Are you at your wits end because your puppy is chewing your furniture and possessions?. You have realized that puppies, as small as they are, can create a huge amount of damage, from picking at your carpet and scratching doors and floors, to chewing your brand new pair of very expensive shoes. What you need to know is the reason for your puppy’s chewing.
It should be understood that chewing is a natural and healthy activity for puppies and shouldn’t be stopped. It is only when the chewing becomes destructive that it should be stopped. The aim of this article is to illustrate the main reasons for chewing, then to give you advice on how to end this.
There are various reasons why your puppy is chewing your house to shreds. The reasons given below include teething, boredom and separation anxiety.
At about 3-4 weeks your puppy’s teeth start to come through. By 16 weeks they should start to fall out when the first permanent teeth start to emerge. When their gums are sore, they chew to ease them.
Young puppies are particularly prone to becoming bored. They need an outlet for their energy such as exercise and mental stimulation. If left alone for too long, your puppy may easily become bored and could then take to a destructive behavior such as chewing.
Stress and separation anxiety
Again, if a puppy is left alone for extended periods he may being chewing in order to alleviate stress and separation anxiety.
Once you know what the reasons for your puppy’s destructive chewing, it will help you to take remedial action. Here is some advice to help you stop inappropriate chewing.
- You could start by making a few specific toys available. Interactive and dispensing toys are good because they are designed to stimulate your puppy and hold his interest.
- By using these toys and playing regularly with your puppy, they will start to have pleasant with them and are more likely to play with them when left alone.
- Any items of value should be put out of reach. Try spraying your furniture or unmovable objects with an anti-spray deterrent like Listerine. You puppy will not like the taste and will stop them from chewing.
- At the start do not leave your puppy alone for too long. Start off with a short 10 minute period and gradually build up to longer absences.
- If you are absent for a period of time or cannot watch your puppy, you could confine them either in a pen or crate.
- It is important to praise your puppy when you see him chewing the correct items. This establishes the desired behavior through positive reinforcement. On the other hand if you see your puppy chew on something he shouldn’t, say something like “no” or “stop” in a stern voice. Consistently doing this will give a negative association.
Now that you understand the reasons for your puppy’s chewing, you should be able apply the necessary remedial course of action. It is very important to reward the desired behavior and to consistently teach your puppy what he is allowed to chew and what he is not allowed to chew.