-term toy like a Kong stuffed with a bit of moistened kibble and then frozen. I suppest separating him to ensure that there is no quarreling between dogs over the Kong and so that Chance can really relax to enjoy the Kong and not feel pressure and anxiety to rush and finish, which may then carry over the carpet. Teach Chance the Leave It Method for when you see him chewing, taught here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite. It is typically a very effective command useful in many situations. Good luck!

Add a comment to Chance's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Zeke
German Shephard mix
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zeke
German Shephard mix
8 Years

My dog keeps chewing and ripping up the carpet we just moved into a new apartment in August. This happens every time we move no matter the location. We just moved out of my parents house who had a big backyard for him to run around in. I have been giving him as much attention as I can. I walk him 4-5 times a day and I try to take him to the dog park twice a week. I am gone for 10 hours a day and he has been doing so well. I just dont understand why he has been chewing and ripping on the carpet all of the sudden especially being 8 now.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, It may be due to boredom, or due to anxiety if it only happens when you move. I recommend either confining pup to a carpet free room with an automatic treat dispensing device to help with boredom, like Pet Tutor or AutoTrainer, or crating pup with a dog food stuffed chew toy, like a Kong. If the behavior is only linked to times when you are gone and new locations, once pup adjusts to the new home and the chewing habit if prevented from getting worse through better management, then you should be able to gradually give more freedom after the adjustment period. I would continue to provide the automatic treat dispensing device or dog food stuffed chew toy then as well, to help with boredom though. If you stuff a Kong and freeze it - which can help it last longer for entertainment, be sure to put a straw through it before stuffing and remove the straw after freezing, to prevent suction while pup is chewing on it. Check out the article linked below and commands like Leave It, if you catch pup nibbling on the carpet when you are home too. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Zeke's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Sakia
Siberian Husky
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Sakia
Siberian Husky
2 Months

My puppy is extremely picky with treats. I have tried homemade treats and 3different types of store bought treats... she has no interest. I have ordered another type to try, but in the meantime, I need an idea for a reward system to train her with other than treats.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Victoria, Many dogs respond better to toys and play than food. See if pup enjoys tug of war, and if so you can reward with tugs on a toy toy. If pup enjoys chasing things like a ball, you can also use tossing pup a ball or small floppy frisbee as a reward. You can also just pay attention to what pup wants throughout the day. Use the things pup wants, like getting to go outside, eating breakfast, being petted, being tossed a toy, to motivate pup to do things like Sit before you give them whatever they want, this works especially well once pup understands what a command like Sit already means, to practice that command and get better. This is called life rewards. Check out the trainer from the video linked below for an example of using play and toys to reward. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDnJ7dwnSwo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Sakia's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lola
cross
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lola
cross
12 Weeks

Have you any idea on breed and how to stop her chewing the carpet and also she lunges alot so if I put my hand down she lunges for it etc

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tracy, I suspect pup is a mix of a couple different breeds. From pup's appearance I would guess a terrier, such as a Jack Russel Terrier, Cairn Terrier, or Norfolk Terrier mixed with another small breed. You may want to consider a DNA test. For the chewing, check out the article I have linked below. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ For the lunging and biting, I recommend teaching the Leave It command. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Lola's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lola
terrier
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lola
terrier
12 Weeks

Hi any idea on breed and how to stop chewing the carpet and also she lunges alot if I put my hand down she lunges for it etc

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Dogs often learn to ignore the word no because we use it for everything. You can try teaching your dog leave it. Leave it is great for anything you want your dog to leave alone/not go after/not get into. Here are the steps for "leave it" Teaching a dog 'leave it' Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until he finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer him the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and he stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of his reach. Wait until he stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as he does, either say “yes” or click and then give him a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding him with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching him that asking him to leave some food doesn’t mean he won’t get anything, but that in fact he might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach him that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items he would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Keep it fun Even though you’re practicing “leave it” as a way to keep your dog safe, you want him to see it as a fun game you play. When your dog is proficient at the game in your home, start practicing in a variety of locations with more distractions.

