The mayhem of an untrained dog can cost you a lot of money and can test your patience. From drywall and moulding being chewed, to carpets being peed on, to furniture having teeth marks in it, and family members’ fingers being chomped on with razor sharp teeth – the headaches seem endless.

How do you stop your dog from biting and nipping?

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the horror stories of dogs taking their chewing habit (which is totally natural by the way) out on furniture, shoes, walls and even people.

One of my clients just emailed me to say that she bought yet another dog bed because her dog keeps chewing them up and she can’t stand how they look with holes in them. Hmmmm …. I think it’s time we try to solve this problem in order to save you money and stress and also redirect your dog chewing needs to something more appropriate. With a few easy tips we can teach your pet how to chew on bones and not furniture, fingers or carpets.   

These behaviors will, unfortunately, continue, unless you (the owner) put your foot down and learn training strategies to redirect and communicate with your dog.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional dog trainer to have a well trained dog, you just need some useful strategies.  I am going to share my time tested solutions with you for chewing and nipping.

Three Strategies to Address Chewing:

  1. Invest in a variety of different types of chew toys for your dog – bones, stuffies, brain games, etc. This way, depending on how your dog feels or what they prefer, they will always have an option to try (instead of furniture or shoes). I like Bully sticks, Kongs, and Benebones.  I suggest getting all three. 
  2. Increase their exercise and interaction time with you. Oftentimes, dogs chew to get attention. If they feel connected to you, have an outlet for their energy AND get some quality attention from you that is positive, they will be much less likely to be destructive and sneaky. If they exercise outside, they will be tired inside and can relax with a good bone.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use the dog’s crate. Especially when puppies are little and are exploring and don’t know their boundaries and what is right and wrong, put them in their crate when you can’t actively supervise them. This is not a punishment; but rather a safe and cozy place where they can rest. Be sure to include a soft blanket AND some chew toys to complete the set-up.

How to Address Nipping:

It’s important that we communicate clearly with our dogs that nipping is not allowed and that we do not like it. The best way to clearly communicate this with a puppy is to pull away and stand still. I say “stand like a tree”. Hands up, eyes up, body still. Stay there long enough to be very clear that you are not engaging with your puppy.

This stillness is an opportunity to be mindful and breath. 

Deep breaths.

Reset and gain your composure. When the puppy has calmed down or walked away, you can re-engage on your terms. 

To understand how to practice this, click here to view a video of me practicing it with my clients. Watch the video with your children so everyone understands what to do.

#1 Mistake: The biggest error people make is not waiting long enough before re-engaging with their dog. You have to wait until the dog calms down, loses interest and walks away! This way you are showing absolutely no reward or attention when the dog behaves badly.

You are not alone if you experience undesirable chewing and nipping from your dog, but you CAN eliminate these behaviors with the strategies I have mentioned in this article. Invest now in your pup, and the time you spend will be well worth the effort. I promise.

If you have any questions whatsoever, I would be more than happy to help. Leave a comment, DM me on Insta or send me an email at andrea@myloyalhound.com

For a real-life testimonial from a client who recently worked with her dog, Buddy, on chewing, click here.

As a side note: This is my favorite non-toxic dog shampoo option!

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