Destructive dog chewing is a common problem and can be incredibly frustrating for the dog owner. Luckily, once you understand the reason behind the chewing you can quite easily do something about it.
So when it comes to training your dog to stop their destructive chewing, the first thing to do is to identify the type of chewing that your dog is demonstrating.
There are only a few basic reasons why puppies and dogs may start destructive chewing. And there is a range of fixes to the problem. As you might expect, the best way to fix it will depend on the cause behind it. So identifying the type of destructive dog chewing is the first important step when it comes to solving the issue.
Some Reasons Behind Destructive Dog Chewing
There are different motivational reasons for chronic and destructive dog chewing but usually you can boil it down to a few main reasons. These are:
- Boredom chewing.
- Jealousy chewing.
- Puppy chewing.
There are two main motivations behind puppy chewing. Firstly, puppies chew as a way of exploring their new world. And secondly, they chew as a means of easing their aching gums when they’re teething.
Dogs between the ages of 6 to 18 months usually chew for a different reason. And that reason is boredom.
This is because most dogs have a large amount of excess energy in their system when they go through their adolescent stage. And if you don’t provide them with a means to burn off this energy, you can end up with destructive dog chewing.
Boredom chewing between puppyhood and adulthood often starts because the freshness and excitement of having a new dog in the house starts to wear off. And so the family doesn’t give the dog as much love and attention as they did when the dog first arrived in the house. This includes both play time with the family, and exercise. Taking the dog for regulr daily walks is often the first thing that gets neglected once the novelty wears off.
Another common cause of problem dog chewing is jealousy. You’ll see this most often with adult dogs. So what are the reasons behind it?
Well, it may be because there’s a newcomer in the household, i.e. another dog or other new pet who’s now getting all the attention the dog used to. Or the family may simply have lost interest and started to focus their attention on other things instead. When this happens, it’s easy for the dog to start to feel alienated and left out. And that’s when the destructive chewing can start.
As an example, if your dog starts chewing on your books, it’s likely they view your books as the reason that you’re spending less time with them. The same applies if your dog starts chewing on your shoes too. It means they feel like your shoes are the reason that you’re not paying attention to them. And so when you leave home, your dog sees your shoes as going with you. And this makes them jealous and frustration. And then when they get the chance, they take out this frustration on the shoes by chewing them.
In cases like this, spending more time with your dog and giving them more attention is the easy way to fix the problem. All you need to do is spend 15 – 20 minutes with your dog before reading for example.
Similarly, just take them for a short work or spend some time grooming them and brushing their coat before you leave home. A lot of the time, this is all that’s needed to solve the problem of destructive dog chewing – just give your dog the attention they deserve.