If you’re trying to stop puppy chewing, you should first recognize that chewing is a very natural and expected behaviour in a puppy. They are going to chew on things, either because they are bored or because they are teething. It’s not a matter of actually stopping that chewing, but redirecting it. You need to generate enough things for your dog to do that they will not want to chew up your carpet, slippers, or couch cushions.
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Why to Stop Puppy Chewing
When a puppy is young, many people assume that they can let the dog continue chewing on whatever they want. It’s natural, right? Or they do the opposite and yell at their puppy, confusing it and causing other behaviour problems. In reality, your response should be somewhere in the middle, showing the dog that chewing on your things is not okay, but that there are plenty of alternatives.
How to Stop Puppy Chewing
When it comes time to stop your puppy’s chewing behaviours, there are a few things you can do. To start with, do not scold your dog openly or hit them for any reason. No matter how angry you get, make sure you don’t direct it at a puppy. Not only does it confuse them, they likely will never figure out what they did wrong. Instead, consider the following actions.
Behaviour Adjustment – Instead of simply trying to stop your puppy from chewing on your things, teach it to chew on the right things. When you catch your puppy chewing on a slipper, get the puppy’s toy, replace it and then praise the dog when it starts chewing on the new toy. This will teach your puppy that the new item is good and the old one is not.
Keep Your Puppy Busy – To stop puppy chewing, you need to keep them from getting too bored. Even when not teething, a puppy will chew to keep active. It’s like reading a book for them. Avoid this by getting them plenty of exercise and playing when you’re home. When you’re not home make sure there are stimulating toys that will keep them active.
Crate Training – If your puppy gets into your things when you’re not home, crate train them so they have limited access to the home. You can even keep your puppy in a single room while you’re away to limit their access, but the goal here should be the same.
Aversion Sprays – To stop puppy chewing of things like carpet or couch cushions, which they can actively destroy, use a safe, humane spray like Bitter Apple or Cayenne Pepper that does not taste good to them. They will quickly associate those items with a bad taste that will keep them from chewing there.
Chewing behaviors in a puppy are completely normal, but it should never be directed to your possessions or your fingers. If it is, you’ll need to start shifting it to something different.
If you really want to stop puppy chewing, make sure you are consistent in all of your actions. Don’t let your dog chew on a slipper or a sock if you want them to leave your clothing around. Don’t let them have a stuffed animal as a toy and then expect them to know which stuffed animals are not okay. As the owner, lay down strict rules and follow them. Your dog will learn quickly enough and the chewing will be far less of a problem.