My puppy is chewing on everything, how can I make him stop?
While chewing is a normal dog/puppy behavior, it is distressing when your pooch destroys the arm of a chair or kitchen rug. Generally the increased chewing seen in puppies decreases once their adult teeth have all come in around 6 months of age. Here are some tips to keep your puppy from destroying your possessions:
- Give your puppy lots and lots of dog friendly toys of various shapes, sizes, textures and hardness levels.
- Try using treat dispensing toys or toys you can put a little pet safe spread or dog safe peanut butter inside to keep them busy for extended periods of time
- When you see your puppy chewing on something inappropriate, distract them with a toy they can chew on and praise them when they do chew on their toy
- Burn their energy. Take them on walks, play fetch with them frequently, take them to puppy classes, the dog park, or sign them up for agility classes. The more physically active they are the less likely they are to get bored and chew on everything. Also, puppy daycare may be another option to get them playing, but to also socialize them.
- Crate train your puppy. This will allow you to be away from home or not have to constantly supervise your puppy if you work from home. This will give your puppy a safe quiet place to relax and keep him from being destructive. Be sure to give him some appropriate toys in his crate, check on him frequently for potty breaks and to ensure he is not developing any separation anxiety signs, and do not leave him in a crate for extended periods of time.
How do I get my dog to stop nipping and mouthing me while playing?
As a dog grows older it can become more difficult to train a dog from not play biting and mouthing. First you will want to stop all play and disengage your attention to your dog as soon as she starts this behavior while playing. By being consistent, she will learn that if she bites, nips, or mouths you during play you will stop playing with her when she wants to play. The next thing you will want to do is stop playing with your dog with your hands (i.e. roughing her hair up to get her to play or play pushing her away so she comes back at you). Only play with your dog with toys and always away from your body. Your dog will then associate play with appropriate dog toys and not your hands.