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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

How To Stop Dog Chewing: Part 2

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Will This Dog Chewing Ever Stop?

If you've jumped ahead to this page because you want to know how to stop dog chewing you are getting ahead of yourself. ;-) Please at least skim through the information in Part 1 about why your dog is chewing as it is vitally important even though some of the solutions may be common to different reasons.

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So, to answer the question, "will my dog ever stop chewing?," the answer is—no. Once teething is over they may slow down somewhat, but dogs love to chew and getting them to stop completely is futile. As you find ways to diminish the need to chew as much, discourage them from chewing inappropriate things and redirecting them to things they are allowed to chew you will eventually be successful.

It takes time and patience. There will be slip-ups. It's also important to not react angrily and scold your dog after-the-fact. Using a stern voice if you catch them in the act is one thing, but scolding them half an hour (or even five minutes) after they've chewed your shoes is worse than pointless. It may result in the opposite effect and even cause new behavioral problems to develop.

Practical Ways You Can Stop Your Dog From Chewing

Dogs Chewing ShoesDollar Photo Club

One of the key ways to stop your dog from chewing inappropriate things is to redirect them to things you want them to chew.

There are a few solutions to help stop dog chewing and when used together will be most effective. As mentioned above it is a good idea the minimize the inappropriate things laying around or within reach of your dog to chew on.

The next level is to discourage your dog from chewing on the things you don't want them to. While it's great to be vigilant and stop them before they start or right in the act and then trade them for an appropriate chew toy or treat it's not possible to watch them every second.

That's where special sprays with a bad taste can be used. You just spray them on whatever it is you don't want your dog chewing. There are several commercial versions of dog chewing deterrent sprays available like Grannick's Bitter Apple. Some have tried hot spices like Tabasco sauce with varying degrees of success. However, these can wear off and need to be reapplied occasionally.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

While you are training your dog about what not to chew you also want to show them what you want them to chew instead. It's a good idea to have a variety of chew toys with different shapes and textures. These are quite durable and some can be filled with yummy things like cheese or peanut butter to make them all the more attractive. You can also keep bully sticks on hand for a change.

While you might not mind if your dog chews on your old shoes, it's a bad idea to let them. It just makes things confusing and that much more difficult for your dog to differentiate between what is and what is not okay to chew on. Besides, there are a lot of harmful things on shoes that can damage your dog's teeth or be swallowed.

To help with the pain of teething a good approach is to fill things like a Kong with soup and freezing them. Another alternative is to moisten a cloth and freeze it. Chewing on cold things like this can really help reduce the discomfort from teething.

Go, And Chew No More—No Bad Stuff Anyway

So, I hope some of these ideas of how to stop dog chewing will help. Just remember to first find out why your dog is chewing things and then take positive steps to guide them to more appropriate behavior. Confirm with your vet that there isn't a medical cause before you just focus on behavioral issues.

I know it's hard to stay positive when you come home and your living room is trashed, the legs of your dining room table have been gnawed down to nubs or your last pair of shoes have been shredded (and you're looking at having to wear flip-flops to work tomorrow), but with a bit of dissuasion, redirection, consistency and love, you'll train your Aussie to know what they can and definitely cannot chew on. icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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