How Do I Stop My Dog From Chewing Wood?

How Do I Stop My Dog From Chewing Wood?

If you are a dog owner then maybe you have run into this problem. You leave your home for whatever reason and return later to find that your dog has chewed on some part of your wood furniture. Or you're outside with your dog and he/she immediately begins to find a piece of wood in the backyard to chew on.

After noticing this behavior you wonder, "Are they crazy?" Or you think, " What's up with the wood?" Of course you try your best to scold them into releasing the wood from their mouth. But to no avail. They continue to chew on it! Well let's get to the bottom of this, shall we?

First of all you have to realize that ALL dogs chew on things! ALL DOGS! It's as normal to them as many of us biting our fingernails. But their chewing will be taken to a new level under certain circumstances. We will talk about two of those circumstances in this hub.

So to answer your question,"How do I stop my dog from chewing up wood?" You have to first understand why they are doing it. Understanding the reasons behind your dog's behavior will be the key to developing a healthy owner/dog relationship.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Chewing Wood? - Reason #1

As I stated above, there are reasons why your dog chooses to chew on wood. One of the first reasons is that he or she maybe teething. That's right, dog's do teeth! Except in their world it's known as "erupting." Same concept, different species.

Your dog's baby teeth or "milk teeth" begin to come in at around 4 weeks of age. During this time they will be just like a toddler. Exploring the world by putting everything in their mouth! But it doesn't stop at 4 weeks! The teething or "erupting" can continue all the way up to 8 months when those same "milk teeth" are replaced with their permanent teeth. By this time they will have discovered the beautiful relief of chewing on wood.

First of all, your dog chews on things at this age to relieve some of the pressure and pain associated with the teething. To alleviate this pressure they will chew on almost anything that they can get their little paws on. But wood is among their favorite things to chew on. Why?

There is something about wood to a dog like there is something about the girl next door to you. It tastes good to them. They like the texture of the wood. They way it feels against their tongue or teeth. But you should try to curb this behavior as soon as you notice it. Why?

Because wood splinters. I don't have to tell you how painful a splinter can be in your finger. Now imagine that same splinter in between your dog's teeth! Plus some of those same splinters can end up in your dog's stomach. Where they can possibly wreak havoc by doing what splinters do...getting stuck where they don't belong!

Now that we know one of the reasons why your dog is chewing on wood, let's get to the other one...Please keep reading!

How Do I Stop My Dog From Chewing Wood? - Reason #2

Reason #2 as to why your dog is chewing on wood is a little more complicated than reason #1. The short version is that your dog may have separation anxiety. What is separation anxiety?

Basically it's when your dog cannot stand to be alone or away from you and will act out when you're away. Your dog might bark repeatedly while you're away. Thus disturbing the neighbors. He might start acting uncontrollable when he knows that you are about to leave the house. And when you're gone he might start chewing on wood or whatever else he can get. Most dog's affected by separation anxiety will react this way.

They might be chewing up things that remind them of you. Like your favorite pair of shoes. Why? Because it smells like you! It is a part of you! They don't do this because they are mad at you. They do it because they miss you. What causes separation anxiety? No one knows. But there are plenty of theories.

One theory states that since all domesticated dogs are descendants of the wolf. They miss that family and closeness of the wolf pack. That feeling of oneness that they had while in the wolf pack. And since they don't have that anymore, they look to you, their owner to replace it.

You are their leader now, and what do you do? You leave them in the house for 8 or 9 hours at a time. You leave them in the house with nothing to do. Not knowing when you will come back. Think about it: If I left you in the house for 8 or 9 hours at a time with nothing to do, wouldn't you be bored? Yeah, you would! And since you have no thumbs to grab stuff with, I'll bet you that you would chew on everything too, right?

You have to understand that dogs are just like us in many ways. They are very smart animals that have emotions and likes and dislikes. They get tired, they get sick, they love you and they miss you. Separation anxiety is taking that "missing you" syndrome to the nth degree. What can you do about it? Keep reading please...

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How Do I Stop My Dog From Chewing Wood?

How Do I Stop My Dog From Chewing Wood?

We went over some of the reasons why your dog maybe chewing the wood in or around your home. Now you want to know what can you do to stop it. Well you have a couple of options depending on the situation. Based on the above 2 reasons, both of these situations can be fixed very easily. Let's get to it...

Reason #1 - You have a puppy that is teething!

A very easy situation that can be remedied with the help of the chew toy. Since your little buddy is chewing wood to relieve the pressure and pain from the teething. Buy him/her lots of chew toys.

Along with the chew toys use positive reinforcement. When he begins to chew on them say,"Good Boy!" or "Good Dog!" This reinforces in his mind that you want him to chew on this and NOT your table leg! For added reward, place a few of the chew toys in the freezer. The coldness against his gums will make the chew toys irresistible!

