Destructive Dog Chewing

How to Stop Your Dog From Destructive Chewing


Destructive chewing is a relatively common problem in young dogs because puppies use their mouths as a means of exploring their world. While chewing is a normal behavior for puppies, it becomes undesirable behavior when it is aimed at inappropriate objects, such as furniture, shoes, socks, or your hands and feet. Follow these five steps to correct destructive chewing:

  1. Stay in control. Getting angry at your dog won't achieve the results you want. In fact, it can lead to further disturbances with your dog and move him to choose another unsuitable target to chew to calm down.
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  2. Correct your dog. Instead of grabbing the object away or removing your dog from the object, use a light touch correction on the hindquarters or neck to get your dog's attention away from the object.
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  3. Redirect the behavior. If your attempt at correction doesn’t result in your dog releasing the article, try something else, such as another toy or the scent of a treat. When he drops the object and chooses the appropriate one, give him lots of praise.
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  4. Stake your claim on the object. Use your body language and energy to convey to your dog that the object is yours. Bitter apple and other taste deterrents can help convince the determined chewer to leave the object alone.
    Find reliable chew toys. Dogs chew as a way to calm themselves, and teething puppies chew to relieve pain. Provide an object that they can safely chew, such as a bully stick.

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If your dog destroys objects while you are away from home, this could also be a symptom of separation anxiety. Teething is a painful process for puppies, who chew relentlessly during this time because it helps relieves some of their discomfort. Destructive chewing is most likely to occur during the teething process but if left uncorrected can become a long-standing predicament even after teething ends.
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