training -

Dos and Don'ts to Stop Chewing

Puppies explore the world with their mouths.

It is completely normal for puppies to mouth just about everything, including us. And unfortunately for us, a puppy’s baby teeth are very sharp and painful - like little needles.

It helps, though, if we understand that they don't mean to be hurtful.

It doesn’t help the physical pain of course, but it may allay some fears. Some of my clients quickly jump to conclusions and fear they may have an aggression problem. But most of the time it is just completely normal mouthing.

I know it can be frustrating when your new furry friend decides to target your shoes, furniture, or other household item as his or her chew toy. But by focusing on eliminating inappropriate chewing opportunities, being consistent, and providing appropriate dog toys, you can help your dog or puppy make better chewing options.

Do not leave your pup unsupervised. Much like you would with a human baby, always keep an eye on your puppy to protect him from his own curiosity and desire to put everything in his mouth and chew on it.

Do limit the puppy's area. If you have to leave your dog alone, it is best to keep him confined.  Whether for a long portion of the day or only a little while, use a dog crate. If your puppy is unable to be crated, section off a small room in your home using dog gates. The idea is to limit access to chewing targets. 

Do not confuse your puppy by giving her inappropriate objects to chew like an old shoe or socks. Your friend cannot be expected to distinguish the difference between and old loafer and a new custom-cobbled wingtip.

Do interrupt and divert. When you find your dog chewing on an inappropriate object, interrupt the chewing and divert his attention to an object that is appropriate for him to chew on. Praise your dog for chewing on the appropriate object.