How to Stop Your English Bulldog From Chewing Everything in Sight

By Christina Schnell

Every English bulldog puppy owner has a story where she finds her leather purse and wallet shredded next to her wrinkly pup. Chewing is a universal behavior among puppies of all dog breeds. Yet the tenacious, and sometimes stubborn, personality of an English bulldog makes such normal stages of development challenging. Curbing your bulldog pup's chewing frenzy is possible, but requires addressing the behavior from multiple angles.

Puppy-proof your home. Like a toddler, your bulldog puppy wants to explore everything. Remove unsafe or undesirable items from the environment and require everyone in the family to pick up their shoes, put away toys, books and electronics. Leaving tempting items out in the open invites frustration and anger.

Provide your bulldog puppy with stimulating toys. Not all toys are created equal. Some puppy chew treats, like compressed raw hide, withstand long hours of straight chewing, while other toys stimulate his brain and dispense treats with specific and persistent manipulations.

Redirect your bulldog's behavior to an appropriate toy if you catch it actively chewing on something inappropriate. Clap your hands loudly, say "No," and immediately replace your shoe with one of its chew toys. Heap on the baby-voice praise when it takes the toy in its mouth and continue praising it as it chews. This technique is not effective if you find your shoes shredded three minutes after the fact. Your puppy won't associate your anger or punishment with something it chewed three minutes ago.

Restrict the dog's access. Gate it in the same room as you and don't allow it to wander the house freely until you feel confident it won't chew. Gate it in the kitchen or inside its crate when you aren't home. Don't leave your pup alone for more than a few hours and expect a mess-free home.

Exercise it regularly. Short but frequent periods of brisk exercise will drain your bulldog pup's energy, leaving it too tired to go shoe hunting. Even playing Frisbee in your yard for 20 minutes before work helps relieve its pent up energy.

Provide soothing distractions for teething. Like babies, bulldog pups chew when their teeth arrive. Sooth its gums by giving it a wet, frozen washcloth or frozen chew toy. Do not give it a child's teething ring; it won't withstand puppy teeth and contains harmful chemicals in the gel.