Puppy Chewing

SYS! Save your shoes by training your puppy to chew the right things.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
3-minute read
Episode #1

the toy to get the bits of kibble out. That can be enough to satisfy a puppy who’s not one of the world’s champion chewers.

Stay away from cooked bones, because many of them will splinter. Pet suppliers offer sterilized shank bones and marrow bones, but hard weight-bearing bones like these can break an eager chewer’s teeth. If you give your puppy a rawhide chew, supervise her closely, because pieces of the rawhide may break off and choke her.

Get Your Puppy to Stop Chewing by Denying Access

The second step in protecting your household goods is to prevent access to them. Stash your puppy in a safe place --a puppy playpen, or her crate --when you can’t supervise her. And by “supervise,” I mean “give her your undivided attention.” As an alternative to the crate or playpen, you can tether your puppy. But when she’s tethered, don’t leave her alone.

Your puppy’s crate, pen, or tethering spot should be a pleasant space. Include a chew toy, a comfortable bed, and a source of water. Remember, puppies need a lot of rest. If your little friend gets enough exercise, training, and affection, and has had a recent toilet break, he’s likely to spend most of the crate or playpen time sound asleep.

Clients usually ask me about taste deterrents, such as hot sauce or Bitter Apple. Taste deterrents make a poor first line of defense because many puppies and dogs don’t mind them a bit. Besides, the time you spend coating every tempting surface is time you could have spent playing with your puppy. Save the deterrents for electrical cords and other dangers that you can’t simply move out of the way.

Keep your puppy from discovering the chewability of art books, Manolos, and iPods. Steer him to to a legal chew-toy habit, and he’ll be well on his way to model-roommate-hood.



About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).