As we all know, dogs love to chew on anything and everything! Chewing is their natural way to explore their environment. We want our dogs to explore and learn, therefore, it is our responsibility to be sure they are learning appropriate behaviors, such as chewing.
Here are some steps to avoid inappropriate chewing:
1. Understand why you dog chews
* It is natural for them to put things in their mouths to explore.
* Chewing helps with any pain they maybe having due to teething or other gum issues. Dogs go through a teething period at 4-6 months. During this time they will chew to help with discomfort.
* Dogs are busy…they need things to do, so they resort to chewing.
2. Puppy proof your house
* If you don’t want it in your dogs mouth, put it away or up high!
* Close doors to rooms such as bedrooms and bathrooms.
3. Encourage appropriate chewing
* Dogs must be taught right from wrong.
* Make sure you have many appropriate chew toys available. Appropriate toys include raw hides, very hard rubber toys, ropes, stuffed toys, and tennis balls. Even though these toys are available, there maybe times when your dog gets ahold of something it shouldn’t. If this happens, do not chase your dog, instead, offer your dog a treat or a toy (then snatch up the inappropriate item).
* Always take away the inappropriate item and replace it with an appropriate item.
* Be sure your dog is supervised, especially as a puppy.
4. Exercise your dog
* Exercise is the most important aspect of dog life.
* A tired dog tends to show more appropriate behaviors.
* Play with your dog or take it for walks.
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