Chewing is a natural and rewarding behavior for all dogs. Dogs like to chew, and there are different reasons behind the chewing, the only way to stop it, is by understanding why they chew, and how to teach them the correct things to chew on.
Some of the reasons a dog may chew could be puppy teething (4-6 months of age), boredom, not enough exercise, separation anxiety, or even dietary issues.
Chewing is a way for dogs (especially puppies) to learn about there world, to explore thier surroundings. They don't have hands, so they use their mouth. There is no way to stop your dog from chewing, you can only redirect it. Getting your dog to redirect his or her chewing to appropriate items, proper exercise, proper diet, making some of the unacceptable items less available, and teaching your dog what not to chew is how to address this problem.
Items to have available for your dog to chew:
• Nylabones (nylabones can be soaked in broth to make them more enticing)
• Kong (stuff the hollow middle with peanut butter, or treats and freeze)
A great place to find chew toys in Albuquerque is: Long Leash On Life http://www.longleashonlife.com
****** Keep the toys out of reach for your dog, and switch the chew toys often so they don't get bored with the toys, and play with your dog with them to make them more enticing.
Stay away from toys that may resemble things in the house you don't want your dog to chew on, such as stuffed toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, toys that look like kids toys, etc…. No house hold chew items like socks, shoes, bowls, etc….. If you don't want your dog to chew on an item, keep it out of his or her reach.
If there is an object your dog still wants to chew on, and it cannot be moved away from your dog then you can use a chewing deterrent such as bitter apple spray. This spray can be applied often to the object and when your dog tries to chew on it, it will taste terrible. The key is to make sure your dog is not left alone unmanaged, until you know you can trust your dog on his or her own.
When you see your dog chewing on the appropriate item, praise him for doing so. This will send the message that your dog has made the right choice. If you catch your dog chewing on the wrong thing, interrupt the behavior and redirect him to the right chew toy. If you catch your dog after the fact, clean up the mess, hit yourself with a newspaper for not paying attention, and provide the appropriate chew toy. If your dog chews on you or your hands, you can offer a chew toy with one hand, while petting the dog with the other hand.
Using your crate, and leash when your dog cannot be supervised it critical. No matter what behavior you are trying to stop, making sure that your dog does not get the opportunity to get away with the wrong behavior is key. When you cannot supervise your dog in the house make sure he or she is in a crate with a chew toy, for no more then two hours at a time during the day, or on a leash that he or she cannot chew up,or put your dog in a special area that is safe where it is free from chewing temptations. Always provide the appropriate chew toys for your dog, even outdoors.