As dog owners, you probably have experienced just how destructive your pets can be around the house. They knock things over and bite anything that they can get away with, even when they know they are not supposed to do it. Even a well trained dog whom have been properly taught not to destroy household items just can’t resist doing it.
“The vast majority of behavior problems that you have with dogs are normal behavior patterns, but inappropriate for the setting in which they’re occurring,” says Daniel Q. Estep, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist in private practice in Littleton, Colorado.
What that means is that it is perfectly normal for a dog to chew things up, but it just doesn’t mix well when you have your valuable stuff in the same area that the dog resides. The good news is that pets are quick learners so if you apply the following simple training tips then your dog will soon be off redirecting his ‘chewing energy’ onto something else.
1. Supply your dog with plenty of toys. Regardless if your dog is an adult or a puppy, be sure that there is always plenty of toys for them to chew on and play with. If your dog has plenty of its own chew toys around then it will tend to focus its energy on those toys instead of your belongings.
2. It is important not to give your dog toys to use, that actually belong to you. For example, we all love to give the dog our old tennis shoe right? It seems innocent enough, but think about that for a moment. You just gave your dog permission to chew and destroy something that belongs to you. Now how is he going to tell the difference between that shoe and your other belongings in the house? He is not going to be able to. In fact, you will confuse him even more.
3. Be quick to stop any type of unwanted chewing behavior immediately. Never let an instance go by where you caught your dog chewing up something that he shouldn’t have. If you let the dog get away with it even for just a few times, it will be that much harder to train him in the future.
4. Create a unique room just for the dog. Whether it is a full blown room or simply a crate, designating a place that your dog is sent to for disciplining or when you have to leave the house is a great way to help curb his natural instincts to chew up on everything.