Stop Your Dog’s Destructive Chewing Problem
By nature, dogs are very playful creatures, which is what we, as humans, love about them. Yet sometimes, our dogs develop annoying and destructive habits that drive us absolutely crazy. No matter how much you adore your dog, chances are you wouldn’t be happy to come home from work to find your canine happily gnawing on your favorite pair of shoes. Nor would you want him tearing up your furniture and snacking on the cables behind the television while you were away.
Sadly, destructive chewing, and unwanted chewing in general, is a trait many dogs have no matter how much dog obedience training they’ve had. But fear not: there are plenty of ways to eradicate this unwanted behavior in a positive way that will both allow your dog to have his fun and stop your shoe collection from being destroyed.
In the event you discover your dog munching on your possessions, irritated as you may be, do not react with anger against your dog. At the time, it may satisfy you to shout at him for engaging in the unwanted behavior, but human logic and dog logic are two very different things.
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In your mind, punishing him for tearing up your couch will teach him not to repeat the act. In his mind, he has never been taught not to chew on unwanted objects and you are cornering him for no good reason. If you get angry at him enough times without positively correcting the behavior, he could develop anxiety or even react with defensive aggression. If you use positive methods to train your dog, you will find your teachings are far more successful.
Provide Chew Toys
More often than not, the reason why your dog is chewing on your items is due to boredom. If you’re not home for most of the day and simply leave him to his own devices, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you discover he has engaged in an undesirable behavior.
The best way to keep this from occurring is to take preventative measures ahead of time. Provide your dog with a variety of chew toys to play with if you’re going to be away for an extended period of time and reward him when he gnaws on his toy instead of your favorite chair.
Store Belongings Out of Reach
Another way to prevent the destruction of your belongings is to keep them out of your dog’s reach. If you don’t want it in his mouth, make it inaccessible. Keep your shoes, socks, trash and anything else he may decide to chew on locked away to eradicate any temptation.
Exercise Him Frequently
Excess energy is also a cause behind destructive chewing. When your hound has little playtime, it’s common for him to seek outlets, such as chewing, to let it out. Remember: your dog is not acting this way to retaliate or punish you for not paying attention to him. He is simply unable to find another method by which to express his energy.
By exercising him frequently and setting aside a good amount of playtime, your dog will be content with gnawing on his rawhide, thrilled every time you take him for a walk and excited to play a game of fetch.
As any dog trainer will tell you, you’ll be able to successfully stop your dog from chewing on your personal belongings with dedication and patience. The chewing behavior is undesirable, but it can be eliminated as long as you stick to a strict and solid regime. With a little hard work, you and your dog will be on the path to a healthier and happier relationship.
Does your dog have a chewing problem? Tell us about it in the comments below!