We all love puppies – they’re adorable little creatures! But there is one thing that lurks within them and can be hard to stop – the urge to chew on everything around your house and garden!
This would have to be one of the most common problems owning puppies that you can face and it can be very frustrating.
There are several things you can do to stop your puppy from chewing things. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Puppy-proof your home
Avoid anything valuable or sentimental being chewed by putting them away out of your pups reach. I have been into many a residence where all items are up on shelves, cabinets and tables just so puppy can’t destroy them! It’s not a perfect solution but it certainly does save sunglasses, shoes, cabling, rugs, cushions, kids toys and books to name a few.
2. React in the moment
Correct your puppy when you catch them in the act of chewing something you don’t want them to – don’t tell your dog off after the event as they won’t understand and puppy will become confused! Timing is everything. When you correct using your voice, you will find your dog responds quickly and realises the boundaries. Please no hitting or smacking your dog – this doesn’t work and can sometimes make your puppy retaliate towards you.
3. Redirect attention to something constructive
A good trick is to distract your pup from chewing. If you see your pup chewing on the corner of that brand new rug, squeeze a squeaky toy or shake the treat tin and distract them to instead be interested in that. You will find that if you are more exciting than what your pup is currently doing the distraction method will work. Remember to give your dog lots of praise when they do come to you to show them that stopping chewing is a positive thing.
Remember, your puppy is only chewing because of teething or boredom, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Your home and garden can be kept safe and sound if you follow these tips to help them to change their ways.
Nicola Anderson is a dog behaviourist and trainer. See www.thedogblog.com.au for more tips and to book a training session.