Chewing is a normal behavior when eating but if this becomes a habit even when not eating then it becomes a destructive behavior. This unnecessary chewing habit can be formed by your dog for many reasons but whatever drives your dog to have this habit, the end result can be really stressful. With the strong jaw and sharp-pointed teeth of your dog, his inappropriate chewing habit can damage your appliances, household items and personal possessions. Before all your things get damaged and before you lose your temper, you have to learn how to stop your dog’s destructive chewing behavior.
Teaching dogs the right behavior can be really stressful if you do not know how. First, you should know the reasons why dogs usually form the habit of inappropriate chewing. Dogs make chewing a habit because they find chewing a pleasurable and rewarding habit. It is fun to chew things and rewarding if it makes them happy especially if they chew something that tastes good. Chewing can also be an outlet for a bored and lonely dog; the rhythmic cycle of moving his mouth, jaw and sharp teeth over and over again to chew on something is soothing and like a therapy for his boredom and loneliness. Sometimes dogs that lack exercise make chewing a way to keep them active and burn energy. It would be easier to stop your dog’s destructive chewing behavior if you know the reason behind it.
The good news is that dogs are capable to unlearn their bad habits and replace them with the proper behavior. So what can you do to stop your dog’s destructive chewing behavior?
Dog-proof your home. If you decided to raise a dog and keep it to become part of your family, you need to prepare your home. Manage your personal belongings and household items and keep them away from your canine friend. Even if you have a well-behaved dog, you are tempting your dog to develop destructive chewing habit if things in your house are easy to access or reach by your dog. Important things like cameras, cell phones, remote controls, shoes, clothes, watches, books, notebooks and laptops should be kept properly on places that your dog cannot reach even when he jump or climb. Do not leave food on easy to reach tables or counter tops to avoid your dog from messing with your food. If there are rooms that are off-limits for your dog, keep the door closed to discourage your dog from entering those off-limits areas. You may need to confine your dog in a dog-proofed area to avoid him from reaching the furniture in your home and to let him understand that he does not have the freedom to chew your sofa, chair leg, pillows, etc. Keep things in your house away from your dog if you want to stop your dog’s destructive chewing behavior.
Provide an alternative for his chewing habit. Dogs need to chew especially a puppy under one year old. You cannot just stop your dog’s destructive chewing behavior without offering an alternative for him to divert his chewing habit. If he has something else to chew, your personal stuffs will look less attractive or less tempting to him. Ask your vet for the best chewing toys for your dog and buy at least three toys for him. He may get bored if you will only buy one type of chew toys so buy at least 2-3 types of chew toys that you can rotate every few days.
Interact with your dog. If you want to stop your dog’s destructive chewing behavior, you cannot just cage him in his crate or keep him out because your pet needs supervision and interaction not only for him to learn good behavior but for him to also feel loved. He will not know how to integrate himself into your life as a new member of your household if you just keep him boxed in the dog area. Interact with your dog. If he did something wrong, let him know that it was wrong and if he did something right, reward him or praise him for behaving properly. With the correct interaction and supervision, your dog will understand that your stuffs should not be chewed. It will be easier to stop your dog’s destructive chewing behavior if you and your dog are interacting with each other. Dogs cannot talk but they surely have the smarts to understand their owners.
Walk your dog out regularly. Your dog needs to go out to ease his boredom. As mentioned earlier, boredom or loneliness can be a reason why dogs find destructive chewing pleasurable and therapeutic. Spend some time to walk your dog out every morning or on a regular basis.He will learn to behave more properly if he can socialize with people and other dogs.
It is also important to be realistic that you cannot stop your dog’s destructive chewing behavior overnight. You and your dog are not perfect and before he could totally forget his bad habits he may chew or damage some of your precious possessions. It will take a while before he could completely learn not to chew your cherished possessions and learn your house rules so be patient with your canine friend. If you need help in teaching your dog, do not hesitate to seek professional help. If you want to know more secrets in raising an obedient dog, visit Dog Lovers Portal