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Inappropriate Chewing Behavior in Dogs

Chewing is one of a dog's natural instincts. They do it to investigate the world around them, but unfortunately may turn their curiosity to your furniture, your shoes, or other objects you don't want chewed apart. Luckily, dogs can be trained to chew only on appropriate objects.

Why Dogs Chew

Boredom is the leading cause of destructive chewing behavior in dogs. Many dogs--especially high-activity animals like hunting and working breeds--have pent-up energy that they need to expel. If they don't get a chance to run and play, they'll take it out on the couch cushions or the kitchen table. If you dog is already well-trained and suddenly beings chewing destructively, this can be a symptom of an underlying health concern. Separation anxiety, stress, or even disease can cause sudden-onset chewing, so let your bet know right away if your nomally well-behaved dog has started chewing inappropriately.

Bringing Home a New Puppy

Puppies begin chewing as soon as their baby teeth come in. Consequwntly, puppy owners often have the most trouble with destructive chewing. Puppies have not yet learned to distinguish between what is right or wrong. Before you bring home a new puppy, go through the home nad pick up anything that is off-limits for chewing. Furthermore, don't give your puppy their very own sock or show to chew on; this makes it too easy for your dog to get confused.

Resolving Inappropriate Chewing

Make sure your dog gets plenty of attention and eercise every day. Allowing them to release pent-up energy and aggression in an appropraite manner will go a long way towards curbing the chewing habit. Proper crate training is also key--this way, your dog learns a schedule and knows that playtime is forthcoming, making them less likely to act out destructively. Ensure that your dog has plenty of appropraite chewing items. If the only thing around to chew on are shoes, your purse, and the table leg, your donw won't have much choice! Chew toys and rawhide toys are excellent for keeping your dog occupied. Food puzzle toys allow the owner to put a treat in the middle of the toy, holding the dog's interest as they try to uncover it. If your dog can't seem to stop the destructive chewing behavior, let your vet know. You may need the help of a certified animal trainer or behaviorist.