4 Tips to Manage Your Dog's Chewing Problem
Author: Vebo Pet Supplies Date Posted:26 August 2016
"You gotta trust me on this one. I didn't do it. The door just attacked me and I had no choice but to defend myself"
One of the biggest problems you will have to face when having a puppy (or any dog in general) is chewing. While some dogs chew more than others due to what life stage they are at, their temperment, the phsyical requirements of the breed, the truth is that it is perfectly normal behavior for every dog to chew on things. Because chewing keeps their jaws strong and their teeth clean. So here are a few tips to help you manage your dog's chewing behaviour.
(1) Accept that a bit of chewing is normal behaviour
It sounds a bit obvious but we have actually seen people who couldn't come to terms with this simple fact, You simply cannot train or ask a dog to never chew on things, it's againist the dog's natural instincts. So don't get overly emotional and start screaming at the dog, or force your dog to wear a muzzle. What you need to do is RE-DIRECT his need for chewing onto things such as treats and dog toys.
(2) Try to find the root cause
In many many cases, there are actually logical reasons behind excessive chewing and other unwanted behaviour (rather than your dog is pure evil). Try asking yourself questions such as, is your dog getting enough exercise (try googling the exercise requirement for that particular breed)? Is there anything or anyone causing your dog stress (e.g. neighbour's kids throwing things at him, stray cats harassing him, clicking noise from an old pool filter etc) Does your dog have separation anxiety issues? Sometimes chewing is just a side effect from such root problems. For example, you can try crate training using a dog crate to manage separate anxiety. You won't have much luck if you only tackle the chewing problem by itself, so you have to deal with the root problem first, which may actually fix the chewing problem at the same time.
(3) Find your dog suitable things to chew on
The keyword here is FIND. Every dog is different and attracted to different things, one toy that works brilliantly for one dog may not work on another dog at all, the only way to find out is via experiements, Don't expect a random rubber toy you pick up from the stores will automatically be your dog's new best friend. By trying difrerent things, you will find out what works and what doesn't. Generally speaking, toys that allows you to stuff treats inside (like the KONG classic range)work pretty well because dogs are universally attracted to food. But even toys with treats can vary in effectiveness, some might be too easy so he finishes the food in 2 seconds, some he might find too hard and he gives up out of frustration. The kind of food you stuff inside can make a difference too. Once you have found a few that works, rotate them so your dog does not get bored of it, and try build it into your daily routine (e.g. feeding your dog a morning snack using a rubber KONG every morning before you go to work) so your dog knows what to expect.
(4) Encourage chewing as part of your dog's diet
Make sure there are enough things as part of your dog's normal diet which exercises his gums and teeth. You can consider adding raw bones (remember, raw not cooked) to your dog's normal diet every week, and pick dry food that are not too small so he needs to chew it rather than just swallowing.