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Avoiding Destructive Chewing

Puppies chew!

They have a knack for choosing your most valuable possessions as chew objects. To avoid expensive damage, teach your puppy to chew on chew toys. The safest most durable chew toys are sterilized beef bones. These are very inexpensive and available at most pet supply stores. To encourage your pup to chew these, you can stuff cheese, peanut butter or canned dog food into the hollow middle. This will keep your puppy busy for hours.

Get several of these bones and make sure they are where the puppy will find them. If you catch him nibbling on a forbidden item, tell him “NO” and give him one of his bones instead. By consistently redirecting him to his bone, he will learn to find a bone when he wants to chew.

To help speed up the process, tell him “here’s your bone” whenever you give it to him. If he gets his bone on his own, say “Good puppy, Get your bone”. In time, he will learn what “bone” means, and you will be able to tell him to “Get your bone” when you want him to settle down quietly.

Do not give your puppy dozens of chew toys to choose from. Too much choice only confuses him and makes it more difficult for him to learn what is OK to chew on . Avoid giving him rawhide. Because rawhide is leather, it is easy for a puppy to confuse shoes with his rawhide chews. Also, rawhide can get stuck in his throat, or cause intestinal blockages. Although this does not happen often, it is not worth the risk.

If your older puppy, (4-5 months old) is teething, try giving him a raw carrot or frozen wash cloth to sooth his gums. If he needs extra special chewies to help him through this uncomfortable time, RoarHide or pressed rawhide is acceptable and safe.

Kongs are also terrific toys for puppies and dogs of all ages. They are nearly indestructible, can be filled with dog biscuits, food or treats, and bounce irregularly. Like sterilized beef bones, a well-stuffed Kong can keep your puppy busy for hours.

Good Toy, Bad Toy

Get three or four of your puppy’s and one forbidden item, such as a shoe. Put them together on the floor. Get down on the floor with your puppy and direct his attention to the items. If he investigates or plays with one of his toys, play with him and praise him. If he investigates or plays with the forbidden item, abruptly withdraw your attention and praise. If necessary, you may spray the forbidden item with Bitter Apple to discourage him. By practicing this frequently, your puppy will quickly learn what toys he can play with.

This article is copied from:
The Canine Workshop, Niskayuna, NY 12304