When you come back home to find your dog chewing the book you are currently reading, or your most comfortable shoes, it is difficult not to get annoyed. But worse is finding your dog has been chewing the furniture, carpet or perhaps the walls.
For tips on how to stop your dog from chewing, visit Stop Puppy Chewing.
While some of these are extreme cases of dog chewing problems, you do hear about them quite frequently and however much you like your dog, the expense needed in putting it right is sufficient to try anyone’s patience…
The problem is, getting worked up with your dogs chewing does not seem to make any difference. Shout and they will look guilty and slink towards you, head down and tail between their legs. It definitely looks like they know they are in the dog house nevertheless it never appears to stop them doing it again. So why do they do it and how can you stop dog chewing?
Young Dog Chewing
The most obvious reason for chewing is teething in puppies. We can all plan for that by being observant and providing masses of indestructible chew toys (N.B. Unsure they actually exist because my pup has destroyed everything we’ve given him so far) Take note that it can take up until 2 years old for all adult teeth to come into place.
As dogs age and their teeth get bigger and jaws get stronger, they can start to do a load more damage to your house and to themselves with their ceaseless chewing and it becomes more important to understand what might be driving their urge to chew and what you can do about it.
There are 2 real reasons for dog chewing problems:
1. Your dog is chewing to get you to pay attention.
If they start chewing something where you can see them, and you react by speaking to them, chasing them or even getting cross, they are likely to carry on doing it because it got them your attention (and even a brilliant game of chase into the bargain).
My young dog used to get a shoe and plonk himself down in front of me before he started chewing, all the time trying to catch my eye, knowing I would jump up and take if off him. He had my attention, even if I was cross with him and he carried on doing it even more often till I spotted his game and modified my response.
Here is what I did that stopped this behavior within a few days:
Whenever he grabbed a shoe and brought it into the room, I would simply get up and without looking at him, or speaking to him, put him in his crate for 10 minutes where he could not see me or anyone else (you could utilize a separate room if you don’t have a crate).
This meant his behaviour did not get my interest, but also lost him access to me completely. His chewing problem disappeared very quickly, as dogs don’t seem to carry on doing things that do not benefit them.
2. Your dog’s chewing is created by dog anxiety
Chewing in dogs helps release a natural enzyme that has a relaxing effect on their systems. (If you’re a nail biter, you can understand this).
So if your dog only starts to chew when left alone, anxiety could be the trigger. Unfortunately, the anxiety can also extend to chewing paws or other areas of themselves and in the act can continuously get rid of the fur and even go through the skin occasionally.
In this situation the only possible way to stop dog chewing is to deal with the dog anxiety first, which is sadly more complicated than an attention getting problem.
A Chewing Dog May Be An Anxious Pack Leader
Recent dog training approaches suggest that dogs that presume they are leader of the pack will experience a lot of anxiety when you leave them on their own because they don’t know where you are and are unable to fulfill their role as leader to keep you safe.
This makes sense when you see how many dogs will do anything to get out when left alone, scratching, scraping and chewing at furniture, doors, windows, in fact anything that stands in their way.
How To Stop Dog Chewing
The solution is essentially quite straightforward: atake the job of pack leader away from the dog and their separation anxiety should vanish with their need to chew. But to do it you will need to find out how to show your dog you’re the pack leader and they can trust you and have zilch to be anxious about. (N.B.You do not need to be strong, or harsh to do that, in fact you can do this without using any domination strategies, punishment or force.)
If the dog anxiety is very acute then you made need to approa ch your vet and take their advice. There are medications and other products that might help while you go through a retraining process with your dog.
The Author has experienced both dog chewing and dog anxiety difficulties with her very own rescue dog and you can get a free report on dog anxiety symptoms from her site to assist you spot anxiety symptoms in your own dog.