Face it Baby,Dogs Chew
07 Jun 2012
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Yes dogs, especially pups, like to chew and they're not particular as to whether it's a sofa cushion, the leg of a chair, a new shoe, the telephone wire, or even the receiver! And you know something; they're just doing something that comes natural. Your veterinarian will confirm that pups go through teething, just like young children. Chewing helps to relieve the pain of teething. Try giving a teething pup a dampened and then frozen cloth to chew on. That'll work wonders in relieving the irritation to him and to you.
Young pups also go through a play period; its fun to uproot a plant for instance, and see the stem and leaves go flying!
Older dogs also find pleasure in chewing, which relieves boredom and helps to strengthen teeth and jaws. Sometimes they do it when they're nervous or stressed. Sometimes it relates to separation anxiety. Regardless, chewing is a solitary activity that just feels good to a dog.
One thing that dog owners should get out of their mind is that chewing is spite-related. Dogs do not go on a chewing spree to get back at you for, let's say, leaving them home alone, when the family goes on an outing. They just aren't capable of thinking that way. They aren't vengeful or spiteful.
Now the Good News
Dogs can be taught to chomp on toys. This can take time and it will take patience, but isn't a little time and patience worth it to save your pooch from chomping on your toys? Think of it this way; when your dog is chewing something legal (something not harmful for him), he’s not barking at the gate, digging or getting
into other mischief.
Chew-Proof Your Home
Young dogs are like young humans - they put anything and everything in their mouth if given the chance. Some things are hazardous though. When we have human toddlers crawling around the house don't we keep dangerous items out of sight? You know; out of sight, out of mind, or out of reach, never mind! Well,the same would apply to young pups. And if you really want to get serious about this, get down to the dog's level. Get down on your hands and knees and take a dog's-eye-view of the situation. You'd be surprised what you miss when in the 'homus erectus' position. If one particular room is just too vulnerable, or dangerous, put a baby gate across the entrance. You may even want to create a safe room, one with no hazards and with appropriate chew toys. But don’t confine a puppy to a safe room for more than four hours without a potty break.They simply can’t hold it for much longer than that.
Introduce a Variety of Legal Chew Toys
They should have at least a dozen toys that they are allowed to chew on. Some trainers even recommend more. Select a variety of different sizes, shapes and textures. Then rotate them weekly, thus giving the little one a variety of play (chew) things. But avoid items that resemble those that you don't want him to chew. If you introduce him to an old sock for instance, don't expect him not to chew on new socks - a sock is a sock in the mind of a dog. Beware of playthings that have small parts like buttons.
What's Legal and what's Not?
You'll have to teach your dog what he's allowed to chew (or play with) and what he's not. Beating him for wrong behaviour is not the answer. Positive reinforcement for good behaviour and negative consequences for bad behaviour is. For instance, when he shows up with a legal toy in his mouth, say, "Good chew toy," and pet him on the head or tickle him under the chin. If you're playing a game like, 'Fetch toy,' you might want to give him a treat. If, when playing "Fetch toy", he fetches a good toy say, "Good fetch toy" (don't worry about proper grammar! It's a dog you're talking to, not a professor!). When he brings it, pet him or give him a treat.
Now the negative consequences. Take an empty soft drink can and drop in about four or five rupee coins. Then seal the top. Shake it. It makes an irritating noise; right? Well, keep that noise maker handy. When he is chewing an illegal item, throw it in the culprit's direction, but don't let it hit him. At the same time raise your voice while saying, "Bad toy. Drop it!" That should scare him into dropping the item. While playing the "fetch toy" game as mentioned above if he fetches an illegal item, shake the can vigorously and say, "Bad fetch toy," with a raised voice.
These are a few tips about chewing. Patience and training will enable you to enjoy a healthy relationship with your pooch.
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