Having a dog is much like having a baby -- both like to explore their surroundings by putting objects in their mouth and both rely on you to keep them safe. Whether you have a teething puppy or an adult dog who wants to give his teeth and jaw a workout, dog-proofing your home is essential. If your pet companion has developed a fetish for electrical cords, break his behavior immediately and redirect his attention. You might just save his life.
Items You May Need
• Chew toys or bones
• Food-stuffed toys
• Wire sleeves
TIp #1 - Unplug electrical cords that your dog has access to and watch him closely as he strolls through the room with the wires -- don't let him out of your sight. To effectively correct his behavior, you must catch him during the act -- if you punish your pet companion after he's done chewing the electrical cords, he won't understand what the fuss is all about.
TIp #2 - Clap your hands or blow a whistle when your dog starts messing with the electrical cords and say "uh-oh." This will startle him and stop him in his tracks. Immediately give him a chew toy or bone to teach him what he's allowed to gnaw on. Praise him when he shows interest in the toy or bone. Repeat this tactic each time you catch your pet companion wandering off toward the electrical cords. Over time, it'll click that electrical cords are off-limits and chew toys are OK.
TIp #3 - Stimulate your dog physically and mentally so he's not bored and is less likely to misbehave to get your attention. Take him on daily walks outside. Play fetch or tug-of-war with him. Let him run or swim to release stress and tire himself out. Challenge him with food-stuffed toys and incorporate regular training sessions in which he learns commands, such as "sit" and "stay."
TIp #4 - Confine your pet companion to a dog-proof room or crate for a short period if you can't watch him. Give him water and toys to play with while he's confined.
TIp #5 - Hide electrical cords behind furniture or cover them with plastic sleeves so they're inaccessible.
By Kimberly Caines
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Destructive Chewing
The Humane Society of the United States: Chewing: The Whys and Hows of Stopping a Gnawing Problem
WebMD: Pets: Burns and Electric Shocks in Dogs
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.