Dog Chewing Problems — Three Things You Must Know to Stop Dogs From Chewing

Are you frustrated with dog chewing problems?  Why do canines engage in destructive dog behavior like this?  How can you stop destructive chewing?  Learn easy ways to stop dogs from chewing by reading this article.

Why Does My Dog Chew On Everything?

The main reason puppies chew on things is that they’re cutting teeth.  If you’ve ever been around a human baby who’s teething, you know how chewing on a teething ring helps soothe those sore gums.  It’s like this for puppies too.  They’re in the process of losing baby teeth while adult teeth are coming in.  Sore gums are the result, and chewing helps soothe the pain.

An older dog may chew for many reasons.  One of the most common is that it helps to relieve stress and anxiety.  When a dog chews, endorphins are released.  These are chemicals that soothe and calm your dog.  You dog doesn’t know about endorphins, but he does know that chewing on things makes him feel better.

Chewing also helps to keep your dog’s teeth clean and strong.  Remember, if your dog is chewing, he’s not digging holes or barking, so there is an upside to this.

So chewing isn’t all bad.  But chewing becomes destructive chewing when your dog chews on things other than his toys.  How do you stop dogs from chewing on your toys?

How Do I Train My Dog Not To Chew?

You may be surprised to learn that your dog doesn’t know the difference between your stuff and his.  Even if he has lots of toys to chew on, he’ll still chew on a chair leg because he thinks everything in the house is a toy.  It’s up to you to teach him two things; that everything is not a toy, and that he’s not allowed to chew on things that belong to you.

Start by teaching him which toys are his.  Play with your dog, using one of his toys.  He’ll associate the toy with having fun, both with you, and by playing with the toy.  Another way to teach your dog that his toys are wonderful is to get a toy you can stuff with peanut butter or another treat.  He gets an instant food reward when he licks it out while playing with it.

If your dog picks up something that belongs to you, use the “drop-it” command, or clap your hands and make a noise to startle him into dropping it.  As soon as he does, immediately give him one of his toys.  When he starts playing with it, reward him.  This is how you teach him that it’s good for him to chew on his own toys, but not good when he chews on yours.

You’ll still have to dog-proof your home and put anything you really don’t want destroyed away until you know you can trust him.  Or else confine him to one room in your home where he can’t destroy anything when you have to leave the house.

Shouldn’t I Punish Him For Destructive Dog Behavior?

No.  If you don’t catch your dog in the act, he won’t have a clue why you’re mad at him.  If you do, you’ll teach him to wait until you’re gone to start destructive chewing. 

Dogs operate on rewards.  If you reward your dog with attention (good or bad) for doing something, he’ll continue to do it, even if it’s something you don’t want him to do.  It’s best to ignore bad dog behavior as much as possible, while praising and rewarding him being a good dog.  A dog won’t continue doing something if he doesn’t get a reward for doing it.

Training your dog is an ongoing process that never really ends.  In conclusion, you’ll find that an investment in a good dog training course will repay itself many times over in building a great relationship with your dog, while avoiding dog chewing problems.

Darlene Norris has worked at a vet clinic and an animal shelter, and has had lots of experience with dogs. If you’re dealing with dog chewing problems, visit No More Bad Dogs at to learn more about a dog training course that will help to solve your problem.

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