How many times have you looked around your house, only to find your pup has been chewing on anything he can wrap his teeth around? If you have a teething puppy, this is not a good thing but it is quite common. But, if you have an older dog or one that has finished teething, it is not something you should have to put up with. Not only is it destructive, but it can end up harming your pup and could end up with him in the vet's office having chunks of whatever it is that he was chewing on surgically removed. There are several ways you can go about training your dog not to chew on things. The one thing you need to keep from doing is punishing your dog for doing what comes naturally.
The idea is to teach your pup to stop leaving teeth marks on everything in the house, ranging from shoes to the carpet, to the furniture, your kids' toys, and goodness only knows what else. However, the last thing you should do is yell at your pup when you catch him chewing and most certainly not after the fact. All this serves to do is make him more agitated rather than curing what is a bad habit. While you can teach your family to put their toys and anything else your pup likes to chew on away, you can't exactly put the furniture and carpets away. The rest of getting your pup to stop chewing on everything in sight comes with training, time, and patience.
The first stage of training your pup to stop chewing on everything is to try and figure out why he is doing it. In general, there are three reasons why your dog might be chewing. First, he is teething, second, he is bored, and third, he is anxious or stressed. While chewing is quite normal, even in older dogs, chewing on things and furniture around the house is never an acceptable type of behavior. You should have plenty of chew toys on hand for him as well as his favorite treats for when he gets things right.
I've given many toys to my dog to chew, and most oc them seem to not interest him. The only ones that interest him are ones that squeak, and those are usually very destroyable. The problem is, I even got him a Kong goodie bone toy (the extreme one) and he did not seem to be interested in it. I did put part of a meat flavored dental chew in there that fit in so tightly that I had to use my weight to push it in.
My idea is for him to chew in the middle where dogs usually chew, but he tends to leave the middle of the goodie bone untouched and chew on the opposite ends of the bone, where the treats are placed. He grew disinterested in it since he couldn't get it out, which is why he keeps and likes destroying other things.
I also tried switching toys here and then, and I have standard nylabones that are not flavored, but whrn I switch the goodie bone for the nylabone, he won't play with it.
In the car he has anxiety, but I know how to handle it. He keeps chewing up everything in the car (glad it wasn't my seat belt) and even with REAL branches for him to chew on in the car, he still grows disinterested even though he likes to chew branches almost ad if they were Kong toys filled with treats.
How do I get him to play with his toys? The only thing I know are plush toys that don't last, and those are his favorites. The ones that do last disinterest him quickly after 15 seconds to almost an hour, but still, this isn't great considering he still misbehaves even if we're homean and he does this mostly when he doesn't chew his toys.
Hello Kien, First of all, when you crate him put a Kong stuffed with dog food in the crate with him. Only having one option to chew and making that chew toy interesting with his dog food will help him learn to like that toy in general. Other good chew toys for hard chewers are deer and elk antlers, cow sterile white bones (which are hollow and can be filled with dog food that has been soaked in water and mixed with a bit of peanut butter (avoid Xylitol sweetener in peanut butter though - it's toxic to dogs!), cow hoofs, and flavored nylabones (not all dogs like these but many like the meat or peanut butter flavored ones). If he likes branches, then deer or elk antlers are good things to try. The key is to stuff hollow chew toys with his dog food and to give these to him when he is confined in a crate, exercise pen, or staying on his bed. Making that toy exciting and giving it to him when there are no other options to chew helps him form a habit of chewing those toys so that he will think to look for them when he does have other options. You can stuff a regular large Kong by placing dog food inside and putting a larger treat across half of the opening so that only a couple of pieces of food spill out at a time. You can also put his dog food in a bowl, cover it with water, let it sit out until the food turns to wet mush. Once it's mushy, mix a little peanut butter or liver paste into the food mush where, loosely stuff the Kong (don't pack it too tightly or the food won't come back out), then freeze the Kong overnight. You can make several of these at once for the week if you have multiple Kong's or hollow chew toys to stuff. Because these are frozen and filled with food, they should keep his interested for longer and also relieve any sore jaws that are developing right now. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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