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How to manage the chewing puppy syndrome

Puppies are so adorable, with their fuzzy little coat of fur, winsome eyes, natural curiosity, loving ways and playfulness. However, there is a caveat here. One of the down sides of this bundle of cuteness is that puppies absolutely love to chew. They’re pretty indiscriminate in their chewing object of choice. Chewing is as natural to a puppy as a duck in water. It’s what they do. When your fluffy friend exercises his God-given right to be a chewing puppy, there’s bound to be some losses sustained all around the household. When your teenage daughter presents you with her favorite sweater in shreds and tears in her eyes, you know it’s time to curb this habit – but how?

Before your home is in tatters, begin your anti-chewing puppy program. First, you need to understand the psychology of the chewing puppy. There are several reasons puppies chew on anything and everything. Puppies are teething and they chew on articles to relieve the pain. Sometimes they chew on things just because they have nothing better to do. Chewing is a highly esteemed activity with all puppies. Often, they chew on something because they enjoy the scent of a family member which resides on the item – very good sniffers, they are. They also may be trying to establish their spot as top dog in the household – including you and everyone in the family! There’s no question that they need to chew, but a chewing puppy, unchecked, will not outgrow this tendency. Instead, once he’s out of the puppy stage, he’ll continue the practice to show his position of authority.

Now, a trip to your local pet shop is recommended! Invest in some puppy toys, such as those fake bones, hard rubber balls, squeak toys and knotted sisal ropes are good choices. Now you’ve got to teach him that these are his and everything else is yours! Present him with his collection of chew toys and let him go for it. Remember, you’ve got to keep a sharp eye on your chewing puppy if you want to avoid Dad’s favorite leather slippers going to the dogs! The minute you see him chewing on anything but his designated toys, round him up and deliver a firm “No!” or “Bad dog!”. The phrase, bad dog, comes in handy later, because he comes to associate the single admonition with behavioral infractions, so this phrase is multi-purpose.

The only punishment you should administer to your chewing puppy is the disapproval in your voice, followed by leading him to his own toys in a restricted area. This can be as simple as a large cardboard box or as fancy as a dog crate. Let him have his own toys and chew to his heart’s content. With this simple process, he will eventually learn what belongs to whom!

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Filed Under: Dog BasicsPuppy Love

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