It’s every dog owner’s nightmare to come home and find throw pillows ripped in pieces, missing laces on their favorite pair of sneakers, and the list continues. And while your blood is rising seeing the magnitude of the destruction in the living room, you found those guilty, but cute little eyes, trying to avert your gaze.
Who could stay mad with such a sight? Destructive chewing is certainly not cute, and you’re not alone in that struggle. On the bright side, there are ways to prevent our dogs from turning our homes into a warzone. Check the five tips and tricks below:
1. Provide a distraction
Chewing is innate to dogs, especially with teething puppies. One way to help them stop chewing on things is to provide plenty of dog-safe toys that will keep them busy.
If toys bore them, tough treats (e.g., chew bones) are a good way of keeping them distracted and it’s even good for their oral health. Always keep an eye on your puppies while they chew to prevent choking accidents.
2. Train them to get less attracted to non-toys
Most dogs chew on non-toy objects because they don’t know that they shouldn’t. Train them to ignore normal household items through positive reinforcement. Do this by putting objects of varying levels of interest in front of your dog. It should include squeaky toys, chew, toys, and non-toys such as socks, slippers, plastic cup, etc.
Reward them with a click or verbal incentive when they check the objects out. Reward them with a treat when they choose the appropriate toys. When they pick a non-toy item, remove the object, and do not give any treat. They will soon learn what objects are appropriate for chewing and they will leave your shoes alone.
3. It’s probably time for smarter and more exciting toys
If chew toys and long-lasting treats don’t work, it’s time for smarter toys that will pique their interests. Boredom will most likely lead to destructive chewing. Your dog probably needs toys or exercises that are mentally challenging.
Puzzle feeder balls and automatic ball throwers are some of the brain boosting toys for your bored dog. You may also engage them with stimulating exercise games to keep them in shape while playing.
This video guides you on how to stop your dog from destroying items and chewing up your possessions.
4. Anti-chewing device
There are plenty of anti-chewing aids in the market that you can try. Non-toxic anti-chewing sprays and other taste deterrent liquid will discourage your pet from chewing on household items. Avoid abusive training devices, such as pepper spray or shock collar.
5. Crate training
Crating can be a hot topic in the canine community; some people find it cruel or unnecessary, while others find it convenient and useful. In truth, crating done properly has its merits. Crating provides a safe den for your dog while you’re away from home. It also makes travelling and vet visits less stressful for you and your pet.
Crating your dog will prevent him from chewing on non-toys and from injuring himself.
So there you have it. The 5 practical tips you can use to stop your dog’s destructive chewing.
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