Dog Behavior (Chewing)
One of the most annoying behaviors a puppy/dog has, is chewing.
Why is it annoying? More than likely because it places the “dog guardian” in a position of owning up to some of the responsibility.
Puppies/dogs do not know a good item from a not so good item.
The value or price of an object has no meaning to them.
Something within reach of their mouth is an acceptable “chew.”
Why do dogs chew?
Chewing or mouthing items is the only way your dog can acquaint itself with its world.
A dog has no hands, as a result it has only its nose and mouth with which to explore things.
We consider tail wagging as normal dog behavior.
Well, guess what? Chewing is, too.
If your dog is chewing up your household, the first lesson here, is for you, dear human, to "pick up" your stuff.
Do not leave "stuff" lying around as your dog does not know a $100 pair of shoes from the old sneaker you gave it to play with.
Rule "number one" do not give your puppy any old shoes to chew on, any old socks, a leather purse or whatever other personal item you may have.
Simply because your puppy or dog cannot tell a new item from an old one. If the item looks like something he was given to chew, he /she will chew it.
Toys and bones are the things puppies and dogs should chew and it is your job to provide "lots" of them.
Dogs do not chew things for spite or because they are mad at you.
Dogs and puppies chew because that is what dogs do.
There is no point in reprimanding your puppy/dog for chewing something, while you were gone, as they will never know why you are yelling.
There are many reasons dogs chew, besides the fact, that it is what they do.
New teeth, loneliness, boredom, anxiousness and fright will cause a dog to chew as a stress escape.
The first thing you should take into consideration is penning your dog up in a "chew safe" place until it can be trusted not to chew up your things.
Crating your dog, if you are going to be gone for a short period of time is a good idea.
However, if you are going to be gone for long periods of time, the kitchen or another room in the house is preferable.
Where ever you decide to pen up your dog, make certain he/she has plenty of toys to play with or chew on. Rawhide chews can be soaked in beef or chicken broth and allowed to dry. They make great flavored chews for your dog.
Dogs who are used to activity get very restless when left alone for long periods of time. If it is at all possible walk your dog or take it for a run before you leave. A tired dog won’t be so apt to chew things up.
If you see your pet starting to chew on a forbidden item, scold him/her, a sharp NO will work wonders and then give your dog a toy to chew on.
If you see your dog chewing on one of its toys, praise him/her. Dogs under three years of age need outlets for their energy and chewing helps release energy and stress.
It is important to ignore bad behavior as much as possible (yelling/scolding gives the dog the attention it wants) and praise the dog when it does something you approve of.
A dog that feels part of the family, that is talked to, praised and given sufficient playtime and exercise with its human, is less apt to end up chewing your house up.