When Dogs Get Rough
Dealing with a dog’s destructive behavior is a feat that is experienced by those dog owners who have had their dogs since they were small puppies. Puppies, as well as some older dogs, love to gnaw, bite and nibble on anything and everything. This has been proven as one of the more favorite pastimes of dogs.
This concern needs to be dealt with when your dog is still a young pup, because as he grows older, it would be harder to teach him to not do something. Although it is fine for dogs to nibble on some things, it is necessary to train or teach them on which items are acceptable to be gnawed on by them and which are not.
If you are dealing with a dog with a destructive behavior, you would first need to dog-proof your entire house or at least the areas that he spends most of his time in. Some items that you need to keep out of your dog’s reach would be sneakers and shoes, sweaters, all kinds of bags, pantyhose and socks, and children’s – especially baby’s toys.
You should not utilize any of these things as your dog’s chew toys as they might mistake an unsuspecting man’s shoe at the park as their “shoe chew toy” back at home. When trying to deal with your dog’s destructive behavior, it is basically up to you to patiently teach him to just chew on his own toys and not on other things inside the house.
If your dog has this behavior, it is imperative for you to always be aware on what your dog is up to or is doing. For the five seconds that you have taken your eyes off him, he may have already gone off to destroy an expensive pair of shoes or a valuable piece of clothing. If you have to do something, make sure that you are able to keep him confined in a small area with the company of his chew toys.
You must also address the behavior in your own way. For example if you see your dog destroying your favorite sweater, slam a book on a table and with a firm tone, say “Bad Dog”. This would distract him and so that you can remove the sweater from his paws and give him a bone or some other toy he can chew on. If he does chew on the toy you gave him, say “Good dog” or some other kind of praise. Always do this whenever you catch chewing on something that he is not supposed to chew on.
If you catch him with a pair of shoes that he was already able to ruin, just get rid of the shoes and move on. Make sure that you do not punish him or reprimand him, as this might be damaging for him, rather than correct his behavior, although you might think that you were able to let your dog understand that he did something bad. If you see him after he has destroyed something, you could say “What did you do?” using a firm tone. Your tone should be firm enough to let him know that he did a bad thing.
Remember that young puppies teethe at around 3 to 6 months of age and chewing would be the only thing they could do to satisfy them or to alleviate the pain. Eventually, as they get all their teeth, they will have a less urge to chew on stuff. Also make sure that you play with your dog a lot. The more time you give to interact with him, the more loved and important he will feel, thus making him less bored and less interested in chewing on stuff. Patience and love for your dog is the key.