This week’s dog training tip is quick and simple and mainly applies to puppies. Again when we get a new puppy it is our responsibility to teach him about the world. Your puppy is relying on you to be a strong pack leader, which is why when you see bad habits starting to form that you correct these bad habits immediately.
Both puppies and adult dogs love to chew. This is their way of exploring and learning about the world around them. Puppies may chew on objects to relieve the pain of teething, and adult dogs may chew to keep their jaws strong and their teeth clean. However, both may chew due to stress, boredom, anxiety or frustration. This is an entirely separate topic and issue, which I will be happy to write about in another blog post.
For normal chewing behaviour, replacing the object that your dog is not allowed to chew with something that he is allowed to chew is great technique that will help him to know the difference between what is an acceptable chewing object and what is not. For example, if you find your dog chewing on your shoe tell him NO, take the shoe away from him, and replace it with either a toy or a treat, then be sure to give him plenty of praise.
To help your dog understand this new concept even more make sure he has plenty of chew toys and keep it interesting for him by rotating through his toys as often as you feel is necessary. I actually rotate through my dog’s toys monthly. When I introduce an old toy back in to her collection, she gets so excited because it’s like having a new toy again.
Inedible chew bones specifically meant for chewing are ideal. Do not give him cooked bones, like leftover T-bones or chicken bones, as these can splinter and cause severe internal injuries. You can also give him edible chew treats like bully sticks, pig ears, rawhide bones, pig skin rolls or other natural chews. However, I would suggest that these are given under supervision only due to the possibility of a choking hazard if your dog bites off a large chunk.
Destructive chewing can be frustrating, especially when you come home to find that your dog has chewed your valuable possessions. As I have mentioned in previous posts be consistent with the training, be confident as a pack leader and be patient. Your dog will love you for it!
Stay tuned next week for tip #6– Holding the Leash Properly
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Wishing you a great day.