How to Stop a Dog Chewing Everything

How to stop a dog chewing everything

Dear Hindy,

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

How to Stop a Dog Chewing Everything

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Dear Melanie,

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

Good luck.

 

 

 

Hindy Pearson
I am a dog trainer and behaviour consultant, specialising in working with first time dog owners. Whether you're thinking of getting a dog and aren't sure if it's the right time, or you've been sharing your life with one for awhile but there are issues you can't resolve, I am here for you. No matter where in the world you live I can help.

8 Comments

  1. Amy Shojai, CABC

    This is such great advice. Too many folks overlook the fact that ANY attention is still attention (even shaming/yelling). I also recommend rotating toys. At our house, the new pup Bravo has a huge number of toys, and I have to lock some up or he’d have them ALL out at one time, BOL!

    Reply
    1. Hindy Pearson (Post author)

      You’re right, people don’t realise attention is attention no matter how it’s delivered. I definitely recommend rotating toys so they don’t get bored, unless they help themselves to the toy box!!

      Reply
  2. Beth Patterson

    This sounds like great advice! It is so much easier to stop your dog from getting into trouble if you are in the room with him. When we first got our dogs, we crate trained them so when we weren’t home, they stayed safe and couldn’t destroy things.

    Reply
    1. Hindy Pearson (Post author)

      You’re right Beth, prevention is always better. I know many people see a crate as being cruel, like you say it kept your dogs and home safe. It was a lifesaver for my dog when he was recovering for surgery. If he hadn’t been confined the outcome might have been very different.

      Reply
  3. Dash Kitten Crew

    I had never though of rotating toys. Simple and obvious when you think about it but an ingenious idea!

    This advice will help a lot of dog parents.

    Reply
    1. Hindy Pearson (Post author)

      It’s incredible how the simplest things tend to be the most effective!!

      Reply
  4. Kamira

    As a cat person I had no idea dogs will chew out of boredom or teething. I assumed to dogs, it all tastes good! These tips for mental stimulation toys is a great idea in addition to storing your most valuable things in a safe place. Hope these tips help other dog parents. Will share.

    Reply
    1. Hindy Pearson (Post author)

      I think the same holds true with cats. Mine would be bored 10 minutes after playing with a toy, and a couple of them loved to stand on the table and casually throw things on the floor. Not much was safe with them around!! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

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