Ask The Dog Guide: Excessive Chewing

April 8th, 2007 by Dan

Question: I have a 6-month-old Golden Retreiver puppy. We cannot get him to stop eating everything that’s not tied down or chewing on everything in the house (forget shoes–he eats window sills and furniture).

He’s been through puppy classes, and obeys commands. When we ask him to stop what he’s doing, he complies (we never hit and use the “click and treat” approach). He just has this compulsion to always chew things (he does not bite us). In fact, at times he’ll sit and keep his fleece mattress in his mouth.
Any suggestions?

Answer: Good job on doing classes and positive training with him. At 6 months, he is in prime teething age- just like humans, dogs lose their first set of teeth. It is normal for teething pups to bite and chew almost everything within their reach (in fact, I had to interrupt writing this post to entertain our 8 week old pup, who was trying to chew on our other dog, the cat, and the desk chair). Chances are, once he’s done teething his chewing compulsion will subside, to some degree.

When he is chewing on something like the window sill, tell him to stop, then redirect him to one of his toys (with praise). Frozen toys are good for teething pups- they will soothe his gums. Take a rope toy, soak it in chicken broth and freeze it; or use anything else appropriate for him that can be frozen.

Keep him contained when you’re gone, if you don’t already. A properly crate trained dog will be fine with some favorite chew toys in his box for awhile.

To protect your furniture and surfaces, try Bitter Apple spray- the taste deters dogs, and it does not harm furniture or smell too strong.

6 Responses to “Ask The Dog Guide: Excessive Chewing”

  1. Chewing Frenzy - Why It Happens and What To Do About It! | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] rushes to your head and you want to explode, but before you do – take a second and remember that chewing is, unfortunately, a very normal behavior for dogs. It is pleasant for them and provides [...]

  2. How To Leash Train A Puppy | Dog Training Behavior Tips Says:

    [...] from The Dog Guide. This article has advice for housebreaking a new puppy. Here is an article on how to stop puppy chewing. If your puppy nips, this article shows you how to stop puppy [...]

  3. Dog Facts: How Many Teeth Do You Have In There? | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] us, dogs have a set of baby teeth that they loose during their first months of life – 28 in fact. Teething starts around 16 weeks of age and ends somewhere around 7 months. An adult set of teeth consists of [...]

  4. Obamas Are Getting A Taste Of Puppyhood | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] Bo Obama, the First Puppy, was described as “kind of crazy” by First Lady Michelle Obama, during a Q&A session with a crowd of “Take Your Child To Work Day” attendees at the White House. While lots of other topics interested the young crowd, the Portuguese Water Dog pup just kept coming up. It turns out that Bo is going through that puppy phase where he likes to chew on people’s feet. I’m sure that he has every toy a puppy could dream of and hopefully the Obamas (and Bo’s staff) are working on redirecting his behavior. [...]

  5. Stop Puppy Chewing - Make Sure Your Puppy Has the Proper Toys | ArticlesOnNet Says:

    [...] Ask The Dog Guide: Excessive Chewing | Dog ReflectionsHere is an article on how to stop puppy chewing. … It turns out that Bo is going through that puppy phase where he likes to chew on people’s feet. … [...]

  6. Dog Video Of The Day: Lab Pup Plays With Sprinkler | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] Just like a kid, this young lab loves playing in the sprinkler. (shortly after the video was shot the sprinkler met its end as a chew toy….) [...]

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