A Puppy Owner’s Short Guide to Chewing

Chewing is natural, it helps to clean teeth and relieve stress. Puppies need to chew, but they also need to learn what to chew.

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Kongs can be made more interesting by smearing some cheese spread or pate around the inside

Safe chew toys: Kongs, chew toys designed for dogs

Not safe chew toys: Furniture, small children’s toys, cables

Safe chew toys can be made more interesting by stuffing them with food – dog meat, biscuits, cheese, hotdogs etc. Make sure that whenever you leave your dog he has access to a few safe and interesting chew toys.

When your dog starts chewing something he shouldn’t – don’t chase him, most dogs find this a great game. Instead, go and get a tasty treat and encourage him to bring you the item in return for the treat. This rewards him for handing the item over. Practise this with their own toys too, ask for them, give the treat, then give the toy back.

If your dog still chews things after you have done all of the above, take a look at his lifestyle. Is he getting enough mental and physical stimulation? If not, consider what other exercise, interactive play and training he could have to settle him down.

If he is chewing when he is left, ensure he has plenty of things he is allowed to chew, he is tired from a walk or training session and he does not have access to things he is not supposed to be chewing (possibly with the help of a crate or play pen). If even this doesn’t work, there are bitter tasting sprays that you can put onto furniture legs to make them less tasty, but as this doesn’t tackle the reason your dog is chewing, do not use this as a first resort as ignoring the problem may cause other problems such as barking or even self harm.

There are many videos about chewing on www.naturallyhappydogs.com, just type ‘chewing’ into the search bar. Membership is usually only £4.95 ($7) per month but you can get a whole month for free by using the voucher code PPG.

About Sally Marchant

Sally Marchant is a dog trainer and behaviourist who runs www.naturallyhappydogs.com to bring hours of expert video information to dog owners worldwide and www.dog-and-bone.co.uk which runs training and behaviour seminars for dog professionals.

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