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How to Stop Dog Chewing

Updated on April 17, 2013

Dogs chew just about anything that comes in their mouth. A dog's favorite chewing objects are shoes, socks, and furniture. If your dog is teething it may be one cause as to why he chews inappropriate things. Dogs are prone to chewing because it can be very painful and uncomfortable when their teeth start to grow just like in babies. But in some cases, chewing can be good to your dog as it helps keep his teeth clean. You can definitely train your dog to figure out the difference between good chewing and bad chewing. Know how to keep your dog focused on his chewing toy and not your favorite sneakers. But this can be very difficult as your dog can't tell the difference between an old rag and your $250 pair of shoes.

What Causes Inappropriate Chewing

  • Loneliness or boredom
  • Separation anxiety
  • Teething
  • Fear or phobia
  • Seeking attention
  • Anticipation

As with several dog behavior problems, it is easier to prevent chewing problems from arising than trying to extinguish an established chewing habit. To manage your dog's chewing, consider these tips:

  1. Take away the temptation and puppy proof your home as much as possible.
  2. Give tasty chewing toys. Make him understand that if he needs to chew it must be on appropriate items like dog toys. It would be a good idea to toss a dog toy that is stuffed with tasty treats to your dog whenever you leave the house.
  3. Confine your dog in a safe area each time you leave the house. This could be in a dog crate, kennel run, or a secure room inside your house. But make sure to provide a few toys in the area and make sure there are no dangerous items around him.
  4. Make sure to provide lots of mental and physical activities to your dogs when you are at home. Giving him various activities at home will help burn his extra energy. Extra energy in dogs when not used, will lead to behavior problems like excessive dog barking and inappropriate chewing.
  5. If your dog particularly likes to chew the furniture leg, coating the object with a non-toxic foul tasting substance will work. It could be a bitter apple, Tabasco sauce, or a cayenne pepper.
  6. Whenever you catch your dog chewing inappropriate things, give a firm "NO". Then, replace the object with his toy. But when he starts chewing the toy, reward and praise him.

Sometimes, destructive chewing happens before when you return home. This is because the puppy is anxiously waiting for your return and that chewing will help release his energy. You can prevent this by leaving toys in the area. Whenever you get home, and you find that he is not chewing on inappropriate items, try rewarding him.


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    • chardee42 profile image

      chardee42 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I agree that a dog crate can be a great way to keep your pup out of trouble while you're away. We have a shepherd/husky mix that will get into things even at 3 years old.