The first few days or weeks after you bring your adorable puppy home can be pure bliss. He is so sweet that you can’t imagine him ever doing something destructive. However in no time at all, he will be off exploring his new world and most likely your puppy will be chewing things along the way.
Why Puppies Chew
Puppies chew things for a variety of reasons. While puppies are born with teeth, their adult teeth come in fairly quickly (usually at around 3 months of age) and chewing on things relieves the pain of the incoming teeth, just as it does with babies.
Chewing is also a way for your puppy to explore his world. When a dog is gnawing on something, they learn about the taste, the texture, and any results from biting down on it.
Puppy chewing also occurs if they are bored and have nothing else to do. This is normally when they are at their most destructive. Not only will they chew the proverbial shoe, but the door frame, the chair, siding, cabinets . . . anything that they can get their mouth around.
How to Stop Your Puppy From Chewing
While you can’t stop your puppy from chewing on things entirely (and you wouldn’t want to), it is possible to direct their chewing to more appropriate items.
The first step is to puppy proof the area he will be in. He should not be allowed to roam the whole house. Instead confine him to an area that has the least amount of temptations. Set him up for success. Don’t set your new pumps down by his bed and then get mad when he chews them to pieces. Remove anything that would be easy for him to grab and destroy.
Next, make sure that you provide him with plenty of items that he can chew. Rawhide and pigskin available at the grocery store will not only keep him entertained, but also help with teething and jaw development. Get chewable toys that he can play with for hours.
If he is outside of his crate, be sure to keep an eye on him. If he starts to chew on an inappropriate item, tell him No firmly and give him an acceptable item or toy instead. Praise him when he uses it.
If your puppy is chewing on things out of boredom, it is time to step up his activity level. Take him on longer and more frequent walks. Play ball or teach him a new trick. When dogs are learning and thinking, it is hard work and they will get tired and settle down more quickly.
While having items in your home chewed on may be frustrating, it is part of your puppy’s growth process and development. Normal puppy chewing does not have to be destructive or out of control. With careful monitoring, firm correction, and consistent training, he will quickly learn what is acceptable for him to chew on and what is not.