Puppy chewing, naughty or natural?
Congratulations on your new puppy! Although cute, you have most likely noticed how much she likes to chew. This is a frustrating but inevitable part of puppyhood. It is never fun to go look for your favourite shoe, only to find it has been shredded by your new companion. With these tips, you can avoid unwanted destruction while still allowing your puppy to experience a natural part of being a dog.
Puppies don't chew to be naughty, they need to chew. Much like a baby needs to teethe, they have new teeth coming in and chewing helps develop a strong set of chompers. Management is very important because everything is a potential chew toy when the desire to teethe is so strong. Keep your pup in a penned area with items you don’t mind her chewing, such as bones, teething biscuits or chew toys. If you use a toy, make sure it is not made of a brittle material that could break off and lodge in your puppy’s mouth or stomach.
When your puppy is out of her playpen, pick up everything that you do not want destroyed, such as shoes, children’s toys, remote controls etc. She does not know what you covet and what is purposefully given to her to chew. She will be drawn to just about everything, especially items that have her owner’s scent on them.
Keeping her in her play pen will not only keep her from chewing your furniture but will help her toileting routine develop as you manage her forays into the yard for peeing, and not on your carpets!
Never give your pup old shoes or clothing items as she will not distinguish between those and the new ones you don’t want her to chew.
If you catch her eyeing or starting to gnaw something off-limits like a table leg, utter a growl and clap your hands loudly. Praise her when she looks at you. You can also spray a safe deterrent such as bitter apple on any furniture to create non-tasty chewing experience for your pup.
Never physically correct your pup for chewing and never correct her after the fact. This can create more issues as your pup can become fearful of hands and people approaching her.
Once your puppy’s adult teeth are in, continue to provide healthy, safe chewing items throughout her life to keep the teeth and gums healthy and keep her active and stimulated when she is alone.