Stop Dogs From Chewing Without Bitter Spray

By Jasey Kelly

Your pooch is chewing on your stuff and you're at your wits' end. Whether it's the baseboards, your furniture, your favorite shoes, or worse yet, electrical wires, he's going to keep chewing unless you can break him of the habit. Dogs chew for many reasons, and some reasons might be easier to curb than others. If she's a pup, she's chewing to soothe her gums and explore; if she's an adult, she could be bored, going through separation anxiety or simply not have the right toys.

Tip #1 - Discipline with a firm "NO!" or "Drop!" command, but only when you catch her "red-pawed." Dogs associate discipline and punishment with what is going on at that very moment, not what they did previously. Even if it was just a few minutes ago, never punish your pup unless you catch him in the act of destruction.

Tip #2 - Kick up your daily exercise routine with your pooch. This could mean adding a quicker pace or another 10 minutes to your daily walk, or even playing an intense game of catch or fetch in the backyard with your pooch. Pooches who are chewing out of boredom may just need to have a little more cardio in their lives to release some of their energy.

Tip #3 - Increase the variety in your dog's chew toys. Today's pet toy market is flooded with great toys that are designed for all types of chewers. Get a few new chew toys made for your dog's size and chewing abilities. For example, some bones are made for power chewers -- dogs who can seemingly gnaw for hours on end and demolish almost anything. Chewing helps keep your pup's teeth clean, exercises their jaws and satisfies the natural urge she has to chew.

Tip #4 - Redirect your pooch when you catch her chewing. If he's chewing on something he shouldn't, discipline with the firm "NO!" or other command, then give him a proper chew toy. Dogs are fairly smart, and most are eager to please their human companions.

Tip #5 - Crate-train your pup for when you're away, particularly if he's chewing up your belongings while you're at work or running errands. Again, dogs are smart, and if they want to do something they know is bad, sometimes they'll wait until you're not looking. This will also help with a pooch who is suffering from separation anxiety. Crate-training not only keeps your pup contained, but it also gives him a "safe" place and a den.

By Jasey Kelly

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References

The Humane Society Of the United States: Chewing: The Whys and Hows Of Stopping a Gnawing Problem
American Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Destructive Chewing

About the Author
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.