Pretty much anyone who has ever owned a dog has sacrificed a shoe, a book or a piece of furniture to the dog’s chewing habit. While the title of this article is “how to stop dog chewing” it should instead be something like “redirect dog chewing”.
The reason is that you cannot totally stop a dog from chewing. Dogs need to chew. What you can do is teach your dog to direct his chewing to appropriate places.
Again, your dog is going to chew on something, so provide lots of items for him to choose from.
Chew toys such as rope bones, rubber toys and stuffed animals should be provided. Give your dog as many of these items as you can and be sure to place some in every room in which your dog spends time. This should speed up the process to help you stop dog chewing on expensive things.
Some dogs are more destructive than others and can shred most dog toys within minutes. For those dogs look for toys that are specially made to withstand even the most destructive dog.
Inspect the toys regularly and toss out the ones that are worn. Try different types of toys and then focus on the ones that your dog seems to enjoy the most.
Chew treats include rawhide, pig ears, pizzle sticks and other long lasting treats. As a general rule, these should only be given to your dog when you are there as choking can occur.
If you decide to use this method to stop dog chewing, you should know that many experts say that rawhide is not a good option as it may cause digestive problems in some dogs.
That being said, many pet owners use rawhide with no problems. If you have questions about rawhide or other chew treats, see your vet for advice.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Yelling and screaming at your dog when he chews something he shouldn’t really isn’t going to help train him to act appropriately. Instead of punishment, choose positive reinforcement.
When you see your dog about to chew something he shouldn’t, say “NO” and offer him a chew toy or treat instead. When he is chewing on his chew toy or treat, offer him lavish praise.
Anytime he goes for his chew toy on his own, pet him and say “good boy” and other positive phrases.
Make it Unpleasant
If, while you are working to stop dog chewing, you need ways to keep your dog from chewing furniture and other items, there are ways that you can make it unpleasant for him to do so.
One way is by using scat mats. Place these mats in an area where you do not want your dog. When he steps on the scat mat, he will be poked by harmless plastic spikes.
Another option is to apply bitters or some other unpleasant tasting formula to the item you do not want him to chew. Pet supplies stores sell many versions of these.
Of course, they don’t all work for all dogs and many owners report that their dogs loved the taste of the solution so much that he licked it all off before he started chewing. Still, it is an option that works for some pets.
Crate training a dog and then placing him in the crate when you leave the house is another way to make sure that your dog doesn’t destroy everything you own.
Of course, crating your dog when you’re away has many benefits, but even if you don’t plan to crate regularly, you may consider doing so while you’re working to stop your dog from chewing in inappropriate places.
Remember, you cannot stop dog chewing, but you can help them direct that chewing to the right places and objects.