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    Destructive Chewing

    The Information below is also available in PDF format - a free download

    PDF Document Icon - Destructive Chewing

    DESTRUCTIVE CHEWING IN PUPPIES AND DOGS

    Written by Pet Behavior and Training Services, Inc. for use by the Montgomery County Animal Shelter

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if every dog came into this world knowing which items were dog chew toys and which items belong to their human family? Unfortunately, they are not born with this knowledge, but they can be taught. Teaching them what to chew is much more effective than attempting to punish them for making a wrong choice.

    STRATEGIES FOR DESTRUCTIVE CHEWING

    Limit Opportunity

    Preventing damage is done by limiting the puppy's or dog's freedom. Do not allow him free run of the house. Confine in one or two rooms where the family spends most of their time, Make sure a responsible family member is supervising the dog. Damage control and proper learning means dog-proofing that area. Teach the kids to pick up their toys and your husband to pick up his socks. If the dog is chewing the fringe on the oriental carpet, roll it up and put it away until the dog understands what he can chew. Another tactic would be to spray the fringe with something  such as Bitter Apple spray.

    Whenever you cannot supervise or must be away from the house, put the dog in his crate. Reward him for going in t0 the crate with praise and give him a special chew toy. (See our handout on Crate Training if your dog is not already accustomed to and comfortable in a crate.)

    Eliminate Reasons

    • Help establish a chewing preference by providing attractive chew toys. Some of the best chew toys are hollow bones and Kong toys. Hollow bones are made from real cow bones and are available in many varieties-smoked, sterilized and pre-stuffed. The wonderful thing about these toys is that they are relatively indestructible. You can rub a little cheese or peanut butter in the ends of the holes several times a day. If you want the dog to work longer and harder you can stuff the bones or Kong with canned dog food, cream cheese, cheese-whiz or commercial dog treats.
    • Make these toys the focus of fetch and play sessions with you and your dog. Soon they will become an appealing object for chewing.
    • If the puppy or dog does grab something he shouldn't have, do not make the multiple mistakes of chasing him or trying to pull the object out of his mouth, Chasing him is a great game for the dog, so you are just rewarding the behavior-exactly what you don't want to do. So is trying to pull something out of his mouth. Before he has a forbidden object in his mouth teach him to come, sit and drop-it for a treat. (See section on Teaching Simple Obedience Skills.)
    • Give a teething puppy some ice cubes or a sterilized bone that has been kept in the freezer with a little peanut butter or cheese in the holes. You can fix several up ahead of time and keep them in a plastic bag in the freezer.
    • Dogs that do not get enough exercise become bored or frustrated. This can lead to destructive chewing. Many problem behaviors can be improved by increasing the dogs exercise. Just having a fenced yard is not enough. Most dogs don't exercise on their own. Games of fetch are a good way for the dog to burn off excess energy. Walks are good for both you and the dog. If you have a friend with a compatible dog, get them together for a little fun. Visit a dog park or join an obedience class.
    • Puppies need short, frequent bursts of exercise. Never force a dog to exercise longer than they wish and be careful in the heat. Dogs do not cool off as efficiently as we do.

    Summary

    • If you see the dog chewing a forbidden object, calmly and simply say "no", hand him his special toy, praise him for taking and chewing it.
    • Provide attractive and interesting chew toys, rotate several every few days to keep the interesting.
    • Help the dog make right choices. Dog proof his special area. Crate when you cannot supervise.
    • Play games with him, incorporating the toys.
    • Provide exercise and other interesting things to do.
    • See section on Separation Anxiety if you feel your dog may be chewing due to anxiety about being left alone.

    If you need further help or information, you may call us for an individual appointment at 937-293-5686.  If you live outside the area, contact your veterinarian for a list of obedience classes or referral to a pet behavior specialist.

    Pet Behavior and Training Services, Inc.
    Dayton, Ohio 45410
    1407 Business Center Court
    937-293-5686

    A non-profit organization specializing in the behavior of pets

    Montgomery County Animal Shelter
    6790 Webster Street
    Dayton, OH 45414
    937-898-4457

    Highlights
    Bark Park Bake Sale

    Come join us Saturday June 7 from 10 AM - 3 PM for our 4th Annual Bark Park Bake Sale.  We will have goodies for dogs and their humans to enjoy, raffles, music, microchip specials and much more!  All proceeds from this event will go to the Tiny Tim Fund.

    Bark Park Hill

    We are happy to announce as of 9 AM on Tuesday May 6, 2014 the large portion of the bark park hill is OPEN for the season!!

    Mingle With Our Mutts

    Please join us the Second Sunday of each month from Noon - 2 PM for Mingle with Our Mutts we will have lots of adoptable dogs and cats looking for new homes. 

    Summer Safety Tips


    Summer is a time for both you and your pet to enjoy the sunshine and the outdoors, but this season can also offer situations that can endanger your pet.

    *You may be tempted to take your pet with you when you travel or run errands.  During warm weather, the inside of a vehicle can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.

    *Driving with a dog in the back of a pick-up truck is very dangerous.  Flying debris can cause injury to your pet or your pet may be unintentionally thrown our of the bed of the truck.

    *Plenty of fresh water and shade is extremely important.  In the summer heat your pet can suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion.  Owners need to know the signs:  heavy panting, rapid pulse, glazed eyes.

    *Even during the summer pets need exercise and one must use caution.  Limit exercise to early morning and early evening hours.

    *Crowded summer events and pets do not mix well.  The loud noises and crowds combined with the heat can be stressful and dangerous,