Raising Litter Mates



Ever wonder why there are so many abandoned and abused dogs out there? Lack of training and control of your dog could result in frustration and ultimately the need to re-home your puppy or dog. Nobody expects your canine companion to be perfect, but basic obedience coupled with good manners results in a long happy life for both you and your pooch!

RSSSubscribe    Email me  Email Me
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
What to do When your Puppy Begins to Chew.

There are many benefits to having a well controlled, well behaved dog. Behaving doesn't come naturally to a puppy, they dig, they bite, they chew, they jump up and the list goes on. It is up to the owner to understand a puppy's needs and start to instill good manners as soon as possible.

Why do Puppies Chew?

Puppies have razor sharp baby teeth that usually begin to fall out around three months of age. The teething process is long, depending on breed and size, and they usually have the need to chew until they are about nine months of age.
It is important to provide your puppy with adequate chew toys during this time.

What Should a Puppy Chew?

Kong and Nylabone have a line of toys made specifically for chewing that I have used with my labrador puppies. These two brands have designed their chew toys for even the most aggressive chewers. They come in different shapes and sizes, and some have specific weight and age ranges as well. Most of these toys are indestructible, but if you do find that pieces are being chewed off, the toy should be replaced immediately.

When our black labrador puppies started chewing things they shouldn't, I immediately used the command "leave it" and replaced the item they were chewing with a Nylabone or Kong toy. Repeating this action (and believe me when I say patience is needed) is teaching them that when they need to chew they are to chew their toys, not my walls. In some cases you may need to use a deterrent such as bitter apple spray, in my experience with puppies, the spray didn't seem to work. I had to use a few dabs of tabasco sauce for certain areas they were attracted to, and it worked fabulously.

Puppies will chew, they NEED to chew. Before bringing your puppy home it is important to stock up on a few puppy Kongs and Nylabones. As they get older, you will need to upgrade to bigger sizes, so don't go too crazy all at one time.

Ice cube in a sock works very well. When our labrador puppies were going through some terrible chewing periods I offered them each an ice cube in a sock. I assume the cold must have felt good on their gums because they loved it. The only issue with that is that you can't scold them for taking socks that may be laying around the house! We were okay with that, socks are relatively cheap to replace.

Avoid Bad Chewing Habits

As your puppy starts to recognize what is acceptable to chew and what is not, I would advise you to always kennel your puppy when not directly supervised. Ensure your puppy has a couple chew toys in their kennel, and rotate toys daily.

Do not give your puppy any toys to chew on that are "shoe-like". Your puppy will not be able to differentiate between a cheap pair of shoes and your $300.00 pair of boots.

Always offer your puppy the appropriate chew toy if he/she needs something to chew on. Use the exchange training technique when teaching your puppy what is appropriate to chew on. For instance, when Kratos is starting to chew on the wall, I immediately say "leave it" take him an appropriate chew toy, use the words "take it" and offer him the toy in exchange for the wall.

Previous Entry
How to Train Your Puppy to Sit

Next Entry
How to Teach your Puppy to Come When Called

Copyright © Sheri DeGabriele 2010
All rights reserved.