Training your puppy comes with many challenges. Your canine companion probably wants to chew everything in sight. After dealing with chewed up shoes to chewed up furniture, it’s easy to get frustrated, but the important thing to remember while training your teething puppy is that you have to be patient. A dog’s behavior is the reflection of the time and effort you dedicate to their training as a young pup. The behavior your dog develops in this crucial stage provides them with the foundation that will last a lifetime.
In order to make sure your dog doesn’t become an aggressive chewer, you have to take extra time and care to make sure they get the proper training they need. Below are 9 steps you can take to correct inappropriate chewing.
- Take Your Puppy For an Initial Checkup
Here the veterinarian can determine if there are any underlying health issues that might be making the puppy chew more aggressively.
- Puppy-proof Your Home.
Just like you would for a newborn baby, your home needs to be prepped for your new fur addition’s arrival. Block off areas that might be dangerous, and keep doors closed to any rooms you might not want the puppy to enter.
- Use a Crate
Since you won’t be home to supervise all their actions, keeping your puppy in a crate is a great way to keep them in one space so they don’t roam around the house and chew on your belongings. Although your puppy might whine at first, they will get used to this space after a while and come to enjoy it.
- Get Your Puppy a Variety of Chew Toys
Rope toys are a great durable option for teething puppies. You can easily take these toys to another level of fun by dipping them in beef stock. It’s important to note that the toys should be big enough for the dog to carry around in its mouth, but not small enough for them to swallow. Try not to buy any toys that resemble household objects, this could confuse your dog.
- Spread Your Scent
Dogs have an extremely keen sense of smell, and they are quick to recognize the smell of their pack members. When you get home, rub your hands on the toys—believe it or not this will encourage the puppy to play with them.
- Choose a Command Word or Phrase
If you see your dog chewing on an item that you don’t want him chewing on, make sure you use a simple command word like “No”, or “Not to chew” so they can become familiar with it. These commands must be said in a stern, loud manner. Once they drop the toy, you can replace it with a chew toy instead. Your puppy should be praised for his obedience with words of affirmation and a treat.
- Customize Your Training Techniques
Every dog has a different temperament and background. You need to keep this in mind when training, because each dog needs to be handled in a special way. If your dog is naturally on the shy side, you should correct them in a gentle but firm voice so they don’t get scared. An enthusiastic or stubborn puppy requires a deeper and firmer voice for training.
- Identify a Pack Leader
Dogs are pack animals and typically feel safest when they have an established leader of the pack. You can show your dog that you are the leader through training, affection and positive reinforcement.
- Use Dog Repellent
If you need to stop the puppy chewing right away, you can spray items with a homemade solution of hot chili pepper, vinegar or citrus juice. Once the pup tastes the unpleasant mixture, they will be deterred from chewing or licking the item again. If this isn’t strong enough, most vets sell a cribbing solution that is used for horses to stop chewing things.
Although this stage can seem daunting at times, it is vital to a puppy’s training and shouldn’t be ignored. Patience and persistence will ultimately be the most important attributes for you to exhibit during this time. If you follow these steps your pup will be well-behaved and your furniture will be left alone in no time!
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