Friday, October 23, 2009
Mmmm....your shoes taste good!
Dogs Chew...period. Sorry everyone, but it's a fact of doggy life. Chewing is a natural behavior that releases stress, relieves boredom and just plain feels good.
Where your dog is on their journey through life plays a part in just how much they will want to chew. Puppies begin around the time of teething. As soon as this occurs make sure to let your dog know what is appropriate to chew on (chew toys, KONGS, nylabones etc...) and what is not. (Rugs, furniture, shoes or even your wall!)
Because chewing relieves boredom, keeps the dog occupied, and relieves stress, it is likely to be a repeated occurrence as it is self re-enforcing.
So, how do we tell doggy where, when and how to chew? The best medicine is exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog; plus a sleeping dog can't chew up the banister!
If your dog has a 'chewing problem' always supervise them while in the house, and confine them to a crate or small room along with KONGS, bedding and water, when you cannot. Dog proofing your house is also strongly advised. If you don't want your dog to chew it, get it off the ground! Don't complain that your dog eats your shoes when you are the one that leaves the closet door open every day!
Make sure you have a variety of chew toys for your dog to choose from, (at least 20) and rotate them so that your dog does not get bored.
If you come upon your dog chewing on something inappropriate interrupt them with loud noise or vocalization and re-direct them to an appropriate item. Remember you can never punish your dog after the fact. If you come home to find your couch pillows destroyed, it is too late to discipline your dog.
A dog is a dog, and they will always find a way to amuse themselves. It is our job to give them plenty of (acceptable) things to do!