Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

How to Train Your Dog: 5 Reasons Why Dogs Chew

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Chew toys for dogs To stop your dog from chewing destructively you need to understand why dogs chew in the first place. Here are the top five reasons dogs chew:

Boredom
Not enough to do and too much time to do it in. Dogs, like humans, get bored. Either we give them good things to do or they do what they come up with which is rarely good for us.

Want to provide fun while having fun, too? Teach your dog any trick that makes you laugh. When you’re having fun, you’re more likely to teach more often. The more you teach, the less bored your dog will be.

Frustration
If your dog barks at other dogs or people from a window, he may chew the window sill or a nearby piece of furniture as a way to vent his frustration. The best way to deal with this is to keep the dog away from that area using gates to keep him out of that room, a pen to block him away from that window or by crating when your dog he is home alone.

Enjoyment
Many dogs, even most, enjoy chewing so give them toys they can lay into or they will lay into what you lay on. Your choice. Next time you think, “Wow, dog toys are expensive” think about replacing your couch.

Laying in a supply of top-rated dog chew toys and then rotating them every couple of days can keep your dog focused on them.

Mouth pain
Teething puppies chew and they chew the most when their molars are coming at around 5-7 months old. During this time they can gnaw frantically on items, leave a bloody trail behind and have breath that would drop a moose at 50 paces. Providing teething toys can be a huge relief for all involved.

But, if your non-chewing adult dog suddenly starts to gnaw on things like a beaver, get to the vet! Sudden behavior changes in adult dogs almost always point to some health issue. Any dog can have a dental problem but toy breeds are known for them so if your small dog is suddenly gnawing for all he is worth, get to his vet!

Pent up energy
If you brought an active dog into your life then have gotten too busy or just can’t exercise him adequately then don’t get frustrated with him for being what he is: Active.

When you can’t run his body then exercise his brain with self-control and space games. Ten minutes of self-control games can calm a dog more than an hour of running.

As I say to my clients often: You cannot change what your dog needs, you can only change whether or not he gets it.  So, instead of getting frustrated, get busy setting your dog (and yourself) up for success. The lowered stress in your home? Priceless!

 

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