Save your belongings from sharp teeth!
Why do Dogs Chew in the First Place?
The secret recipe for having dogs that do not chew and respect your furniture or other personal belongings relies on resorting to the human virtues of patience, consistency and firmness. Lack one of these fundamental qualities and you will have put yourself and your dog up for failure. One important factor that often dog owners refrain from keeping into consideration when dealing with a chewer dog, is understanding why the dog chews in the first place. Knowledge is ultimately power and only by being a savvy owner you will be capable of dealing with this and the many other issues that will await you during your dog owner role.
Puppies just as children go through distinctive stages where chewing is of primary importance. This often coincides with the times when puppies are found stealing the owner's slippers for a comforting object to bite or when puppies start basically destructively chewing on anything in sight. This includes and is not limited to, furniture, blankets, curtains, toys and so forth.
While teething and chewing go hand in hand, something that many dog owners are not aware of is that the chewing will eventually continue even once the permanent teeth set in. Indeed, these new permanent set of teeth will require some hard chewing in order to set in well inside the dog's jaw. Refrain from having your dog endure in some healthy chewing, and your dog may poor dental health in the future.
Even once the permanent teeth have happily set dogs will need to chew from time to time. Chewing is comforting to a dog, indeed many times dogs chew to relieve stress or frustration. In separation anxiety for instance, where dogs become anxious when their owner's leave for the work day, dogs may resort to chewing anything they can in order to feel better.
How to Stop Dogs From Chewing
So how to deal with a dog with a chewing problem? Does this mean owners have to surrender to ruined furniture and ripped off couches? Or leaving their dog out all day, crated when owners are away or worse surrender him as a last resort to a shelter? Fortunately there are various strategies that may help dog owners keep their dog and their furniture all in one piece.
- One of them is redirection. Owners must show their dog their options and aid their dog in making a valuable choice. For instance, an owner catches a dog chewing on wood piece of furniture. The owner must therefore intervene swiftly and interrupt the dog's chewing and offer a chew toy. The dog therefore learns that he must not chew certain items while he is welcomed to chew others made just for him.
- Is there a certain item your dog seems to chew over and over again? If this is the case, a special product known as ''Bitter Apple Spray''may come to the rescue. This product is characterized by a bitter taste that most dogs find repulsive. All it takes is to spray the object chewed with a good amount of this product and more often than not the dog will stop the habit after a couple of attempts. The best part if that you don't need to be there; the pup learns on his own.
- A play pen may come in handy for dogs that cannot be supervised for some brief periods. Many dogs are smart enough to understand that chewing that slipper is unacceptable ONLY when the owner is around. Indeed, if the dog gets to chew on that slipper when the owner is away he would have learned a valuable lesson: that chewing is acceptable every time you turn your back. How to solve this? There are two ways: either you hide yourself from your dog but still keeping an eye on him so he learns that you are still able to monitor him when he thinks he is not being watched or you simply crate him with a nice chew toy when you will be absent.
Please remember that dogs in the wild were used to chew on many items: sticks, bones, and tough pieces of meat. Now domesticated, the need to chew remains, indeed a dog's teeth are built in such a manner that chewing is basically part of a dog's life. Respect a dog's need to chew and keep it under control by giving your dog much welcomed chew toys are bones that are considered safe to chew.
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Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on February 14, 2010:
I had a baby chow that loved to chew, one day I came home from work and all my shoes were destroied, I was so upset, she never chewed any of my stuff again. I followed most of your advise in this article. Thank you my wise friend
Rishad I Habib from Toronto, Canada on February 12, 2010:
Very Informative hub..after reading ur hub I think i should get a dog too :)