Just like babies, dogs are curious and explore by putting things in their mouths. Remote controls are often tempting chew toys -- they're shaped similarly to dog bones and have the scent of the family all over them. If you come home to find yet another destroyed remote control, avoid punishing Fido, because punishment after the fact is ineffective -- Fido won't know what you're punishing him for. Wait until you catch him in the act to effectively correct his behavior. With consistency and patience his remote control fetish will be history in no time.
Tip #1 - Redirect your dog's attention. Watch your dog closely and when he starts chewing on the remote control, clap your hands loudly and say "no chew." This will startle your dog so he stops chomping on the remote control. Show him a food-stuffed dog toy, chew toy or bone, and when he takes it in his mouth, praise him. Your dog will associate the toy with being praised and might repeat the behavior.
Tip #2 - Provide your dog with daily mental and physical stimulation. If he gets bored, he might use his energy to start looking for the remote control. Take him on walks and let him run and play to tire himself out. Have him figure out how to get the food out of a food-stuffed dog toy and challenge him with regular obedience training sessions.
Tip #3 - Offer your dog a high value reward and only give it to him hf he releases the remote control. When you catch him with the remote in his mouth, say "give," and show him a dog treat. In order to eat the treat he has to release the remote. When he does, give him the treat. Over time, he'll associate the "give" command with getting a treat and he'll drop whatever is in his mouth.
Tip #4 - Replace a working remote control with a broken one and spray a commercial taste deterrent on it. When your dog takes the remote in his mouth, he'll dislike the taste and will leave it alone. Over time, your dog will learn that the remote control tastes bad and will leave it alone.
Tip #5 - Hide the remote control from your dog. Place it in an out-of-reach cabinet or close the door to the room with the remote control. Alternatively, block the entrance to the room with a baby gate.
By Kimberly Caines
Vetstreet: Why Does My Dog Chew on the Remote Control?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Destructive Chewing
The Humane Society of the United States: Destructive Chewing
About the Author
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.