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Most people attribute unwanted chewing to the puppyhood stages.
In most cases, guardians feel the unwanted chewing behavior is a part of the puppyhood stages. However, this behavior is also observed in some dogs after they have reached adulthood. Dogs normally use smell and vision to explore. Yet, their favorite way to process new information is putting things into their mouth.
There can be a variety of reasons behind the unwanted chewing behavior besides puppyhood.
Every behavior is trainable if done in the right manner
You can train your dog to stop unwanted chewing behavior. However, your approach must be right
You must take responsibility for your belongings.
If you do not want a specific object to land up in your dog's mouth, keep it away from your dog. Keep all your shoes, books, eyeglasses, trash, water bottles, plasticware, and anything that your dog loves to chew on at a place where your dog cannot reach.
No water bottles, old socks for playtime.
Do not offer your dog shoes and socks as this will only confuse him, and your dog will not be able to understand which sock is okay to chew and which is not. Only provide certified dog toys.
Playtimes should specifically be supervised.
You can keep your dog in a specific room if you run errands or have to complete work. If your dog is crate trained, your dog can be in the crate for a while. However, the crate should never become a negative space.
Pent up energy gets released via unwanted chewing behavior
Dogs normally release such pent-up energy either by doing zoomies around the house or chewing items they should not. Thus, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and is tired by the end of the day or when you have to go out.
Makes sure your dog receives mental stimulation in toys and food time.
Instead of giving your dog food in his or her bowl, give your dog the food in a puzzle toy or find-the-treat type toy. Use high-value treats so that your dog does not lose interest in finding the treasure.
Trading works on kids as well as dogs.
If you notice your dog chewing on something, trade the item for another high-value item. For example, if your pup is chewing on your sock, offer your dog some chicken to leave the sock and go for chicken.
It is not always possible to hide everything
Items like furniture, desks, tables, dining chairs, etc., can be coated with dog deterrent sprays like bitter apple, etc., to make the fragrance of such items unappealing.
Chasing your dog is never the solution
Dogs are natural-born hunters. If you chase your dog when he or she is running with something in the mouth, your dog will consider it as a game and will start to run further.
Remember, chewing is a natural part of your dog behavior.
There is no dog guardian who has not had their dogs chew up something or the other of value. This is a part of your dog's growth stages and his or her transition into the new home. It may require your dog a while to learn which are the appropriate toys, what is okay to chew.
Never the solution to solving your dog's behavioral problems
If you start using punishment, you are not a good dog guardian. The first part of solving a dog's behavioral problem is understanding why the behavioral problem is occurring in the first place. If you eliminate the root cause of the behavioral problem, the problem will automatically go away.
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