Dogs love to chew ~ fact, although there is one creature that loves to chew even more…A PUPPY!
Puppies are curious and mischievous and chew to explore and make sense of the world around them. The puppy is learning about the world and discovering what’s in his environment and how he can interact with it.
Like with babies, chewing can be triggered by teething and having the soothing feeling of something in the sensitive mouth with new teeth starting to erupt is very satisfying. Puppies need to chew to either investigate something or to satisfy a craving can lead to chewing whatever is on hand including your favourite pair of flip flops.
Puppies slowly start to understand how hard they can and should mouth or bite things. This is a very important skill that needs to happen to have a safe and well-adjusted dog in our world that doesn’t go around biting people. We need to help our puppy understand that our skin is sensitive and that occasionally their mouthing and biting is too hard.
Older dogs are not as desperate to chew but can start chewing for other reasons, such as stress relief, boredom, excitement, separation anxiety, dental problems, and their need for attention. Understanding the cause of destructive chewing will help you alleviate the problem. It’s best not to allow the destructive behaviour to begin in the first place and we should therefore focus on the puppy.
Steps to help ensure your puppy won’t be a destructive chewer when he grows up.
Control of your environment.
When a puppy is very young, if you don’t want him to chew something you’re best bet is to ensure that nothing is lying around.
Offer him appropriate things to chew on.
My dog loves his soft toys to chew on and rarely chews hard enough to do any damage. Keep your puppies toys out and about for him to find wherever he is in the house.
Make sure all the family follow the same rules.
Everyone in the house should know the rules, along with your puppy. Don’t fixate on what your puppy can’t do at this stage, Introduce the rules to him by telling him what he can do and encouraging good behaviour and redirecting when he doesn’t get it quite right
Give him lots of mental and physical exercise.
A dog that is tired from plenty of fresh air and exercise is unlikely to look for trouble and something to chew.
Some good things to give your dog to chew on are:
Always ensure your puppy is properly supervised.