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Dog chewing behavior

Dog Chewing Behavior

An integral part of natural dog behavior, chewing helps your pet explore things around his environment and tells him how things feel, taste, and whether it's edible.

It’s amongst a dog’s favorite ways to decipher the world.

Destructive chewing, though, is common in dogs that spend a lot of time alone. They find chewing as a way to work off boredom. Sometimes, destructive chewing means that your dog’s teeth or gums are bothering him.

In such circumstances, take him to a vet. Other possible reasons for destructive chewing are boredom, separation anxiety, fear, seeking attention, and lack of behavioral training. Here are some ways to curb it.

  • Give your dog appealing and chewable toys.

    You could also rub something tasty on the outside of rubber balls or other toys, so that your dog selects those items to chew.
  • Keep a chew toy within his reach. This makes it easier for you to teach him to recognize the items which he can chew on.
  • The most important part of dog chewing training is to keep everything you don't want chewed out of your dog's reach. Instead of leaving your dog alone at home, it’s a good idea to keep him in a kennel.
  • Try rubbing a mixture of cayenne pepper and petroleum jelly or other unpleasant tasting (but safe) substances on to furniture legs and other commonly chewed-up zones, including the dining table, couch and other things.
  • When you catch him chewing something which you don't want him to, you must quickly take away the incorrect item and immediately substitute it with a chew toy. Repeat this whenever he chews something he shouldn’t. Consistency in this activity will make him realize what is acceptable.
  • Supervise your dog until he learns the house rules. Also, confine him to avoid destructive chewing when you're unable to keep an eye on him.
  • If your puppy is teething, use a cold cloth to sooth his gums. Keep an eye on your puppy so that he doesn't swallow any pieces of the washcloth.
  • Teach your pup to ignore non-toy objects if he consistently chews the wrong things. Also, place chewable toys on the floor and pretend not to pay any attention to him.
  • You must take your dog for a daily walk as it helps in relieving stress and releases pent up energy.
  • You must train you dog so that he learns commands such as “leave" or "drop it". Address the command in an assertive voice which doesn’t threaten your canine friend.
  • If you suspect that your dog is involved in destructive chewing because of separation anxiety, the first thing you must to do is schedule an appointment with your vet.
Be patient with dog chewing training and avoid punishing your dog because it may cause other undesirable behavior. The ultimate goal of dog chewing training is to correct the inappropriate dog chewing behavior so that he can be left alone in the house and not confined.
  Submitted on June 3, 2010