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Help! My puppy is a chewing monster!

Many puppy owners have gone through the horrors of a puppy chewing everything they can stick their teeth in. Ranging from your favorite furniture to electrical wires. The latter is even potentially dangerous for your puppy’s health. Both for your puppy’s safety as the safety of your home, it’s important to address this chewing behaviour early on.

Provide an alternative

Chewing is normal behaviour for a puppy. So make sure you have toys provided on which they are allowed to chew. Dogs shouldn’t learn not to chew, rather they should learn what to to chew on. A kong can be very helpful in this case. Since you can fill it up with something tasty, your puppy will get rewarded for chewing on the kong.

Exercise your dog

Make sure your puppy gets enough physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. When your puppy is bored, he will find something to entertain themselves. In many cases, this means he’ll start chewing something. Too much stimulation on the other hand, might also result in chewing since your dog needs to find a way to calm himself down. Finding a good balance between too much and too little stimulation might be hard at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll make life much easier.

Crate training

Crate training can help you a long way when training your puppy. In this case, it’ll help you inhibit your puppy from chewing while you aren’t watching him. Since you can choose what your puppy has access to, he can’t chew on furniture for example. While in the crate, you can provide him with a chewing toy to stimulate chewing on the right targets. More information on crate training can be found here.

Address the problem, focus on the solution

Whilst you shouldn’t let your puppy chew on things he’s not allowed to, you will reap more benefits if you focus on the solution. Instead of punishing your puppy for chewing, provide him with alternatives and reward him for chewing on these. Make sure his energy is drained so he’ll be tired when inside of your home.

Stay calm

Focusing your frustration or anger towards your puppy will definitely not help getting rid of this behaviour. On the contrary, your dog might get frustrated or insecure and find another object to get rid of this frustration. It is easier to communicate with your dog when you are in a calm state of mind.

Keep in mind that puppy chewing reaches its peak between the sixth and tenth month of age. In this timespan they’ll probably also change their teeth. Chewing relieves them of any pain that occurs during this period. Consistency and a calm state of mind will help you through this period. So keep it up!

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