Puppies chew. It is a known issue. However, you can manage and direct this phase of your puppies life so that they learn what they can and cannot chew and make it through the puppy teething phase without destroying your home.
During the teething phase puppies have a strong innate need to chew. It helps to promote the teething process and relieves sore gums. Your job at this point is to direct them to appropriate chew toys.
Here are a few simple tips:
- Keep clothing, shoes, books, trash and other valuable objects out of reach.
- Give your puppy toys that are clearly distinguishable from forbidden objects. In other words, no rubber shoes and feet like you see in the pet store. These type of toys only confuse your puppy and continue to send the signal that it’s okay to chew on those items.
- Associate food with the toy. Kongs can be filled with their kibble, further reinforcing thedifference between what they can chew and what they can’t.
- Keep your puppy with you at all times, on a leash if neccesary so that you can immediately correct unwanted behavior. If you’re not able to watch him, place him in a safe confined area with food and water or in a crate. (Be sure you’re only using the crate in this manner for short periods of time.)
- Exercise your puppy frequently. A tired dog is a good dog. Sometimes chewing begins out of boredom or anxiety. Give your puppy adequate exercise and new experiences and they’ll likely go to sleep when they get home with no time or thought to chewing.
- Use a taste deterrent when necessary, such as “Bitter Apple.”
- For teething puppies, freeze a wet washcloth and offer to him as a teething tool.
Puppy chewing can be a challenge but these tips, coupled with a good puppy training class will ensure that you’re on your way to breaking bad habits and instilling good ones.