Chewing Dog Solution
Dogs that chew a little are likely to become dogs that destruct a lot. Instead of turning over your house and home to the destructive capabilities, stop this inappropriate behavior before it has a chance to get out of hand. Although it may seem innocent enough, a chewing habit can expand to preposterous proportions and is often the cause of dogs seeking new homes, since they have become unwelcome pests in their current ones. Regardless of the age of your dog, it is possible to stop a developing chewing habit in its tracks by using these simple steps:
Step One: Provide Chewing Alternatives
Face it, your dog is going to chew-it is the nature of the animal. Instead of making your goal to completely stop your dog from chewing, change your outlook to focus on allowing your dog to chew on appropriate items. Shoes, furniture, car seats, window sills, and the rest are inappropriate. Toys are appropriate. This is especially critical for puppies, but also important for older dogs as well. Provide your dog with an array of chewing toys so that he can exercise his jaws on something other than your designer shoes. Keep in mind that appropriate toys are not cast offs items that your dog has already destructed. Many dogs are puzzled when their owner lets them chew on an old, worn out shoe, but then scolds when a new pair is destroyed. Also, choose bones and chewing toys that have a secondary goal: tartar control. These chew toys are equipped with small spines that work to clean a dog's teeth and massage a dog's gums.
Step Two: Pick It Up
If your dog does not have access to items, then he will not be able to chew them. Your puppy cannot chew up your brand new leather briefcase unless you leave it within his reach. For this reason, you should dog- or puppy-proof your home to prevent your animal from chewing up anything and everything in sight. Think of leaving items out in the open a temptation for your dog. He probably does not have enough will power to leave it alone. If you do come home and your dog has completely destructed something that was left out by you, avoid punishing the dog, since you must take part of the blame upon yourself.
Step Three: Train, Train, Train
Teach your dog commands like "leave it" and "drop." This way, your dog can immediately respond if he should pick something up that is inappropriate. Furthermore, these commands work great for walks when a wandering dog may want to pick up something potentially harmful. A "drop" command will allow your dog to immediately recognize the situation. Often, when a dog picks up an inappropriate object, a game of tug of war ensues as the owner attempts to get the item back from the dog.
Step Four: Use Precautionary Measures
If your dog is prone to chewing, consider confining him to a certain room in your home where he can do the most damage when unsupervised. Owning a dog requires a great deal of trust on the parts of the dog and the owner, so avoid giving your dog free rein over your home unless you can trust his behavior. Also, turn to anti-chewing creams like Bitter Apple that are unsavory to your dog and will prevent him from chewing on items like furniture, electrical cords, and other items.
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