It’s always the cute moment in the movie when the new dog chews up the owner’s slippers…or couch…or wall. Really, some just have the tendency to chew on anything. So what’s the deal? How do you fix this? Is it just something that you have to deal with until the little guy grows out of it? What about adult chewing?
All of these are great questions. Here are a few things you can do:
- Try to figure out why your pet chews.
Pay close attention to him. Is there a pattern? Does the dog possibly have separation anxiety when you leave? Is he bored? If he’s on the younger side, has he been properly trained on what is okay to chew and what isn’t? All of these things are important. If you notice anything consistently, then you have moved one step closer to possibly solving the problem!
- Encourage appropriate chewing and discourage inappropriate chewing.
Remember that it is important to reward your dog with praise when he does things right! Teach him that chewing on a toy is a good thing and chewing on a table leg is a bad thing. These are some of the most time-tested approaches to correcting the behavior. It might take some time for the learning to take hold, but it will be worth the effort.
- Make playtime engaging.
If your dog experiences #1 and #2 in a controlled environment every day, it’ll be easier for him to figure out right from wrong. Having regular playtime will give you the chance to really interact with your pet and establish good habits. Teach tricks, practice patience, and enjoy the lovable perks of having a pet!
- Never punish after the fact.
Dogs have short term memories. If you aren’t around to catch your little guy in the act of chewing on the furniture, don’t punish him when you do find out. This will do nothing to solve the problem and only intensify any anxiety that he might feel, possibly making the problem worse.
Following these strategies, you will have your pet trained in no time! Please also keep in mind that sometimes, it’s worth a call to the vet to make sure that there isn’t some sort of problem like a nutritional deficiency. Only a vet can properly make that determination.
If you live in the Geist area, talk to your Geist veterinarian for more information.