If you want to stop dog chewing problems, you need to understand that dog chewing problems are usually a result of two issues: Either you’re giving your dog too much freedom– freedom that he hasn’t earned yet, so he develops chewing problems because he hasn’t been properly supervised. Which points to a consistency issue: The dog isn’t being corrected consistently for the unwanted behavior, so he never quite understands that he shouldn’t do it. Or second: The owner is not consistently giving the dog a motivational correction. The correction must be motivational enough to stop the dog chewing behavior.
So– it’s either consistency or motivation, as to why your dog hasn’t stopped chewing. Let’s look at a few examples:
How To Stop Dog Chewing When It’s Your Furniture
I once had a client call me to help her Golden Retriever stop chewing wood. The woman was a doctor– so, obviously intelligent– but I was appalled when I walked into her kitchen and found that the dog had chewed not only all of the wood base board but all of the wood in the kitchen up to three feet. I mean: everything around the entire perimeter of the kitchen (where the dog was confined) had been chewed.
I could immediately tell there were a couple of issues: First, the dog needed to be confined in a kennel crate, when she couldn’t supervise him. Second, the woman had absolutely no control over her dog. So, we needed to start teaching her and the dog some obedience exercises so that she could begin to correct this most unwanted behavior. The obedience exercises would also help to stimulate the dog’s mind, as it was obvious that boredom may have been contributing to the behaviors as well. In addition– separation anxiety is a common trigger that can cause many dogs like this to chew. To stop dog chewing for a dog with separation anxiety, I recommend talking with your vet about an anti-anxiety medication such as Clomicalm, in conjunction with a consistent daily aerobic exercise program.
Stop Dog Chewing With A Spray?
You’ve probably seen some of the “Stop Dog Chewing Spray” that your local big-box pet store sells, and you’ve wondered if it works.
Not for most dogs, anyway.
I should probably temper that statement by saying: If you have a dog that only chews on one specific item and not any others– it can work for some dogs. But let me tell you: Simply learning how to correct your dog by learning how to communicate with your dog is going to be both faster and easier. Why spend $15 on a “Stop Dog Chewing Spray” when a proper leash correction will work, even better.
“But my dog isn’t wearing a leash in the house!” you say.
Well, he should be. Or a tab (a 1 foot leash) until he learns the rules of the house.
For most dogs, the Stop Dog Chewing Spray simply doesn’t work. Nor does hot sauce, for that matter. Dog owners put hot sauce on the leather soles of their shoes, thinking that it’s going to keep their dog from chewing their shoes. If somebody held a gun to my head and said, “Eat your own shoe,” … I’d probably ask: “Can I put hot sauce on it?”
For most owners trying to stop dog chewing, hot sauce won’t work.
Stop Destructive Dog Chewing
Destructive dog chewing is usually the result of separation anxiety where you have the owners not at home and the dog displays extreme anxiety. The way he deals with the anxiety is through destructive chewing– and the way to deal with this is pretty much the same as what I describe above: You’ll want to get the dog on an anti-anxiety medicine to begin with.
Secondly, you’ll need to confine the dog to a dog crate when you’re not around. Or a dog run. Third, you’ll want to get the dog on an extreme aerobic exercise program that you do every day, to burn off the dog’s excess energy and anxiety. And fourth and most importantly is to start the dog on a dog obedience training program so that you develop a way of communicating with your dog so that you can let him know what he should and should not be chewing.
Stop Your Dog From Chewing Your Feet
Stopping your dog from chewing your feet is easy. Just say, “No!”
If that doesn’t work, it means that your corrections aren’t motivational. And one of the main reasons your correction isn’t motivational is that your dog (or puppy) doesn’t respect you. I recommend starting on a “Nothing In Life Is Free” program — as well as obedience training, which not only teaches your dog to do various exercises that will make him easier to live with, but also helps to establish a proper relationship between you and your dog. Then it’s just a matter of making sure you have the tab (short leash) and the training collar on your dog, so that you’re able to give a motivational correction– until the dog proves to you that he’s dropped the behavior for good.
Stop Dog Chewing Furniture
(and How To Stop Your Dog From Chewing When Left Alone)
This is one of those things that are so simply, you’ll be surprised you didn’t think of it already: Your dog is chewing on your furniture because he hasn’t yet earned the right to stay in the house, unsupervised. You wouldn’t leave a child alone in the house before he’s mature enough… would you? (Or until he’s proven to you that he can handle the responsibility and that you trust him.) Then don’t leave your dog alone until he’s at a point where you can trust him. I.E. Confine him to either a crate or a kennel run and when he is in the house “alone” then he’s not really alone… because you’re spying on him. And you can run into the room and stop your dog from chewing on your furniture by giving him a motivational correction.
Stop Dog Chewing Tail
If your dog is chewing his tail, it’s most likely either:
1. Your dog is suffering from a lack of stimulation. The way to fix this is– as mentioned above– by increasing the dog’s daily cardio-aerobic regimen. And by stimulating your dog’s mind by using both obedience training exercises, trick training and the use of puzzle games, such as the Kong toys. (The dog learns he must push or wobble the toy in a certain sequence, in order for food to drop out).
2. Your dog is suffering from a chemical imbalance that is causing obsessive/compulsive behavior. If you suspect this is the case, then talk with your veterinarian about putting the dog on a prozac-type medication– in addition to the exercises I’ve described in the prior paragraph.
Here is a short video I did on chewing and how to stop dog chewing problems.