Often people contact me when their dog has a behavior problem that has become a nuisance. Chewing is a perfect example! Such a bad habit can become quite expensive when you need to replace a dining table or couch.

I had a client whose dog chewed everything! He even ate plaster off the walls, chewed on the stairway’s wooden banister, and the dining table will never be the same again. They were considering getting rid of the dog because they couldn’t afford to keep replacing furniture and making necessary repairs to the house. 

The first question I always ask when there is a destructive dog is:

“How much exercise does your dog receive each day?” 

If your dog is getting enough exercise, they are much less likely to be destructive chewers. More time outside where they can chew on sticks and burn off physical energy is an easy solution to many bad behaviors. A tired dog is a happy dog!  I have never had someone call me because their dog sleeps at their feet too much. 

Teaching your dog ‘fetch’ is a great way to help burn off energy efficiently so you don’t have to physically keep up with your dog’s energy level. Check out this ChuckIt toy for great games of “fetch.”

My second question is:

“Does your dog have enough chew toys, with enough variety?” 

I really like to have a combination of chews including bully sticks, rope toys, antlers and Benebones.

These products have saved clients hundreds of dollars by keeping their shoes, slippers, furniture and other items safe from chewing dogs teeth. 

My third question is:

“Does your dog have too much unsupervised freedom?”

When a dog or puppy first comes home, I recommend closing off a small designated Puppy area where there is nothing available for them to destroy. This area is often a tiled mud room or kitchen with limited toys accessible. When the dog is not in this “safe space” they are being watched, supervised and trained. If a dog takes something I don’t want them to chew, I say my negative, discouraging sound, “Nuh-uh!”  and replace the object with a designated chew toy.”

If I can’t supervise the dog/puppy, it goes into his/her crate. I have a schedule for ‘crate time’ and a schedule for ‘awake/alert/engaged time.’  This allows me big blocks of time when I can run my errands and relax knowing the dog is safe. 

With a schedule, plenty of exercise and ample chew toys- most dog owners find the chewing problem is easily fixed. 

The last question I ask is:

“Do you have commands, mental stimulation and games you play with your dog?”

This is where good training really pays off!  Dogs’ needs include physical, mental, social and emotional activities. Just like people, dogs thrive when all their needs are met. 

Find a puppy class near you, or join my private FB Group, or sign up on my website for a remote session!  A few commands and games will take your relationship with your hound to the next level.

I’d love to know what other questions you have about chewing! Feel free to shoot me an email anytime at andrea@myloyalhound.com.

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