How can I protect my favorite slippers
from my puppy's sharp teeth?
Chewing is a normal
dog behavior, but it needn't be a destructive one.
Armed with a little knowledge and foresight, you
can easily prevent damage.
All puppies chew. It
is your job to provide the dog with appropriate
chew toys. Hard Nylabones, Kong toys and rope toys
are all safe, quality toys. Your job is to make
sure that your dog knows what is appropiate for
him to chew. Be clear with your dog by playing regularly
with him and an appropriate toy. Praise when you
see your dog chewing on an appropriate chew toy
and re-place anything inappropriate with a fun and
acceptable chew toy. Don't give your dog toys that
resemble household items. If your child loves stuffed
animals, no plush toys for your dog. If you have
oriental rugs, don't give the dog rope toys with
long tassels. Your dog can't decipher the difference
and it's not fair to punish for what she can't understand.
Dogs need practice
being successful. When you can't supervise your
dog, confine her. Crate your dog when you are away
and provide her with one or two chew toys to keep
her occupied. If you are home and want to leave
the dog loose but are not able to watch the dog
closely don't just let her wander. Tie a 4-foot
leash to a nearby furniture leg or around your waist,
give the dog a mat, a couple of chew toys and let
the dog enjoy her time with you without getting
into trouble. Supervise, supervise, supervise. If
the dog doesn't get in the habit of chewing the
dining room table, you won't have to expend energy
teaching her not to chew your valuables.
Dogs like to chew things
that smell like their owners. Shoes, baseball caps
and sweaty socks remind your dog of you. Pick up
after yourself and don't leave items where Fido
can reach them
Exercise your dog.
All dogs need daily exercise; otherwise all that
pent up energy will have to come out somehow, oftentimes
through chewing. Daily walks are nice, but don't
suffice for most active dogs. Be honest with yourself.
Is your dog getting at least 20 minutes of vigorous
exercise every day? If not, start running, fetching,
swimming or biking with your dog to help her expend
all that energy!
from 3-5 months and again at 12 months, tend to
chew due to mouth pain from teething. To help relieve
discomfort, freeze a kong stuffed with peanut butter.
Let your dog chew on it for 30 minutes at a time
to numb the mouth.
If you catch your
dog chewing something, don't make a big deal of
it. Calmly remove the item and engage them with
something appropriate. If they have chosen furniture
or a rug, spritz the area with bitter apple and
don't let the dog in the room without supervision.
If you would like to
work with a Wisconsin Humane Society behaviorist
one-on-one regarding this behavior topic, please
call 414-431-6173 to schedule a consultation.