We adopted Zac a few months ago, and we love him to pieces. The problem is he’s a chewer, and he isn’t fussy about what he will chew. He has lots of toys but he doesn’t limit himself to them. Can you please give me some tips to help him stop. I don’t want my furniture legs to be his next victim!! Thank you, Melanie
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Don’t worry, I’ll try and help before that happens!!
There are various reasons for chewing which can include teething, boredom, anxiety, and looking for attention. How is that attention seeking? Perhaps a pet parent is busy and doesn’t spend enough time with their dog. Yelling at him for chewing something he shouldn’t is still attention. If you think he’s feeling anxious because he’s left alone for several hours each day, try and arrange for a dog walker, family, friend or neighbour to stop by. Another option is putting him in doggy day care, even if it’s just a couple of times a week.
A key factor in tackling so many behaviour issues, including this one, is ensuring your dog gets plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation. That means not only walks but perhaps things like agility, fly ball, puzzle toys, short training sessions at home…
Provide Zac with sturdy chew toys, but don’t give him all at once. Rotate them to keep his interest, and praise him when he chews what’s appropriate.
When you’re out, limit his access to the entire house by blocking off a smaller area for him
A Kong is an excellent boredom buster, and will keep Zac chewing on what’s appropriate. Spread some peanut butter inside, cheese spread, homemade doggy ice cream…
In the meantime, don’t leave anything valuable/important in your dog’s path until he learns what is and is not acceptable