Reason #2 - Your dog has separation anxiety!

You can use chew toys as well to help with separation anxiety but they will only be a temporary fix. To deal with this unique problem you will have to get to the root of the problem. One technique that is used to deal with separation anxiety is the old "52 fake-out" method. What's that?

If you know that as soon as you leave your dog is going to start going off because or she thinks that you are leaving for a long period of time. Leave for short periods instead. Leave out through another exit and return through another one unfamiliar to him. If he begins to get anxious every time he hears you grab your keys. Have another set made and use them instead.

The "52 fake-out" is a temporary fix, but it works. The trickery will throw him off, if only for a little while. The real fix is to spend quality time with your dog and to try your best not to leave him home alone with nothing to do. If you have no choice then have someone you trust to house sit while you're gone. Or take him outside to the backyard before you leave the house.

The point is...dog's are just like kids. If you leave them alone with nothing to do, expect trouble when you get back home. Get them out of the house, play with them. Give them plenty of exercise and activities and in no time you will have a loving, well adjusted and grateful dog!

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How Do I Stop My Dog From Chewing Wood Comments! 9 comments

PaulaK profile image

PaulaK 6 years ago from Austin. Texas

I love your hub! We had a puppy once that chewed the corner of our bathroom cabinet, of all things! Thanks for the good advice about teething!


Beth 4 years ago

I have an 11 year old dog that is terrified or thunder, fireworks, etc. When I am home, he shakes really bad and will stay nearby with his back end near something. When I have left and come home, I find that my door trim has been chewed by the front door, like he is trying to chew his way out to find me. He used to do it at the trim where he was blocked off from the rest of the house when he was a puppy. Is there something I can wipe on the trim to prevent this from happening? I do give him a pill (when I have to leave during a storm or when people are shooting off fireworks), but that still doesn't always help. Thanks for any advise:)


klw5200 profile image

klw5200 4 years ago from Pennsauken,NJ Author

What you're doing is fine. But I would at least get him a bunch of chew toys so it'll take his mind off of you until you return. These chew toys will keep his mind occupied for hours at a time! I have some on this hub that you can take a look at. Try that and see if it works!


peiownsme 4 years ago from ozark, al

We give our 5 dogs tons of chew toys(rawhides, rope toys, stuffed animals, balls etc...) but they continue to chew the wood on our porch, wooden chairs & porch swing whether we are home or away. They have their own doggie door so they come in when they want. I have tried "bitter spray" with no success and hot sauce (which some seem to love)! I am at my wits end trying to figure out what to do!! Now the only option is to kennel everyone when we are not in the same area or leave the house. Any suggestions?


Sue 4 years ago

My dog was eating plants,but now he is eating the fence we built. Any advice?


klw5200 profile image

klw5200 4 years ago from Pennsauken,NJ Author

I would suggest that you get your dogs some obedience training. It might be kind of expensive, but you will most likely get to the bottom of why they are doing the things that they are doing...Let me know if that helps.


klw5200 profile image

klw5200 4 years ago from Pennsauken,NJ Author

My suggestion to you would be o get your dog some chew toys and to tech him/her not to chew on the fence. Chew toys should keep your dog away from the fence...


jessa 4 years ago

I have a 3 year Min Pin. I am a stay at home mom with 2 children, One in school one at home. My min pin has started chewing on my china hutch and i'm not sure why..He doesn't have any baby teeth from what he vet teeth cleaning has told me, so i'm not sure why he has taken this up...He gets LOTS of attention, has LOTS of toys that we trade out for him to play with. We rescued him from the Humane Society 2 years ago ( He doesn't like my husband and we think that its because my husband is the more Dominant parent in our house) we have been working on our min pin for that and have a progression on that but the chewing on the wood ( mostly the china hutch) anyone know what we can do to help him??! thanks!


klw5200 profile image

klw5200 4 years ago from Pennsauken,NJ Author

As much as I hate to tell you this, and as much you will hate to do it, it is time for some discipline. You said he doesn't like your husband and you think it's because he see's your husband as the dominant person in the home. This is just a theory but he might be acting out because of this. His chewing on your China furniture may be in response to your husbands dominance. Now how do you handle it? Discipline...plain and simple.

Your husband is not going to change his ways because it's his house. But your dog has to realize this fact. When he shows this behavior you have to let your doggie know that this will not be tolerated! My grandmother used to hit her dog with a rolled up newspaper. Now if that's too aggressive for you then I suggest putting him in a kind of "doggie" timeout. Put him back in his cage every time he exhibits this behavior.

Dog's are very smart and one of the best ways to change their behavior is to treat them just like children. If he acts up, he gets put on punishment! Sooner or later he will realize that one action leads to another and he will stop it! Be stern with him! Do not wimp out! Even when you here him whimpering! He has to realize that his behavior will not be tolerated and that there can only be one King in the house, and that's your husband!

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