How to Stop Your Dog From Chewing
How to Fix Chewing
Most dogs chew because they are bored. In order to fix the chewing, we have to fix the boredom. The dog should have his current exercise program increased by at least 30 minutes and make sure his toys are being rotated so he doesn’t get bored of the toys he has and start to chew on things he shouldn’t. Also, make sure to buy several different types of bones and chew items since some dogs prefer to chew on a squeaky toy while others prefer an antler. As a result it is important to find out what a dog really enjoys. Make sure that the dog also has access to several interactive toys such as food cubes and Kongs. Additionally, if a dog tends to chew a certain type of material when being destructive (Fabric? Plastic? Wood?) try to find a toy with similar texture.
Another great game to teach dogs that chew or show other types of behaviors due to boredom is the Find It game. Find It is when we teach the dogs to search for things we have hid for them. This game is both mentally and physically stimulating. Start with a treat, ball or other favorite item. Put the treat on the floor and say Find It as he eats the treat. Then place a treat behind a chair (with the dog still watching) and say Find It. When the dog does, praise him as he eats the treat. Place another treat around the corner of a wall and say “Find it.” Encourage the dog to find it and if he has trouble, point the treat out to him. Once the dog starts to get the hang of the game, you can take his bones, treats, or toys, spread them around a room and say “Find it.” The dog will spend energy trying to find their bone, which means less energy to chew on things he shouldn’t.
If, after all of this, the dog still chews, you can “booby trap” the items he chews on. To do this, place an item that the dog often chews (sock? piece of paper? shoe?) in an accessible place. Tie a piece of string from the item to an empty soda can with several coins in it. Then place the soda can on a shelf or other raised area. When the dog grabs the item to chew on it, the soda can will be pulled off the shelf, hit the ground, and make a startling sound. This should help to deter further chewing. It is important that the owner be in the house the first time the booby trap is set since we don’t want the dog to have unsupervised access to a long piece of string or rope that he could chew or swallow if the booby trap doesn’t work.
Colleen Demling, CPDT owns, www.pawtopia.com, one of the most successful dog training companies in San Diego. She has been featured numerous times on local and national TV and Radio.
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