How to Stop a Dog from Chewing on Things

It is normal for dogs to chew on objects of all kinds. If your dog is becoming destructive around the house and is chewing on furniture, carpets or other unacceptable items, some training is needed to redirect the behavior in a healthier way. Identify the cause of the behavior so you can work with your dog to change it.

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Give your dog safe chew toys.

Puppy Chew Problems

Keep a puppy in restricted quarters when you are not around. Remove any item that would be unsafe for the puppy to chew, and every item that you don't want chewed. Puppies chew instinctively and in reaction to their growing teeth.

Give your puppy one or two sturdy, top-quality chew toys. Play with the puppy using the chew toy to get him interested in it. Consider using a hollow toy that you can fill with peanut butter or treats.

If the chewing strays to unacceptable items, say "no" calmly and remove the item. Give your puppy the chew toy instead and give some verbal praise.

Boredom

Exercise your dog. Your dog needs to run every day. A tired dog is not bored and is not looking for things to do.

Give your dog some mental exercise every day. Challenge-based training sessions keep your dog interested and spark thinking.

Supply your dog with challenging toys. A toy with hidden food, a toy that you can hide, or one that reacts to the dog's actions will keep your pet busy and prevent problem chewing.

Separation Anxiety

Work with your dog slowly to build confidence for when you are away.

Go for a walk before you leave and reward the dog with a small snack. Put out interesting chew toys to play with while you're gone.

Leave calmly and quietly when your dog is relaxed. Don't make eye contact or talk to your dog.

Leave your dog alone for a short period of time and then return. Lengthen the separation little by little.

Re-enter the home as calmly and quietly as you left. As your dog builds confidence, the anxiety will decrease, and so will the destructive behaviors.