Taking Care of Your Dog
Puppies enjoy chewing on just about anything they can sink their little teeth into. Chewing is a normal and healthy aspect of a puppy’s development. Puppies chew to eat but they also do it to learn about their new environment. Puppies also chew things if they are bored or under stress.
However, chewing can be taken to extremes. If not kept in check, chewing can be become a destructive habit.
Protect Your Puppy
A puppy has to be protected from the many dangers that are in a home. These dangers include dangerous foods and plants, electrical cords, needles, chemicals, high places, boisterous children etc.
In turn you do not want your puppy to chew and destroy all of your belongings. Bear in mind that if it looks interesting and appetizing, a puppy will enjoy chewing it.Teaching the Word “NO”It is your job to teach a puppy from the very beginning what no means. The “NO” command is very important to the puppy’s training. Being consistent in when you use the word is essential.
The word no needs to be learned early by puppies. For your puppy’s own good, it is also a word that needs to be responded to immediately.
When you catch your puppy chewing on a pair of slippers or shoes, say “NO” in a firm, deep voice. Make sure you leave no room for misinterpretation. Take the item from the puppy without delay.
Do not make a game of taking the item from the puppy. Nor should you make it a tug-of-war. This is serious teaching you are doing.
If you are concerned that he is not learning what “NO” means as he should, you can follow up the word with an action. Examples include a light tap on his nose (puppies do not like this) or a loud clap of your hands.
This is generally enough to teach the dog that he is doing an undesirable action. This also lets him know that you disapprove of what he did. Puppies like to be pleasing to their owners.
Refrain from chasing your puppy if he is chewing on an object that he shouldn’t. He will interpret this as a game and will enjoy the fun. Be calm and relaxed instead. Walk up to him, take the object and issue a kind but stern “No.”
Provide Your Puppy with Chew Toys
A bored puppy is more likely to be destructive in your home. Avoid this by making sure your puppy gets plenty of exercise on a daily basis. Offer your puppy appropriate toys fro his chewing enjoyment.
The more variety your puppy has the better. However, most puppies have a favorite toy or two. Crunchy dog biscuits are fun toys. They are also an excellent way to relieve stress for a puppy and they are good for your puppy’s developing teeth.
Direct your puppy’s attention to his chew toys. Show them to him with a smile on your face. Encourage him to want to play with them. Pretend to chew them yourself so he gets the point.
Selection is Key
Puppies need more than one type of toy to chew on. They need chew toys that help their teeth grow and get strong and resilient. Examples of these include hard dog bones, rubber “Kong” toys and nylabones, etc.
Puppies also need toys that they can sink their teeth into. Examples of these include rawhides, real sticks from outdoors, stuffed toys, etc.
Throw in some other fun toys that will provide hours of fun that is in no way harmful to your puppy. Examples of these include rope toys, balls and squeaky toys.
Make sure you inspect a toy closely before you give it to your puppy. Never give him anything that has a part that he could bite off and swallow.
Use your common sense. If an object cannot hurt a puppy then it is most likely safe to give him. You can then throw it away after he has grown tired of it. Examples of household items your puppy might enjoy include cardboard boxes and paper towel rolls.
Create a Puppy Toy Box
Once you have accumulated a collection of safe chew toys, place them in a puppy toy box. Make sure that whatever material you choose for the toy box is safe as it will end up being chewed too! A fabric “kitty bed” is one option. Avoid the ones made of foam.
Place all of the toys in the box. Encourage the fun that awaits the puppy. Take a favorite toy of his or a food treat and put it in the middle of the box underneath other toys.
Bring your puppy over to the box and with a positive and happy voice, tell him to go look in his toy box. Help him to do this. Rummage through it with him in an animated way.Always show encouragement and pleasure for the fun at hand. Praise him and pat his head in a loving manner when he catches on to the concept and begins to look through it himself.
Praise your puppy when he finds the toy or treat hidden in the middle of the box. If it is a toy then play with him. Always show plenty of enthusiasm. If it is a treat, then praise him and sit back and allow him to enjoy his chewing pleasure.