How to Handle Destructive Chewing

Destructive chewing can be a serious problem. Not only can it create a financial burden to you, it can actually be hazardous for your dog. The phrase ‚??destructive chewing‚?Ě may sound redundant, because ‚?" by its very nature! ‚?" any chewing is destructive. Your dog has powerful jaws full of sharp, pointy teeth: nearly anything your dog starts to chew on is likely going to show the results of it inside of a minute. So just to make this clear, if I use the phrase ‚??destructive chewing‚?Ě, I‚??m talking about inappropriate chewing: the type of chewing that‚??s centered on your own possessions and household items, rather than on your dog‚??s own designated toys and chews. The three chief reasons why dogs chew: - Most dogs have a innate want to chew.

It‚??s enjoyable, it passes the time, and it‚??s a self-rewarding, self-reinforcing past-time (for instance, if she‚??s chewing on something that's tasty.) - Chewing allows a nervous, bored, or lonely dog with an outlet for your dog's emotions. To an anxious dog, the repetitive act of chewing is relaxing ‚?" it‚??s the puppy equivalent of comfort food. - Fat dogs often use chewing as a way of using up nervous energy and granting themselves an activity to do.

- How to prevent destructive chewing - Dogs are absolutely capable of learning not to chew your belongings ‚?" you just have to put in a little effort first, that‚??s all. 1. Take control of the situation: take care of your own possessions. Your first step must be to dog-proof your home. Even if you own the best-behaved dog in the world, there‚??s still no cause to test her self-control ‚?" after all, dogs explore the world with their mouths.

Dog-proofing your house means taking what you don‚??t want to end up in your dog's mouth, and making it unavailable. Consider her size and agility when deciding if something‚??s out of reach: can she jump? Can she climb, or leap onto something else to reach the desired object? How tall is your dog whenever standing on your dog's back legs? Frequent targets in the home include magazines, eyeglasses, clothing, slippers, garbage, and small crunchy appliances like cell phones, cameras, and remote controls. It should go without saying that all food has to be put securely away: don‚??t leave snacks on low tables (or even countertops ‚?" you‚??d be surprised how acrobatic she can be whenever there‚??s food at stake!), put all food into containers or the pantry. Rinse your dirty plates clean of any food scraps before leaving them by the sink.

2. Prevent your dog from learning the joys of illegal chewing. The more times she manages to snatch a mouthful of a forbidden substance ‚?" a chair-leg, a pillow, a running shoe ‚?" the more readily she‚??ll target those items in the future. If you can prevent her from chewing your stuff initially, it‚??s much easier for your dog to realize what you expect of your dog. Practically speaking, this means keeping her in a dog-proofed area until you‚??re sure of your dog's understanding of the house rules. 3.

Don‚??t set her up for failure by blurring the boundaries between her stuff (OK to chew) and your stuff (not OK to chew). Don‚??t offer your dog old clothes, shoes, or towels to chew and play with: realistically, you can‚??t possibly expect her to be able to tell the difference between your current shoes and the one your dog's got in your dog's mouth that you gave her five minutes ago. 4. Provide your dog with lots of tasty alternatives to your stuff.

If her environment is somewhat barren of attractive, appropriate chewing objects, you can hardly blame her for targeting your stuff. Keep in mind, most dogs need to chew; if she‚??s an adolescent (under three years) or a puppy (under one year), your dog's needs will be even more noticeable. Go on a toy and chew shopping spree, then give her two or three to play with at a time. Alternating the available toys every few days will keep things new and interesting for her. 5.

Spend lots of time in active supervision. True, it might be easier for you to just keep her penned up in her doghouse, run, or the yard ‚?" but that‚??s boring and horrible for your dog, and hardly much fun for you either (if you desired a pet that you don‚??t need to interact with, you‚??d have gotten a goldfish, right?) Your dog can‚??t learn what you expect of her if your dog's spending all her time boxed up in the dog-proof zone: your dog needs the opportunity to explore the boundaries of your expectations, so your dog can comprehend what‚??s okay and what‚??s not. 6. Whenever you catch her chewing anything inappropriate, interrupt her by making a loud noise: clap your hands or make an ‚??Ah-ah-aaaah!‚?Ě noise. Then, immediately hand your dog a tasty and dog-appropriate alternative (a rawhide bone or other chew toy); as soon as her jaws close around it, praise her lavishly.

There is no better way to get your dog to realize that chewing ‚??your dog's‚?Ě toys equals praise from you, but all else equals trouble. - Maintain a productive attitude - Above all, remember to keep your expectations realistic. You‚??re not perfect, and neither is your dog: there‚??s probably at least one incident where a cherished item is damaged by your dog's curiosity. Particularly in the first stages of your relationship, your dog's still learning the ropes: it‚??ll take some time before she‚??s completely reliable (and even then, if your dog's left by herself for too long or feels neglected, she may choose your stuff over hers to occupy her time and jaws with.) Remember to give your dog time to learn the rules, and plenty of ‚??you-time‚?? to help her learn faster ‚?" and don‚??t forget to take precautions and keep things out of reach until she‚??s got the hang of the chewing rules!.

For more information on dog training techniques and how to deal with problem dog behavior (like chewing), check out our website . It‚??s the ideal manual for dog training and is designed to speed-up your dog‚??s learning. New! Click here to reserve your Free Dog Obedience Guide For more articles on dog-training and dog-ownership visit: - 3dogs


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