Add a comment to Lola's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Milo
Goldendoodle
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
Goldendoodle
3 Months

Chewing

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

n a dog’s mind, if something is within reach then it’s on offer. Certain items are especially appealing: eyeglasses, books, cell phones, television remotes, pillows and upholstery. Plastic is wonderfully chewy and when it is imbibed with our smell because we hold onto these things constantly, it can be irresistible. Nothing is off limits to puppies. They have a mouthful of shiny new teeth, and they need appropriate puppy toys to use them on. By around 6 months of age, they have their adult teeth and the need to chew abates, but boredom can give them a reason to take up the habit again. Puppies, just like human toddlers, need a completely puppy-proof area, either a dog crate or pet gated room. If your puppy grabs a forbidden item while you are watching him, quickly distract him with a sharp “Eh eh!” and when he drops it, redirect cheerfully with a toy that he is allowed to have. Teaching tricks is a good way to give your pup appropriate outlets. A good one to start with is “Leave it.” Insufficient exercise and mental stimulation can drive your adult dog to find destructive forms of entertainment, so it’s up to you to meet his needs. If ugly winter weather keeps you inside, play indoor dog games with him. Fetch, hide and seek, and tug-of-war (played correctly) are great fun and exercise for both of you. There are many entertaining dog puzzles on the market, too, and you can even make your own. Just remember that many of these are meant to be enjoyed with you and not left alone with your dog. The only 100% effective way to save your possessions from destruction is to keep them out of your dog’s reach. If eviscerating upholstered furniture is a hobby, your dog must be kept in a crate or a gated dog-proof room when unsupervised. Stuff hollow rubber toys with treats or moistened kibble and give them to your dog when you are away, so he will have something acceptable to do in your absence. What about all those wonderful toys that your dog has? If they are lying around all the time, they aren’t special. Rotate them, only having two or three, at most, available at a time. Keep favorites out of her reach, only to be used when playing with you. This is what keeps it special; time with you is the magic ingredient.

Add a comment to Milo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Biscuit
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Biscuit
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
7 Months

Biscuit chews through rugs or books, when we're out or at night when we're asleep

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

In a dog’s mind, if something is within reach then it’s on offer. Certain items are especially appealing: eyeglasses, books, cell phones, television remotes, pillows and upholstery. Plastic is wonderfully chewy and when it is imbibed with our smell because we hold onto these things constantly, it can be irresistible. Nothing is off limits to puppies. They have a mouthful of shiny new teeth, and they need appropriate puppy toys to use them on. By around 6 months of age, they have their adult teeth and the need to chew abates, but boredom can give them a reason to take up the habit again. Puppies, just like human toddlers, need a completely puppy-proof area, either a dog crate or pet gated room. If your puppy grabs a forbidden item while you are watching him, quickly distract him with a sharp “Eh eh!” and when he drops it, redirect cheerfully with a toy that he is allowed to have. Teaching tricks is a good way to give your pup appropriate outlets. A good one to start with is “Leave it.” Insufficient exercise and mental stimulation can drive your adult dog to find destructive forms of entertainment, so it’s up to you to meet his needs. If ugly winter weather keeps you inside, play indoor dog games with him. Fetch, hide and seek, and tug-of-war (played correctly) are great fun and exercise for both of you. There are many entertaining dog puzzles on the market, too, and you can even make your own. Just remember that many of these are meant to be enjoyed with you and not left alone with your dog. The only 100% effective way to save your possessions from destruction is to keep them out of your dog’s reach. If eviscerating upholstered furniture is a hobby, your dog must be kept in a crate or a gated dog-proof room when unsupervised. Stuff hollow rubber toys with treats or moistened kibble and give them to your dog when you are away, so he will have something acceptable to do in your absence. What about all those wonderful toys that your dog has? If they are lying around all the time, they aren’t special. Rotate them, only having two or three, at most, available at a time. Keep favorites out of her reach, only to be used when playing with you. This is what keeps it special; time with you is the magic ingredient.

Add a comment to Biscuit's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd