There is nothing worse than having your dog chewing things in your household. When your dog starts, for one reason or another, it is so annoying. Years ago I returned home and found my TV remote changer chewed to the point of no return.
But, it got worse he suddenly started chewing things all the time.
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Being a dog owner is something that has the potential to be a very rewarding experience. You love your dog and you want to be able to always enjoy having it around. The problem is that dog ownership isn’t always fun and games. There are going to be times where you will have to deal with problems such as having your dog chew things up.
Typically, when your dog is chewing things up in your house, there is going to be some kind of reason for it. It may seem to be a random act to someone who doesn’t know better but there are going to be things that you can do to prevent your dog from doing this. When you take care of the causes of your dog wanting to gnaw on furniture legs or other troublesome things, you will be able to keep them from happening again.
Continue reading this guide to learn more about why dogs start to chew things. If your dog keeps chewing, then it is important to get the information that you need to put a stop to it. You can keep your dog from chewing up important things and your household will be a lot more pleasant because of it. Simply be diligent and understand that you can alter its behavior by changing things in its environment.
Reasons Why Dogs Chew Things
Dogs chew on things for a number of different reasons. Of course, if your dog is a puppy, then it may be teething and wants something to chew on to soothe its gums. This is normal behavior but it can still be frustrating when it decides to chew on your favorite pair of shoes while you are not looking. Thankfully, these types of problems can be avoided by providing them with other things to teethe on.
Loneliness and boredom are other common reasons why dogs chew things up. Your dog really does think the world of you. To your dog, you are a very important figure who takes care of all of its needs. Dogs really do desire human attention and they want to get as much affection as possible. If you have been too busy with your professional life to spend time with it, then it may start chewing things up out of loneliness or boredom.
This type of problem can be fixed by simply spending more time with your dog. Doing your best to make sure that your dog is happy and healthy is always going to be important. You need to ensure that you have the time to dedicate to taking care of a dog before you go through with adopting one. If you can’t be there for it, then having problems such as your stuff getting chewed up is going to be par for the course.
Chewing for attention
Chewing on things can definitely be attention-seeking behavior too. Your dog may be cunning enough to realize that if it chews something up, you are going to come and stop it or interact with it. If you have been spending so little time with your dog that this is happening, then it definitely may make you sad. This is a problem that busy professionals have with their dogs sometimes. You may not have as many hours at home as you would like and your dog is acting out due to missing your presence.
Is it anxiety?
Separation anxiety is pretty normal for dogs and chewing on things is just one of the ways that they show how they are feeling. You can keep your dog from chewing by taking the appropriate actions but you will also want to make an effort to spend more time with it. If you are wondering whether separation anxiety is truly the cause of its chewing problem, think about whether it is chewing things after you have been away for a long time or while you are at work. If it is, then it is likely just missing you.
Occasionally, you will notice that your dog will chew things up because it is afraid too. Fear-related chewing can be a bit more difficult to stop as your dog may have problems dealing with storms outside or other frightening things.
In this situation, it is good to allow your dog to be somewhere close to you during a storm or another type of event that it is afraid of. Some dogs get really scared during fireworks celebrations and chewing things up might be one way that they try to cope with things.
Knowing the reasons why your dog is chewing things up can help you to take measures to fix everything. You will be able to make some significant changes that will help you to regain control of the situation. You don’t have to simply accept that your dog is going to chew things. As long as you recognize its behavior patterns, it should be relatively easy to eliminate this behavior.
Punishments Need to Be Done the Right Way
It’s important to note that punishing your dog needs to be done the right way. You should avoid punishing your dog if you discover something chewed up long after the fact. Your dog is not going to be capable of understanding what it is being punished for. Even the method of showing it what it did is not going to work properly as it really needs to be in the moment for this type of punishment to have the proper impact.
If you do catch your dog in the act of chewing up something inappropriate, then you can start to show it that its actions are not acceptable. Give it what you deem to be an appropriate punishment. Some people like to avoid using physical punishments on their pets. One method that you could use is squirting them with water from a spray bottle. This is something that your dog will not like and, when combined with your disapproving tone of voice, should work as an effective form of punishment.
The right training
Also, avoid chasing your dog around when you find out that it is chewing on something. It may seem important to wrestle the item away from your dog before it destroys whatever it is but dogs sort of enjoy being chased. To them, that is a fun activity and you don’t want to encourage them to keep chewing on things. Use a disapproving tone of voice and call it to you. Make it drop what it is chewing on and then proceed with whatever punishment you find to be appropriate.
Eventually, your dog is going to learn what it can and cannot chew on. It may take some time for it to fully understand everything but dogs do have an uncanny ability to learn when you take the necessary time with it. They can be molded into pets that are very obedient. As long as you make use of the methods above, you should be able to avoid having your dog chew up your important items.
You should also know that it is usually best to train a dog while it is a puppy. It isn’t impossible to train an older dog and break its chewing habit but it may be tougher. Puppies are also more likely to chew random items due to teething and gum pain. An older dog is more likely to be chewing things for some of the other issues mentioned above, such as loneliness or boredom.
Remain vigilant and you will have success in your endeavors. You can keep your dog from chewing up things in your house when you take the time to punish properly. Just remember to punish when you catch it in the act so that it will truly understand what it is doing is wrong. When you combine the right punishment styles by giving it the proper environment, you should be able to avoid any of these problems.
Making Necessary Changes
Making necessary changes will be crucial when you want to take care of your problems. The first step is going to be figuring out why your dog is chewing things up. If it is a puppy and is simply teething, then you should buy it dog toys that it can teethe on. When your dog is chewing things up for another reason, such as seeking your attention, then you will want to make other types of changes.
Puppies are going to be the easiest types of dogs to deal with. You can teach them not to chew on certain things while they are young and you can give them the proper toys for their teething needs. If your dog is still in its puppy phase, then you shouldn’t worry too much. Its behavior should correct so long as you take the time to train it right. You won’t have any problem trying to keep your dog from chewing when you know what to do.
Things will get a little trickier when you are dealing with an older dog. It won’t be impossible to fix things, though. You just might have to put a little more effort into training it up and you will likely want to determine the exact cause of its chewing if possible. Figuring out whether it is chewing things up due to fear or because it wants attention is essential.
Either way, you will need to make changes to your environment to go along with punishing it for chewing things up. If your dog is wanting more attention, then you should really give it whenever possible. Try to spend more time with your dog and show it that it is loved. Sometimes this alone is enough to assuage bad behavior in a dog.
Chew Toys and Attention
It is also smart to give it other things that it can chew on. When your dog is able to learn that chewing on its toys is perfectly fine, it will simply play with the toys rather than messing with your belongings. It might take a bit of time for it to be able to make the distinction between the toys and your stuff but most dogs get used to this very fast. A good chew toy for your dog can help to keep it happy.
Dog bones are also a very popular method for giving canines something to chew on. You can buy large bones or more reasonably-sized ones at the pet store. These can keep your dog from chewing on your stuff and will always be a big hit. You may want to save the dog bones to be an occasional treat, though. Some dogs go overboard and devour a bone in one day, which may not be good for their stomachs.
Remember to let your dog get close to you when it is scared as well. If you know that there is a thunderstorm coming around, then you should ensure that your dog has a place to feel safe. This will keep it from wanting to chew things up around the house due to the fear that it is feeling. Oftentimes, simply allowing your dog to sit by you or at your feet during a storm will assuage its fears.
Fireworks can have a similar effect on your dog to be ready to keep it calm during a celebration. Allowing it to be by you certainly helps and you can also make sure that it has access to a chew toy for nervous chewing purposes. As long as you have taken the proper precautions, everything should be fine. You can avoid losing an expensive pair of shoes or having the legs of your couch gnawed.
Don’t Leave Things Out
Now that you know more about the ways that you can help to change your dog’s behavior, you should also think about changing your own behavior some. There are some people who have a tendency to leave certain things out instead of putting them away. Maybe you are very used to just taking your shoes off at the door and leaving them on the floor. This might not be the best idea when you have a dog.
