How to Train Your Dog to Not Chew Things Up

Dogs chew when they’re teething — like babies at the same stage, they just can’t help it. They also chew to show anxiety, boredom, or loneliness. Teething is over eventually, but addressing your dog’s psychological reasons for chewing may take more time and attention.

Dogs' physiological need to chew

To get your dog through her teething period, make sure she has both a soft and a hard chew toy, such as a hard rubber bone or a real bone, as well as a canvas dummy. Don’t give her anything she can destroy or ingest, except food items.

A hard rubber Kong toy with some peanut butter inserted can keep a dog amused for a long time. Carrots, apples, dog biscuits, and ice cubes are great to relieve the monotony; otherwise, she’ll be impelled to find more interesting things to chew on, such as those new shoes you left lying around.

Instead of becoming angry at your dog for chewing up your prized possessions, give her some good solid chew toys, and make sure she doesn’t have access to personal articles, such as shoes, socks, and towels. Think of it as good training for you not to leave things lying around the house.

Your pup's psychological need to chew

A lonely dog may chew up anything in her path. Make sure your dog gets enough attention from you — and that she gets some strong chew toys!

Should your dog attack the furniture, baseboards, and walls, tip over the garbage can, or engage in other destructive chewing activities, use a crate to confine her when you can’t supervise her.

Confining your dog saves you lots of money, and you won’t lose your temper and get mad at the poor pooch. Even more important, she can’t get into things that are a potential danger to her.

Confinement is a problem-solving approach of last resort. Ideally, the dog isn’t left alone so long and so often that she feels the need to chew in order to relieve her boredom. Your dog doesn’t need you to entertain her all the time, but extended periods of being alone can make your pet neurotic.

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