Puppies are prone to chewing. It is always a difficult problem to overcome, but it is one that needs to be resolved early. Many dogs grow out of their chewing behavior. Unfortunately, they tend to do a lot of damage before they do. The following include some ways to train your new puppy:
- Crate training is the most feasible option for many people, and it can keep your puppy feeling safe and secure when you are away. See our page on crate training for advice on how to get started.
- Reward conditioning – When you are able, strictly supervise your puppy. When you see him grabbing onto your shoes, a table leg, or your pillows, distract him with some other, more attractive and less expensive option. When he takes the toy, nylon bone, or whatever other “good” toy you offer, give him lots of praise and petting.
- Have a variety of chew toys on hand. Puppies can get bored and become uninterested in the same toys. Try switching them out every few days.
- Preventing chewing – If your puppy tends to chew on a surface that is color safe and will not be damaged, try coating the surface with white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. The smell and taste will make the object much less tempting.
While it will be difficult to retrain instinctive behaviors like chewing, DON’T GIVE UP! It will be well worth the effort in the end to have a happy, well-adjusted dog.