Friday, February 11, 2011


Chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs and an important part of their development. Often puppies will use chewing to help soothe their gums during teething much like a baby using a soother. Adult dogs chew because they can and because the like it. Chewing gives them a purpose, helps alleviate boredom and uses their energy. And a bonus for you, it helps keep their teeth clean.

With that being said, be proactive regarding your dog's chewing habits. Always have appropriate chew toys and/or bones available  (remember to do your research to find the safest toys and bones).

It is your responsibility to educate your dog as to what is and is not appropriate to chew. Use your common sense, if you want to set your dog up for success put away things you don't want him to chew and make things you do want him to chew very obvious. You can do this by either rubbing something tasty on the outside of it or stuffing some treats or baby carrots inside if possible. Allow your dog to work for the toy by getting him to sit or lie down for it. Or you can ask him to wait while you hide it and praise him when he finds it. You will be fulfilling his need to chew and play while brushing up on your leadership skills at the same time.

Never yell at dog after the fact if you do find something chewed that shouldn't have been. If you catch your dog in the act, then give him a firm "NO" and give him something you want him to chew. When he takes it, praise him. Remember it's always better to reinforce a good habit.

To avoid excessive and compulsive chewing, make sure you are meeting your dog's exercise requirements based on his energy level. A tired dog is a good dog!

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