There are a number of things you need to consider if your dog is displaying chewing behaviors in order to effectively combat this destructive habit. The best way to learn how to stop a dog from chewing is to examine several factors:
First, what is he chewing? Cushions, shoes, his own feet? Some objects may need to be removed from temptation, especially while a puppy is still learning good behavior and self-control. Some things may be just too hard to resist. Others can be saved with the use of a bitter chewing-deterrent spray, which also works on feet and tails. Simply creating a terrible taste will likely be enough to stop chewing and prevent future episodes, without harming your pet.
Next, what is the underlying cause of the chewing? If a puppy is teething, she definitely needs something to work those gums on. Try offering a toy or treats specifically designed for this purpose. Even better, freeze the chew toy for several hours, then give it to your puppy. This will both relieve his teething pain, AND distract him from chewing other objects. Win-win!
There are, of course, other causes of chewing, including boredom, stress and loneliness. Your dog requires a certain level of stimulation, similar to a child. And just like a child, if your dog is ignored, this can lead to him getting into trouble if adequate activities and interaction are not provided.
Other Points to Consider
- When there are times in the day that your dog must entertain itself, tie your dog up outside or have it somewhere where it can not reach anything but its toys to chew on. Maybe give your dog a little chew treat, or even better, one he has to chew in to get some peanut butter or other food inside. Mental stimulation is key!
- Practice obedience training your dog everyday, and make sure he gets plenty of exercise.This will help stimulate your dog mentally and physically, and thereby reduce its boredom.
- Do not physically punish your dog, as this will only cause more anxiety, and most likely increase his chewing.
- Do not play tug of war or wrestling games with your dog. This will only encourage him to bite and chew - not a good thing!
- Never try to pull a toy from your dogs mouth. Instead, distract him with a treat, and remove the object once he has dropped it. You can also teach him the "Leave" command.
- Ensure that he has plenty of toys to keep him occupied while you are out. You may want to rotate them, for added interest.
- If you think he suffers from any separation anxiety, make your exits very low key, so as to cause as little stress as possible.