Before you can train your dog to stop his destructive chewing habits, you must first identify the type of chewing that your pet is demonstrating. There are different reasons why puppies and dogs engage in this habit, as well as a variety of ways to fix the problem. Therefore, identifying the type of destructive chewing is an important step in eliminating the issue.
There are different motivational factors for chronic and destructive chewing. The most common types are:
- Puppy chewers
- Spiteful chewers
- Jealousy chewers
- Boredom chewers
Puppies chew mainly for two reasons: to explore their new world and to soothe their aching gums during the teething stage. Dogs between the ages of six to eighteen months have a different motivation to chew: boredom (although this motivator can also apply to puppies as well).
Most dogs that are going through their adolescent stage have high amounts of energy in their systems. This energy, when not utilized or given the proper channel, can result in problem behaviors like destructive chewing. Chewing out of boredom between puppyhood and adulthood, usually occurs because the newness and excitement of the pet’s presence in the home wears off. The family does not pay as much attention as they used to when it was still a puppy.
A different motivating factor that’s responsible for problem-chewing is jealousy. This usually occurs in adult dogs. It could be caused by having a new pet in the household, or because the family has turned their attention to something else, thereby, causing the dog to feel alienated.
For example, if you keep catching your dog chewing on your books, it’s very likely that it thinks that the books cause you to spend less time with it. The same reason can be stated for dogs who like chewing on their owner’s shoes. Our beloved pets feel that the shoes were responsible for alienating the owner’s attention. Each time you leave the house, the dog sees those shoes “going with you” and it will take its jealousy and frustration out on those shoes at any chance possible.
In this case, the best way to eliminate destructive chewing is as simple as spending more time with your dog. Spend ten or fifteen minutes with your pet before you start reading. Take it for a nice stroll, or maybe brush its coat before leaving the house. Most of the time, all it takes is giving your dog personal attention to get rid of these bad behaviors.
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