How do you prevent puppy chewing?

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Answered by: Cameron, An Expert in the Dogs - General Category
Stopping Puppies from Chewing

There are few things more frustrating than trying to prevent puppy chewing. Not only can a puppy’s chewing habits cause damage to potentially valuable furniture or fixtures to your home, but the materials that puppies consume during this exasperating stage of gnawing can potentially harm their digestive system, often causing long-term and debilitating issues with the dog’s internal organs later on in life.



However, there are ways that you can prevent your dogs from chewing, thus saving him from potentially damaging medical issues later on not to mention the preservation of your fine furniture.

Puppies are in a near-perpetual state of teething for the first four to six months of their lives. This being the case, they will constantly need something to chew on to whet their teeth. Have something that the dog is allowed to chew on. One of the major reasons that puppies chew on something that they are not supposed to is that they have nothing readily available that they are able to take their teething-aggression out on. Keep a toy or strip of thin raw-hide for the dog to chew on when it is on the loose. Having something that the pup can easily access and is allowed to chew on is the first step to eliminating the nasty habit of chewing.



Puppies have a very short memory-span, so when catching a pup red-pawed and up to its gums in something it is not supposed to chew on, discipline early and quickly. As soon as you see the dog chewing, break it away from the object immediately and use a low, guttural voice that is similar to a growl to let the puppy know that it has done something wrong. If you wait to discipline the dog until after it has cleaned up its mess, the puppy will not know what it is being disciplined for.

Do not dwell on the disciplining, but make it firm and fast. Then, give the dog the object that it is allowed to chew on immediately. Praise the puppy when it starts to chew on the toy so that it can develop a differentiation between what it is allowed to chew on and what it is not allowed to chew on.

Remember that puppies think differently than humans. A dog cognitively operates in a pack mentality. The member of the “pack,” or your family that is considered the “alpha” should be the one to do most of the disciplining, which is pivotal to prevent puppy chewing. This will help the dog develop a pecking order in the home. If the dog is competing for supremacy, you will find that it is unruly, unresponsive and poorly behaved.

So it is important to make sure that the dog knows who the alpha is around the house early on in life. In doing this, you will find that your puppy will respond better to praise and punishment and will be much faster in breaking that damaging habit of chewing and gnawing on furniture around the house.

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