Instead of leaving some things out where your dog can get to them, it is going to be smarter to go ahead and put them up somewhere. Putting your expensive new pair of shoes at the top of your closet is going to be a lot safer than leaving them on the floor. Granted, a well-trained dog may not mess with your shoes at all but why give it the temptation? If you care about keeping your belongings safe, then it makes sense to put them away.
This can go for more than just your shoes too, of course. Don’t leave things such as television remotes, magazines, video game controllers, or cords where your dog can get to them. This can help you to avoid having things messed up and it will keep your dog safer too. You don’t want it consuming plastic or paper so it makes sense to keep these things out of its reach. Even if your dog is well behaved enough to avoid the temptation of chewing things up, it makes sense to keep your house organized.
Make Your Dog Exercise
It has been noted that one of the reasons that dogs chew things up is due to boredom. If your dog has not been getting enough attention and has been cooped up in the house for too long, then it may start chewing things up. You can avoid this type of behavior by ensuring that the dog gets plenty of exercises. Exercise is something that is important for every dog so spending some time with it is necessary.
Take your dog out to the park and allow it to run around. If you have a large enough backyard, then you could simply take it outside for a little playtime. Going on a walk around the neighborhood can also be a good way to give it some exercise. Whatever method you decide to use should be fine; just make sure that you are tiring it out regularly.
When your dog is nice and tired, it is going to be very satisfied. The dog will not be so quick to want to chew things up when you are not looking. This is going to be a much better situation for you and your dog will feel better due to spending time with you too. This is one of the most effective methods for helping to correct the behavior of a dog so always remember the importance of exercise.
Treat Furniture Legs with Something Bitter
If your dog just won’t stop gnawing on your furniture legs, then you can take drastic measures. There are certain types of bitter sprays on the market that dogs will absolutely loathe. If you spray one of these sprays on your furniture legs, then it will deter your dog from chewing them up. This is usually a last-resort method when your dog has been resistant to other types of training.
Even so, this can be a smart way to keep a dog from ruining your furniture while you are training it too. If you can keep it from hurting your furniture while you are teaching it, then you can avoid having to replace expensive stuff. The sprays are usually not too expensive at all so it won’t be a big deal to purchase one of them. The sprays also should not harm your furniture in any way so it really is something that is only beneficial to you if you are worried about your couch legs becoming damaged.
Supervising your dog is also something that is very positive. If you are just now teaching your dog and training it up, then you should try to be around the dog as much as possible. Leaving the dog alone gives it more time to get into mischief. If you can take more time out of your day to supervise things, then you will be in much better shape.
Some people even go as far as to keep their puppies on a leash until they have been trained properly. It is important for a dog to learn the house rules and it is going to be up to you to teach it. Your supervision is necessary for the dog to succeed. You can keep your dog in a room that you have made safe for it when you are not around. Just remember that you need to be vigilant and that your dog will learn over time.
You can keep your dog from chewing so long as you go about things in the right way. There are many methods that you can make use of that will help you to have a better experience. Training your dog can take time but you need to do it if you are going to get your dog to acclimate to your house rules. Training puppies will be optimal but you can also train an older dog that you adopted from a shelter just fine.
Spend lots of time with your dog and give it lots of love. Ensure that the dog is getting enough exercise and try to provide it with safe toys that can be chewed without consequences. Once the dog has everything that it needs, you will not have to worry so much about the dog chewing up your belongings. When you combine the training methods with some common sense, you can really prevent most of these problems.
Remember to pick up after yourself and avoid leaving things out that your dog might want to chew. Put your shoes in your closet and avoid leaving magazines out on your coffee table. Making smart decisions can keep your belongings safe and your dog will only be chewing on its dog toys. This is an important part of being a dog owner and it is worthwhile to get things right.
If you have been having problems with training your dog, then try not to let it get you down. Some dogs will take longer than others to train. They are very trainable, though. Simply keep at it and you will achieve the proper results. If you make use of all of the advice contained above, then your problems will be a thing of the past before too long.