Puppies are so much fun! They are adorable and playful, but they are also a lot of work. If you don't keep your eyes on your pup, he'll go to the bathroom in the house or chew up your stuff. Learning how to train a dog to stop chewing will save you a lot of frustration and money.
They can also get seriously injured.
There have been instances when dogs were rushed to the vet after being electrocuted while chewing on a power cord. Most veterinarians have plenty of stories about the surgeries that they have done to remove items from a dog's blocked intestinal tract.
Learning how to train a dog to stop chewing is part of your responsibility to keep your pooch safe. It's not difficult, but it will take time and lots of patience. This step-by-step guide will help you succeed!
How To Train A Dog To Stop Chewing: A Video Guide
Did you know that parasites or nutritional deficiencies could cause your pet to chew things he isn't supposed to? Pica is the term used for a medical condition that causes your dog to crave and eat non-food items.
It is wise to have your dog examined by a veterinarian if he won't stop chewing your belongings. This is especially true if you've adopted an adult dog that consistently tries to chew the same types of items (like wooden furniture or carpeting).
Your vet will also be able to rule out any gastrointestinal issues. These health problems can cause nausea, and chewing is a natural coping mechanism for dogs with upset stomachs.
Make the environment safe
If your dog is a chewer, it's your responsibility to keep him safe. Depending on the severity of his chewing, this could mean investing in pet gates or a puppy playpen to keep him contained in one safe area.
You'll need to secure any electrical cords that the dog may be able to gain access to. You'll also have to make sure that all edible items, such as candy or houseplants, are out of the pup's reach.
Some very common household items are toxic to dogs. Make sure all medications and cleaning supplies are out of reach or behind locked cabinets. Oftentimes dogs can figure out how to open low cupboards to access hidden objects.
Encourage appropriate chewing
When your dog chews something that he isn't supposed to, use a verbal cue to teach him to stop. I like “No.” It's simple and gets the point across to your pet quickly.
After saying the cue, place an appropriate chew toy in front of your pet. Encourage him to chew on it by wiggling it around or playing a quick game of tug or fetch with your Fido.
When learning how to teach a dog to stop chewing, the verbal cue is very important. It is a signal to your pet that what he's doing isn't correct. By showing him the appropriate chew toy, you're showing him the correct option.
Eventually, your dog will hear the verbal cue and make the right choice on his own.
Be sure to choose your dog's toys wisely. Purchase toys that you know will interest him. Does he like toys that squeak? Tug toys? If he's a lazy dog, try treat dispensing or puzzle toys to keep him interested.
You can also purchase edible chew toys for your dog. This is a great way to engage Fido when learning how to train a dog to stop chewing. Bully sticks are a good option. They are healthy and much safer than rawhide chews.
NEED HELP? How To Choose the Right Dog Toys By Age
Is your dog bored?
One of the best tips for anyone learning how to train a dog to stop chewing is to make sure he's burned plenty of energy before you leave him alone. Oftentimes a dog will chew to entertain himself when he's bored.
If you leave your pet alone during the day, make sure to give him plenty of exercise in the morning. Take him for a walk, play a game of fetch or allow him plenty of time to roam around the backyard before you go.
Don't expect to come home from work and sit on the couch while your dog lies quietly next to you. If he has been alone all day, he'll need plenty of exercises when you get home.
If you can't commit to this, it's best not to adopt a dog. They require a lot of time and attention, or negative behaviors (like chewing) will certainly become an issue.
Another tip when learning how to train a dog to stop chewing is:
DO NOT allow your dog to chew on any of your old discarded items
This is extremely important. Discarded items are still yours. They smell like you (or your family members) and will only encourage your dog to continue chewing other objects around your home.
Keep things consistent. Only allow your dog to chew his own toys and treats. Allowing him to chew discarded items from the humans in your home will only make him more apt to chew other human belongings as well.
Taste deterrent spray
If you've taken all the previous steps and you still can't get your pet to stop chewing your belongings, you can try the deterrent spray. Some of the most common anti-chew sprays include:
These sprays leave a bad taste in your dog's mouth, making him not want to chew that object again. These sprays should be a last resort or a training tool that you use while also learning how to train a dog to stop chewing.
The spray will only teach him not to chew on the objects that you use it on. Proper training will allow you to teach your pup not to chew on anything that he isn't supposed to.